One of my Littles broke her leg over 7 weeks ago and the bills have started to arrive from the hospital, ambulance, surgeon, etc. Yeah, she did a number on her leg. She broke both the tibia and fibula. The fear was that she would need pins to set it. Thankfully the surgeon was able to set it without the pins. But she did need to be in the operating room just in case.
We started off in our town’s emergency room and the ER doc called down to an ER in the larger town to get a consult. Our town’s ER wasn’t equipped for a surgery of this nature so off we went in an ambulance.
Can I just tell you how very grateful I am for health insurance. At the moment I am annoyed at the payment process, but I am keeping that in perspective since we HAVE health insurance.
The ambulance ride was $700. The larger ER visit with surgery was $7500. I haven’t seen the surgeon’s bill yet. If we didn’t have health insurance we would have to come up with $8200 out of pocket. Ouch!
And there was a time in my life where I didn’t have health insurance on me and the insurance that was on the oldest was not great. I remember paying out of pocket for a lot of medical expenses when I was a single parent.
A visit down memory lane
Which got a girlfriend and I on a conversation about our current welfare system. When I was a single mother I chose to not use the welfare system. I worked full time. I found full time child care and paid for it. I received a pittance in child support. No matter, we managed. Until I lost my job.
My 23 y.o. was a severe asthmatic. She was hospitalized 4 times in one year before I was able to get a handle on her medication. While she was hospitalized the first time I was fired. Long story, but if I had the means for an attorney at the time it would have been “game on.”
So, we lived off unemployment and child support. Let’s just say that was NOT enough. In my desperation I applied for WIC and received it. I even applied for food stamps, but was denied because I had an asset…my car. If I sold my car I would qualify for assistance. What??!! There is something wrong with a system that “enables” you in this fashion. Needless to say I didn’t sell my car. We ate, but I fell 2 months behind on the rent. That’s a whole other saga.
My point with all of this is that during all of this I had medical expenses above and beyond what my daughter’s insurance covered (her biological father was court ordered to keep health insurance on her). There were co-pays for the doctor visits. The medication was expensive. Yes, we were suppose to split the cost but that was a fight I couldn’t afford for a while.
- I am grateful that her doctor didn’t always charge me office visits all the time.
- I am even more grateful that he still saw her even though I owed a bit of money.
I honestly don’t know how I paid all those bills, but I did. It is a time in my life I don’t want to relive in minute detail. I bring that time out to remind myself of how far I have come and to be grateful, always, for the ability to pay our bills.