The high price of being sick in the United States

@mssnow (9496)
United States
June 19, 2007 7:21am CST
I have no health insurance. So like yesterday when i finally went to the doctor after waiting for a week and a half hoping it would go away, I paid the price. The free clinics couldn't get me in till the end of august. Yes I am sure my kidneys would have waited till then. I tried the medical school They wanted $150 up front. So, I finally went to the emergency room. I got seen and all. But I know the bill will be outrageous. A bill I cant afford. I had borrowed $20 dollars from my son Mikey. Thinking that would cover my prescription. BOY was I wrong. It rang up at $56. I almost cried. I said" I cant afford that much. Well I was at Walgreen's and the lady behind the counter. Took my prescription over to the computer and like magic the price went down to $15. I guess they have a discount card they don't tell you about. So, I got my medicine and away i went. Moral of the story. Don't get sick and if you do make sure you find out if they have a discount of some sort. Have you ever encountered anything like that?
10 people like this
24 responses
@aprilgrl (4460)
• United States
19 Jun 07
That's outrages! What happened to our country? We have Tn care here and lot of people are using it but I guess that I amlucky that we have insurance and my daughter don't she has tn care program that will help her out during her pregnancy. Now wonder we have so many sick people in this world and can't get any help. That's sad.
3 people like this
@mssnow (9496)
• United States
19 Jun 07
Im sure there are alot. maybe some even dying. Maybe i should move to Tennessee lol whats the weather like there? lol
1 person likes this
@aprilgrl (4460)
• United States
19 Jun 07
well it's been raining here all day we did have a storm earlier.
1 person likes this
@mssnow (9496)
• United States
19 Jun 07
but is it warm rain??
@balasri (26577)
• India
19 Jun 07
Very pathetic.India has emerged as the mecca of medicine nowadays.People from all over the world come here for world quality treatment for far lesser price.I am ready to help you lot if you need any help from the doctors here.
@budsr03 (2355)
• Canada
19 Jun 07
Watch it! Of course i would care! I love my friends! :)
1 person likes this
@mssnow (9496)
• United States
19 Jun 07
didnt men you bud i meant as far as doctors would go. Thanks :) hugs
1 person likes this
@bonbon664 (3480)
• Canada
19 Jun 07
It's a sin in a country as rich as the US that health care is as dismal as it is. Michael Moore's new movie "Sicko" apparently exposes a lot of what is really going on. I live in Canada, and the system is far from perfect, but, if I want to go to the doctor, I call, and I go, end of story. Although, a lot of people can't find doctors right now, it's a problem, but, I will never not get health care because I can't afford it.
3 people like this
@mssnow (9496)
• United States
19 Jun 07
I know, Im so jealous of you guys wish i could live there lol
1 person likes this
• Netherlands
19 Jun 07
It is sad that health insurance and medicines are such a business rather than a service in USA. It is all about making money and if you don't have any they are not interested in you. I think that is all wrong and there should be some sort of easy to obtain for citizens only health coverage that people can actually afford. Like on a sliding fee or something. Very sad.
• United States
19 Jun 07
I have been in the same situation as you. I have no health insurance and usually it is really no big deal since I try to stay away from doctors as much as possible anyway. But there are times when I do get sick, very sick and I have to go see someone. The last time I didn't have a choice, I had an allergic reaction to something and my face swelled up, I was so afraid it would impair my breathing so off to the hospital I went. I didn't have the money to see a doctor since they wanted money upfront. So I ended up having to pay over $300 for them to telling me I was having an allergic reaction and to right out 2 scripts for medicine I couldn't afford. When I filled at Walgreen's they didn't offer to take mine down from $78, so I ended up getting just one of the medicines and it costed me $29. Needless to say, I try very hard to stay well and if I do get sick I suffer unless I know it could be life-threatening. So sorry you had to go through this also but very happy they gave you a break on your medicine. I also found out from my in-laws that if you don't have money to cover medicine the hospitals usually have a program that they will fill the medicine for you and add it to the bill. I couldn't believe it but the price is compairable to a pharmacy's. Hope you are starting to feel better, I know it is no fun when you have a kidney infection.
