Well here I am…. Excited that I only have 2 more days til the cast comes off and boot goes on. Real excited and optimistic…. and BAM! The medical bills started arriving. I’m at $2500 and haven’t even started PT yet. Anybody else out there going through this with poor insurance like mine, or worse…no insurance?

What a complete buzzkill

Hopefully I can post some great news Wednesday after my appt!!!!

12 Responses to “Medical costs…..ARGHHHHHH”
  1. dennis says:

    sidmatt - HI there, you might find this to be intersting: http://achillesblog.com/tomtom/2008/04/10/cost-of-health-care/

  2. kristinatl says:

    Hey Matt! There are others on our blog with no insurance. I have insurance, but I’ve spent THOUSANDS…literally…out of my open pocket for weekly wound center visits, 2 grafts, 2 plastic surgeons…the list is endless. This injury zaps all of our wallets, unfortunately. Hang in there! Guess we’ll make up for the income in 2009! :)

  3. Jesse says:

    Wow fortunately I have good insurance so I’m not absorbing the losses you are. Hang in there and I hope the bills get smaller

  4. jacksprat says:

    I think Wiki states that the USA is the only developed country without a form of state healthcare.
    The UK has the NHS and while not perfect Im so glad we have it. The last thing you need when suffering is to worry about medical bills.
    So I really feel for you guys in the States. I visited some family friends who work in hospital administration in Chicago hospitals and they told of horror stories about people working 3 jobs, or losing their house, etc. to pay medical bills. Im not a big fan of Michael Moore but his film “Sicko” gave a riveting insight into the USA health business and how it came into being.
    While I was bored some weeks ago I started compiling info on health systems of various countries. I didnt finish but since you have raised this question I have published what I have (see my Health Care page).
    I hope you dont get too many more shocks like this.

  5. annieh says:

    I agree with Jacksprat, we in England are so lucky to have the NHS even though I had my operation on my private health insurance I could just as easily have had it done by the NHS. We still complain though, but not necessarily because of poor treatment usually that we cannot get appointments as quickly as we would like.

    Cannot imagine how we would cope having to pay for all sorts of treatments it must be such a worry.

    Annie

  6. Richard says:

    Hello Sidmatt,
    Annieh is right about the British NHS we do moan about it but its definitely there for us when we really need it - it’s not so good when you need what could be described as ‘non emergency’ stuff (bunions and the like). So in the US what happens if you have an accident and its an ambulance job and in no position to discuss your financial position - Do they look after you first and ask questions later? Also what happens to folks who say have an ATR and have no financial resources, do they get treated?

    Richard

  7. Matt says:

    Richard
    In response to your questions. If you are in an accident and require an ambulance ride or other, yes-it’s treat you then send the bill. You can’t be refused emergency medical treatment but you still have to pay the bills. If you have an injury like an ATR but have no health coverage you will not be treated unless you pay or can prove an inability to pay due to no income. Then your choice of physicians shrinks greatly. America’s health care system, or lack there of, is a joke. Each year more and more of the costs get shifted to individuals while the insurers and large medical groups swell with bureaucracy. Perfect example… I live in a modest sized city in Oregon. Population of my town and immediate surroundings, maybe 180,000. One of the companies decided…. “Hey we need a new hospital and we have money to burn” ….. so this is what we got

    Outrageous. In person it looks like a medieval castle. And we wonder our healthcare dollars go to??? Hmmmmm??

    If the pic of this hospital does not come up check out this link
    http://www.peacehealth.org/Oregon/

  8. hobblit says:

    As someone who lives in both Canada and Australia I’m thankful both countries have universal healthcare. Australia has also modelled itself after the UK and allows private health insurance to speed up non-elective surgeries. The wait times in Australia are shorter than in Canada but at the same time once you introduce the concept of private insurance you quickly find it favors those that can afford it - doctors charge more and you end up paying more out of the wallet expenses. The public system in Australia overall is not as good as in Canada because of the offloading to private. No universal healthcare system is perfect and there will always be vocal complaints but I’m glad there’s something there.

    My experience in the US has always been that the upper middle-class and above live very well and concepts like affordability of insurance etc are not a concern. The US has a much wider range of costs and probably quality than Canada/Australia - similar to the education system. If you can afford it, you get the best in the US. But that’s not just in regards to healthcare, the US has always favored those with money where Canada/Australia favor taking care of the lowest common denominator.

  9. tennisjunkie says:

    I have lived in US all my life, got a degree in health administration and have had a career in healthcare for over 25 years. Our health care system is archaic. I was absolutely livid at some of the hoops I had to jump through the first few weeks of injury. I work for a successful mulithospital system, and I know the doctors, administrators and how things work and I called on them for help. Yet it still felt like a jumble of unlinked healthcare encounters.

    I was truly obsessed with everything related to my injury — spent hours reading about it, read every blog and post for weeks! So, in the true fashion, I requested a copy of my itemized bill for the ED visit and the outpatient surgery. The charges for those alone totalled over $15,000. I am fortunate that my insurance (provided by the health care system) is great, and my out of pocket costs were minimal. If I worked somewhere else, I am sure I would be looking at some hefty copays.

    I can only hope that the next US administration starts pointing healthcare in the right direction. But is such a mess, it will take a long time to right the ship.

  10. Richard says:

    Matt,
    Yes a very impressive building - if you’re going to a jousting competition!! - So when we sit at home watching ER (always one series behind you lot) those folks will get the bill later will they - that seems all wrong. I have to say there is a popular mis- conception here that ours is free, it isn’t we pay our national insurance from our pay packets every month which helps to fund our NHS. Whats the going rate for a good family health care package in the US?
    I don’t suppose proposing to change the system is a vote winner is it? we’re all enjoying the build up to the presidential elections, today it was Mr Obama and the ‘lipstick on a pig’ line - it seemed he hit the nail on the head but apparently not!
    Cheers
    Richard

  11. sidmatt says:

    Richard,
    I know it isn’t free anywhere else. Everybody pays somehow. On average a person with a family probably pays around $600 a month(before any employer contributions). That’s not the biggest problem. It’s that those plans have deductibles, copays, and then of course-the “that’s not covered” issue. A good friend of mine has a daughter that was diagnosed with a pediatric brain tumor about a year ago. Not only does he pay the $8000 a year in premiums, he has a $5000 out of pocket maximum, plus “non covered” items that the doctors can’t beleive. He spends around $15000 a year for medical expenses comined. That is ridiculous for a guy that makes less than $50,000/year. That’s where the biggest problem lies. Our healthcare system is a profit center for large corporations and NOT regulated to provide the necessary care for people that do pay their hard earned dollars.

  12. jacksprat says:

    Sidmatt,
    the case of your friend just sounds like a tragedy to me and I hope his daughter makes a full recovery. $50,000 a year sounds like a good wage but when medical costs snatch $15,000 of it thats unfair, he is losing 30% of his gross. By comparison, in the UK he would be paying about 11-12% on income over $10,000; that pays for our healthcare & welfare. I found some interesting figures on US healthcare costs and updated my “Health Care” page (or see my last post “Pay less, get more…”; you may already know these figures but they are startling. It seems the US private healtchare system is actually crippling the USA. I hope you guys are able to get a better system; the last thing your friend needs with his daughter in such distress is to be clobbered with huge bills.

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