As Medical Costs Soar, The Insured Face Huge Tab

  1. MAXED OUT - As Medical Costs Soar, The Insured Face Huge Tab

    Jim Dawson Hit Cap After Hospital Padding; The $1.2 Million Bill

    MERCED, Calif. -- One day in late July, Jim Dawson happily returned home. He had spent the previous five months in the hospital battling an infection that nearly killed him. The phone rang shortly after Mr. Dawson and his wife, Loretta, entered their house.

    It was the hospital. California Pacific Medical Center was calling to remind the Dawsons that they owed it $1.2 million.

    Mr. Dawson, 61 years old, had health insurance through his employer, but had maxed out his plan's $1.5 million lifetime cap halfway through his long hospital stay. In addition to the bill from CPMC, Mr. Dawson owed tens of thousands of dollars more to scores of doctors who were involved in his care. Mr. Dawson and his wife's combined assets totaled a fraction of their medical debt.

    "I had never thought in a million years that anything like that could ever happen," says Mrs. Dawson....

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1196...googlenews_wsj
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   CRNA2007
    Mrs. Dawson is right. This happens about once every million years


    Quote from spacenurse
    MAXED OUT - As Medical Costs Soar, The Insured Face Huge Tab

    Jim Dawson Hit Cap After Hospital Padding; The $1.2 Million Bill

    MERCED, Calif. -- One day in late July, Jim Dawson happily returned home. He had spent the previous five months in the hospital battling an infection that nearly killed him. The phone rang shortly after Mr. Dawson and his wife, Loretta, entered their house.

    It was the hospital. California Pacific Medical Center was calling to remind the Dawsons that they owed it $1.2 million.

    Mr. Dawson, 61 years old, had health insurance through his employer, but had maxed out his plan's $1.5 million lifetime cap halfway through his long hospital stay. In addition to the bill from CPMC, Mr. Dawson owed tens of thousands of dollars more to scores of doctors who were involved in his care. Mr. Dawson and his wife's combined assets totaled a fraction of their medical debt.

    "I had never thought in a million years that anything like that could ever happen," says Mrs. Dawson....

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1196...googlenews_wsj
  4. by   HM2VikingRN
    This is why 54% of Bankruptcies in the US are related to un and underinsurance.
  5. by   CRNA2007
    not according to those in the know. Probably the same people that cite the 3 million homeless or the 5 minimum wage jobs to make ends meet.


    http://www.northwestern.edu/univ-rel...3/dranove.html
  6. by   CRNA2007
    here are a few more links to debunk yet another liberal fear mongering myth.

    http://shieldofachilles.blogspot.com...lf-of-all.html


    http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/...th_vs_fact.pdf
  7. by   HM2VikingRN
    No fear mongering but a referenced study:

    [FONT=FranklinGotITC-Demi]
    ABSTRACT:
    [FONT=FranklinGotITC-Book]In 2001, 1.458 million American families filed for bankruptcy. To investigate
    medical contributors to bankruptcy, we surveyed 1,771 personal bankruptcy filers in five
    federal courts and subsequently completed in-depth interviews with 931 of them. About
    half cited medical causes, which indicates that 1.9-2.2 million Americans (filers plus dependents)
    experienced medical bankruptcy. Among those whose illnesses led to bankruptcy,
    out-of-pocket costs averaged $11,854 since the start of illness; 75.7 percent had insurance
    at the onset of illness. Medical debtors were 42 percent more likely than other
    debtors to experience lapses in coverage. Even middle-class insured families often fall prey

    to financial catastrophe when sick.
    Source: http://pnhp.org/PDF_files/MedicalBankruptcy.pdf
  8. by   HM2VikingRN


    The US performs worst in the world on health care access problems related to costs.
    Last edit by HM2VikingRN on Dec 11, '07
  9. by   HM2VikingRN
  10. by   HM2VikingRN
  11. by   HM2VikingRN



    The extra burden of health costs is very real.

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