Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Health Care Debacle
It's the health care system, Stupid.
Currently, I carry a low-premium (not really that low) high deductible, catastrophic health care plan for my family because the family coverage through my employer is not only cost-prohibitive, but it would require that my children give up the pediatrician they've always known. I remembering hearing that as a major criticism of the Clinton nationalized health care system, yet, alas, here it is in the same old system we're stuck with. And, considering that my children are incredibly healthy - that is, in six years they have only seen the doctor for their yearly well visits - my wife and I concluded this is the best plan. Though it's far from optimum, and here's why.
On vacation this summer, my daughter developed an ear infection (first time for any serious sickness) and we were faced with the issue of finding a doctor. Normally, for ear infections there is little that can be done, and we weren't going to go with any antibiotics. However, we had been out in rural Wisconsin, where the kids were playing in the woods which are known for ticks, and we were a little worried that something had crawled in her ear. All we wanted was a nurse or doctor to take a look, so we visited the Urgent Care Clinic of Anderson Hospital in Maryville, Illinois. After a quick look from a physician's assistant, followed by an even quicker look from the doctor, our fears of a tick were relieved, and we left. The ear cleared up in a couple days.
Fast forward to a couple weeks ago when we received a bill from the hospital for $200, which is not covered by our insurance. We negotiated that down to $160, though we were still livid, having expected it to be half that. However, the situation got worse when we received an additional bill for another $150 from the doctor who is apparently represented by Midwest Emergency Management, Inc. Needless to say, we are completely baffled by this ridiculous billing, and our negative opinion of health care continues to grow. For me, at this point, future elections may be all about health care.