Thursday, September 07, 2006

Medical Bills...

As we have taken our turn on the hospital merry-go-round over the last few months, I have been thinking about the strange world of health insurance. We have great insurance coverage through my work that covers our family. If we didn't, we would be in serious trouble after having Kamden's ear-tubes put in, Barie having a baby, and then the baby being in the hospital for four days with meningitis. We will still shoulder our share of these medical costs, but every day I think about those families who have medical issues and don't have any kind of medical insurance. A report I just read the other day said that almost 47 million Americans don't have any kind of healthy insurance. Now, I know some people choose to work independently and decide to not get insurance, but there are many, many people who simply can't get insurance. The crazy part for me about the whole system is that our doctors and hospitals send bills to the insurance company & our insurance company has negotiated rates that bring down the total bills before the insurance even kicks in. For example, when Kamden was in the hospital for 15 minutes for his ear-tube surgery, the hospital (not the doctor or the anesthesiologist, just the hospital) billed us for $1400, but the insurance max for that procedure was $700. So, not only do we have help with the bills through our insurance, we actually have a discounted rate because we have insurance. In the end, someone who doesn't have any insurance gets stuck with the higher bill and the whole bill. It's no wonder that people can go under with medical bills quickly, especially when they don't have insurance.

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