An average insurance plan will have a monthly premium to pay that is usually never anything less than, to be very general, "rent money or mortgage" type of figures, is what most people are looking at. That's a lot for a regular person to handle in their budget EVEN WHEN they are in full-time work. There are many "working poor" who simple cannot afford their own insurance, and go without having any. Those folks literally hope they never get sick or get into an accident.
There are what's called "county hospitals" that are supposed to treat you no matter if you have an insurance plan, no matter if you can't pay. Most comfortably-off Americans think that takes care of that. What they don't know is that these hospitals/charity hospitals STILL BILL YOU. And you are then expected to file paperwork proving exactly why you can't pay that bill, then they make a decision, and god help you if they deem you able to pay it even if you know you're not.
People end up in debt for years, or having to sell their home, and there's a high percentage of bankruptcies declared specifically due to overwhelming medical bills.
I knew someone worth about 5 million, and who had insurance through his work. You'd think he's all set, right? No need to worry about a health crisis or an accident with life changing injuries. But even he said that it would only take one serious illness in the family to run through his work insurance - because even that has a limit, in fact -- get into his own personal funds, and wipe them out. They had already been through a crisis with a sick child and very nearly got wiped out when they had less money.
That's crazy 😕. I've read about people who died cos they couldn't afford antibiotics and paying $100s for an emergency ambulance. I can't get my head round it.
Yes, just needing to call for an ambulance, apparently that can carry a price tag of hundreds of dollars.
I once had a medical emergency at home, called friends to ask them to drive me in their car to the ER, because I was scared to drive myself, it was that bad. Told them what I was experiencing. My friends refused, saying that if I took a turn for the worse while on the way there, only an ambulance would be equipped to help me, so they didn't want to risk driving me. But I couldn't call an ambulance because I knew it would blow my rent money right there in one go!!
As it was, I eventually got another friend to take me. Charity ER but still ended up having to contest the bill as I was low-income. Eventually won that concession, but I still had to pay several hundred to a radiologist -- because they work for themselves and do their own billing!
It's run like a cut-throat business over there. It's like going to a car dealership or a furniture store. You can have it only f you can pay for it.
In another unrelated incident years before, I called ER and was told the tests alone would amount to a figure that I knew would make me unable to pay my rent. I literally lay on my couch for days with a high fever, fully expecting I'd just have to die there if I die. I honestly was going to have to just die at home untreated because I knew I'd be in debt for decades if I got myself treatment.