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Health Care Crisis

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5 Responses

  1. DCLawyer says:

    Thanks for sharing – that’s an interesting and enlightening account.

    I’d note that if you had a high deductible, inexpensive plan (known in the vernacular as a catastrophic plan that pays nothing until you hit a few thousand but then kicks in), you’d probably be out the same amount out of pocket.

    Why don’t more people have low cost high deductible plans? it is because of state regulations that, in essence, mandate coverage levels and make it impossible? (I’m asking – it’s not a pointed question). I have the sense that its like a law that says we all need to have safety features on our cars comparable to a Mercedes, and then complaining we can’t buy a $15,000 car any more.

  2. Strange story – after all, you were in California which is blessed with a large “undocumented” immigrant population, a heavily unionized state and local government infrastructure (with genorous retiree benefits) and large swaths of progressive voters; all of which I am told lends itself to decreased costs, increased efficiencies and a more caring and nurturing society, unfettered by the crass demands of materialism.

    I’m going to just chalk it up as an aberation.

  3. TalkingHead says:

    My wife and I had a similar experience in Las Vegas, NV (MD conservatarian might note NV is a libertarian mecca). We were insured (by the U.S. government) for my wife’s pregnancy (twins). The twins were in the neo-natal intensive care unit for several days. My wife was fastidious about asking each provider whether he/she/it was on our plan. (She even asked the doctors preparing to perform the C-section.) We were in network, or so we thought, at a hospital covered by our plan. As it turns out, the NICU unit doctors and insurer had a dispute over renewal of their in network status. We were unlucky enough to fall in the crack in between their being in network. As it turns out, the NICU doctors belong to a nationwide practice and they were the ONLY game in town — the only doctors who provided these medically necessary and emergent services anywhere in NV. Thus, the insurer’s promise of in network neonatal coverage was really just illusory.

    Our share of the bills would have equaled over $35,000. I fought long and hard with the insurer and had to appeal over the course of more than a year. I finally “won” (and thereby only had to pay about $4,000), but I could easily see a non-attorney just simply rolling over. I understand from Professor Elizabeth Warren’s work that many people end up filing for bankruptcy due to medical bills. I see how that easily could happen. Lucky for us, we had a significant rainy day fund, but it could have easily been otherwise.

  4. I’m guessing it was the scans: Medical scanners are ferociously expensive capital purchases, and if they don’t have a high rate of utilization, the cost amortized per use can be insanely high.

    BTW, one the subject of high deductible policies, I’ve got one, and I’m rather disturbed that the currently proposed plans all seem intent on outlawing them.

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