- 7 years ago
- Wedding: December 2012
Wow. I’m from New Zealand/Australia and all of this information just blows my mind.
I had to have emergency surgery in January for a about-to-rupture appendix. There were complications during the surgery, so it took almost twice as long; I then spent four days in hospital before being discharged; ended up back in hospital three days later for two nights; a week after that I went back to have my stiches removed; and six weeks after the surgery I went back for a check-up.
I don’t have private health insurance and went through the public system – in total it cost me about $30 and that was for the prescription pain pills.
I feel really badly for you Americans when it comes to health care – it must be really scary to think that an accident, an emergency or a life threating illness can not only threaten your health, life and happiness, but also your finances to a point where it could negatively affect the rest of your life.
I was hospitalized in 2009 for multiple pulmonary emboli (blood clots in my lungs). I was a senior in college at the time and 100% uninsured. During my stay, I was wracked with terror at how much money was piling up while I underwent injections and scans to try and figure out where the clots were, where they came from, and help dissolve them. I was also kicked out after 3 nights when they would normally have kept me a week at LEAST.
I applied for Medicaid while in the hospital and thank god that went through before the bills came due. The total cost for 3 nights in the hospital plus all the ER stuff was over $30,000. Had I not been approved and Medicaid (aka taxpayers) taken care of the bills, I’d have had to drop out of college – right before graduating with my degree – and my entire life basically destroyed.
So. Yeah. As it is, I still had to endure 8 months instead of 3 on blood thinners because nobody at the community clinic I was sent to would communicate with me about my INR levels (basically how thin your blood is) and when my Medicaid plan was switched that clinic refused to see me and I spent two frantic weeks trying to find someone to oversee the weekly blood draws I needed since too much thinning of the blood = bad and too little = potential for new clots.
Our system is absolute shit. Even now I pay almost $400 a month for pretty much nothing and I’m terrified to go to the doctor or address any issues. Also afraid to ever have a baby because dear lord that’s expensive as hell.
I was terrified in hospital; I cannot imagine worrying about money on top of everything we were dealing with. Or the idea that if I had of died I would have left SO and my Mum with huge medical bills.
Just FYI you can fight off a UTI with alka seltzer (2 tablets twice a day. Lots of water & cranberry juice.)
I’ve fought them off a lot that way.
@MrsPanda99: There’s a lot of really dire things in this thread… but I’ve BEEN in in this situation, uninsured, broke, and in the ER. Know what happened? They took my info, treated me, sent me home, and billed me later. When I couldn’t pay that, they activated some program they had for low-income patients and the bill was reduced to something I could pay.
That said, my emergency was a fairly minor one – I sliced off a small chunk of my finger in a meat slicer and it wouldn’t stop bleeding. I say minor because it didn’t require any major tests or anything invasive, just a shot of lidocaine and some surgicel. That would have cost me more than $700 had they not reduced the price for me.
I can imagine some of those more serious things happening to someone with a bigger badder emergency, but the only situations I’ve heard of are ones where they go into debt or bankruptcy due to medical bills, I’ve never heard of a doctor who can help someone in an emergency refusing to do so.
On my way to the hospital though… I was crying my eyes out, not because it hurt or I was scared of the ER… but because I was so scared of how much it could cost me.
I will warn you: My sister ‘fought one off’, then two weeks later ended up with a kidney infection and has been diagnosed with a chronic kidney infection. I wouldn’t mess with this shit if I were you =/. It can get bad if you are wrong. (but hopefully you are more blessed than I)
This thread is scary. We Canadians gripe about long wait times, paying high taxes and not needing treatment, etc. But man, I couldn’t imagine being so worried as to whether or not I’d be indebted for the rest of my life because I was in an accident or something.
Also, on topic…
My father had a heart attack requiring a quintuple bypass. My father is a Vietnam Veteran, so the VA should have taken care of him, right?
They refused to pay his surgeon because he didn’t go to the “right” hospital.
Now, my father went to a hospital that was within 30 minutes of us (We lived in Rural california) and when he woke up with pain, he called the VA. They told him that if he couldn’t breathe to take an ambulance, but otherwise to go to the nearest hospital. We did.
They admitted him, did an EKG and determined he had a rather serious heart attack and admitted him.
His surgeon (who is a saint, bless his heart in the best of ways) saved my father’s life. He preformed a quintuple (5) bypass in less than 4 hour (It’s supposed to be 1 hour for vein extraction + 1 hour per artery needed to repair). My father made it through surgery beautifully and he recovered in no time.
The VA refused to pay. They wanted him to go to a hospital two and a half hours away. His surgeon wrote a letter to the VA stating that my father would not have survived the ambulance ride down.
The VA absolutely would not budge. We were stuck with a 250,000 dollar surgery with no way to pay it. Like I said, my father’s surgeon was a god damn saint and did everything he could to work with us. He wote letters to the VA and even wanted less money for himself.
Even people with insurance and protections get fucked over. My father had to take the VA to court to get them to pay for the surgery.
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