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Health insurance

So, I’m late paying my health insurance (just moved/updated it). I recall reading that Victoria Butenko doesn’t have health insurance. I haven’t been to the doctor in years and I fell I don’t really need it (insurance) as well. But what if some freak accident occurs, and I break my arm or somethin’. I don’t wanna have to pay all the lame medical bills out of pocket.

Any advice?




  • littlegemslittlegems Raw Newbie

    I have what insurance companies consider preexisting conditions, and would never be able to get insurance if I let mine lapse. I’m the sole provider for my family, I can’t risk it. I think that even when eating a healthy raw diet, health issues may arise that might require hospital visits. I know I’ve had to go to the hospital for a stitches, and same for my daughter, it happens… and each visit can be thousands of dollars.

    I guess it is up to your comfort level.

  • waterbaby12347waterbaby12347 Raw Newbie

    I should have added my last medical experience… When I fell off the porch, spraining my ankle while carring tomatoes, blackberries & corn in from the car… I went in for an xray, to make sure it wasn’t broken…

    I did go to the ER… hobbled in without help until the Security Guard brought me a wheel chair… I did not us the hospital bed… I would not let the MD check the rest of my body… Told him, I want an xray and held up my extremely swollen foot and ankle… He looked and ordered an xray…

    After the xray, the nurse brought me an advil and a brace and crutches… Can you believe that was seven thousand dollars??? Yes I said $7,000.00, but my insurance paid for all but $50.00… Thank Goodness!!!

  • CarmentinaCarmentina Raw Newbie

    This whole subject PISSES ME OFF. I’ve been living in Europe for 11 years (1 in France and 10 in Italy) and I’ve had the fortune of enjoying socialized medical care. I’ve been hospitalized a number of times (for epileptic seizures including MRIs, electro-encephalograms, the works; once to remove an ovarian cyst; once for a broken knee and infection) and I’ve never paid a penny. You only pay for lab tests unless you’re actually hospitalized, in which case it’s all free. You visit your family doctor for free, then you decide if you want to rush it, then you pay for a private visit, or you wait until you can get a public visit – usually not long. My husband actually broke a vertebrate and was rushed to the emergency room, hospitalized a week, and didn’t pay a dime! He only had to pay for the backbrace he had to wear for 3 months. Health insurance doesn’t exist – it’s a basic right.

    Yesterday I read a UN report on the state of healthcare in the US and it found that 840,000 blacks DIED last year because they lacked access to medical care. Now I don’t see this as a racist issue so much as a poverty issue – they couldn’t afford healthcare. I’m sure it was staggering for other low-income groups. It’s shameful. We’re talking about the RICHEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD!

    The US prides itself on having the best healthcare in the world and it couldn’t be farther from the truth – it’s not good healthcare unless ALL have access. We should stop bragging that Saudi princes and foreign heads of state come to the US to be operated on – while our everyday Joe Schmoe can’t get bone marrow transplant for his kid with leukemia. It’s disgusting.

    Just had to vent.

  • Flexible spending accounts and IRAs are a great place to put money if your employer offers them. The money is not taxed, so your monthly paycheck stays about the same. However I don’t know whether you could put away enough to cover medical bills from freak accidents.

  • LOL, well, Carmentina, while I personally appreciate the venting, living in the US doesn’t allow for much leway in regards to having or not having insurance. Before I start, let me state I fully support and argue for socialized medical care, housing and caring for our own. The US (and many forget this stuff) drops more food and medical care into other countries than it’s own. OK, I know (personally know) individuals who financially qualify for state and federally funded insurance because of their lack of income or small income. It needs to be applied for, as well as upkept or it doesn’t happen. Some of these friends who do qualify use the hospital for every boil, sliver and paper cut simply because, well, they can. There is abuse on all sides and it is a sad sad state of affairs. However, let me speak for the better parts of us by saying there are so many programs and caring medical communities that most Joe Schmoe’s find a way to get treatment. I’m sure the study you consulted failed to mention that many of the population that lacked healthcare and suffered and eventually died also did not have a good history of self care, preventative maintenance, and other integral parts of keeping healthy beyond an all access pass to the doctor.

