Hannah and Je together

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

American Health Insurance and Hospital system is the world’s greatest

Health insurance is quite burdensome to me, being full-time student and not having regular income.  And actually I lived in America without having any insurance even after I became a student.  I just signed a waiver form at McCormick that it is my responsibility not of school if anything happens about my health.  The school requires all students without proper health insurance.  I think that is one of the most stupid forms, because if I have an insurance, then is it school’s responsibility?

But now I have to have an insurance due to so-called Obama Care Act.  This is not what I wanted.  I expected Universal health care similar to Canada’s or Britain’s, where everybody gets free or real cheap (like $30 per month) insurance and hospital service.  Now, it is just the government is forcing people to get the insurances which are not cheap at all.  My wife and I are now paying about $600 every month for health insurance.

The insurance companies know this situation, and they use it.  I called a few insurance companies, and their first automated message was “For emergency hang up and call 911.”  But the second message was “Get an insurance or pay the penalty.”  It sounds to me a threatening.

I first got Ambetter insurance and their customer service was horrible.  When I asked them over the phone which hospitals are in their network, they just keep asking me the name of doctors I wanted to see.  And when I tried the same over the webchat, the guy named Michael over the other side of internet told me he would get an agent for me and there was no answer for two hours.  Finally I realised that I cannot use that insurance in the hospitals where I go – the University of Chicago Medicine and University of Illinois at Chicago hospital.  So I tried to change it and the process was like nightmare.

Because I wanted to have a cheapest insurance which I use at both hospitals, I went to the websites of the two hospitals and got the list of accepted insurances.  The lists were about eight pages each.  And the thing is that much more than half of the lists are not common.  Tens of insurances which are accepted at UIC are not available at UC Medicine, and vice versa.  I do not really understand this whole situation.  The two countries where I had lived outside America – Korea and Canada – have one insurance from the government and you can use it literally anywhere in the country.  Now, in America we have millions of different insurances and every hospital accepts only a few of them with different list of available ones.

All the insurance companies encourage their customers to check before going to an hospital if that is in the network.  That is real stupid.  When you in emergency and dying, you still need to call the hospital and ask them if they accept your particular insurance.  How great and awesome is that.

How great is the American Health Insurance – robbing and threatening the poor people, not serving them.  But having an insurance does not guarantee or insure you at all.  If you watch the documentary Sicko, there are many cases but which struck me the most  was a young lady with cancer.  She has a good health insurance but the insurance company denied to pay her hospital bill because she is too young to get cancer.  There are millions of reasons for the insurance not to insure you and that is how they make better profit.

Hospitals are not different.  A guy in charge of a big hospital once told me that “hospital is just a business.”  That is actually true.  In other countries, the goal of the hospital is to save lives, but it is to make profit in America.  The same treatment or procedure are much more expensive than in other countries.  Appendix removal surgery without insurance in Canada costs about $500 while it may cost you $180,000 in America (NY Daily News, April 23, 2012).  A lady who fell off on an icy road went to emergency for couple of hours, then she was later charged with $10,000.  It is true story because I saw her hospital bill.

Surely America is the greatest country in the world and American Health Insurance and Hospital system is also the greatest in the whole wide world.

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