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BaileyCatts
03-04-2012, 04:56 PM
This only applies to people in the US since I'm sure health care rules are different in other countries. :)

Does anyone go without health care coverage, and has it ever resulted in a problem for you? Back in September, I bought a short term (6-month) plan, which I know at the time they told me I could renew just 1 time for an additional 6 months, which basically gave me 12 months coverage, so I didn't worry more about it. I bought that plan because it was the cheapest, I never go to the doctor and knew I would be filing no claims, and only wanted it in case I got hit by a bus or something. So it expires this week, and I called to renew it for 6 more months, they tell me that short term plans are not renewable, and since I had purchased a short term plan, they can no longer sell me any other plan. :huh: And this is freaking Humana, not some little company you ain't never heard of. :mad:

So now I have no health insurance. I've been looking at other websites, and they are way more than what I was paying (only $72 a month compared to some $200+ a month), and again since I never go to the doctor, I was thinking screw it, just don't have it. But what happens if I DO get hit by a bus or something? What would happen if I have some health emergency and don't have insurance? Do any of you not have health insurance and if so, what do you do in an emergency? Not run of the mill stuff like doctor visits, I just OTC myself if I get sick, but a true health emergency?

PDilemma
03-04-2012, 05:03 PM
My sister-in-law goes to the emergency room for everything then manages to get the hospital to write off all or part of the bill. And when I say everything, I mean everything. Including for a sty in her eye.

It works out nicely for her. And the whole community blames the Hispanic population for the huge amount of hospital bills written off every year putting their hospital in debt, when they have revealed that patients with Latino last names make up less than 10% of those charges.

A friend of mine, on a more serious note, had to have emergency surgery two years ago followed by four months of rehabilitation care. She had no health insurance. She was counting on the fact that she never went to the doctor, used OTC drugs...all the stuff you say. She didn't have an accident to cause the emergency surgery, either. She was able to get the rehab center to write off 50% of her bill. The hospital wrote off none of it and she was unable to qualify for any Medicaid assistance. She was self-employed and, therefore, had no sick pay or other benefits to help. In total, she had six months of no income and staggering medical bills. She is still making monthly payments to both the hospital and the rehab center and will be for several more years.

Kasey
03-04-2012, 05:03 PM
Do you do anything that could put you at risk? Like, I don't know, leave your house? Drive? etc?

Not just being facetious. One of my best friends opted out of COBRA coverage when she changed jobs from being full-time at one and per-diem at the other, and flip flopped; so it was a 90 day period between when her new insurance coverage would start. She figured that she would rather do without, seeing as that she is a pretty healthy mid-30s kinda person. In the last 6 weeks, a kidney infection, bronchitis, and dislocated kneecap with xray/MRI/doctor/prescriptions, etc. Several thousands out of pocket because she opted out of interim coverage.

Fact is, sh*t happens, and eventually, it will happen to you.

Cachoo
03-04-2012, 05:56 PM
I was laid off in April: I am older and I have been turned down by the two policies I thought I could squeeze in and still pay the mortgage. The only ones I've found since then have a large deductible (I can live with that) but are asking around $450.00 a month. (Cobra was $505.00) I just can't swing it with the rest of the bills. So I don't have insurance right now.
On top of that my mother has been ill and I am her caretaker. Here is what slays me: Starbucks has a medical plan for part-timers and there is a Starbucks very close. But I fear getting a job there because I fear losing the one part-time option that covers me medically. I had taken a lot of Family Leave after my folks were in a car wreck (Dad has since died) and Mom is struggling. My manager protected me but when new ownership came in I was out the door. I understand--you need your workers to work. If I get a job with Starbucks and then lose it because Mom is my priority then where am I?
For now I continue to look for a plan that I can afford (that will not turn me away) and look for job opportunities at home. It does upset me that I did find something that I thought would work but they didn't want me. I am in good health but I guess age matters to them. I would gladly pay for some form of Obamacare or Romneycare.
I wish you more luck than I have had BaileyCatts. I am afraid I am going to be that person in the emergency room if this continues.

PrincessLeppard
03-04-2012, 06:08 PM
I went without it for two years, and nothing happened. But that's certainly not any sort of guarantee for you.

Cachoo, it wouldn't hurt to talk to the people at Starbucks. They open up pretty early, so they have plenty of shifts and could probably work around your schedule.

PDilemma
03-04-2012, 06:11 PM
My sister-in-law could afford a high deductible private plan. She had one once. She is young enough and in good enough health that it would not be out of reach. But she is also batshit crazy and "refuses" to be "seduced by modern medicine" when eating organic food and doing yoga will "guarantee" that she is never in need of medical treatment. Except that she needs medical care more than her parents, brother or me combined and is constantly in the ER with some malady.

My friend could have afforded a plan at the time of her surgery. It was an expense she didn't care to have and preferred to spend her money on entertainment and travel. She can't afford one now. Nor can she afford the entertainment or travel she was doing before. All of that money is going to pay off medical bills. She knows she made a big mistake in judgment before because she is living with the consequence and will be for a long time.

