Day #5…..Hello, I was reading in the Chicago Tribune a story from yesterday, that I felt was worth discussing. It was discussing one of my not so favorite subjects, Insurance Companies. It makes me heart-sick to know that our hospitals by the way of Insurance companies can destroy families financially. There are no quotes from the article this is just me writing as an RN of almost thirty-two years
This particular story was referring to being careful when you go into the hospital to make sure everything is in your insurance network. Hospitals can outsource different departments of a hospital, housekeeping, radiology, NICU (neonatal Intensive Care), and the most usual Emergency room.
The article was talking specifically about NICU. Here is where I stray from the article. A young woman goes into the hospital thinking she is covered by insurance and deliveries a thirty week gestational age baby. NICU doctors and nurses are on the job and start working with the baby. The care of this infant can cost $100,000 or more, depending on the amount of time spent in the NICU. The mother goes home in the normal length of time, but the baby stays. The baby stays in the NICU, on a respirator, in an incubator, receiving tube feedings. The mother thinks everything is wonderful. Her baby is getting stronger and will be coming home in a couple of weeks.
When the baby is discharged, the mother has to go to the finance office to discuss her bill. It seems the NICU was not in her insurance group. She now owes the hospital $100,00o.00. Her insurance paid eighty percent of her six thousand dollar hospital bill for the delivery, so she also owes twelve hundred dollars on top of the $200,ooo.oo. This young woman doesn’t have any savings, because she used it to pay for the obstetrician. She also has a bill that will be coming separately from the pediatrician. She sat up payments with the hospital of one hundred fifty dollars a month. The hospital wants six hundred dollars a month. She will be paying on this bill well past her childs adulthood. It is likely that over time the hospital will have to eat the cost of the care of this infant.
The insurance companies have to make money to stay in business. The hospital has to make enough money to cover all their costs and more. The healthcare system in this country is in crisis. It is a vicious circle. You have to have insurance thinking you are covered except for that twenty percent. There are times people are not even aware of what services are covered by the insurance. If you’re in a crisis, you really don’t care at the time.
I’ve been personally caught by doctors readying x-rays. You have no idea there are not in your insurance group and no one bothers to tell you.
My question is, what happens to those people who have a tragedy and not in plan or those people who do not have insurance at all? To me our insurance and medical system is a lose/lose scenario. We get the best care in the world, thank God, but if no one can afford to go to the hospital, what then?
That’s my two cents for today.