Insane

OK, I’ll keep this short and sweet.  All of the time I run into people who are full-timing in an RV, and who don’t have health insurance.

Sure, you may be young and healthy.  Sure, it’s expensive. But you have to keep something in mind:  our health system is insane.

We were lucky during our three years on the road.  Our medical issues were few.  But nothing lasts forever.  I went to see the local doc for a routine checkup in December.  No procedures were done.  I had a 15-minute exam and some blood tests and urinalysis, all routine stuff.

The physician’s office billed my insurance company $1,046.09 for that.

No typo.

We are still in the deductible of our “high deductible health plan,” so theoretically we’re on the hook for the whole thing.  But there’s a trick.  Simply having health insurance, even if it isn’t covering your bill, is what’s really important.  See, the insurance company has negotiated rates with the medical providers (meaning in this case, the doctor’s office).  Their pre-negotiated rate knocked the bill down to $238.00.  That’s what we’ll actually pay.

So what happens to the $808.09 that the doctor’s office forgave?  No worries — it will get passed on to some poor sap who doesn’t have medical insurance.  Sooner or later they’ll find someone who doesn’t have a negotiated rate, and if necessary they’ll garnish his wages to get it.

That’s why people who don’t have health insurance in this country are screwed.  A huge percentage of bankruptcies in this country result from being what is termed, “medically indigent,” meaning sucked dry by medical bills.   No health insurance?  You’ll go down fast.  At the rate of $1,000 per simple office visit, it won’t take long. Imagine what happens when you get hit by a car, or have a heart attack.  You’ve never paid as much for an Tylenol as you will when you buy one from a hospital bed.

Don’t kid yourselves.  Get health insurance and join the club of people who pay 80% less.  This has nothing to do with “socialized medicine,” or Obama — it has been the system for decades.  The health care system in this country is rigged, and the only way you can survive the cost is to join the game.  Or, you can move to France.

About the Author

Editor & Publisher of Airstream Life magazine