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The Real State of the Nation

Fully half of all personal bankrupticy filings in this country are caused by medical bills, job loss and divorce. Three quarters of those filing for medical bills have insurance. This is one of those things that make you go, "hmmm?"

Comments

via Avedon:

To me, though, the priceless fact of UK healthcare is this: I pay for it when I can pay, and I get it when I need it. What that means is that, yes, when I'm getting a paycheck, money comes out whether I'm sick or not, but when I'm ill, I get healthcare whether I have money to fork-over or not. I don't feel that money coming out of my paycheck, but believe me, as someone who grew up in the US, I am acutely aware of the fact that when I'm thinking about seeking medical care or advice, I know with a certainty that the price is not an issue.
When I was getting ready for my eye surgery, I didn't forget that even some people I know who have health insurance in the US would have had to write-off their eye if they'd been in my situation because the cost of surgery, two nights in the hospital, and after-care might not all be covered and what they still would have had to produce out-of-pocket would have broken them. Someone with no insurance wouldn't even have been able to consider it. (And that's leaving aside the four weeks I spent house-bound while I kept my head in the necessary position to make sure the procedure works. Would your employer give that to you?)
I get the care I need when I need it, and so far it's been good care. I never have to think about whether I can afford it. Like I say, priceless.

I constantly go back to this post from Avedon Carol:

To me, though, the priceless fact of UK healthcare is this: I pay for it when I can pay, and I get it when I need it. What that means is that, yes, when I'm getting a paycheck, money comes out whether I'm sick or not, but when I'm ill, I get healthcare whether I have money to fork-over or not. I don't feel that money coming out of my paycheck, but believe me, as someone who grew up in the US, I am acutely aware of the fact that when I'm thinking about seeking medical care or advice, I know with a certainty that the price is not an issue.

When I was getting ready for my eye surgery, I didn't forget that even some people I know who have health insurance in the US would have had to write-off their eye if they'd been in my situation because the cost of surgery, two nights in the hospital, and after-care might not all be covered and what they still would have had to produce out-of-pocket would have broken them. Someone with no insurance wouldn't even have been able to consider it. (And that's leaving aside the four weeks I spent house-bound while I kept my head in the necessary position to make sure the procedure works. Would your employer give that to you?)

I get the care I need when I need it, and so far it's been good care. I never have to think about whether I can afford it. Like I say, priceless.

I've been shopping for health insurance. Now, my understanding of insurance is that you pay a certain amount in order to make sure your loss from a particular type of disaster is limited to a particualar amount.

So what I want is a plan where the most I will pay next year for health stuff is, for example, $10,000.

What I find is crud like $3000 deductible per incident (OK, there is a 3-deductible per year limit, so that's a $9000 risk, but I had to waterboard the saleslady twice to get that information - the fact that the plan comes with a nifty discount on printer cartridges was a lot easier to find) or half deductible if it is for an accident, and junk like 20% copay after the first so many thousand - 20% of bankrupt is not insurance in my book.

And then there was one with a dental rider for an extra $125 per month, but the payout was capped at $1000 per year.

Frankly, the plans I've seen so far are about as fiscaly sound (from my perspective) as lotery tickets.

Combine that with the unexpected side effects of so many drugs lately, and the number of fatalities related to medical blunders...

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