U.S. healthcare insurance – No, it’s probably worse. Please watch Michael Moore’s excellent documentary “Sicko”. Instead of focusing on the problem of the lack of insurance, Moore tells horror stories of people who do have insurance. Here are some.
A woman’s child was ill and she took him to the nearest hospital. However, it wasn’t in her insurance company’s network and they refused to pay for any treatment there. They required the sick child to be transferred to another hospital that was in the network. The child died on the trip.
People who have private insurance and get seriously ill often find their insurance company denying them coverage on the basis that they lied about pre-existing conditions on their application. Once a person was sick, the insurance company would scour their prior medical records and “show” that the illness they had was present before they bought the insurance.
A man who cut off three fingers only had enough insurance coverage to re-attach two of them.
And this insurance is expensive. In addition to premiums that can exceed $1,000 a month, there are deductibles (where the patient has to pay a certain amount before coverage kicks in) and co-pays (where the patient has to pay part of the cost of each procedure.
One of the things that amuses me about some Americans on Quora trying to defend the system is them saying “I don’t have to worry because I have insurance”. It is to laugh. First, most Americans get insurance through work and if they lose their job they lose their insurance. If you’re sick all the time and miss a lot of work, you will lose your job and your insurance. Many Americans feel trapped in their job because they do have ongoing conditions that need treatment and they know if they change jobs they often can’t take their coverage with them. In addition, if you have private insurance and get sick, your premiums will go up. U.S. medical insurance is pretty much worthless when it comes to chronic illness.
And, frankly, I am only scratching the surface. For example, premature babies generally aren’t covered by insurance until they’re three months old. Read the policy. Do you have any idea what neonatal intensive care costs?