One unexpected pregnancy and C-section later, her medical bills came to $7,000

  1. 3 [IMG]http://stmedia.startribune.com/images/502*339/3without1214.1.jpg[/IMG]
    Two years ago, Holly Calvillo signed up for a new type of health insurance that was just starting to get popular.
    It had a nice low premium but a high deductible. Calvillo and her husband were young and healthy. She figured that with her employer's contributions to a health savings account, they would save money.
    One unexpected pregnancy and C-section later, her medical bills came to $7,000. From then on, every family doctor visit was preceded by this question: "Can we afford it?"
    Once, Calvillo suffered weeks with a bladder infection before calling the doctor. "I drank a lot of cranberry juice," said Calvillo, 29, of Minneapolis. "We were just trying to make it."
    at http://www.startribune.com/business/...?elr=KArksUUUU
  2. Poll: What are your family out of pocket costs each year?

    • 0-1000

      30.11% 28
    • 1001-2000

      21.51% 20
    • 2001+

      33.33% 31
    • I have skipped care for a chronic illness because of costs

      26.88% 25
    93 Votes / Multiple Choice
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  4. Visit  HM2VikingRN profile page

    About HM2VikingRN

    From 'TORCHWOOD'; Joined Apr '06; Posts: 11,164; Likes: 11,412.

    18 Comments so far...

  5. Visit  Not_A_Hat_Person profile page
    1
    HSAs are extremely problematic when it comes to obstetrics. They consider childbirth a major medical event, but not pregnancy, so pre-natal care has to be paid for out-of-pocket.
    lindarn likes this.
  6. Visit  november17 profile page
    6
    That's why its called insurance! Sucks to switch to something for a lower premium and then be shocked when your deductible goes through the roof. It sounds like a lot of people who went for the lower premium didn't really think it through except to seize on the opportunity to supposedly save money and then cry about it when their medical bills come rolling in. What do they really save? Like 40 bucks a month? Is that savings worth it in the longterm?

    I do however agree with this part of the article, "Americans overuse medical care because insurance insulates them from real costs."
  7. Visit  dria profile page
    3
    Quote from not_a_hat_person
    hsas are extremely problematic when it comes to obstetrics. they consider childbirth a major medical event, but not pregnancy, so pre-natal care has to be paid for out-of-pocket.
    that is simply untrue. office visits are eligible expenses, as are labs, ultrasounds, and all other aspects of prenatal care. heck, you can even get reimbursed for the otc pregnancy test!!

    http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p502.pdf

    haras regnurps, RN1982, and lindarn like this.
  8. Visit  Spidey's mom profile page
    3
    Quote from november551

    I do however agree with this part of the article, "Americans overuse medical care because insurance insulates them from real costs."
    I definitely agree with this - and it is a HUGE reason health care is so expensive.



    steph
  9. Visit  november17 profile page
    0
    Quote from dria
    that is simply untrue. office visits are eligible expenses, as are labs, ultrasounds, and all other aspects of prenatal care. heck, you can even get reimbursed for the otc pregnancy test!!

    http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p502.pdf

    my hsa pretty much covers anything healthcare related. i can even buy thermometers and bandaids at the pharmacy if i want.
  10. Visit  HM2VikingRN profile page
    3
    The real issue is this:

    So what are people giving up? Judith Hibbard, a health policy professor at the University of Oregon, studied the medical claims of one large Midwestern employer between 2004 and 2006, after the company began offering a high-deductible plan alongside traditional insurance. She found that those on high-deductible plans were more likely to stop taking their drugs after the switch. They also cut back on necessary services, such as diabetes medication, as often as they skipped unnecessary care, such as going to a doctor for a cold. "They didn't make good decisions," Hibbard said.

