Last night, I found myself with a little situation that I thought best to have checked out by a doc before the long holiday when the whole world shuts down. No limbs hanging off or anything, but I didn’t want to end up in the ER on Christmas because it actually turned out to be something to worry about. I went in this morning, got checked out, and everything was fine.
Then I got handed the bill. $671. At that point I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Luckily for me, my company has pretty fabulous health insurance and my out-of-pocket expenditure on that bill amounted to a grand total of $0.
The world of insurance and medical bills is a rather new one for me. My father was in the military, so until recently I had all my healthcare needs covered free of charge. Luckily, I’m generally a healthy person and I haven’t needed to see a doc since that coverage ended and I switched over to my company plan. I couldn’t have begun to make an educated guess about what a basic visit for something cost. Seeing that bill was kind of like being hit by a truck.
As politicians are fond of reminding us during election season, there’s a whole world of people out there who aren’t covered or who aren’t fortunate to have what our HR person describes as the “gold star” of plans. My situation was small but I can see far too clearly how a freak emergency could cripple one’s financial situation. Really makes one think. Today, I add “gold star” health insurance to the list of things for which I’m most thankful.