    But as LionMouse says, (to get back on track) I don’t know how you could put enough aside to cover a freak accident either. Cost is astronomical. I paid for insurance when I was employed and never used it in 2 years, however, with little ones to care for, it was the cost I would rather pay than be sorry for. It’s all relative. I know there is catastrophic insurance available as well, for those HOLY SH** I just got hit by a train.

  • troublesjustabubbletroublesjustabubble Raw Newbie

    Medical expenses scare the hell out of me. I just try to stay accident free but it doesn’t matter because random things always happen to me (I walk out of my house and sprain my ankle on the stair) and boom, that’s $2000 dollars to walk into the ER without insurance. I make sure I have insurance just for those times. I also have an unavoidable prescription I must take and it is also expensive without insurance. It’s worth it to me to have insurance because I literally use it to the ground and it’s totally worth it

  • Carmentina, I’m with you. This topic pisses me off soooooooo incredibly much. We live in the U.S.- My younger brother died of cancer in June; he did not have health insurance. What he went through was heartbreaking and I wouldn’t wish it on anybody.

    That said, I do not agree with allopathic healthcare; detest the existence of insurance companies; and refuse to pay $600 a month for health insurance (that is what it would cost under the health plan provided by my husband’s work—not to mention the out-of-pocket expenses for each visit and the HUGE deductible- $5,000 per year).

    Since the public schools in the United States are also horrid (at least the one in our neighborhood is- and it truly is- I used to work there so I know first hand), we pay $500 a month for our daughter to go to a private school. It really came down to paying for health insurance or paying for our daughter’s education, and we chose her education. I know that so many of you would disagree with this decision, but so far it has worked out well for us. All of our care (which has been very, very little) has been through naturopathic/anthroposophic physicians- which wouldn’t be covered under insurance anyway. If a big accident/illness happened, we would just deal with it to the best of our ability; which is what we do in every situation anyway.

    The way I see it, paying money every month towards health insurance would be like empowering a system that I totally disagree with. Also- health insurance is a very fear-based system. It has got to end and I have to do my part to ensure that it does. If I paid health insurance every month and at the same time despised the system, didn’t use it because I disagreed with what was being offered, and at the same time expected everything to change for the better, it would be like a vegan that spends $600 on meat every month and then just throws it away, but still hopes and prays that someday people won’t be buying meat from the supermarket anymore. It just doesn’t make any sense at all.

    So, of course, everyone has to decide what is best for them. But, a few things that people sometimes forget is:

    1) you vote with your money

    2) The USA is a very fear-based place to live. It IS possible to live here and at the same time live a life that works hard not to promote fear-based organizations such as health insurance, public education, animal cruelty, allopathic medicine, war, commercial advertising… the list continues…

    3) illness, diseases, accidents, and death are all a natural part of life. They happen to every family and every person and always have; health insurance has not changed this fact. In the US, I think more than anywhere else, we need to realize and accept this.

    Having health insurance does not ensure less pain or suffering. It also does not guarantee more freedom and/or safety if you were to become ill or hospitalized and in some cases it might mean less freedom in choice regarding your own health.

    The health system in the United States has got to change, and the only way that it will change is if we stop living in fear of death and dying—and quit paying so much money towards a system that isn’t working.

  • troublesjustabubbletroublesjustabubble Raw Newbie

    whoa whoa, I have to totally disagree in a loving way with you jellibi.

    My husband and I pay only $150 a month on health insurance and what we save on prescriptions alone makes it worth it not to mention if something bad happens. I understand your situation is different but for me and my family it’s not at all a fear based institution.

    I think we take our rights in America for granted. Sure, the government isn’t perfect but I’d rather spend my money on a monthly insurance bill than give 50% of my income in taxes for “free” healthcare or whatever else the government chooses to spend our money on. We have the freedom to spend it on healthcare if we want or on food, education, clothes, houses, cars. There are setbacks to free healthcare. It’s true I vote with my money and I choose to keep the freedom of spending my money on what I think is most important. You do have to remember that if the government provides healthcare they take it from your paycheck.

    Healthcare may not ensure less pain but it does ensure that if something horrible happens to me and I have to go to the hospital at least I’m not putting my family’s wellbeing in jeopardy at the same time. I pay for peace of mind as well as healthcare.

    Our anger should be directed not at the government or at “America” in general. We create the country we live in and should appreciate that right even with the setbacks.

