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Thread: Health Insurance and National Health Care

  1. #1
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    Health Insurance and National Health Care

    My husband and I do. However, last year, our 22 year old son that works full-time at LOWE'S, came home from work emergently, with severe abdominal pain. He did not have health insurance, didn't sign up for it at work because he didn't think he needed it. My husband and I took him to our local ER. He told them he worked full-time but didn't have insurance. They MUST treat you anyway. They took him back, started an IV, gave him pain medication, did an X-ray and did a CT scan. Diagnosis? He had a right kidney stone! They released him after a few hours, gave him oral pain medication and told him that he would most likely pass the stone within 24 hours. He did. His hospital bill alone was $3,468. The doctor that read his x-ray and CT scan charged $299. The ER doc's bill was $120. Moral of this story: GET HEALTH INSURANCE!!
    Drink coffee and do stupid things faster with more energy.

  2. #2
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    same happened to my son but a different ailment. the bill left us gasping for air.

  3. #3
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    Yeah I had a huge kidney stone that required surgery several years ago and the bill was almost $10,000...I had insurance but the company said they wouldn't pay for it since it was in a different state (I was at university at the time) and it wasn't preapproved (it was an emergency). After about a year we ended up sorting it out and paying "only" about $900 of the bill.
    Since I live in the UK now we have national health coverage and I can't tell you enough how wonderful it is. Yes, some things aren't terribly efficient and sometimes you have to wait a bit longer, but emergency services are just as efficient, in my opinion (I've had to use them a few times) and you can still get private health insurance if you want.

    The US needs nationalised health care!

  4. #4
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    Yes, definitely get health insurance.

    I have a genetic autoimmune disorder and have to see various specialists. I see at least one a week. Before I found this out though, I thought I had a variety of generic ailments and went to all sorts of doctors for just about every test there is. At the time, I didn't have insurance and we paid cash. No choice as the company we were with wouldn't cover me. All that treatment cost roughly $35,000 out of pocket per year.

    Once I was properly diagnosed, I thought no one would give me health insurance. But then my husband and his firm changed plans. Because of my husband's diligence in letter writing to the new company coupled with their more liberal pre-existing conditions policy and his knowledge of our rights, I was able to get insurance after my husband's firm was with the new health insurance company for a year. For that year though, it was more out of pocket expenses. At Stanford. Many of the country's best doctors are there and they're mighty expensive. They also specialize in what I have. I feel lucky they're nearby even if they are pricey. They are great!

    Now we're both covered but it isn't cheap by any means because of my condition. But it's a lot less expensive than it would be if I didn't have health insurance. To the tune of about $25,000 per year. We can now put that money back into our pockets every year, add it to our retirement accounts, use it for our home-anything we want or need. All I can say is that I like seeing it in the plus column instead of the minus column every year.

    Bottom line, everyone should get health insurance if it's offered to them or even if they have to fight for it like we did . It's one of the smartest investments anyone can make.
    Last edited by SomeChick; 11-15-2007 at 01:11 AM.
    .

    Life goes on.

  5. #5
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    Yes,Thank God. My son 22 did not we paid over 170.00 a month for a policy for him that did not cover much but better than nothing. he has his own now working part time at Starbucks.

  6. #6
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    It's VERY important. Anyone can have an accident at any time!!

    I was amazed...five years ago, my daughter was born premature and weighed only four pounds. She was feisty though, and breathed, ate and held her temp all on her own. She was in a neonatal intensive care unit for one week for observation. They didn't do a thing to her (thank God they didn't have to), medically other than watch her. The bill for this was 32 grand. We had insurance that paid for all but a small portion of it. Wow...

    I agree on the Nationalized Health care.

  7. #7
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    Yes and pay 100% for the People that work for me. It is all tax ded. and like it never came in. We do have $2000.00 deuduc. but I got a great deal on a group plan. Covers scripts as well. No vison or dental.

  8. #8
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    I am VERY lucky. Being retired from AF I get health insurance in my retirements benefits

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by disco View Post
    same happened to my son but a different ailment. the bill left us gasping for air.
    Our Son is STILL paying on his bill but he will have everything paid off in February. He got it, though. In April during open-enrollment, he bought health-insurance through his employer. For a single, unmarried, he pays $38 every 2 weeks.
    Drink coffee and do stupid things faster with more energy.

  10. #10
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    I have excellent insurance through my spouse's municpal job. It allows me to go to any doctor. We still have costs, but nothing outrageous.

