Today my husband needed to see a doctor for a poison ivy outbreak. Our doctor wasn't in. The Minute Clinic at a CVS on his way home took one look at it and said he needed to go see a Real Doctor- the nurses at the clinic couldn't help him. It was the eye swelling shut that did it, I think. We ended up at a local MedCheck. While in the waiting room, this is an actual conversation I overheard between the receptionist and a mother of a a 12 or 13 year old boy. The mom looked like a typical Carmel soccer mom, the son like a typical grungy junior-higher.
Mom: Hi. I need to have my son see a doctor. He's been coughing to the point of throwing up last night, and again at school today.My heart sank for them. These were not the typical people you would label uninsured. And yet they are. And they are struggling. In an affluent county. I saw today that health coverage isn't an issue just affecting certain neighborhoods, or certain types of people. Not having health coverage, and dealing with the cost of health care, is something people from more and more walks of life are having to face. Because I'm one of The Insured, I tend to tune out the conversations. But, today I saw, the issue matters.
Receptionist: Has he been here in the last 2 years?
Mom: No, I've never been in one of these places. Our doctor couldn't get him in.
Receptionist: You'll need to fill out these top two forms.
(Mom starts filling out the forms, then stops)
Mom: How much will this visit cost?
Receptionist: Do you have health insurance?
Receptionist: Well, then, the base cost is $111.38 just to see a doctor, and that doesn't include any procedures, x-rays, etc.
Mom: Oh. I can't afford that!
(Pushes the clipboard back toward the receptionist)
Mom (to son): We're going.
Son: What? Why?
Mom: We'll find somewhere else.
We just switched our health insurance from a typical plan to an HSA plan. I'm curious to see how it works out. If anyone wants to know why or what the difference, let me know, & I'll post about it. Otherwise, I might just bore everyone. After today, I'm glad we have insurance at all.