    Life is hard sometimes and would be just as hard in some other country. Just remember to be grateful for what we do have

  • You assumed a lot, troublesjustabubble, I never said that I though healthcare should be free. I said that I disagree with health insurance.

    Your statement, bq.I pay for peace of mind as well as healthcare. speaks exactly to what my post was about. Peace of mind is what should be free. And available to everyone, whether they have money or not.

    xoxo- jelli

  • troublesjustabubbletroublesjustabubble Raw Newbie

    hmmm, I apologize for assuming. But I do want to say that my peace of mind is the same as the peace of mind when I buy a weeks worth of groceries. I know that I’m not going to have to think about running out of food for a week. It’s not because I’m afraid of starving. It’s just nice to not think about it.

    I do think that there are many things in the corrupt world we live in that should be better but I guess we just choose what we want to fight. I respect that you want to fight the health insurance in this country. I can’t afford to. It would be nice if there weren’t so many forces against us in the medical world….pharmaceutical companies, greedy doctors and of course the insurance. I’m fighting them by eating raw…that’s about all I can do right now:)

  • heathermarsbombheathermarsbomb Raw Newbie

    sicko anyone?

  • heyenglishheyenglish Raw Newbie

    My thought exactly heathermarsbomb! I’m about to start a new job, and I’m still trying to decide whether to take their “benefits”, or use my paycheck for other things. After all, I never go to the doctor or the dentist, and my insurance never covers much when I go get my eyes checked. Decisions, decisions…

  • kandacekandace Raw Newbie

    I do have health insurance, but often debate this cost (especially with our monthly premium going up 18% this year alone). One of the reasons I chose this particular insurance is that it will cover nutritionists (my nutritionist is a raw foodist), so this works out well for us.

  • troublesjustabubbletroublesjustabubble Raw Newbie

    haha awesome!

    I think if I was less accident prone perhaps…...

    I have crutches on hand and of course bandages of all sorts but the problem is that my husband is also accident prone and is always in physical therapy for one thing or other (torn mcl, broken finger, etc) also he has uncontrollable eczema and sinus allergies which don’t improve with different foods. So I think we pretty much need our insurance although unlike you kandace, our rates have not risen which is nice:)

    From what I see on here it looks like we have an incredibly good deal. ha

  • Heyenglish, Go with the dental at least, I thought basic dental care was simple enough, brush, floss a few times daily, but after never ever having a cavity, I developed 4 between the ages of 22 and 25, coincidentally right after my kids were born. It was very costly to have them filled with non-amalgam material. GO to the dentist as often as your insurance allows and you will use your payments that you send the company.

  • melaverdemelaverde Raw Newbie

    Many of us get caught with the “free and universal” health care system VS the “private insurance” based system debate…but in reality they are the SAME they only have just enough differences to pose as opposite or alternative methods. The same corporations are behind both systems and their profits are rising by the minute while we watch our health and our wallet (generally speaking) deteriorating. What we need in reality is FREEDOM to choose. We all like to state how free and beautiful is our country but nobody actually thinks about the fact the in reality we have no health care freedom, we are barely given the illusion that we have alternate choices (naturopathic, acupuncture, chinese medicine, natural hygiene etc…) but these alternate medicines have no real freedom to practice, no real freedom to treat a patient without being sued and ruined financially, no freedom to set up alternative hospitals etc…in Montreal where I live some MD have tried to create a hospital using alternative healing practices, firstly they couldn’t even call it “hospital” as apparently only conventional medicine has that right, secondly they have been literally persecuted by the government and some have been banned from the College of Physicians and after a few years of hardship they had to give up on the whole idea….

    Without health care freedom there will never be a healthy population and we are always going to be “milked” one way or the other and will continue living in a fear based system. If you are interested on the subject I suggest reading a book written by an MD that actually practiced in Canada, USA and France and explains clearly that although on the surface these countries offer alternate systems in reality they are just the same. My 2 cents. The link: The Medical Mafia

    BTW I have no private insurance as I live in Canada where everything, I mean everything is “free” (we pay through taxation)..

    Also…$7000 for an x-ray?...what a scam….radiation so expensive however now the FDA is allowing irradiation on lettuce and spinach!!!! Something is wrong somewhere!!

