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Old 03-22-2004, 03:55 PM   #1
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On (not) having health insurance

....it's a sign of the times, I think, when you're working your arse off trying to keep your family 'above water' and you finally, FINALLY get to where you can get health insurance again and the cards come in the mail and your eyes actually water a little with relief.....

anyone else ever been here, or been through the hell of not having any coverage?
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Old 03-22-2004, 04:00 PM   #2
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There were couple years when I was a child that my family didn't have health insurance, luckily none of us got seriously ill. I was only about 11 or 12 at the time so I didn't really understand the full implications of it all, it must have been really rough on my parents though, not being able to take their kids to the doctor. My younger sister has no health insurance, but that one really is her own fault.
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Old 03-22-2004, 04:08 PM   #3
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All I have since finishing college and being off my dad's insurance plan at work is a shortterm major medical policy, in case of a big emergency.

I have other medical problems though, and we've got some nice bills piling up. Oh joy.
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Old 03-22-2004, 04:23 PM   #4
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when my mom was going to school her job didn't cover herself me and my siblings, my dad was supposed to have us on his insurance (court order and all) but he either puts us down as if we live with him, or gets fired and doesn't tell us about it, so most of the time we don't have insurance. i could get student health insurance if i could afford it, but i can't afford an extra $3,000 a year.

i'm pretty good at staying healthy, but this was a problem when i needed to go to health services to plead some kind of illness to schdule a make-up exam after sleeping through one last semester.
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Old 03-22-2004, 04:25 PM   #5
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It's been the story of my life for the past 2 1/2 years. I wasn't working for a while then I was working but it was a temp job with no benefits, then I wasn't working again. I had health insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield but I paid $100 a month for it and I also had a $1000 deductable. I have allergies and asthma that require at least 1 dr visit a month for a shot and sometimes breathing tests. My dr's office was so great. They gave me all of my meds from the samples they get. I didn't buy a single prescription for 2 years. They also didn't charge me for all of my visits but I still owed them close to $2000 because of that deductable (I had the insurance for 2 years). I finally got a "real" job last June. I nearly started to cry when I got my insurance card in the mail. My parents helped me out a lot with my dr bill so they were very happy too when I got the card making me officially insured.

As of next week I'll be unemployed again due to a mass layoff at my job. So there goes my health insurance again. I just got to the point that I only owe my dr about $100 out of that $2000. Hopefully I won't be out of work too long. My benefits from this job last through the end of May so I'm "safe" until then. I have to go to the dr next week and let them know what's going on. The nurses there are so great and they will fill up a big bag of stuff for me but I always feel like a when they do that.
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Old 03-22-2004, 05:21 PM   #6
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We consider ourselves very fortunate to have health insurance; my former employer combines total health insurance coverage for the entire family with my retirement package; but it wasn't always that way.

In 1995, when BAW and I knew that our future would be forever, she was without health insurance; arrangments were made to have her covered with her own plan until we married ....4 months later she is diagnosed with an Atrial Septal Defect (hole in her atrial valve)....

Her open heart surgery tallied over $68K; with our deductible, we only paid $2K cash; thankfully, we had it....

It was really strange because my health insurance would not cover her when we first met but, since we were together and she had the two boys and we lived in the same house, the insurance company would cover them because they were dependent upon me...the boys have and will be covered until they're 23....

I've had several major medical issues where hospitalization has only cost me $5; 4 years ago, I had a pancreatic attack and gallstone removal that kept me in the hospital 5 days...BAW had a medical emergency 16 months ago; a 4 day hospital stay plus surgery cost $35.

We know we're very lucky to have insurance and we're thankful...
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Old 03-22-2004, 07:41 PM   #7
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We're lucky too.

We have full medical and dental coverage for both mr fah and myself and our 3 kids. In Canada no one can be denied medical coverage. Our employers each offer us extended medical benefits as well which reduce the costs of things like physiotherapy and prescription drugs. For sure there are problems with universal health coverage like system abusers and huge waiting lists for surgeries but I wouldn't trade it for a system where I might not be able to get coverage for my family. Yes, there is a cost, per pay cheque I pay $13.13 for dental and $12.42 for medical. This is what I pay, my employer pays an equal amount (I think it is cost shared at 50% but I'm not sure)

We are very lucky.
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Old 03-23-2004, 12:47 AM   #8
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Amen!
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Old 03-23-2004, 02:16 PM   #9
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Wow. This thread is really making me glad to be a Canadian.

We are lucky enough here that no matter what we are financially dealing with we know that our health will always be taken care of.
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Old 03-23-2004, 02:45 PM   #10
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Well i'm lucky but my poor fiance doesn't have any insurance and he can't wait to get on mine cos if he gets sick or anything he won't go to the doctor. His mom has to get him his meds as if she were the one using them.

I remember when I was younger tho...my dad got laid off from his job and I had really serious health problems since I was 9yrs old with Ulcers and a Hiatil Hernia so when he got laid off they had to pay my medicines out of pocket which cost $500 a month Not to mention getting my gastroenterology tests done every 6 months...those were about $2000. My poor parents now don't have insurance because my dad switched jobs so they have to go to the university hospital to get checked for a cheaper price.
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Old 03-23-2004, 04:09 PM   #11
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*nods* I hear you guys.

It recently got to where I was skipping medications in order to pay bills and keep food on the table... if it's between buying pills or feeding my daughter, well there's no choice there. I was trying to keep my head down about it but my folks found out and gave me a lend to pay for the expensive ones I hadn't been getting, thankfully they'll be covered again as of April 1st.....

I'm keeping my chin up only because a lot of my health issues now are from a car crash I was in back in 2000, so all this $ I've had to shell out is coming back to me eventually via the lawsuit against the guy that hit me.

I've been tempted once or twice to take out a couple of huge life insurance policies on myself, name my family as benefactors and well, you know... thankfully been shown how stupid that is, but the places your mind and emotions wander can be really bizarre and sad when you're staggering under the weight of medical bills, and every time you mail in an application for 'free care' they send it back with stupid technicalities denying it and you have to do it all over again....

All I can tell the other folks who're in this kind of mess is, keep your head up, there's a way out eventually.
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Old 03-24-2004, 03:37 AM   #12
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thank the lord for the NHS!!!!!
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Old 03-24-2004, 05:29 AM   #13
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I didn't have any insurance last summer, and it was just my luck that I was sick EVERY other week.

I've always been VERY VERY reluctant to go the doctor, since my dad always talked about how expensive it was when I was growing up, so I've always only gone if I have a limb falling off or something. When I lived in DC, I had insurance, but it wasn't all that great, and my prescriptions were still over $50 a month and tests and things like that were really expensive, but I found a really good doctor in Bethesda who gave me lots of samples so I didn't have to buy meds as often, and who never sent me a bill for tests.

I'm SO glad to be on the NHS now and only pay 6 per prescription and not have to pay for every visit.
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Old 03-24-2004, 08:08 AM   #14
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When I move to Ireland in a couple of months I'm not sure what happens with health issues.

As far as I can make out, I will have to pay for everything. I can get health insurance but you're not allowed to claim on it for the first 6 months of cover. Which sucks cos I'm a chronic asthmatic and illness is not rare for me.

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Old 03-24-2004, 12:15 PM   #15
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Well as far as I remember about health care in Ireland you get free doctor's visits like to the hospital...now the wait as you can imagine is That's why I never went to the doctor cos i'd be at least a 3 to 4 hr wait. Now if you go to a private doctor i'm not sure how much they'd charge but i'm sure it's a tad expensive.
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