  11. Visit  vamedic4 profile page
    5
    For healthy people who are lucky, these may make sense. But the problem with these types of health plans is that you never know what the future holds. You may be healthy as a horse one day and the next be in the ICU with a shunt in your head...trust me, it happpened to me. This is why I chose a health care plan with all the bells and whistles, and I still have and contribute to a health care spending account.
    While I agree that many Americans overuse their health care dollars in some sense, many others don't but we're all made to share the burden.
    These plans to me are worrisome, because people truly are waiting to see the doctor. We've seen it time and time again on these boards - people wait, they have a hunch something's wrong but don't see a doctor until it's too late, something awful happens and they die. I don't know about any of you, but I'll utilize every dollar that I pay for health care in order to keep myself and my family healthy.
  12. Visit  NRSNFL profile page
    2
    THIS ARTICLE is exactly why I did not choose our HSA that was offered for the first time this year. But I will say, I can totally understand how some young people would miss this. I'm choosing to have a child sometime this year, but with one oops....it can change your life in sooo many ways.
    HM2VikingRN and lindarn like this.
  13. Visit  Not_A_Hat_Person profile page
    1
    Quote from dria
    that is simply untrue. office visits are eligible expenses, as are labs, ultrasounds, and all other aspects of prenatal care. heck, you can even get reimbursed for the otc pregnancy test!!

    http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p502.pdf

    the patient still has to pay out-of-pocket for them, from their hsa, unless they've reached their deductible. how many ultrasound clinics, labs, and ob clinics post prices? my local planned parenthood used to, but they stopped. health services at my second college did; you paid 1 price with the school insurance, and another price without (ex. plan b was $20 with the college plan, $40 without).

    how many people know to shop around for health care? here in ma, no one will tell you how much a visit or treatment costs, unless you go to a minute clinic, which just started here. i only know how much my doctor charges for an office visit because my company changed hmos very quickly, my appointment was before the new card came, they tried to bill the wrong insurance company, and i got a bill.

    with an hsa and a high-deductible plan, "i need $20 for an office visit," becomes "do i have enough for a visit, tests, and treatment ?"
    Last edit by Not_A_Hat_Person on Dec 29, '08 : Reason: spelling
    HM2VikingRN likes this.
  14. Visit  Jamesdotter profile page
    0
    My husband and I pay about $7500 a year for insurance, co-pays and drugs, and we're on medicare! I haven't figured out how much more it would be without medicare covering most of the oxygen he needs for COPD and my glucose test strips. Maybe I'll take the time to figure that out at tax time next year.
  15. Visit  november17 profile page
    3
    Quote from vamedic4
    For healthy people who are lucky, these may make sense. But the problem with these types of health plans is that you never know what the future holds. You may be healthy as a horse one day and the next be in the ICU with a shunt in your head...trust me, it happpened to me. This is why I chose a health care plan with all the bells and whistles, and I still have and contribute to a health care spending account.
    Unfortunately a lot of people work jobs where a halfway decent health insurance plan just isn't an option.
    rabbitgirrl, jsrRN, and HM2VikingRN like this.
  16. Visit  EveDeHarben profile page
    1
    There are alot of resources out there to help those who cant afford healthcare. Many doctors will give professional courtesy to nurses. You can ask their office staff when you call for an appointment. Hospitals are prohibited by law from giving professional courtesy to anyone (or so they claim), but they will often discount services for employess.
    There are also internet resources to help people save on healthcare. They can be hard to find on search engines because the scam sites far outnumber the genuine ones. If anyone is aware of a website which compiles all of the assistance programs, please let me know. The best one that I am aware of is The Partnership For Prescription Access. This is a free website that is a public service which searches through 475 public and private plans to see which ones people are eligible for. The link is https://www.pparx.org/Intro.php
    For example if someone needs an expensive prescription med, this site tells them whether they are eligible for the manufacturers patient access program, state assistance programs, and federal assistance programs.
    Last edit by EveDeHarben on Dec 29, '08 : Reason: spelling
    rabbitgirrl likes this.


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