With quality grade compression stockings ranging from $50 to $100 or more, buying support hose can be a real budget buster. In fact, in the August 2011 issue of the journal Phlebology, researchers report that the high price tag associated with compression hose keep many users from wearing them as recommended.
The study authors surveyed more than 16,000 patients with chronic venous disorder, a disease for which wearing compression gear is often recommended. The tight compression of the stockings help support veins in the lower part of the body, making it easier for blood to flow freely and reducing the likelihood of clots.
More than 5% of patients said they’d discontinued stocking therapy because they were too expensive. Patients also reported avoiding support hose because they caused itching, swelling, sweating, were difficult to put on, and were unattractive.
What does this mean for you? If you’re concerned about the cost of stockings, you’re not alone. Here are a few tips for cutting costs without sacrificing your medical needs:
- Avoid off brand stockings. Although they’re cheap, drugstore versions don’t work as well and may wear out faster. Stick with known brands, like Jobst, Sigvaris, Mediven and Juzo.
- Buy stockings online. Because online dealers can purchase stockings in bulk, you may get a better deal than at a medical supply store (although a medical supply store will have someone to help ensure you get a good fit). If you are ordering online, be sure you know how to measure yourself for stockings.
- Ask your insurance company if your prescription stockings are reimbursed. Medicare will reimburse a portion of the cost of prescription stockings, for example.
- Find out if your doctor can order the stockings at cost. This saves you shipping charges and you may get a discount.
- Save money on shipping by purchasing from Amazon and others who offer deals for purchases over $35.
Source: Compliance with compression stockings in patients with chronic venous disorders. Phlebology, August 2011, epub ahead of print.