When attempting to understand the complex issues surrounding health care reform, it’s sometimes helpful to look at a sliver of the problem.
Even though I am unemployed, I am lucky to have health insurance through The Courant’s retirement health insurance.
The difference between what I have to pay for routine health checks and what someone who doesn’t have insurance has to pay became clear when I recently received a bill for routine blood work required four times a year because I take statins.
My portion of the bill was $12.10 on an initial bill of $123.39.
The reason I only had to pay less than 10 percent of the bill was not because my insurance company paid the rest.
It was because my insurance company ONLY PERMITTED the laboratory to charge me $12.10. My insurer paid nothing.
That means that those poor folks without health insurance end up subsidizing my health care by being charged the FULL $123.29 because they don’t have an insurer behind them.
And this is only for routine blood work. Imagine when someone without insurance has to be hospitalized for a couple of days. For many without health insurance, one trip to the hospital means financial disaster.
How fair is that?
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