"Hospitals seem more and more willing to sue for medical debts. Should hospitals be able to force people into bankruptcy for the medical services that they provide?
A hospital is a business. Without money, the business goes bankrupt.
If you walk into a lawyer’s office, many times you’ll need a retainer or the lawyer won’t take your case. If the retainer runs out and you don’t pay, then the lawyer stops providing services.
If you walk into a supermarket, fill up your basket, and leave without paying, you’ll be arrested for theft.
Stop paying the guy to cut your lawn and you’ll have to do it yourself.
Why do people expect that medical care should be free if they don’t have any money?"
After reading all of the comments, I left one of my own.
"The comments are great and allow everyone to look at the situation from many angles.
I have another one though..
What about the parents of a child born extremely premature? Not only will you have the hospital bill but you may also have on-going medical care for the rest of their lives? What if both parents can’t work because there is no one to take care of the special needs child? Can one person really work enough hours to cover all of the bills?
What if said bills are higher than they would be if they were billed from another department? For example… nursing care is billed at a lower rate in the ICU than it is in the NICU? Is that fair? Should one department be allowed to charge higher even though the same skilled staff is used? Should one department be able to charge higher rates so the revenue will cover less lucrative departments?
What is a person to do? Deny care to their child? Let their child suffer?Choose not to resuscitate because the parents will not be able to afford the care?"
To which the blog author wrote:
"States have SCHIP programs to help pay for care of children with costly medical problems."That's when it hit me. People actually believe that the above mentioned program is the answer. Please don't head over to White Coat Rants in anger. The blog author seems to honestly feel that the program is working and helping people.
I, on the other hand, know differently. The program varies by state so my experience may not be the same as others have had. But, that system is broken and does not help all who need it. And, this blog author is not alone in their thinking. I can't even begin to count how many times people have assumed that we had Medicaid because of Paige's ongoing care.
When Paige was diagnosed with Epilepsy (4 years old) we were shocked to find out that our health insurance (which we paid for ourselves at over $1,000 per month) had an annual cap of $500 for prescriptions. Between her new meds and the rescue meds we had to have on hand, we blew through our allotted $500 in under 2 months. I had heard of the Katie Beckett waiver so I did some digging. I called our Medicaid office (in our previous state-Illinois) and was told that Illinois did not participate in that program. We were told that there was a similar program but we didn't qualify because my husband made too much money. But, they refused to take into account the ongoing medical bills that we were paying out, or the fact that we were paying for our own health insurance, which left us without enough money to eat at times. (Many of you have already heard me talk about how we lived on Spaghettios during that time)
When I asked (begged actually) the woman to help us she told us to get a divorse and have hubby say that he lives out of our house. This way his salary would not hinder us from getting help. When I told her that I didn't consider that to be a viable option she told me that many people do it. Her second suggestion was to have hubby quit his job and work at Walmart so we would qualify.
Again, I realize that all states are different. But at that time (almost 6 years ago) the total household income dictated whether or not you could qualify for help.
Hubby ended up leaving his job and taking one with a company that offered health insurance. But, that only solved our perscription problem. We still had the cost of the copays for each doc. At the time she had 9 of them! Add that to the cost of our portion of the ongoing tests and we are right back where we started.
When we moved to our current state of residence, I tried to get help again. Same problem... hubby makes too much money and the state refuses to look at how much you are paying out in continuing care.
And now we live in one of those states that adds interest to outstanding medical bills and sues if you don't pay.
Do I feel that I am entitled to medical care for my child without having to pay for said services? Of course not! It's a horrible feeling to know that you can't afford your child's medical bills.
But, where is the solution?
Again, I want to stress that I don't feel that the blog author deserves all of us running over there and leaving comments that are not helpful.
I would love to hear from everyone here.
Are you happy with the help you receive from state programs? (I have heard that PA is a good state to live in)
Do you have any suggestions for programs that you were able to qualify for and have been helpful?
How do you pay for the ongoing medical bills??
How about your NICU bill? Did insurance cover it for you? (Ours did not cover any meds used off label, which left us with a $75,000 pharmacy bill)