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Dutchess_III's avatar

How often have you said, "Thank God I have (health) insurance!"?

Asked by Dutchess_III (46938points) December 8th, 2015

I said it one time fervently. It paid most of a $250,000 hospital bill.

I say it mildly often, like when I get no-cost-to-me dental check ups every 6 months, well woman checks, getting my prescriptions filled every month and just going to the doctor in general.

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40 Answers

tinyfaery's avatar

All the time. I have A LOT of medical issues on top of my mental issues. I went into the ER one night, stayed there until admitted the next morning. I had my gallbladder out that day, spent the night, then went home the next morning. I spent $0.

I am convinced that one day I’ll get a letter saying I owe $50,000 for this surgery. I was/am amazed.

Cupcake's avatar

When our health insurance switched over to a deductible plan, I had to pay for a blood thinner medication fully out of pocket the second day of January. It was almost a thousand dollars. Thankfully, our deductible was met within the first few months of the year and then our max out-of-pocket was met six months later.

We would have so much more debt if we didn’t have health insurance.

There were two years in a row where every household member was hospitalized at some point in the year.

Seriously… thank goodness for our health insurance (although deductible plans are crap for people who don’t have money in savings).

Tropical_Willie's avatar

On a regular basis. Hospital, Doctors and Medications.

kritiper's avatar

Has the ACA even been around long enough for anyone to say that? Do you get sick often enough to say it? I’m sure I would have said it back in ‘07, had I insurance. It was great back in the day I worked for a large Diesel engine shop that gave us insurance. It was the dental plan that I was thankful for! Now days I’d be thankful for anything.

johnpowell's avatar

I never had it before Obamacare. I pay around 40 a month for a shitty plan that I haven’t used yet. But I am fine with that. It is nice to know it is there and I spend 40 at the bars on a Saturday. So fuck it… I know it will eventually save my ass.

About 8 years I was living in my RV in my sisters backyard. One morning I woke up covered in sweat. I went inside and vomited on the floor and passed out. A few hours later my sisters boyfriend found me in a puddle of vomit on the floor. I was rushed to the ER. They immediately took my temp and rushed me in. I was close to organs shutting down. Like 2º away. It was somewhat amazing, within five minutes there was ten+ people around me screaming for more blankets.

So I was getting tons of blankets that were steaming placed on me. So many blankets that I was having trouble breathing due to the weight. And a IV..

So after about a hour I stabilize. My sister goes to get me Dairy Queen across the street. Two bites of a cheeseburger and I vomit on the floor.

I was moved out of the ER and placed in a normal room in the hospital. Three days later I am discharged and that was only because I said I felt fine and was going to rip the IV out if they didn’t.

So a few months later I get a bill for 10K.. And then another for 2K.. and then another I never opened. And more and more I never opened. Never paid a cent.. Totally fucked my credit but I don’t care.

I never heard a medical reason for what happened. As far as I know a random thing that would have fucked me financially if I actually cared about paying my bills.

Mariah's avatar

Every friggin day. My family could have ended up having to choose between their home and my health when I was a teenager, without insurance.

Hi Fluther!

Jeruba's avatar

It saved my husband’s life. It has taken a lot of discomfort out of mine. It’s not a matter of avoiding a rip-off; it’s a matter of choosing which rip-off is likely to hurt worse over time. I can pay a set premium at a measured pace and anticipate its coming. Not so when I fall and break my arm or have an attack of bronchial asthma or need cataract surgery.

Some people think that in order to benefit, they have to pay less in premiums than they would have spent out of pocket. That’s very short-sighted. When you’re young and healthy, you can get into the program for a lower premium than it will cost you when you’re older and need it more.

And heaven help you if you have a preexisting condition, because your plan may exclude coverage of something you had when you came in—they very thing you’re most likely to need help with. Get cramps with your period? If you don’t put that on an application, you could be denied coverage for a later and more serious problem in that area on the grounds of failure to disclose a preexisting condition.

When you’re on the road and you need to stop suddenly, aren’t you glad the brakes are already there? Or would you want to wait until then to install them?

Hi, @Mariah. So nice to see you.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I say Thank GOD we universal health care all the time.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Mariah! Hi ya!

@kritiper I was referring to health insurance in general, not the ACA. This was directed more toward some who can get health insurance but don’t because they don’t think they’ll ever use it.

chyna's avatar

I said that earlier this year after having a full work-up on my heart. It cost thousands of dollars but I only had to pay 900.00 out of pocket.

Hi @Mariah! Good to see you again.

canidmajor's avatar

@kritiper the ACA is directly responsible for me saying that. I had private insurance when I had cancer, so I was covered fairly well, but afterwards the cost of premiums went so high I had to give it up. I was uninsured for 11 years, and now I’m grateful to be covered, I have a 25–30% likely hood of a recurrence. I pay a_lot_ in premiums, and I have a high deductible, but I can afford it. A better option than being beggared or dead.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Strange to have someone who doesn’t believe He is, to thank Him, but oh well….bygones.

I don’t say it everyday or often because I thank Him (less dumb dumbass think it is someone else, He is God, and not the man-made ones for the health that keeps me from having to use any insurance.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Never. It’s a rip-off here. And we thankfully still have universal health care here. Although our current government would like to change that. I have a question about the healthcare system in the US. I must ask it.

