Costs for Crohn’s disease depend on several factors, such as treatments, ER visits, and complications. Research suggests the average cost for Crohn’s disease is $30,000 per year.

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes inflammation in the digestive tract.

Symptoms of Crohn’s may affect people in different ways. However, everyone with the condition needs to deal with the cost of managing it, which can add up quickly.

Research suggests the costs of managing IBD have increased by nearly two-thirds between 1996 and 2016.

Keep reading to learn more about how to manage the costs of Crohn’s disease.

The costs of living with Crohn’s disease vary for each person and depend on several factors, such as:

  • treatments
  • emergency room visits
  • complications

A 2019 study from the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation (CCF) found that people with Crohn’s typically incur $30,000 in care costs in the year of their initial diagnosis.

“Everyone’s a little different, and there are patients who are much tougher to induce into initial remission. Until you get into a clear-cut treatment regimen, you can run into trouble in terms of expenses,” said Dr. Rosario Ligresti, chief of gastroenterology at Hackensack University Medical Center. “People may also need to take time off work for tests and treatment.”

Once a treatment plan is established, the average cost of Crohn’s care expenses goes down to $23,000, according to the study.

However, prices may be on the rise. A 2021 study suggests that the average cost of Crohn’s care per person has risen from $5,714 in 1996 to $14,033 in 2016.

The CCF notes that health insurance covers the bulk of the cost for many people who receive a diagnosis.

The CCF study found that people with Crohn’s disease are billed for about $2,213 in annual out-of-pocket expenses related to the disease (excluding the cost of insurance premiums), compared with around $979 for someone who doesn’t have IBD.

The CCF also notes that Crohn’s typically gets more expensive as you age. According to the study, people with IBD over 65 years old have up to 46% higher expenses than people ages 35–44.

That said, the 2021 study mentioned above found that prices have increased significantly for people younger than 45 years old.

It’s best to speak with your doctor about what you can expect to pay as part of managing Crohn’s. They could provide a better estimate based on your treatment plan and current health situation.


Treatments for Crohn’s disease have come a long way in recent years. While more effective, these treatments can also come at a high price.

“Twenty years ago, Crohn’s was relatively cheap to treat because we had very few things to offer patients,” explained Ligresti. “It’s evolved a lot, and in the immunotherapy field, everything has gotten very pricey. If you had no insurance, you might be looking at potentially $30,000 in costs monthly.”

Prices for treatments vary greatly depending on the type of treatment you receive and the country you live in. For example:

  • In the United States, 2019 research suggests that combination therapy costs more than $57,000 per year.
  • In Canada, certain biologics often exceed $20,000 per year on average, according to 2016 data.
  • A 2021 study in Denmark found that biologics treatment costs up to €8,013 (around USD $8,700) more than nonbiologic treatment.
  • A 2023 study in Finland found that yearly treatment costs for Crohn’s disease were €2,369 (around USD $2,575).
  • A 2017 study found the average yearly Crohn’s disease infusion cost was up to $49,897 within the first 2 years of treatment.
  • As of 2015, 5-ASA medications in the United States cost $4,000–$5,000 per year.

Emergency room visits

Emergency room (ER) visits may be the most costly aspect of Crohn’s disease management in the United States.

For example, the CCF’s 2019 study found that people with IBD who had at least one trip to the ER saw their annual healthcare costs increase from an average of about $15,000 to more than $37,000 per year.

A 2021 study found that 57.5% of Crohn’s healthcare costs were related to in-patient treatment and hospitalizations.

Similarly, a 2017 study that tracked the healthcare costs of people with Crohn’s for 5 years found that 67% of total expenses came from hospitalization.


High healthcare costs may also come from common complications.

“Crohn’s runs from very mild to full-body inflammation. The symptoms people can get, like urinary tract infections, sexual issues, inflammation of the rectum and anal canal and perineum, can add to costs,” said Ligresti.

Plus, dealing with Crohn’s could be a challenge for your mental health. Treatment for depression, stress, anxiety, and other conditions can add to your overall healthcare costs.

The CCF’s 2019 study found that a mental health diagnosis often doubled the annual expense for people with IBD.

Managing Crohn’s can eat up a significant chunk of time. You may not always feel well enough to go to work. A trip to the ER could lead to unexpected time away from the office, and treatments at a medical office could pull you away from your job on a semiregular basis.

“Infusions usually take an hour every 3 to 4 months, then the patient is observed for at least another hour after to make sure there are no side effects,” said Ligresti. “That’s a 2- to 3-hour time frame for the total infusion, plus the time it takes to get to and from the physical location for the infusion.”

A 2020 report found that people with Crohn’s disease lost more than 9 days per year for medical-related reasons, compared with around 5 days for people without IBD. This can be especially important to consider if you don’t have paid time off and your paycheck is regularly affected by your condition.

If Crohn’s is making your work life difficult, you may want to talk to your boss about getting reasonable accommodations, a requirement under the Americans with Disabilities Act. This might mean:

  • moving to a desk that’s closer to the bathroom
  • working from home when you have symptoms
  • having a more flexible start time

Depending on your situation, you may also consider taking a leave of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FLMA) during a serious flare-up.

Keep in mind that this law only applies to people who have worked at least 1,250 hours over the past year for a company with 50 or more employees. So if you’re a relatively new hire, an occasional part-time employee, or you work for a very small business, a leave of absence may not be an option.

Crohn’s is expensive, but that doesn’t mean you’re on your own to foot the bill. Several financial assistance programs may help offset some of the costs, and some organizations can provide other resources and support.

Here are a few:

Copay assistance from drug companies

Many pharmaceutical companies offer savings cards and other financial assistance for people who need their medications. This tool from the CCF can help you explore options.

Patient Advocate Foundation Co-Pay Relief

This organization is working on getting donations to fund a copay relief program for people with Crohn’s. While it isn’t accepting applications yet, it will eventually offer $3,000 to participants every year, so keep your eyes peeled for updates.

PAN Foundation

This nonprofit offers a program to help people with IBD cover costs. It awards participants $3,250 per year. At the time of publishing, the program wasn’t accepting new applications, but you can join the waitlist.

Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation

This volunteer-run nonprofit offers a range of well-researched information and other resources for people with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The organization is also dedicated to helping find a cure for these diseases.

How much does treatment cost for Crohn’s disease?

Treatment costs for Crohn’s disease may vary widely for each individual. However, research suggests it may cost on average $30,000 the year after receiving a diagnosis, and could decrease to $23,000 thereafter. It’s best to speak with your doctor about what you can expect.

Why is Crohn’s disease medication so expensive?

Crohn’s disease medication may be expensive for several reasons. For example, most treatments include brand-name drugs, and there are few alternative options. With more severe Crohn’s or Crohn’s that has progressed beyond the control of older medications, new medications are needed. However, these may cost a premium for their novelty and active patent.

How much are infusions for Crohn’s?

The cost of infusions for Crohn’s may depend on several factors, such as where you live and whether insurance covers this type of treatment. A 2017 study found that infusion therapy with infliximab was $38,782 during year 1 and $49,897 during year 2. With vedolizumab, the costs were $41,320 and $36,197, respectively.

What is the expensive injection for Crohn’s disease?

Biologics are a type of injection medication used to help treat Crohn’s. These can be quite expensive, especially if insurance does not cover them.

The cost of Crohn’s disease may add up quickly when factoring in treatments, ER visits, everyday lifestyle supplies, and taking time off work to manage the disease.

If you’re having difficulty with the cost of Crohn’s, help is available. Talk with your doctor to see whether there are ways to bring down the expense. You may also want to look into financial assistance programs to see if you qualify for additional support.

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