Monday, June 18, 2007


Beware, this post contains numerical dollar amounts.

Kevin is currently getting over pneumonia right now, which has been a bit scary for me, but he's on the upward swing, so scariness, no more! Anyway, he hadn't ever needed to use his work insurance until this, so he had to get all this temporary paperwork online, which was a pain, and he ended up having to pay in full for his prescriptions until the verification from the insurance company came through. It was RIDICULOUSLY expensive. He got reimbursed, but it made me start thinking about my own insurance.

When I first started working at MBNA in college, I had the best insurance EVER. It was Blue Cross Blue Shield, and I had a $0 copay for normal doctors AND specialists, and 100% dental and vision insurance all for about $60 a month premium. Not too shabby.

Now that I work at my ad agency, we have AETNA and I have no vision or dental coverage because we're too small, and a $40 medical/specialist copay, but my company pays all the premiums....AWESOME! Anyway, I can check all my claims online now, and it shows what the doctors visits, any lab work, and prescription costs would have been, and what you actually had to pay. I got interested in looking at this after the pneumonia incident this past week, did a few calculations, and this is what I came up with.

(I don't know if it's inappropriate to actually talk about amounts of money involving myself on the interweb, but I want to illustrate something)

I looked at all of my claims (dr.'s visits, lab work, x-rays, prescriptions) online between August 2005 when I got this new insurance until June 2007. Here is the break down of what it actually cost - if I didn't have insurance and just had to pay for everything out of pocket - and what I actually had to pay out of pocket.

Actual Cost: $5262.75
What I Paid: $299.46

That is CRAZY. I absolutely cannot imagine what I would have done if I didn't have insurance. I remember being in college and friends not going to the doctor, even for serious things because they didn't have insurance. Jro stepped on a piece of glass once and Alex had to do makeshift surgery on her because she couldn't go to the doctor. (she has since been insured) I don't know.....this whole healthcare system is interesting. I'm going to be paying more attention to this issue.


Don said...

Becky....I am doing a research paper on this very issue. Before doing this paper I was never for the National Health Care system. Now I am leaning the other direction. I am sure that comment won't make me any friends on the right but what can you do. :-) I will send you a copy once I am done and you can check it out for yourself. No matter what it is something has to be done. We can no longer just hope it all works itself out. Just like Social Security, we keep looking for band aids and the problem is still there. Just my two cents worth.

becki said...

I would love to read it, thanks!!

Michael Hedgpeth said...

Something tells me the "I've had a $0 copay" will be the same as our grandparents claiming to have spent 10 cents a gallon on gasoline.

BTW, I'm for govt. healthcare if it works. Talk to someone in the army and you'll hear horror stories about how ineffective it is. People waiting way to long for simple procedures. Maybe a free-market solution might be better...who knows....

Don said...

Dan was born in an Army hospital and it went great. He also had all his wellness checkups done in a military facility and it all went well. I think a lot of time it's the people running it and not the system. On the other hand, have you been to the social security office lately? I had to get a replacement card and it took me 45 minutes of waiting just for that. Like everything, there is good and bad with any system that is in place.

monica said...

insurance! WOO!

victory said...

I'm baaaack! Oh, right, I'm supposed to comment on your entry... hmmm... insurance... hmmm... we don't have very good insurance. When my sister cut her finger and fainted, we had to pay for the ambulance to come to our house, or something. I was in my room, and I heard the truck and looked outside, and thought, 'There's an ambulance at our house?! What's going on?!' I came in the kitchen and there were other people in there with my sister and mom. My parents were pretty mad at the insurance company.

Sara Eleta said...

I've been reading and thinking a lot about this too. It seems that our healthcare system is a money-driven joke compared to that of other countries... Especially when it comes to prescription drugs. My mom has multiple sclerosis and Thank God we have insurance. She gives herself a shot every other day that would cost $150 a pop without insurance! I can't believe that there are people in the world that have serious medial issues like this that our people allow to suffer and do without. It's GREED at its finest. Sadly, you'd just better hope you don't get ill or injured or hop the next plane to Canada. Also, I've been reading about many of the "legal" toxins found in everyday products that our government allows us to consume. Diet Coke (aspartame), Propolyene Glycol (in deodorant), etc... there is so much stuff out there that we take for granted that is proven harmful, packaged and sold to consumers... and then it is us who has to pay millions for presciption drugs and cures... so wild. so wild. AHHHHHHH! So, yay for insurance, right?