  11. #11
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    Nope ... I work for a small family-owned business (not my family) and insurance is not offered here. I can't afford health insurance on my own ... so I am totally screwed if something happens to me ...

  12. #12
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    Nope. We get it free here. I don't understand why you don't have Nationalized Health Service?

  13. #13
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    ^^^ That makes TWO of us!!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuckMyKiss View Post
    Nope. We get it free here. I don't understand why you don't have Nationalized Health Service?
    Nothing is ever free, dear.

    Someone is paying...somewhere.

    Oh....and you DO get what you pay for. Just ask a canadian who can afford REAL healthcare how they like THEIR system.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundqcar View Post
    Nothing is ever free, dear.

    Someone is paying...somewhere.

    Oh....and you DO get what you pay for. Just ask a canadian who can afford REAL healthcare how they like THEIR system.

    Our taxes cover it. But you can't really complain. I'd rather pay my taxes and get free health care, then have to pay taxes AND pay thousands everytime I need a trip to the hospital.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuckMyKiss View Post
    Nope. We get it free here. I don't understand why you don't have Nationalized Health Service?
    My dear UK friend, originally from Sheffield and as mad as a hatter (God bless him,) keeps urging me to move to the UK for the health insurance. I wish we had nationalized health care in place here, too. I have no insurance, and I just know that one of these days they're going to have to filet me like a fish to cut out a lung or something equally disturbing.

    I hope this doesn't offend anyone, but as an American, this is how I envision my fatal infarct taking place: I and an illegal immigrant will arrive at the hospital at the same time. They will treat the illegal first because it's the law, even if it's just for an infected hangnail. I can have my infarct or stroke or ruptured appendix in the waiting room along with everyone else and then they can pay the illegal to load my bloated remains into a pick up truck and dump me in a landfill somewhere. You know: as long as the hospital is saving that dime and the "right" people get treated first.

  17. #17
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    insurance is most important! what i've learned since working in this field is that hospital bills are negotiable, almost always. my job is to negotiate with hospitals when our members go out of network, the bill you get in the mail isn't always what you have to pay!
    "I'm not great at the advice, can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?"



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuckMyKiss View Post

    Our taxes cover it. But you can't really complain. .

    In England they make economic choices that regularly withhold medical treatment on the elderly, premature babies, chronic cases. And those choices lead to a much earlier death and lower quality of life for the unlucky individuals.

    The first time I had an in-depth discussion with an economist from England

    Why are the Canadian mothers with multiple preganancy jumping the border because their are no Canadian hospital beds available with the expertise needed? Because they have "free" healthcare there.

  19. #19
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    I recently received insurance through my partner's work. Fortunately, NY just offered Domestic Partnership so I can start getting her dental and vision, too.
    I'm a cardiac patient and before moving to NY, I was on the state of Az health plan. However, the period in between leaving Az and getting the insurance here in NY has left me over $11,000 in debt-- this was in an eight month period. (sigh)
    peek-a-boo!!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MbalmR View Post
    My dear UK friend, originally from Sheffield and as mad as a hatter (God bless him,) keeps urging me to move to the UK for the health insurance. I wish we had nationalized health care in place here, too. I have no insurance, and I just know that one of these days they're going to have to filet me like a fish to cut out a lung or something equally disturbing.

    I hope this doesn't offend anyone, but as an American, this is how I envision my fatal infarct taking place: I and an illegal immigrant will arrive at the hospital at the same time. They will treat the illegal first because it's the law, even if it's just for an infected hangnail. I can have my infarct or stroke or ruptured appendix in the waiting room along with everyone else and then they can pay the illegal to load my bloated remains into a pick up truck and dump me in a landfill somewhere. You know: as long as the hospital is saving that dime and the "right" people get treated first.
    That's outrageous. We have nothing like that here. If you go to an A&E department you are treated according to urgency, nothing else. I really can't get my head around it. It just seems so absurd. Some people criticize the NHS over here, I think those people need to go over to America and check the health care system over there. I am sooo glad we have it.

  21. #21
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    Amen, sister!!
    peek-a-boo!!

  22. #22
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    I just recently got health insurance through a state plan that is based on your income.Before that I was paying over $600 a month for a policy for my family and I and it didn't cover jack shit, example my daughter busted her head open and had to have staples after my insurance I still owed the ER $800 ! I eventually canceled our old insurance considering I was paying so much every month and it didn't cover NOTHING. So far this new State insurance " All Families/ All Kids " is working out great we have small co pays but nothing like $800.