@mssnow (9496)
• United States
19 Jun 07
Thank you, well its so weird because i don't feel that bad. My sides hurt but It nothing I can't handle. I'm sure this medicine will help and Ill be well soon. Sorry to hear you have problems too. Seems like our government wouldn't want people sick. They need people to fight the war lol
@LittleMel (14059)
• Canada
19 Jun 07
No. I rarely get sick. I have anemia and allergy, that's about it. Over here we pay insurance taken from our paycheck every time. They also have insurance for self employed people like me. Being sick here will not cost you doctor fee, but will cost you $ 2 for any medicine you need to get with prescription. If you need to go to hospital, some things are covered, some are not. but if you don't have to stay in, this will reduce the cost.
2 people like this
@mssnow (9496)
• United States
19 Jun 07
Well they have that kind of insurance here too. The only problem with that is. I would have to pay over $100 a month plus a huge deductible which i couldnt afford.
2 people like this
@LittleMel (14059)
• Canada
19 Jun 07
$100/month? that's way too much. you should look for better rate.
2 people like this
@mssnow (9496)
• United States
19 Jun 07
That is the best rate. beleive me i have looked with a 5000 dollar deductable
1 person likes this
@sigma77 (5385)
• United States
19 Jun 07
I don't have health insurance either, but haven't needed a prescription in years. I can imagine the prices are rising by the hour...lol. I hope the medicine helps you with your problem. Without insurance, I simply refuse to get sick. I have been relatively healthy for a long time, but eventually I hope to get insurance soon.
2 people like this
@mssnow (9496)
• United States
19 Jun 07
I am usually healthy too but i do get plagues by these kinds of things once in a while i usually bounce right back though.
@mummymo (23709)
19 Jun 07
Oh sweety I do hope you are feeling better soon! We do not have that problem here in the uk as health care , although not always the best, is free! As for prescription charges it cost around £7 per item - sp thats about $15 per item just now unless you are under 16, retired, pregnant or have a condition like diabetes - then they are free, so we don't get discounts! Well done you for getting the cost almost quartered - that makes a big difference! xxxx
1 person likes this
@mssnow (9496)
• United States
19 Jun 07
Thanks sis. Well if they hadn't cut the cost of it. I would've went without. I didn't have that much money Unless mikey paid for it. Which he probably would have. I told him I would pay him back for the twenty and he told me not to worry about it
1 person likes this
@mummymo (23709)
19 Jun 07
I hate to think of you having to suffer with no help - that is horrid! Tell Mikey his Aunty is proud of him and sends him hugs! xxx
@mummymo (23709)
20 Jun 07
I usually pay for 4 months at a time cos it is cheaper! Wouldn't they check? xxx
@winterose (39931)
• Canada
19 Jun 07
I am not that familiar with usa hospitals but isn't there a community hospital, I know the hmo's are very expensive?
1 person likes this
@mssnow (9496)
• United States
19 Jun 07
The only community hospital here is the college hospital and as i said in either this post or another. They wanted $150 up front.
• Netherlands
19 Jun 07
I don't know much about Oregon but I lived in USA for awhile and part of the time was in Seattle. They had a hospital where you could be seen but then you have to fill out a form for charity case to not have to repay.... Do they not have that in Oregon or is that just for resident aliens?
• Netherlands
19 Jun 07
That wasn't worded right. I meant isn't the chairty case forms available to veryone who is legal? I had coverage but it didn't cover my issue so I had to fill out carity case form to get it covered. They say if you are low income you can do this.
• United States
19 Jun 07
I'm hoping that you'll get better/recover from whatever it is. I also completely agree with Jimbo's comment about the idea of a national health system. Speaking about prescriptions, I hope that there are no dangerous side effects, or if anything, the doctor did tell you what may happen. Oh - it is also a good thing that I can still read your discussion because I almost had something to say about Walmart. Oopsie - it was Walgreen's - different store.
1 person likes this
@mssnow (9496)
• United States
19 Jun 07
LOL what is wrong with wallie world now/? I too agree on a national health plan., but there are a lot of people who already have health insurance who dont agree. Why should they??
• United States
20 Jun 07
It would probably take a lot of changes to make this happen, such as repealing & adding new laws on the books, & a lot of restructuring of coprorations & the government itself. I'd probably have trouble trying to begin where to start.
• United States
19 Jun 07
I am VERY glad you were able to get a presciption and that they had some kind of discount. Though I am wondering why they just didn't do that in the first place? Instead of waiting until you almost cried and then did it? hum. I can't say that I have encountered anything and *knocking on wood* I hope I never do.
1 person likes this
@mssnow (9496)
• United States
19 Jun 07
Because they have a charge for people who are willing to pay that much. if i had had that much money with me i would have paid it not realizing i could have gotten a discount. its all about the money.
