Emergency Room Bill – Horror Story

Posted by on December 4, 2019 2:23 pm
Categories: Column 3

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VerilyLuke of the D Recent comment authors
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Verily
Verily

An extremely important story, lost in all the noise about impeachment and “orange man bad”. Howard Kunstler did a great interview on how medicine and education have descended to the level of racketeering. This story shows how it’s being done with medicine. Kudos to Breitbart and to Kane for posting it.

Luke of the D
Luke of the D

I was just discussing how insane it all is with my brother.

My brother is “lower middle class” with a combined income with his wife of something like $60k a year and two kids. His insurance deductible was something like $2k and 80% pay threshold after that when he had his kids. His kids both had issues a birth (both premature) and he had thousands of dollars in debt to the hospitals… but that was back before the Obamanation destroyed health care! Now his insurance deductible is $6k! Essentially his current insurance plan is catastrophic, if that – one major incident and he stands a very real chance of bankruptcy.

But with me, I am “upper middle class” and single with a n income near $150k. My insurance used to be fantastic – something like a $500 deductible with some extreme high portion of pay out. I used to go to doctors and pay $20 co-pay and never see another bill. But now my deductible is $1500k and 80% pay out. I don’t even seem to have doctors visit paid for under my current plan. A recent doctor visit cost me out-of-pock $150 – and all the doctor did was look at me and take my blood pressure and temperature! My insurance apparently didn’t pay anything at all. And my insurance is still considered “good!” Essentially, my “good” insurance plan is also “catastrophic” now. I likely can afford a major incident with my savings, but I don’t consider my “good” insurance worth a damn any longer.

And so, neither my brother or I go to the doctor any longer. I still go to the dentist twice a year, and so does he, but doctors are now avoided! Preventative care is dead.

Verily
Verily

Thank you for your story, Luke. For years I lived in Hillsborough County, Florida (where the city of Tampa is located. After my insurance premium increased almost 500% (and that was BEFORE the ACA), I got a catastrophic policy and combined it with Hillsborough County’s excellent public health system (very rare system, it’s actually been pointed to as a model system for public health) which any resident of the county can use and pay sliding scale according to their income. The care was incredible for the money, I couldn’t believe my good fortune. I even got great dental work done,

And then the ACA came along and effed that up royally. Fortunately I recently hit the age where I can access a Medicare HMO. It’s not perfect by any means and sometimes it’s a real PITA, but it works fine for my meager needs. The insurance provider is OK, but a little excessive. The doctor had prescribed a medication and immediately I got a call from some subcontractor of the insurance company offering to call the prescription in on my behalf and let me know when it was ready. WTF? I told them I was perfectly capable of contacting the pharmacy myself and that the pharmacy lets me know when to pick up. Now, right there is waste writ large. Instead of hiring a phone room to waste money, they could give more money to the doctors, but they don’t. Although I do like the free over the counter stuff they give a monthly allowance for. (vitamins and stuff like that). I even got a first aid kit to keep in the house. Ultimately, though, it’s not really “free”. Nothing is.

And don’t get me started on the various tests the insurance companies mandate after a certain age. Oh, and the high blood pressure scam by the pharmaceutical industry