Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What I Know for Sure (About Health Care)

I don't have a pre-existing condition, and, at this point in my life, I am able to pay the deductibles on my insurance. I even have a little bit of mental health coverage. So, in many ways I consider myself lucky. Although I'm not wealthy, I don't consider myself poor, either. However:

*there was a time in my life when even paying the deductibles I pay now would have absolutely broken me. There was a time in my life when I had Major Medical insurance and I prayed not to get sick. Therefore, I can imagine what it is like for those who fall between the cracks of our system.
*there was a time in my life when I lived in a rural area, and discovered that Health Care is not equal in every part of the country. I did not have all of the resources available there that I have where I do now.
*mental health care is especially unequal in rural areas.
*health insurance is very complicated. When my husband was set to have minor surgery, and was trying to figure out what he would owe after the deductible, he could not get anybody to tell him the actual cost of the surgery.
*poverty is bad for your health. Poverty is bad for your health because 1) you cannot afford health insurance, 2) the places poor people live are often unhealthy, 3) you have the added stress of living on the edge.
*it is getting more and more difficult for congregations to provide health care coverage to clergy and other employees.
*health care is a moral issue

What do you know for sure?


Rev SS said...

I know you are right about this issue!

Presbyterian Gal said...

Here's a side note on mental health care coverage:

My son sees a therapist. I see a therapist. My son's therapist is not covered on the mental health plan. The one that was, was a disaster. AND, when our current health care is gone (divorce), he would not be eligible for any coverage if we had claimed his current therapist.

Same sitch for me. My therapist would be covered but I would not be eligible for later coverage if I claimed. So I don't claim and she is kind enough to sliding scale her fees.

Catch 22.

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

Well, rural areas are not all created equal either. I've been fortunate to have good health care in a town of 608, but I know that is unusual. Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of our hospital. But there still is the hard fact in many rural areas that a person has to drive a long way to see a consultant, so that adds to the cost and time off of work.

Yes, insurance is complicated. I used to help seniors with that. Seniors have Medicare and, maybe, a Medicare Supplement policy. That can be difficult, at least with some companies.

The church insurance you probably have is very expensive. When my daughter was a Sem student, she paid to get out of it because independent insurance was cheaper for her family. Go figure. [I guess I'm assuming here that her "required insurance" was the same as the church insurance.]

Anonymous said...

For sure...the current system is broken, especially when it comes to the self-employed and small businesses, but I'm not optimistic that a lot will change.

Diane said...

P.S., my rural area was in another state; perhaps that makes a difference as well.

I also know that mental health coverage is difficult everywhere; but particularly in rural areas. I'm thinking not just of counseling but of getting admitted to a hosp. for psych care if you need it.