  23. #23
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    I'm with you, SuckMyKiss! I can't understand it either! Apparently, I have every right to die on the sidewalk, but not to get treatment in hospital (even if I can pay for it) because I'm not insured, AND the bums can step right over my dead carcase on their way in to hospital for free flu shots and hot coffee any old time.

  24. #24
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    When I lost my job I lost my insurance. No one will hire me beacuse of age with numerous health problems. I have a doctor who gives me samples for most of my problems but it is a stop-gap measure. My wife is self employed. I might make it to 65 and medicare but I wouldn't bet on it. I am trying to get on SS disability but they make it a long and hard process. I paid into it steadily since I was 18 and I just want a little back for health care. At least my widow will get it.
    "What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others" Pericles

  25. #25
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    I am a triage nurse in a hospital licensed for 1600 patients. It doesn't matter if you have insurance or not, you are treated when you come in the door all the same, most critical / life threatening illnesses first, then so on. Sometimes when you see someone who doesn't look as sick as you taken back for treatment first, they are usually going to the "Basic Care" part of the hospital, where simple quick illnesses (suture in finger, earache) are treated. By federal law, we are not allowed to sort patients out by insurance before providing treatment.
    When I bring a patient to our hospital from another hospital, I am not allowed to ask for insurance info until we have accepted the patient. Then I can ask for insurance information. It is over $100,000.00 in EMTALA fines if we refuse a patient based on their ability to pay. EMTALA governs "Anti-dumping" laws for patients. AFTER THE PATIENT IS ACCEPTED AND WE AGREE TO CARE FOR THE PATIENT, we may tell a patient that if they come to our hospital for something that THEIR insurance deems elective, they may be responsible for the cost. If a patient does not have insurance, we start working sometimes before the doctor even sees the patient to get them qualified for reduces rates, federal programs, ect.
    I work with many nurses that are traveler's, many from other countries because they can not earn a decent living from their own countries. I see patients arrive from Canada who are on vacation and "just happen" to have brought their medical chart with them because they are miserable and can not wait another 8 months for a routine surgery. Some of our doctors have told us how limited they were in practicing medicine in their countries because the patient was considered too old for that particular surgery or evaluation, having to put patients on long term narcotics to tie them over until their turn comes up for surgery, ect.
    I know that the health care system needs overhauled, and I don't pretend to know what will make it better. I just know that almost all the nurses I have ever met try to do the best they can for anyone in their care.
    Last edited by Colicky; 11-15-2007 at 02:00 PM. Reason: found a misspelled word

  26. #26
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    Yes we have Health Insurance....but pay out-of-pocket

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colicky View Post
    I am a triage nurse in a hospital licensed for 1600 patients. It doesn't matter if you have insurance or not, you are treated when you come in the door all the same, most critical / life threatening illnesses first, then so on. Sometimes when you see someone who doesn't look as sick as you taken back for treatment first, they are usually going to the "Basic Care" part of the hospital, where simple quick illnesses (suture in finger, earache) are treated. By federal law, we are not allowed to sort patients out by insurance before providing treatment.
    When I bring a patient to our hospital from another hospital, I am not allowed to ask for insurance info until we have accepted the patient. Then I can ask for insurance information. It is over $100,000.00 in EMTALA fines if we refuse a patient based on their ability to pay. EMTALA governs "Anti-dumping" laws for patients. AFTER THE PATIENT IS ACCEPTED AND WE AGREE TO CARE FOR THE PATIENT, we may tell a patient that if they come to our hospital for something that THEIR insurance deems elective, they may be responsible for the cost. If a patient does not have insurance, we start working sometimes before the doctor even sees the patient to get them qualified for reduces rates, federal programs, ect.
    I work with many nurses that are traveler's, many from other countries because they can not earn a decent living from their own countries. I see patients arrive from Canada who are on vacation and "just happen" to have brought their medical chart with them because they are miserable and can not wait another 8 months for a routine surgery. Some of our doctors have told us how limited they were in practicing medicine in their countries because the patient was considered too old for that particular surgery or evaluation, having to put patients on long term narcotics to tie them over until their turn comes up for surgery, ect.
    I know that the health care system needs overhauled, and I don't pretend to know what will make it better. I just know that almost all the nurses I have ever meet try to do the best they can for anyone in their care.

    When you say ''accept the patient'' do you mean that a patient cant be not accepted at a hospital? Like you can say yes or no as to whether to treat the patient or not?

