Friday, March 1, 2013

The medical minefield of health insurance...!

Let me begin by saying that I'm eternally grateful for the medical insurance that my hubby gets through his work. Somedays, when I receive those bills in the post, I blanche at those 'would be' numbers that line the pages, reassuring me that at the very least, thank goodness I don't have to pay the full amount. But the concept of paying a re-occuring cost each month, as well as a charge each time we walk into a physician's place of work, and then the ever fluctuating costs of medications and medical testing on top, still blows my mind.

As a former UK-ian, I have only ever known the 'wonders' of the NHS. For all the complaints, waits and occasional need to 'beg' for certain treatments that your care provider isn't yet convinced you need, there's still a whole lot to be thankful for. The notion over here that medications in the UK, whether prescribed to treat angina, diabetes or the common cold are all one, set, standard price which you can budget for and come to mostly rely upon, tends to confuse some. And the free health clinics that are scattered around city centers, just begging for folks to come inside and take advantage of free medical testing, advice and preventative teachings, well, I sure do miss them when I'm under the weather and facing the costs of feeling less than awesome.

Each time I (or any member of my family) attend a doctor's appointment, that's $25 straight out the window, before we've even crossed the treatment room threshold or explained our symptoms. You can imagine how financially (and in other ways) aggravating this becomes when you're tackling more than one health problem at a time (as I often do with Chronic Fatigue/Post Viral Syndrome) and the time within which you may disclose, discuss and form a plan around your issues, is still as limited as it is in the UK and their free appointments. Oh, how I remember being SO put out by being told to make another appointment at a different time for a separate issue. How inconvenient right? I'd appreciate that protocol now, let me tell you.

And Lord help your bank account if you should find yourself considering an emergency room visit! There better be something or other wrong with you, at least enough to justify the $100 fee for walking through the front door and chatting to that nice lady behind the desk. While I'm still endlessly grateful that we have medical care that's 24 hours accessible and in many ways efficient enough, I do find myself with a certain reverence for what the UK has been able to achieve through it's National Health Service, as well as for those that work within it and use it respectively to their benefit.

The point that remains though, it that even with the gift of health insurance over here, it's still more than emotionally and physically demanding to become sick. Financially it can be just as crippling and I can only imagine the excess stress that must place upon those who are fighting for good health. Phew, it's enough to make you sick just thinking about it!


  1. I would assume that the policy your husband's job provides covers everything. Which leads me to ask if you've considered dropping the plan and availing of a high deductible policy that covers acute trauma. Since you pay for routine checkups and common health calamities, you may be able to save money by restructuring your insurance policies.


  2. “It's still more than emotionally and physically demanding to become sick.” - I agree! It's really hard to be ill nowadays because of how expensive the treatments are. But having insurance is a relief. Good to know that your husband already got his insurance from work. Anyway, have you read his insurance policy? That's what I did when I got mine from work just to check the terms that applies to me.

    >Cayla Dupont <