  • Branwyn32Branwyn32 Raw Newbie

    Carmentina- I agree with you 110%!!! This is a subject that makes me absolutely LIVID like no other! I grew up in a poor American family that could never afford health insurance of any sort. Luckily I seem to have an titanium immune system and naturally ok teeth, but I watched my sis, bro, and mom go through SEVERE cases of chicken pox, flus, joint injuries (myself included on that one, ALOT), teeth literally rotting out of their mouths without any care at all. The first time I really went to a doctor or dentist apart from immunizations was when I was about 20 years old when I got an office job that afforded some reasonable insurance, and then only to have the root of a tooth dug out, because it had a cavity so deep the tooth had literally crumbled to nothing but a gaping hole in my mouth. I’ve lost 2 adult teeth like that, one visible in my smile (first premolar on top). I have nerve damage in one of my ankles because of repeated sprains that I couldn’t get treated for years…a physical therapist told me that I can exercise the muscles around it, but the damaged ligament/nerves will NEVER fully heal…God/dess knows how that will bode for my long term mobility.

    For the past few years, I was getting occasional severe abdominal pain. I couldn’t afford to go to the doc to find out what it was. The past year it started happening more and more often, and the bouts got so severe I would literally be curled in a ball on the floor screaming and crying in agony for hours in between vomiting. BUT I COULDN’T SEE A DOCTOR! Effing brilliant! Finally I had another job that offered some limited affordable insurance and went to a doc for this. Turns out I had severe gallstones (like filled to burst, there was no dissolving these buggers) and my gallbladder was slightly inflamed because of them, so the whole thing had to be removed. My medically necessary surgery was scheduled, only to have the financial department of the hospital call me a week before to tell me “Your insurance will only cover $1000 of this operation…and the operation costs around $32,000”!!! I literally screamed “WHAAAT?!” into the phone and immediately started crying hysterically. If my gallbladder wasn’t removed soon, there was a chance it could burst, and KILL ME…and the American healthcare system didn’t give a flying fck! So I was told to contact to a subsidized inner city hospital in Atlanta called Grady Hospital, that perhaps they could help me, they help the poor/uninsured/underinsured, a sort of self contained income sensitive socialized care system. I was so put off and depressed and felt so out of control that I kept putting it off. Finally one night last April I got a doozy of a gallbladder attack, after eating literally nothing but a salad. 4 hrs and it wouldn’t stop. 6 hrs. 8 hrs. 12 hrs. 15 hrs. I was vomitting up acid and bile. I was turning jaundiced…a sign that the gallbladder is about to go. My sister took me down to Grady’s ER. They took my vitals and waited in the crowded ER for 14 hrs, then was brought to a bed in the hallway of triage for another 5. Blood tests and a CT later, my liver enzymes were all messed up and there was BILE IN MY BLOOD. I was put in the hospital for 5 days with no food allowed. In reality the whole ordeal could’ve taken about 2 days, but they are so overcrowded it was impossible. Their financial dept., thank God/dess, looked at my income and deemed me eligible for a 100% discount on care, otherwise that would’ve literally been a $50,000 hospital stay. I finally had my surgery in June. Labs however, still had to be paid out of pocket, and they were taking blood from me 4x/a day, so I still owe them a good $1000. I don’t have it.

    The system is sht and I could’ve died because it. I thank God for Grady daily. Meanwhile, I have many friends in Canada, Australia, and the UK (not to mention like every other 1st world nation on the effing planet!) with all the accessible medical care they need at no cost. My fiance lives in England, and he was visiting when I had one of my worst attacks last summer. He just held me as I lay there writhing and screaming in pain, saying let me take to the hospital, and he just couldn’t understand when I kept saying “I can’t. It broke his heart and made him so angry (as it does me) that the richest, most powerful country on earth could happily f*ck its own people squarely up the arse and leave them to deteriorate or die. After than we compared our income taxes to see how much more was taken out of his to pay for socialized healthcare, as most Americans I know who are so staunchly opposed to socialized care say, without ANY info or research “Oh, but socialized countries’ citizen pay out the @ss for that and you have to wait months for care” and blah blah blah. His taxes, as a single person, were roughly 3% higher than mine. WTF??! I would HAPPILY shell out another 5 bucks a week so ALL Americans could have equal access to healthcare! And when he needs to see a doc, he calls his and is in the next day. I usually have to wait 2 weeks. Plus in the UK you can opt to pay out for private care if you want to go to a schwanky hospital, but the doctors are just as skilled in the socialized ones. So what’s the effing problem?! GAAAAAAH!