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by cleanskull View Post
    When I lost my job I lost my insurance. No one will hire me beacuse of age with numerous health problems. I have a doctor who gives me samples for most of my problems but it is a stop-gap measure. My wife is self employed. I might make it to 65 and medicare but I wouldn't bet on it. I am trying to get on SS disability but they make it a long and hard process. I paid into it steadily since I was 18 and I just want a little back for health care. At least my widow will get it.
    I can relate to your frustration. My husband pays, out of his salary, all the health insurance for his kids, which I understand (it's the right thing to do,) but to add me to his policy would put us in the hole every month. His ex-sea hag, who has a degree in Finance (top of her class, I might add,) refuses to work, so she doesn't provide any insurance for her kids at all.

    I'm 44, with no health issues of which I'm aware, but if I try to sign up for and pay for health insurance out of pocket, I won't be able to afford a stick of gum once a month!

  29. #29
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    Thanks for the info, Colicky! Comforting to know. On the other hand, if I require serious surgery tomorrow, I'll go into debt, even though I've saved money my whole friggin' life. And NOW, they've revamped the bankruptcy laws so that people like me have to burn through our entire savings and lose our homes just to pay for decent treatment. Once it's paid off, I can live happily ever after in a trash bin.

  30. #30
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    Its a race between my lungs and heart for the privilage to take me out. I kinda lost in the family genetics crap shoot.
    "What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others" Pericles

  31. #31
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    We accept patients from other hospital that can not provide the service, or care that the patient needs. Not all hospitals have neurosurgeons, or cardiac cath labs that have a doctor and staff available 24 hrs a day, or microvascular hand surgeons.

  32. #32
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    if something major was to happen to someone without insurance there are ways to reduce your cost, most hospitals TRY to work with you, payment plans and cost reduction. it's always negotiable.
    "I'm not great at the advice, can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?"



  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colicky View Post
    We accept patients from other hospital that can not provide the service, or care that the patient needs. Not all hospitals have neurosurgeons, or cardiac cath labs that have a doctor and staff available 24 hrs a day, or microvascular hand surgeons.
    I see, I thought you meant you had the right to turn a person away. I wasn't sure so I was just checking. That would be kinda wrong.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuckMyKiss View Post
    Our taxes cover it. But you can't really complain. I'd rather pay my taxes and get free health care, then have to pay taxes AND pay thousands everytime I need a trip to the hospital.
    You are paying for EVERYONE else's hospital trip too, through your taxes.
    Drink coffee and do stupid things faster with more energy.

  35. #35
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    Unfortunately, sometimes we do have to refuse a patient from another facility. It doesn't happen all the time, and it happens after all avenues have been explored and failed. I am fortunate to live where I do and work at a hospital that has microvascular hand surgeons. There are 5 in our area of the state, and we will bring patients in from surrounding states to see these doctors because of their specialty. But if our surgeons are tied up in cases, and these surgeries can last 8-14 hours for a reimplant, we may have to say no, we can't take the patient because the the doctor is not available. There is no need to bring a patient to our hospital, sometimes from out of state, and just let you sit there if the doctor is not going to be available to help you. We do this after extinguishing all resources. I have seen doctors call their partners back from their vacations!!! to help care for patients!
    I have had requests from outside hospitals to send a patient to our facility because the patient didn't like THE WATER PRESSURE IN THE SHOWER IN THEIR ROOM and they didn't have another private room available. That would be an elective transfer!

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by MbalmR View Post
    My dear UK friend, originally from Sheffield and as mad as a hatter (God bless him,) keeps urging me to move to the UK for the health insurance. I wish we had nationalized health care in place here, too. I have no insurance, and I just know that one of these days they're going to have to filet me like a fish to cut out a lung or something equally disturbing.

    I hope this doesn't offend anyone, but as an American, this is how I envision my fatal infarct taking place: I and an illegal immigrant will arrive at the hospital at the same time. They will treat the illegal first because it's the law, even if it's just for an infected hangnail. I can have my infarct or stroke or ruptured appendix in the waiting room along with everyone else and then they can pay the illegal to load my bloated remains into a pick up truck and dump me in a landfill somewhere. You know: as long as the hospital is saving that dime and the "right" people get treated first.
    I SOOO see what you mean!
    Drink coffee and do stupid things faster with more energy.