Pachy's avatar

Again and again! In my lifetime I’ve had a number of mild-to-serious hospital encounters, and without insurance I’d now be either dead or bankrupt. Thank goodness for health insurance.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Not once yet thankfully. VERY good thing but my time will come eventually.

filmfann's avatar

As I said on a different yet similar question, I have had 4 surgeries in 3 months, and the bill was over a half million dollars. My portion was $1,500, which is the annual out of pocket cap for me.
Without insurance, I wouldn’t have had the surgeries, because it would destroy my retirement provisions.
Without the surgeries, I wouldn’t have made it to New Year’s.

kritiper's avatar

@canidmajor Well, being dead or homeless isn’t much of a choice. And in the case of homelessness, death looks pretty good!

canidmajor's avatar

Hahah, yeah, @kritiper, and dying on the street of cancer…something to look forward to, for sure!

kritiper's avatar

Yeah, hahaha, @canidmajor. Just step off into the path of a speeding truck! Looking forward to THAT! Woo hoo! PAR-TAY! (problem solved, in one of many ways…)
But what choice does one have when they have nothing??? “Where there’s a will, there’s away.” Death can solve a variety of problems!

jca's avatar

I have had some surgeries, one that involved a lot of pre-surgical exams, and I had a baby, so that was a big bill that was zero for me. I also had a hospitalization for about a month for having a serious illness that required medical treatment and intensive, in-hospital physical therapy. That would have been a huge bill.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I figured I didn’t need health insurance. I never smoked. I have a perfect BMI, No illnesses, all parts operate correctly and meet or exceed specifications. Health care for me is a waste of my money….
Until I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Yikes!

dappled_leaves's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 I thank Tommy Douglas instead. ;)

Honestly, I don’t know why you aren’t all demanding socialized medicine in your country. We never worry about medical bills or about negotiating insurance prices. Never ever. And no, that doesn’t mean that healthcare is free in this country (which is Canada), it simply means that the costs are distributed within our tax system.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

@dappled_leaves, does your government either encourage or almost compel you to take out private medical insurance? We have socialized medicine here, but increasingly there is pressure to also take out private medical insurance.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Earthbound_Misfit Nope, they aren’t involved in private health insurance at an individual level. There are insurance companies that offer it, and some people do take out extra insurance for various reasons. I’ve never considered it to be worthwhile.

The different provinces each approach medicare (which is what we call our healthcare system) slightly differently. Some have been pushing for more private insurance, but voters always push back when they can.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Thank you @dappled_leaves. I’ll explain why I ask this in my question so as not to derail this one. I appreciate the information.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Earthbound_Misfit “Never. It’s a rip-off here. And we thankfully still have universal health care here. Although our current government would like to change that. I have a question about the healthcare system in the US. I must ask it.”…Wait, what? You never say thank goodness for health insurance when you actually do have it?

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

No, I don’t. Because the way it’s been set up here is an absolute rip-off. It’s like taking out insurance to cover you in case of a car accident. Then when the accident occurs, the mechanic can set his rates to any level and your insurance only pays a small percentage. You have to pay the rest. If you have private medical insurance here and develop kidney disease, you’ll go bankrupt because of the out-of-pocket expenses.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But what did you mean by … thankfully still have universal health care here. ”

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

We have Medicare. The government takes 2% of our pay (well actually it’s 3% for me) and that pays for our health care. I can turn up to the doctor or hospital without needing private medical insurance. It’s already paid for. If I’m sick, I get treatment. As @dappled_leaves said “I don’t know why you aren’t all demanding socialized medicine in your country. We never worry about medical bills or about negotiating insurance prices”.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Earthbound_Misfit I’m confused – how are you being made to pay more, then?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Earthbound_Misfit You don’t normally confuse me, but you are now. So you DO have health insurance, right?

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I do not have private health insurance. I can access government health care.

@dappled_leaves see this question. I hope it’s clear. It’s complicated to explain.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But…OK, you have an entity that will help you pay hospital and doctor’s bills, so you have health insurance. It doesn’t matter if it’s private or not.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

It does matter. Whether you work or not, you will receive medical attention in Australia (and other countries with universal health care). I don’t have to pay an insurance company to ensure my healthcare is taken care of or that my children’s health is going to be taken care of. I just turn up to the hospital or doctors and I will be seen by a doctor. A well-qualified doctor. In a hospital with all the testing equipment and medication I require.

You didn’t ask ‘how often have you said thank goodness for health care?’ That’s a different question entirely.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Earthbound_Misfit I love you but you’re being obtuse. Seriously. You have INSURANCE. The whole country pays into the pot. That’s what insurance is.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Dutchess_III It’s really not the same thing as insurance at all. There is a government body that receives and pays your medical bills. There is no assessment of risk involved, which is entirely what insurers are about. The distinction is an important one, because it means far less money is wasted on middlemen who contribute nothing to the healthcare system except greed and anxiety.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Exactly @dappled_leaves. In Canada, Australia and the UK, you get sick, you get treatment. Regardless of your age, income, financial situation, gender, race etc. etc. There’s no question about it. You receive health care.

There are no insurance companies determining who should and should not get treatment, what treatment should be provided and what treatment will not be covered. Doctors make the decisions about the treatment provided and they don’t turn people away because they don’t have insurance or sufficient insurance.

I should say too that I really would not want to live under a system where only those who can afford health care get it. Saying ‘You have INSURANCE’ isn’t the point. I want to know for sure that everyone in my country will be cared for, regardless of their current financial situation or their health problems. As @dappled_leaves said, insurance companies assess risks and profits in determining who will be covered, what treatment will be offered and covered and what those who are insured will pay. In your system, not everyone IS going to receive equitable health care.

We are not talking apples for apples here @Dutchess_III.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, I wish we had it.

canidmajor's avatar

@Earthbound_Misfit: Thank you for explaining this so well. I have tried before, and not been able to articulate the difference so clearly.

trailsillustrated's avatar

If I had to buy insurance I’d be spewing.

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