Sunday, December 05, 2010

The Earth is Not Made out of Trees

What is insurance?  Insurance is a service provided, wherein you pay  monthly, to insure that if some calamity befalls you, that your life won't be destroyed by the high cost and devastating effects of of illness/floods/car accidents/fire.  If everyone pays a bit, the statistics are that some will need more, and others will need less, averaging the cost overall.

The concept of insurance seems to have been lost in the EXTREME cost of healthcare in our country.  Health care is so expensive, in large part due to the corrupt insurance companies, that insurance insures our family against very little.  Let me explain:

Our family has health insurance through my husband's job.  We also pay premiums, high co-pays for doctor visits, and have a high deductible.  We do this so that we can keep the direct cost to our family and to my husband's company as low as possible, and yet it is still very very expensive.  We also do other things to keep our health care costs down.  We eat healthy food, get plenty of exercise, sleep 8 hours a night, eat broccoli, and drink clean water.

In September, our daughter injured herself riding her bike.  She required a trip to the local ER, morphine, an ambulance ride, another big city ER,  pediatric surgery, a hospital stay, a catheter, pain meds and 3 weeks of recovery.  This excursion cost $20,000.

The whole time it was happening, yes, I was worried about my daughter, but also, I was consumed with the cost and our insurance.  It has been my experience as the mother of active and accident prone children, as well as being victims of accidents/fate, we are also victims of our insurance company and billing departments.

When we arrived home, I was waiting for the papers from the insurance company telling us that we owe them a detrimental amount of money.  Three months passed, and I thought I was wrong, but this week we got the bill for $3,000.

We called the insurance company, and because our girl was sitting in the ER past midnight, they have a loophole to be able to charge us for inpatient services overnight, which apparently are our responsibility to pay for.

I guess I was wrong to hope that insurance might insure our financial safety in the face of an accident.  Now we have to fight the institution, and the loophole, which is kinda making me feel sick.  We will not be paying $3,000.  We paid our deductible, our premiums, and our co-pay.  I'm grateful that my daughter was able to be sewn back together, and disappointed that the healthcare industry is so terribly broken.  I have no choice but to submit to it.

Yesterday, I received a mailer from Blue Shield of California, my insurance provider.  It said, "The Earth is Not Made out of Trees".  It was their attempt to go paperless, prompting me to use their website instead of sending me a bill in the mail (which is great for this tree lover).  I am assuming they are going paperless to cut costs.

Isn't it funny?  Sending me an exorbitant bill, though they are the ones who are insuring my safety?  Sending me paper to tell me not to use paper?

1 comment:

  1. Those pancakes cost $5457 according to the hospital bill :) (plus we were sharing the room with an "Airborne Contact" warning patient) my calcs, that means they were billing 2G's per hour so we could expose ourselves to the flu...oh but I did get a glass of whole milk (which at the time was much appreciated).