  37. #37
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    I did not mean to imply that it is only the hand surgeons that sometimes have to refuse patients. It happens in all specialties. I just used the hand surgeons as an example.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuckMyKiss View Post
    That's outrageous. We have nothing like that here. If you go to an A&E department you are treated according to urgency, nothing else. I really can't get my head around it. It just seems so absurd. Some people criticize the NHS over here, I think those people need to go over to America and check the health care system over there. I am sooo glad we have it.
    Our Medical resources here are better than yours!
    Drink coffee and do stupid things faster with more energy.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by MIZIZVOGUE View Post
    You are paying for EVERYONE else's hospital trip too, through your taxes.

    Yes, we are indeed, but we also pay for everyone elses rubbish to be emptied, houses to be fixed if they rent a house, keeping the country clean, woodlands to be preserved, transport links to be bettered...all of our taxes go to EVERYTHING. We don't look at it like that. We pay our taxes from our wages every month and thats that. Something you don't even miss, because it is taken out automatically everytime you are paid. When we do need the hospital, we walk in, get attended to, worked on, given an operation if we need it, given aftercare, and walk out. No bills to be paid, no money worries, nothing.

    You guys pay your taxes, and then ontop of that, whenever you need healthcare, you have to pay more.

    Would you not rather they use your taxes to pay for healthcare, rather than paying through the nose everytime you need something done?

  40. #40
    No, I don't have it either. It sucks, the U.S. is such a powerhouse of a country and it can't even provide coverage for it's citizens.

  41. #41
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    i have full coverage from my employer, i pay 12 bucks every check for my coverage. when i worked for the cable company they paid everything for us, no monthly premium no deductible.
    "I'm not great at the advice, can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?"



  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by MbalmR View Post
    Thanks for the info, Colicky! Comforting to know. On the other hand, if I require serious surgery tomorrow, I'll go into debt, even though I've saved money my whole friggin' life. And NOW, they've revamped the bankruptcy laws so that people like me have to burn through our entire savings and lose our homes just to pay for decent treatment. Once it's paid off, I can live happily ever after in a trash bin.
    My husband and I pay $190 a month for the 2 of us. Co-pay:$15 office visit, $25 ER, $15 prescription. The insurance pays 100% in-patient, 100% out-patient testing, surgery ect... We are blessed!
    Drink coffee and do stupid things faster with more energy.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colicky View Post
    We accept patients from other hospital that can not provide the service, or care that the patient needs. Not all hospitals have neurosurgeons, or cardiac cath labs that have a doctor and staff available 24 hrs a day, or microvascular hand surgeons.
    I live in Cincinnati. My niece was born at St. Ann's
    Drink coffee and do stupid things faster with more energy.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by xoxojessicaxoxo View Post
    if something major was to happen to someone without insurance there are ways to reduce your cost, most hospitals TRY to work with you, payment plans and cost reduction. it's always negotiable.
    You are right! They reduced my Son's bill from $3,648 down to $2,100. Still alot of money though out of pocket and he makes $10.70 an hour.
    Drink coffee and do stupid things faster with more energy.

  45. #45
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    Columbus, Ohio! Go Bucks! O-H.......................I-O!

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colicky View Post
    Columbus, Ohio! Go Bucks! O-H.......................I-O!
    YIPEEEE!!!
    Drink coffee and do stupid things faster with more energy.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by MIZIZVOGUE View Post
    You are right! They reduced my Son's bill from $3,648 down to $2,100. Still alot of money though out of pocket and he makes $10.70 an hour.
    sorry to hear about that! booo! my dad (stepdad) works for lowe's as well, i believe they have a good plan.
    "I'm not great at the advice, can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?"



  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by xoxojessicaxoxo View Post
    sorry to hear about that! booo! my dad (stepdad) works for lowe's as well, i believe they have a good plan.
    Yes, LOWE'S does have a good plan. He pays $38 every 2 weeks out of his check. Poor boy had to learn the hard way!
    Drink coffee and do stupid things faster with more energy.

  49. #49
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    my mom yelled at me to get on the insurance i have at work now too. listen to your mamas!
    "I'm not great at the advice, can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?"



  50. #50
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    I would like everyone to have health care. Mine costs $0.00 M/D/V with a $15 co-pay on medical visits and $10 on scripts.

    Of course I had to work to get it; 3.5 years of working graveyard shift while going to school during the day and evenings, sleeping in 2-3 hour shifts, giving up a social life, saving every extra penny, etc. The only thing wrong with socialized medicine is giving people yet another reason Not to better themselves. Why bother. Those who worked and sacrificed can pay the bill.
    Last edited by JeffD; 11-15-2007 at 09:26 AM.

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