    This ignorant conservative republican (not saying they’re ignorant, but this particular guy was) that worked in an office I worked at for a while was spewing forth this stupid rant about healthcare once, saying all these people that want socialized care are just too lazy to go out and get a job! WTF?! Um not all jobs offer insurance, and sometimes even if they do it’s just too expensive. My mother has worked her @ss to the bone my entire life, and I have worked since the day I turned 14 and was legally allowed to. I don’t have insurance. Much of a pacifist as I am, I really wanted to go over an slap the guy in the face.

  • CarmentinaCarmentina Raw Newbie

    Branwyn32, excellent illustration. When I had my cyst removed I was bordering on committing suicide – nothing could be worse than the pain I was in. Honestly the pain was AGONY and since it happened while I was in Italy, my husband simply drove me to the hospital and I was hospitalized. What if your husband broke his spine like mine did in a freak fall? My mom was hit by a car crossing the street in California and her hospital bill was $80,000! My cousin has insulin-dependant diabetes – well no insurance company wanted to take him cuz he was “too chronic.”

    At the VERY LEAST emergency care should be provided. It’s shameful that just so we can pay a little less in taxes we screw over much of our nation. Even those who have insurance cuz it doesn’t cover EVERYTHING!

    We spend trillions on wars but can’t provide basic emergency care….?

    I actually read a study that said the US spends MORE on medical care than other nations with socialized medicine (all of the civilized world except the US and Ireland, incidentally), because of inefficiency and all the money spent keeping track of it all.

    I should think basic emergency care should be a RIGHT. Just because you can CHOOSE to pay for insurance doesn’t mean you can AFFORD insurance.

    Ask yourself this, if you or a loved one were to have a freak accident, where would you rather it happen? In the US or England?

  • troublesjustabubbletroublesjustabubble Raw Newbie

    jellibi and branwyn,

    I think I owe another apology. I’m so sorry that I acted like I was in a “privileged box” and acted like insurance wasn’t a big deal or the system wasn’t screwed up.

    Both of your stories are so hard for me to hear and not be heart broken. I’ve lost several close, loved family members to cancer and I know it’s horrid and I myself have suffered health problems that left me clueless and in pain until doctors finally figured out what was wrong with me. I understand that I’m lucky to have a husband who works a job that provides good healthcare packages and that I’m blessed to be around friends and family when I need them.

    I’m excited for election year and also hoping for change. We may be the most powerful country but we’re in deep deep debt and I’m hoping that we can fix that and be in a position where we can have better provided health care. It’ll take getting out of war, balancing the deficit and doing some serious lobbying but I’m hoping we as a country are desperate enough to do it.

    Thank you ladies for sharing your stories. I’m grateful there are people to show me other points of view that I couldn’t see before. You’ve opened my eyes.

  • troublesjustabubbletroublesjustabubble Raw Newbie

    Thank you jellibi. I’m so sorry that you had to go through what you went through. It must have been really really hard. I know what it’s like to lose someone very close and it’s worse when there is suffering.

    Feel better though because you know your brother would want you to be happy and enjoy life:) Sometimes I have to tell that to myself when I get down about the family I have lost.

  • readingatworkreadingatwork Raw Newbie

    Preferring natural options like most of you, I felt lucky that my insurance at a new company was offered in fragments. I was able to sign up for accidental and physical therapy and bypassed on the pharmaceutical nonsense.

  • vegan2rawvegan2raw Raw Newbie

    Try emergency insurance its like 50 a month and covers er emergencies etc but not monthly doc visits. I only go to naturopaths and keep this for emergencies and I have two toddlers. Do not live in fear or you will create negative occurances also you can heal yourself do research try homeopathy I have healed my kids ear infections colds etc all myself we have only needed yearly checkups at the naturopath and always get an excellent health grade.

