Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Rethinking Medical Care

Today we got our new insurance cards from The-Company-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named!  It is interesting how I am rethinking healthcare now that I have a $4,000 deductible.  The-Company-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named has this great tool on their website that keeps track of all claims and tells me when I hit the $4,000 limit.

I am looking at healthcare differently now that I have to come up with that money.  I never thought about how much a doctor visit costs. Who gets a bill from their doctor or even knows how much it costs to see a doctor these days?  Or how much it costs to get an x-ray?  If you have HMO insurance,  you probably don't know how much these things cost.  I know how much some of my prescriptions cost but not all of them.  It was shocking to find out that one of my Crohn's medications costs $700 for 30-days of pills.  What are they making it out of Caviar?  Liquid Gold?  The best part is that the mediation gives me heartburn so I have to take another medication to get rid of the heartburn!  That medication is not covered by my insurance so my doctor's office takes pity on me and gives me free samples.  And don't even bring up my Enbrel.  It costs somewhere between $700 - $2,000 each month depending on the market value.  In some ways, that is liquid gold!

I blame the HMO's for not telling us how much things cost.  If HMOs told people how much doctor visits, x-rays, and tests cost, people would be more informed and understand more clearly what their insurance is worth.  Last year I had a gastrointestinal issue where I had to stay in the hospital overnight.  That one night stay cost a whopping $17,000.  Who knew?   Now I will know!

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