@estherlou (5026)
• United States
19 Jun 07
We've been very lucky over the years to have health insurance. I only had one job that offered it, but my husband has always had it. I don't know how some people get by without it. Prescriptions and medical visits are so expensive. Insurance costs, though. Ours through my husband's job costs us over $200 a month which is cheaper than a lot. It does help out on our monthly prescriptions though, so we can't really complain. So glad to hear that Walgreen's will help out those in need! Just know your bill from the emergency room will probably be horrific. They always are.
1 person likes this
@mssnow (9496)
• United States
19 Jun 07
Yes i know and I hope they will accept my $10 a month because thats all I can pay them.
@mfpsassy (2827)
• United States
20 Jun 07
We do not have health insurance either. So like you we have to resort to the E.R. which here can be scary all on it's own. But anyway our hospital has what is called Bridge Assistance. They use your income and the amount of your bills to determine how much you will owe. This includes the E.R. doctor's visits and lab work and some prescriptions through the hospital pharmacy. Check around see if there is a hospital like that close to you
@mfpsassy (2827)
• United States
20 Jun 07
There is one fairly close to you though I am not sure exactly how far. I'd say an hour to an hour an a half north on I-5
• Canada
12 Sep 07
Hi there Mssnow! That is one thing I love about Canada! I can get sick all I want and never have to pay a dime (not that I'd want to of course lol). The only thing that costs money here are prescriptions, but if your income is in a certain bracket then they give you a discount! As for going to the Dr's office, Emergency room, x-rays, ultrasounds, operations, etc that is all free!
@yanjiaren (9050)
12 Sep 07
Yes I am in NY NOW AND WE JUST GO AND GET Chinese medicine when we are a bit poorly.I can even get antibiotics from the Chinese lol if it is winter and I may get a heavy flu lol. That is why I want to bring my Hubby to England as it is a bit better there. But even there it is better to have private health insurance lol as the National Health service is getting a bit dodgy there too but it isn't as bad as in the States.
@Debs_place (10551)
• United States
10 Sep 07
THe whole thing is ludicrous - you can get a free mammogram..but if they find cancer...oh well..you are on your own. I am over 2 years now without dental. I work making less then $13 an hour, I have a cavity so big when I talk I get an echo. The payments on that will be bigger then my mortgage which I can't afford anyhow.
• United States
10 Sep 07
I actually have been given 250 discount prescription cards to give away ..If you would like one or several simply message me I will give you my address..All I ask is you send a self adressed envelope with 2 stamps on it..and let me know how many you would like:)
@lols189 (4798)
21 Aug 07
i am glad to hear the price was reduced for you snow and you could manage to pay your prescription bill. we have the NHS in uk so i dont pay for treatment or prescriptions which is a good thing
• United States
30 Jun 07
I have had to decline my health benefits because the cost is too high. I had to choose between paying rent or paying for insurance. I need a roof over my head.
@MsTickle (25014)
• Australia
21 Jun 07
I hope the meds are working for you and I hope the hospital loses the paperwork so you don't receive your bill. I think I would've cried if I was told my 'script was going to cost that much. I wonder why it was reduced? Seems you have to be rich if you want to be healthy.
@polano (3)
• United States
20 Jun 07
Yes, you're right to say that it's not a welcome option to be sick in the U.S., especially if you don't have an insurance. But perhaps, it's matter of doing the tricks. Sometimes, you have to use your resourcefulness. I was in the same situation when I first came to the U.S. If you won't mind, the best option is for anyone to just go to the ER of the Harbor UCLA at the corner of Vermont Avenue and Carson Street in Torrance, California. First, you can get a number and line up yourself at the Information Section, where someone will ask you some questions before you are admitted for check up. After check up, you will be issued a "Yellow Card" with your name in it. You will take this card to the Registration Section for your interview. If you're a tourist and unemployed, tell it to the interviewer. Next is that the interviewer will either tell you to proceed to the Urgent Care Section or the Emergency Room, depending on the seriousness of your medical problem. However, if you only need a medical check-up, it is most likely that you will be referred to the Urgent Care Section. Depending on your sickness, the doctor will then give you a prescription, which you will take to the Pharmacy. If you don't have money, you can go to the ORSA Financial Services located at a separate building at the back of the hospital. A social worker will interview you there and then issue a form that will allow you to obtain free medications from the Pharmacy. See to it that the yellow card is always with you everytime you go for a check up. Still the best thing to do is to follow instructions so that you will not be mixed up. Have a nice day!