I truly feel for people who have no affordable options for health insurance. That is a problem we need to fix. People who do have options and decide not to purchase a plan because they have other priorities or oddball ideas, on the other hand...they are contributing to our health care problems because eventually they need care and someone has to pick up the tab.

Louis
03-04-2012, 06:15 PM
Democrats have been making short-term health insurance harder and harder (and in some states like mine, impossible) to get.

It may be more Obama's fault than Humana's, just sayin'....

Holley Calmes
03-04-2012, 06:21 PM
I had great insurance with United Health Care until my husband sold the business. During the time I WAS covered, I had berast cancer. It was only a Stage 1 with no lymph node involvement (thank God!) so I only had 2 lumpechtomies and radiation. Total cost to United?? $300,000!

Since selling the business, we have no health insurance. My husband is now on Medicare thank goodness. I can get little supplemental policies and some healthcare coverage, but since I have a pre-existing condition (even though I am cured..) the policies cover very little and cost a fortune. Believe me, I have tried. I'll be 5 years clean next year, and I'm hoping that helps.

Don't believe it when they say you can get coverage even with a pre-existing condition. Oh, you can, but it won't do you much good and it'll cost more than most people can afford.

So, I am without coverage. I live in fear of a major health problem. I'm 62 with 3 years to go to Medicare. I'm praying to be healthy that long! I do know from experience that if you are a self-pay, it's 50% of what they bill the insurance companies. My oncologists say they will work with anybody to help people afford care. I'm terrified I'm going to lose my house if something awful happens.

I feel your pain!

BTW-getting hit by a bus would probably be covered by the bus company's insurance....

LilJen
03-04-2012, 06:24 PM
You're screwed if you have any sort of long-term chronic conditions. To get onto one of the "health care exchanges" for high-risk patients, you MUST have had NO insurance for at least 6 months. If you've had the lousy luck to, say, get childhood leukemia or have a wonky thyroid or whatever else cannot possibly be your fault, you are in big trouble. Paying for those maintenance drugs for 6 months may be impossible. Yeah, insurance companies and pharma companies have programs to help pay all or some of the cost, but the amount of paperwork and hassle is unbelievable.

And if you're self-employed, forget it. Insurance is almost always completely unaffordable.

It's unfortunate that this is what this country has come to in terms of health care. In my opinion, there should be a baseline menu of essential services that are covered for everyone (not that everyone would agree on what's "essential"), as is the case in MANY other countries.

Sorry for the :soapbox: BaileyCatts, is there a high-deductible policy you could get? If you're generally healthy that'd be the way to go--will cover anything major that happens.

Jayar
03-04-2012, 06:44 PM
Going on five years without insurance. I have a longtime domestic partner but can't get on his insurance. I turn 40 in a few weeks and am guessing that I will need insurance soon. Everything has come out of pocket, and even an office visit ($120) can be too much sometimes.

IceAlisa
03-04-2012, 07:00 PM
For years my husband and I had catastrophic coverage only. The irony is that he is a physician but he mostly worked locum tenens without benefits and I was a student.

Cachoo
03-04-2012, 07:02 PM
I went without it for two years, and nothing happened. But that's certainly not any sort of guarantee for you.

Cachoo, it wouldn't hurt to talk to the people at Starbucks. They open up pretty early, so they have plenty of shifts and could probably work around your schedule.

Yes--Mom had a bad autumn but this winter (or lack of it :)) has not been nearly as bad. She did have a seizure but I think we have figured out why and it isn't chronic. So at this point I feel more sure about checking with Starbucks and combining that with transcription work (if I can find it) or even temp work outside of the home depending on the Mom's wellness each day.

BaileyCatts--just curious and you don't have to answer of course. Are you under 30?
Note To PDilemma: Don't you just want to shake people sometimes? We all end up paying for their bad decisions.

sk9tingfan
03-04-2012, 07:29 PM
Democrats have been making short-term health insurance harder and harder (and in some states like mine, impossible) to get.

It may be more Obama's fault than Humana's, just sayin'....

I'd like to know what brings you to that conclusion?

aliceanne
03-04-2012, 07:31 PM
I went without it for two years, and nothing happened. But that's certainly not any sort of guarantee for you.

Cachoo, it wouldn't hurt to talk to the people at Starbucks. They open up pretty early, so they have plenty of shifts and could probably work around your schedule.

I too went without health insurance for 2 years when I was in my late 40's and between permanent jobs. Fortunately nothing happened in my case as well.

However, in dealing with my elderly mother's health issues I can say that the fact that she had insurance made a big difference in the care she received. When she broke her hip, the hospital was ready to send her home a few days after the surgery and she would have been on her own. When they found out she had insurance in addition to Medicare, they sent her to a rehab facility for 8 weeks.

BigB08822
03-04-2012, 07:36 PM
I am currently without as well. I am praying I can last until August when I hopefully begin a full time teaching job.