No Insurance? No Healthcare. Paying Cash? No Healthcare

No insurance? No healthcare.
Paying cash? No healthcare.
Got insurance? Won’t cover your condition.
Heads you win, tails I lose.

In some tests for her chronic lyme disease last June, Robyn’s thyroid got contradictory results. Wanting to see an endocrinologist about this, we asked the primary care physician for references. She referred it on to a regional health system, whose representative called all over northern California and western Nevada for someone who’d take Robyn.

Nada. Why not? Not taking new patients, some said.

So we just asked for a referral from a naturopathic physician linked somewhat into the medical system. The answer: if you’re insured, we have a referral. If you’re self-pay (uninsured), we don’t have one.

WHAT??? Do doctors not accept cash? If Robyn walks in with a wad of $20 bills and a copy of our savings statement, will they consent to see her? Do we need to post a $1000 bond so they know we’re good for the bills? Have the so-called insurance companies hijacked the system that fully?

We chose not to continue healthcare coverage in 2004. We calculated that, even with high-deductible insurance, we’d have to pay $10,000 per year before any insurance money would kick in. That’s a lot of buckaroos for two people. Besides, the one condition that might need medical care, Robyn’s chronic 20-year lyme — which she has kept in check through a rigorous low-sugars diet and exercise — is not recognized by the so-called insurance companies. Thus they wouldn’t pay for her treatment anyway. Being basically pretty healthy and emphasizing preventive measures, we opted out.

Five years later, some of the $50,000 we saved from not having so-called healthcare insurance has indeed gone to some medical care. As cash payments.

So what’s this doctor’s problem? Even bigger, what kind of stranglehold does this disfunctional system have, where corporate “insurance” middlemen profit by producing nothing of benefit?

Thank you, Dennis Kucinich, for advocating the elimination of for-profit healthcare insurance. Why should we be required to pay for health insurance for illnesses like Robyn’s they won’t cover? And be fined if we don’t buy in? Isn’t that the kind of coercion you see under totalitarian regimes?

Comments

  1. Wow Im on medicaid cause Im disabled and I can never find a doctor who takes it. One doctor I had in Florida told me this-before it was the doctor ,patient now its the doctor,insurance company,patient. Here in Texas if you dont have insurance or if you are on medicaid and in some instances medicare you’ll freaking die before you get help.

  2. I normally jump all over the web because I have the tendancy to read too much (which isn’t always a good thing because many sites just copy from each other) but I must say that yours contains some genuine substance! Thanks for stopping the trend of just being another copycat site! 😉

  3. Thanks for the suggestion, Joe. I checked the site and searched for a medical doctor, but the nearest was a good 100 miles away, and the second-nearest was down in Los Angeles (700 miles away). So the database appears to be pretty small yet. Let’s hope it’s a viable alternative for good doctors.

  4. I was in the same situation not to long ago…but found this website: http://www.pricedoc.com They have medical and dental providers who post prices. What a great idea. I don’t have health/dental insurance so I found this website very helpful.

  5. Tammy and I have made similar decisions regarding health care. Its outrageous that health care companies are superseding the Hippocratic oath many doctors take in school and are legally allowed to collaborate and collude to fix prices. We don’t let other industries do this for fear of monopoly, yet here we are with what appears to be a monopoly over access to health care. Its sad to see such promising legislation in congress get whittled down to something that is very expensive and ineffective for citizens yet very lucrative for health care company profits. 🙁

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