    But yes keep emergency care otherwise if you do seriously hurt yourself and require surgery then it is covered

    To each his own but I personally beleive health care is a farce it does not usually cover the docs I see only mainstream prescritpion junkies

  • derrycklderryckl Raw Superstar

    (We are so far off topic now...) (wow)

    heathermarsbomb said, "sicko anyone?" - that film is filled with quite a bit of hyperbole, I think that most of them is for dramatic effect ("shock value"), but it does make good points - and I think that if even it gets people to sit up and think about the whole topic, then it has done some good.

    I live in Canada, lived in the UK and visited/worked in several Euro countries, so I know the "socialised" system (quite well). I personally think that for the amount of wealth that the US has, it would be such a great thing to have a "socialised" health care system. People often use the word socialised word to tar anything that people (collectively) pay for. It is used as a "wedge word", and as soon as it is mentioned, people back away from it, faster than a dog backing away from its vomit.

    But - the US does have some of the best socialised programs in the world. We're seeing in the news even this week, socialised corporatism (GM and co are in Washington asking for money that the public will have to pay for. Last month it was the banks). You pay for these, whether you use it or not. There is socialised schooling (OK, bad example, but kids are automatically granted access to school) - socialised garbage collection, socialised transit, socialised libraries (I *love* the public libraries in the US). Socialised Police force and Fire Service. Anyone read about the days when the fire trucks would not stop by your burning house if you had not paid your "dues" (and even that was a form of collective/socialism). Socialised gasoline.

    So I hope that no-one will pretend that socialism is not alive and well. Even cave men had some sort of sense of collectivism.

    Think about anything that has contributed to the taxpayers burden over the last few decades (outsourcing?, wars fought by military contractors, the list goes on). As the saying goes, "privatise anything that makes money, socialise anything that loses money".

    There's a valid point to be made about people who go into the hospital for every small symptom, but for the 0.1% of people for whom that small symptom is something much bigger - it could be a cancer (caught early) which would cost a lot less to treat, it could be a life saved.

    The alternative is to see people who are often thrown out of their houses due to illness, I know someone who (while battling cancer) also lost her house due to medical bills. It can be argued that a bullet would have cost far less, and would have achieved the same outcome (rather extreme, but.....)

    On the specific issue that kicked off this thread, I will defer to those who have real-life experience of dealing with the medical system in the US...

    Oh dear - I feel as if this thread will live in perpetuity....

  • Well...I know as an American I currently pay for:

    Socialized police service...

    Socialized fire fighters...

    Socialized roads...

    Socialized schools...

    Socialized food, housing, healthcare for a portion of the population...

    Socialized military...

    Socialized snow removal...

    Socialized parks...

    Socialized scientific research...

    Socialized space program...

    Socialized legal system...

    Socialized prison system...

    Socialized food regulators...

    (There are a ton more to mention, but i think my point is made)

    The people who think that if we add a complete and robust healthcare system to the list we'll meltdown into a communist state are either making money off the system or brainwashed by those who are. (for the record...i'm not saying anyone here is that way, but I've had plenty of conversations with people who are)

    I'd trade 90% of America's current socialized programs so I wouldn't have to perform cost/benefit analysis on my children's health issues.

  • waterbaby12347waterbaby12347 Raw Newbie

    What is your age??? I know someone who never carried health insurance but DID put the monthly premium into a special money making account… She and her family never had an accident and were not hospitalized for any illnesses… But did have plenty of PLAY money for fun times…

  • CarmentinaCarmentina Raw Newbie

    Excellent illustration, Twitch.

    We let the propaganda have it's way with us.

  • SuasoriaSuasoria Raw Newbie

    To bring this back to the original question, can you speak to HR or your plan administrator about other options? There may be a plan with a higher deductible but a lower monthly payment, or an emergency-only plan as Vegan2Raw mentions. Do try not to let it lapse because it can be a big challenge to re-enroll.

    Anyhoo, we have one of the better insurers according to consumer surveys, and it's still an absolute joke. Fortunately thanks to some freakishly liberal company policy we don't actually pay for it, our employer does. DH cut his finger really badly opening a coconut and had to go to the ER on the 4th of July for ten stitches. The hospital bills were in the neighborhood of seven thousand dollars, and our share was close to $1500.

    We almost never see doctors. in the last four years I've seen my ob/gyn twice and that's the only medical appointment I can think of.

  • no insurance, no motorcycle!

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