So your son broke his arm, or you broke your arm—someone broke their arm. Now you want to make sure it’s not going to cost you the other arm and a leg to fix it. The risks we incur in daily life are numerous. Driving each day poses a risk of accident. Using stairs, eating, showering—you get the idea. With all of these potential risk factors for injury, it’s a gamble to live life without health insurance coverage. Understandably, not everyone can afford monthly premiums and deductibles. So the gamble is going without and hoping an extraordinary bill doesn’t come our way for services rendered to fix a broken are. Here’s the breakdown.
The initial diagnosis is going to cost a lot on its own. The first step is getting an x-ray. This will determine whether the broken are can be treated with a cast or if surgery will be needed—as is the case with shattered bones. Most of us would assume an x-ray is a flat rate cost, but it’s not. A small x-ray of the forearm generally costs about $200, but if the whole arm needs to be examined, then plan to pay more. This is the typical cost at a small hospital. At a larger one or a radiologist’s office that only performs MRIs, x-ray, sonography and such, it could cost as much as $1,000.
To place a broken or fractured arm in a split can run you close to $200, too. Casts cost slightly more than that most of the time. Altogether, the average bill for the treatment of a broken arm from start to finish is around $2,500 if surgery isn’t needed. Now then, if surgery is required, the bill will be much steeper. The same x-ray fees apply, but the cost to repair the bone depends largely on which bone it is. The humorous will cost more—around $14,500—to fix than the ulna or radius. If a joint is injured, that tacks on even more to your bill. Fractures are far less to repair at around $2,000. You also have to factor in charges for IV fluids, recovery, anesthesia, and post-op pain relief. All of these charges combined can have you looking at over $16,000 in medical bills—far more than you would’ve likely paid in health insurance over the course of the year, but again, that’s the risk one takes when going without health insurance.