Parenting Without Health InsuranceCasey Mullins
I paid $92 today to answer questions about my baby, be told what I already knew, that she’s developing right on track and growing at a slightly slower rate than she was at 4 months, and have a doctor look over her for less than 2 minutes. Really the most labor intensive part of the exam was watching the doctor try to get her cloth diaper snapped up properly. I should also mention that the $92 charge was after the 20% discount for paying the same day and did not include vaccinations — we go the the health department and wait in outrageously long lines for those.
Because at the health department they are free.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is parenting without insurance.
I understand the reasoning and the importance of well baby visits. I do them because I am not a doctor and, while I have a pretty firm grasp on what is and is not normal for a baby, I still don’t know it all. So I pay my money and walk out thankful that nothing is wrong, but slightly grumpy that a four-minute visit from the doctor warrants a $92 charge with discount to be told, “See you in three months.”
Why don’t we have insurance? It’s expensive.
We simply don’t get sick all that often (knock on wood) and with my pre-existing depression condition the amount we would pay “just in case” far outweighs how much we would actually spend if one of us were to get sick. If someone broke a leg we’d be in a little more trouble, but after having an uninsured pregnancy for four months, I’ve become pretty familiar with how the doctors and hospitals in our area work. Payment plans and discounts for immediate payment are going to have to be good enough for us.
Medicaid? Nope. My husband makes too much. But at the same time, we have such dramatic graduate school payments to make each month that we’re just not able to justify an extra $400-$600 a month towards private insurance. I have started looking into catastrophic insurance plans, and we’re good on life insurance. But until something dramatic changes with healthcare or my husband’s employment we will most likely remain medically uninsured.
Aside from having a baby and the costs incurred from her well baby visits, the only medical expenses we have had this year is my monthly anti-depressant medication (which is one of the ones that isn’t covered by most insurance plans anyway) and three flu shots.
The cats we adopted less than two weeks ago have cost more, medically, than my own family has in the last three years.
We are outrageously blessed to be as healthy as we are, that my husband was able to get a job right out of law school and that we have doctors available to us should we need them. A year ago I was throwing a fit about the cost of healthcare and the injustice of insurance, but it didn’t really get me anywhere but angry.
I can assure you that with the upcoming elections, my ears perk when I hear talk of healthcare.
What’s your family health insurance situation?
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