Today I am writing a claims appeal to my health insurance for the emergency room expenses I incurred while visiting my mom for the last time. Today my mom would have celebrated her 76th birthday.
I have to explain to my insurance why not being able to breathe or move my legs and having my blood pressure soar then plummet then soar again, was "life-threatening." If they believe, like the bystanders who called 9-1-1, that it was, then the $6000+ medical bills, I incurred will be applied to a $4000 in-area deductible instead of a $6000 out-of-area deductible. Brother. That's the crazy world of healthcare we live in.
Do you know how much it costs for a nurse to hand you oral medications? $87.00
My 10 minute ambulance ride? $1242
Once you enter an emergency room/ hospital there is no end to the outrageous overcharging!
It makes me wonder what happened to the real world? For any other service( except funeral) I think you can get a pretty fair competitive trade for your dollar. Need an oil change? $20. A haircut? $20. Not in the medical world. It's like playing a game with monopoly money. Insurance companies HAVE monopoly money (deducted out of our paychecks each month) so they can join in on the game. But for those of us with no insurance or very high deductibles, (doesn't pay to work for the state, afterall) there should be a real people price tag.
Take Germany , for example. While traveling there, my friend's little girl got a "tick." Nasty little buggar, they took her to the emergency room, where it was safely removed. They were presented a bill of $50 U.S. dollars. $50 for an ER visit?? What American wouldn't be thrilled to see a 2 digit medical bill?! That's so simple, so fair. It's enough to make you think twice about rushing to the ER but not so much that they would rather have risked "Black Forest fever" They paid it right then and there. Done deal. No insurance. No problem. That is the real world I'm talking about! That is what prices should be.
If price gauging is because of the soaring costs of malpractice insurance then let's make laws against frivolous law suits. If you go to a doctor, if you have a surgery, you assume the risks. By all means, use Angie's List to make sure that particular doctor didn't have a history of removing the wrong kidney and then get on that gurney.
But here's something to consider... why can't we get rid of health insurance altogether?!! If everything was reasonably priced, we wouldn't NEED health insurance, right? We could unlock skyscrapers full of insurance agents and free them up for more rewarding careers like, music educators in the schools? I'm just getting so excited here.
Competitively priced services would mean most people could pay their own bill!
Call me idealistic, but I think eliminating malpractice suits and doing away with health insurance would make America a swell place to break a leg.