Paying For Your Health???

How do you Americans do it?

If you haven’t already guessed from the title of this post, I’m referring to medical care NOT being free south of the border from Canada. It might be like that in other places. I’m sorry that I am ignorant about you guys but for now I’m just going to direct this at the US of A.

GreysAnatomyLogoSo, random fact about me, I love watching Grey’s Anatomy. Super awesome show. You get the crazy, intertwined lives of a bunch of people but also cool surgeries. That’s not actually the point. The point is that I am jarred every time they mention someone not being about to afford life-saving surgery.

From what I can understand, people’s jobs usually cover any expenses if they have good insurance but this insurance can be maxed out if you need too many surgeries?? And if you can’t pay for something, the hospital will actually turn you away or make an attempt to make the surgery pro bono? Like that’s a real thing: being told “sorry, you’re going to be in a lot of pain and then maybe die later on because you are not rich enough for us to keep you living.”

healthcare cartoonAnd everything is craaazy expensive like in the show they do a wackload of tests on people who show up in their ER and I remember them saying that one type of test was worth $8000. That’s almost the cost of a full year of university in my program. Seriously insane. Like what if you have cancer or something where it requires a lot of steps in a lot of time to get you on the road to recovery. Do they just stop your treatment the moment you can’t pay anymore? Or do you just go into debt and as soon as you’re well you get to work your butt off to pay off a loan that you had no choice in getting because you would have died otherwise.

Free healthcare here is such a blessing, I had never really realized this. You can go to the hospital to get something you’re worried about checked out and possibly catch something life-threatening early rather than fret over the fact that what you’re feeling could be no big deal and whether or not it’s worth it to go in and waste a whole bunch of money on it. That is NOT the mindset one should have on their health.

ObamaCare is the president’s initiative to make the US healthcare system something like ours, from what limited knowledge I have on the subject, which should be a very good thing!! But there are people who think it’s a bad idea?? That people who don’t have the money for it shouldn’t be served? I don’t understand where their priorities are or what they think is going to happen. Like it’s not like it’s a radical idea if you just look up a bit you can see a fully functioning country with that exact thing going on in their health care.

This post isn’t really going in any certain direction I just want to get my thoughts out there and possibly get some responses from people who live in the US and what they think about all of this. It’s just so confusing that they haven’t already switched to publicly funded healthcare because it benefits so many people and who doesn’t want that!!


5 thoughts on “Paying For Your Health???

  1. American healthcare is terrible. It’s true, most full-time jobs offer health care, but they all cover a different amount of money. Reaching your “max” for the year is super easy. Most of the time, if you have any major surgery, you will pay at LEAST a few thousand dollars of it. If you don’t have the money it becomes debt. If you don’t have healthcare, it all becomes debt.
    As far as ObamaCare goes, it’s not quite like universal healthcare. It just makes it so you can get healthcare from the government (meaning you still pay for it each month) even if you don’t work full time.
    Basically it all sucks. Sorry to post a huge comment on your blog but this topic gets me really fired up. God forbid you get hurt in America, you could be paying off that debt for many many years.

  2. It really is a big issue. The tests and procedures here are far more expensive than they are in other parts of the world, which makes sense to a degree, but I’m sure most of them are vastly over priced.

    I used to work in a lab that did all sorts of medical, forensic and pre-employment testing. The test for HIV/AIDS could easily exceed $1000, and odds are, that price goes up for the patient, because they can’t buy it directly from the lab. They need to go through a doctor.

    I think one of the hugest problems with the American healthcare system is that it’s become viewed as a business venture. Medical care is the product, doctors are the providers and patients are the customers.

    Health insurance is bought as a way to theoretically make healthcare affordable, but that doesn’t always work.

    We still need to make monthly payments to the insurance companies, too. Generally, the sicker you are, the more you pay every month. We only pay about $200/mo, but that’s just for two healthy adults who don’t smoke and with no weight problems. When I shopped for private health insurance, I found some plans that cost close to a thousand dollars a month for one person.

    Dental insurance has a cap on how much they’ll pay out, but some health insurance companies don’t. I don’t think the one I go through does. I do know that there’s an out of pocket limit that the patient can reach. Once they pay that figure, in our case it’s something like $10,000, the health insurance company will pay for the rest of the health care needed for the rest of the year. That actually happened with a family member with several chronic diseases when she got diagnosed with Lyme disease a few years back.

    Many procedures aren’t covered, and depending on your plan, if you don’t go to the right doctor, you won’t get coverage. Even those that are covered can still end up costing thousands of dollars out of the patient’s pocket. For instance, I started getting migraines at a former job. I had health insurance, so I went to a doctor without worrying much about the expense. To make sure there were no tumors or structural issues with my brain, the doctor sent me to get an MRI.

    The hospital charged around $6000 for the MRI. Health insurance covered 80%, which worked out to something like $4800. That left me with a $1200 bill. Fortunately, I’m extremely careful with our spending, so I was able to pay it. (Those aren’t exact figures, but they’re close.)

    Even more fortunately, there was nothing physically wrong with my brain, so I didn’t need to do any follow ups. If I had to pay for more procedures, though? You can imagine how quickly the bills stack up, even with health insurance.

    The worst part is, people are regularly turned away for care if they can’t afford it. My mom’s a nurse who’s worked in a number of hospitals, and she’s told me some heartbreaking stories.

    I’ve refused to go to the doctor for problems before, because of the potential cost, especially when I wasn’t insured. Getting seriously ill, hurt or having a disability in America is a scary, scary prospect.

    Now, Obama Care is sort of a mixed bag. It makes insurance more affordable, makes it easier for low income people to get government funded insurance, and stops health insurance companies for turning people down for pre-existing conditions (that was a thing), but the health insurance structure is still in place. A lot of people don’t like that.

    Other people don’t like the idea of “paying for other peoples’ healthcare”, which I don’t agree with. How do those people know they won’t someday be in the position of needing help with medical bills? I also doubt much of their tax money goes into other peoples’ healthcare, because the majority of people are still paying private health insurance companies for coverage, either through their jobs or independently.

    That got really long. Sorry, I was just thinking about some of my past experiences with the medical system today.

    If you were wondering, the migraines ended up being the result of a secondary curve in my neck from some mild scoliosis in my upper back. Chiropractic care was just what I needed. I rarely get them anymore.

    • Dude I’m glad you ended up okay but the rest of it sounds nightmarish! It’s really insane how much you need to worry about money when there are way more important things to be thinking about. And the fact that they treat it like a business?? Thanks for sharing though, I really had no idea what was actually going on.

      • Thank you! Everything I’ve gone through, and there were other nasty things that have happened, is pretty mild compared to what many people I know have endured.

        It’s a very screwed up system that needs a massive overhaul from top to bottom.

        You’re very welcome! It’s hard getting a good idea of what goes on in other countries. Being able to find out is part of the beauty of the internet. :)

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