The last couple of months for my family have proven how valuable insurance is not for our physical health, but also for our financial health.
My husband began experiencing chest pains. We went 4 (?) times to the ER in 6-8 weeks, including two trips by ambulance. It wound up being his gallbladder. There was one surgery (that was bungled in the pre-op phase, and nearly killed him) which was not actually done, and another surgery (in a different hospital), complications from that necessitated a return trip to the hospital and a 2nd outpatient 'procedure'.
I shudder to think what our bills would be like without insurance.
Then there were the bills when my daughter was born. I had insurance through my work. On my 2nd OB visit, the office presented me with their calculation of what I would still owe the doctor, once the insurance had covered what they would cover ... and it was about $1200, which they would graciously allow me to pay over 6 months. I just about crumbled at that point, because we didn't have $200 TOTAL to give the doctor, let alone $200 per month for 6 months.
I turned to Medicaid at that point. I'm not sure, but think that pregnancy is just about an automatic in for Medicaid at the income level we had then. And thank goodness it was!
I had a high-risk pregnancy, due to my age, high blood pressure and gestational diabetes, so I also had to visit a specialist. My daughter wound up being born 2 months early, weighing 3 lbs .4 oz at birth. She stayed 22 days in the hospital and the hospital bill (covered 100 pct by my insurance at work) was in the neighborhood of $60K.
It can be frustrating, too. We have dental insurance through my work. But it sucks. There is a yearly limit per person of $1,000. I can't even get one tooth fixed for that much, KWIM?
Then there is life insurance, which is another near-necessity, especially if you are a one-income family. What happens when the wage-earner passes on? This was the case with my father died at 47 years of age. He only had term life insurance, but luckily it was still in force. It was of sufficient amount to pay off the mortgage to the house in which we were living, which was a HUGE load off my mother's mind.
Do you have any stories about insurance - good or bad? Feel free to share them here!