Medical and Insurance costs rant
October 13, 2007 12:32am CST
So, not too long ago, I went to the emergency room to get a throat irritation checked out, thinking I might have strep. Firstly, I spent more time waiting to be examined than actually being examined, but that's off the topic. In the end the tests revealed nothing. The real issue was that at the time, I didn't have any medical insurance. When I went to go make my first payment, I found that my bill for the emergency room was a little over $200. I thought, "Great, that's not that bad." That's when the lady helping me burst my bubble and informed me that I would be getting a bill from the doctor as well for her time, all 35 seconds of it. This, and my own slight paranoia over the chance of having something serious(my family is just oozing with hereditary and genetic illnesses), got me to thinking. What if it was something worse? Something that may actually be terminal like cancer? While I do have a little insurance right now through my work, it's still not all that great, and I don't make enough money at work to afford something that would be serious. I remember when my mother went through her battle with cancer. At the time, she had a good insurance package through Blue Cross, Blue Shield. However, she was paying well over $300 a month for that(and I think that's sugar coating it, I think her premiums went to over $500 after being diognosed with colon cancer). Those costs in itself was bad enough, but she then showed me a bill for the chemo treatments she had undergone to that point, which was about a years worth or so if I'm not mistaken. The bill, which was mostly covered by her insurance, totaled over $50,000. All of this, at first, may seem like a directionless rant to some, but I now come to the point of it all. Insurance and medical/doctor bills may not seem like a whole lot for all the small things one goes through during life, but if it's a life threatening or dibilitating condition or illness? Well, considering either medical bills or monthly payments on insurance costs rising after being diognosed, think of how much one would be paying yearly for it all. Now consider the cost of an average funeral. The previous statement brings me to my point over what I consider to be one of the serious points about what is wrong with the health system in the U.S. right now. Considering everything above, at this point and time, it would be cheaper to die from a terminal illness right now than it would be to get treatment/better from it. That to me, just seems very, very wrong. It's almost as if sometimes that the health system preys on a persons fear of death in order to charge a lot. Almost like, "Hey, you want to live? Then give me a lot of money." Don't get me wrong. I don't mind paying some money to get better or treated, but to pay over $500 for a ten minute examination? Or $1000 for an x-ray, cat scan or diognostic practice. Or $50,000(a cost you could buy a house for in some parts of the U.S.) for chemotherapy treatment. Well, all of that just seems excessive or outrageous in my opinion.
• United States
14 Oct 07
That sounds terrible. Even though the prices are high the capalist hosptial does have better treatment than a socialist hosptial. They should lower the cost of treaments. They should only charge the actual treament and time from the doctor. It is your choice if you want to live or not. Too bad there is no free medical care somewhere on this planet. Gambling won't help either. You should get life insurance if you can afford it. There must be somewhere where the hospital don't charge as much.
• United States
13 Oct 07
That is exactly why I don't go to the ER unless someone's been shot or having a heart attack...something like that. I've worked in medical 17 years, so I've been on both sides of the fence. I try to always have at least a primary care doctor that I can get into fairly quickly for normal sicknesses. I don't remember the last time I went to the ER. It tickes me off no end that the US doesn't have universal healthcare(I think that's what it's called). I work in collections for a chain of hospitals now and I see the problems people have, even with insurance (or 2 or even 3 policies). It's not a pretty picture. We don't have any insurance. We can't afford it at my work and my husband's doesn't offer it. I worry about what will happen if something bad pops up. Another thing about insurance that gets me is the Medicare for the little old people or disabled. they raised the deductible from $200 to $992. THAT is just wrong! Most of these people are on a fixed income. Now they have to pay this much extra?! Someone really needs to rein in the costs of insurance, testing and some doctor visits. Some of the new patient visits to a specialist, without any testing, can run almost $400. Sorry...I'm with you on this rant (if you couldn't tell :) ).