Sunday, February 5, 2012

If you have health care, you're lucky!

We just got the bill from Otis' time spent in the hospital.  In December he was in for pneumonia, had to have a chest x-ray, lots of doctors came to visit, he stayed three nights.  All of this adds up to a hefty bill.  Luckily we have insurance through Brendan's work, but still the bill was close to $2000.  Ugh, just as we started saving a big chunk of dough for our house down payment!!  Will our savings ever get to just sit there and not get hit by a big bill?? 

I have lived for most of my adult life without insurance, never going to the doctor when I was sick because I couldn't afford it, having a huge bill when I did have to go, which took me years to pay off.  Thank god I never got into an accident or had to be admitted to a hospital!  That would've killed me.  When I was a full time nanny I started paying for my own insurance, and I kept that until Brendan was done with school and he got insurance through his job.  He went without.  When Ingrid was born, she was on state care.  We are a family that was trying to get somewhere in our lives.  Working hard, going to school and working full time, having a baby, trying to finish up a phd so Brendan could get a better job.  And we could not have done it if something medical had happened to us.  We would not have been able to pay for any bills.  How sad is that??  Our whole lives could've been changed forever if we had been in an accident or had a major illness. 

When we got to Michigan, we had the best insurance ever.  We paid in every month from Brendan's check and then paid nothing, NOT A DIME, the rest of the time.  Well, a $50 copay when we went to the emergency room, and I think I had to pay something for a scan done in another hospital that wasn't covered.  But I had Ingrid's monthly checkups, my hospital stay for my throat cyst, my three weeks of bedrest before Otis was here, Otis' two weeks in the NICU.  We paid something like $300 for all of that! 

Why oh why can't all insurance be like that?  I just don't get it!  We pay into our insurance here but a three day stay at the hospital this time costs us nearly two grand.  It makes no sense to me. And that might not be all we have to pay, because on top of the hospital bill we will be getting charged from each doctor who treated Otis.  That is something that boggles my mind.  I am paying the hospital already, but now I have to pay someone that works there, too??  Ugh.

This is not to complain about my life.  I love my life, I love that we have insurance we can afford, I'm glad we're only paying two grand and not twenty grand.  I am just pointing out how crazy it is that people can't afford insurance and they are the ones that have to pay through the nose to get help.  And don't get me started on getting any help.  If you're not miles below poverty level you can't get assistance.  When I was a single 24 year old and went to the hospital, I was told I didn't make the cut for state help.  I made twelve thousand dollars that year...Not exactly rolling in it, but I made too much to get assistance. 

Anyway, if you are in a country with health care, thank your lucky stars you're not here in the good ol' USA, where they could care less if you're healthy or not. 


Fiona said...

That is just so awful Amber.
How can you still have to pay 2 grand when you already have insurance?

Not a day passes when I am not thankful for our excellent health insurance here in Switzerland. It costs a lot, but coming from a 40 year old diabetic with a replacement knee, complex skin issues, and a whole host of other minor health issues, it is worth every single cent.

Mommy, Papa and the 'Nuts said...

"The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it." - George Carlin

MaryAnne said...

Yep. Crazy how one bout of poor health can make you broke in this country...

arwen_tiw said...

Ouch. Yeah, I know just how lucky I am!

Amber Liddle said...

And I'm happy that people in Europe are being taken care of!! I know you pay more taxes but I have always said I will pay more taxes if I know I'm getting something out of it. Here we pay taxes for crappy roads, shitty public schools, wars with random oil countries, and no health care. What the hell?

amber said...

Oh wow I cannot imagine having a rainy day fund and then POOF it is gone because someone has fallen ill. It's not even on my radar up here in Canada, and something I totally take for granted.

I'm not saying our system is perfect, but it's not something Canadians even have to think about.