Sticker Shock

Nurse RatchedI just got my bill in the mail from my three-hour long hospital stay.

I’m getting on the phone with Blue Cross right now to get medical insurance. It’s funny how all the times I thought “I never used the insurance when I had it from work, and it’s too expensive to pay that much monthly for something I’ll never use” seems… short-sighted.

And it’s funny how my opinion about socialized medicine and standardized health insurance can change from the capitalist “it’s not my problem” to the liberal “everyone has a right to proper health care!” so quickly, once it’s my capital that’s being affected.

As for how much it is: I could’ve gotten two new computers. I guess it’s just a good thing I didn’t have to stay overnight. Still, did I really need three whole bags of IV solution? Couldn’t they have just given me one and a bunch of Gatorade?

Update: Oh, that’s right. Now I remember why I didn’t sign up for insurance before, and it’s not just because I’m lazy and a cheapskate. It’s because insurance companies are all bottom-feeding pederasts who exist solely to make money, and will do everything in their power to avoid having to provide their customers with service.

The friendly folks at Blue Cross — yes, the same ones who’ve sent me one letter a week for the past six months begging me to call them and set up a plan — have turned me down. Turns out that if you’ve been to an emergency room in the past three to six months — in other words, if you’re the type of person who could benefit from having medical insurance — you’re not eligible to get medical insurance.

My options? The guy told me he couldn’t stop me from applying, but that it would be rejected. So in other words, no options. I just get to go without doctor visits, dentist visits, or new glasses for at least six months, or pay out of my own pocket. God forbid I get another case of stomach flu.

What gets me is that it’s such an obvious protection racket that it should be criminal, but it’s not only allowed, it’s encouraged. What about the people who really need health care, not just check-ups and the occasional emergency?

4 thoughts on “Sticker Shock”

  1. That was my biggest concen during my few months of unemployment. Being no stranger to the need for medical care, the thought of having no insurance terrified me, and the COBRA costs to keep my old insurance were 500 a month. *Gulp* I have family members with no insurance because they just can’t afford it, and it scares me to death the thought of anything bad happening to them. Hell, even something as seemingly innocous as a broken bone could end up costing them thousands of dollars.

    I recommend that for the next 6 months, you not leave your house, and while there, you wear a suit made of protective padding. And eat nothing buy cereal. Dry. (That milk could host a nasty bacteria!!!)

  2. Agreed with the Marise. When I went to get knee surgery, to get a torn ACL and split meniscus (both sides of the right knee were split) replaced, the hour in the operating room that it took to conduct the surgery cost $3000. With insurance. Without insurance, more like $15K. I wouldn’t have been able to afford it without insurance for like, a year, or I’d have had to mortgage my house. And at that point, I literally couldn’t walk without crutches *and* a knee brace, and even then, once a day, I was f’ing up my knee badly enough that I’d collapse to the ground.

    Whee!

    Yeah, Canada’s system has some problems, but it’s so much better than the US system it’s like night and day.

  3. Geez, Seppo. Sounds like I actually came out of it relatively easily.

    I can remember reading the COBRA offer and balking at the 500 bucks a month cost. I just wish at the time I’d realized it was better than nothing.

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