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Low-Cost Health Insurance Plans For Individuals (And Families)

Posted Jul 20 2010 12:00am

What happened to the health insurance reform? I thought the idea was to create a system that would provide low-cost affordable health insurance for individuals and families alike.

Yes, I thought the idea was to make it more affordable, but what was I thinking?

I guess I was way too optimistic… So far, not only does it look like it will take several years until some of those things will actually be in place (I mean, 2014!), but some of those plans could actually turn out to be even MORE expensive than previous incarnations.

Having grown up in Germany where basically everybody had health insurance, I’m still a bit in shock about the reality of not having it. And it’s almost unimaginable to anyone in Germany that anyone really could have no health insurance.

Even here in the U.S., it’s generally taken for granted that everyone has insurance “Talk to YOUR doctor” what about those who don’t have a doctor to talk to, or can’t afford the steep charges for visiting a doctor’s office? It only adds insult to injury.

Ironically, it’s not at all uncommon there are plenty of people without health insurance. I remember being shocked when I discovered that one of my alternative health care providers didn’t have health insurance.

And if you look at the cost of most insurance plans, it quickly becomes clear why that would be. Some of them make a mortgage payment look like small change in comparison.

Not only that, but there are still all sorts of co-payments and plenty of stuff that isn’t even covered.

When I came down with the swine flu last fall, I spent days trying to find a doctor who might fit my budget and who would prescribe one of those antiviral drugs before time ran out.

No luck. Short of going to the emergency room, which I didn’t think was the best plan, or risking a bill of hundreds of dollars by going to one of those 24hour medical offices who refused to give me a price quote, there was no way I could find anyone in time.

Just seeing my former regular doctor was more than $140, not counting medication, and since I hadn’t been there for a “while” they would insist on doing all sorts of blood work etc., and that would have added considerably to the bill.

But I had an AmeriPlan card, so I figured I’d be able to find a doctor for a reasonable charge. NOT.

After calling half a dozen doctors from their list I discovered that some were no longer accepting that plan, and the others would have made me wait several weeks for the earliest appointment. What the heck?!

Finally, the window of opportunity to get the anti-virals passed, and fortunately, eventually, I got better all by myself, after taking hefty doses of assorted natural immune-strengthening supplements, and sleeping a whole lot. But it sure was scary.

Meanwhile, I’ve been counting on President Obama to come up with low cost health insurance plans for individuals and families, but, well, I guess it’s time for Plan B.

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