Financial Planning for Joint Replacement Surgery

Planning your finances prior to having a major surgery can be daunting. Here are a few things to consider if you’re thinking about hip or knee replacement.

October 6, 2020 | 4 min read

Often times, people preparing to undergo a major surgical procedure fail to prepare financially for the downtime that comes with recovery. This means that as you prepare for your surgery, one of your primary concerns should be covering the financial cost of recovery. As a recovering joint replacement patient, you can expect an average recovery time of between 4 weeks to 6 months depending on a number of factors such as your age, health, type of surgery, and your body’s response to the procedure.1

Paying for services during recovery

During your recovery time, you can expect to need some help completing basic tasks. It would be a good idea to brainstorm a list of some basic services that you may need help with as you recover. Here are some of the items you might want to consider:

  • Household cleaning and maintenance
  • Yard maintenance and landscaping
  • Grocery shopping
  • Pet care and/or dog walking
  • Personal care and meal preparation
  • Rides to doctor appointments and/or physical therapy

The Australian Government Home Care Package programme helps people live independently in their own home for as long as they can. It is based upon a Consumer Directed Care model and gives consumers more choice and control over their care than ever before.

 In many states, local governments and home healthcare agencies contract with nurse’s assistants or other home healthcare providers to aid those who are injured, elderly, or sick. Provider rates vary between suppliers and depending on the type of support service, but most fall between $45-60 per hour. You can get more information here: https://www.careabout.com.au/home-care-package/what-is-it

Home healthcare assistants generally limit their duties to indoor, patient-related tasks. This means you may need to work with a landscaping service for lawn care. Again, depending on where you live, you can estimate a weekly lawn mowing service to run around $40-$50 per hour.3 It might be worth your time to check in to local youth groups who might be interested in helping with lawn care for a cheaper price than a professional service.

Taking time off work

Some employers will understand that your limitations while recovering from major joint replacement surgery. But, if you are self-employed, this is a different story. The key to preparing for lost wages is to save as much as possible in the months before your surgery. You could also look into short-term disability insurance coverage options. 

Managing insurance policies for surgery and recovery

In most cases, the final cost of surgery won’t be determined until after the procedure is complete. But, you can get an estimate of the charges prior to surgery. To do so, you will need to coordinate with your doctor and your insurance provider.

The longer you have to prepare your finances prior to surgery, the better. If your ability to pay is limited, you can research Centrelink and/or charities that may help. If you have any concerns about billing or your ability to pay your portion, talk to your doctor. Chances are they’ve helped others like you many times before and will be able to provide appropriate guidance for your specific conditions.

References
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