DING DING DING!!!!! HEALTH CARE ALERT!!!!
Until recently, I never really paid much attention to those Health insurance Co. statements. I would usually just scroll down to the bottom of the page where it says, "Total amount you owe."
After swearing just enough to make me feel like, I told them, I would write a check, and move on.
But a couple of days ago, the need for reform smacked me right in the face.
I got a bill yesterday from my medical insurer, and I almost had a stroke. ( and then I would have received another bill for caring for the stroke)
I had to go to the local emergency room a few weeks ago. I'm alright, thanks for your concern.
Here's what happened.
The night before I was due to fly back to the boat, I was sitting in my family room, relaxing, when a wrestling match erupted in my kitchen. I looked over and noticed my wife, knife in hand, going at it with a squash, and the squash had the upper hand. This wasn't just any old squash, this was one of those big long nasty looking squashes, you know the ones that look prehistoric.
I said, "Honey, let me get that, I don't want you to cut yourself."
I work with my hands on a daily basis, on the boat every seaman carries a knife at all times. It's second nature to me to work with a knife.
I moved in for the kill, figuring I'd have this baby carved up in just a few minutes.
I think it was my 3rd attempt to cut through that space age hardened exterior, when I yelled, "Ouch."
Oh boy, this was not good.
Unfortunately for me, I take deep pride in keeping our kitchen knives sharp as razors. It was just a small slice of the index finger, but 20 minutes later, I just couldn't get that thing to stop bleeding.
I had a flight to catch in a few hours, and my finger looked like a stand in on an episode of DEXTER.
With my tail tucked between my legs and totally embarrassed, I headed for the emergency room.
In a nut shell, here's how my visit went. It was a slow night for injuries, so I walked right up to check in. The flu was rampant in our area, and the emergency room was busy dealing with flue patients. The lady looks at me with a bored look and asks, "Flu?" Holding up my finger I replied, "Boo-Boo." I filled at a couple papers that took maybe 3 minutes.
I moved to the waiting room, settling in for a long wait. I didn't finish one page of the book I brought with me, when I was whisked into the back. I sat, got my blood pressure taken, and moved to another room.
Almost immediately a doctor walked in. This was unbelievable. This was going way to smoothly.
The doctor talked to me for at most 3 minutes. We discussed the options between stitches or glue. ( yeah, they actually glue skin together.) He recommended stitches, I chose glue. I'm a baby.
He walked me to the sink and asked, "how are you with pain?" I replied, "I'm not a big fan."
He scrubbed my finger and poured some goo on it.
As I blinked back tears, he glued my finger like it was an art project.
2 minutes later I'm walking out the door.
Yesterday I got 2 bills from my evening visit to the E.R.
The first one was a $290 for "wound repair."
Wound repair? He washed my finger and put super glue on it. $290.00.
As the symptoms of stroke began, I opened the 2nd envelope and found a bill for $1245.
This was the hospital bill, not to be confused with the wound repair bill.
The hospital provided the doctor, the wound repair guy. What else did they provide?
No free food, no dancing girls, no nothing.
I walked in their building, used a couple of their chairs for a few minutes, and they sent me a bill for 1245 bucks.
Nah, no reform needed here.
The insurance Co picked up a lot of the cost, but I'll be paying for it down the road.