Health Insurance Cost and Who Can Afford It Now
After working very hard for a year at my current employer I was promoted to full time status and given the option of getting health insurance that would be deducted weekly from my salary. The extra $49.00 per week was and is a hardship coming out of my check but it’s important to have my family covered in case of an emergency. I never imagined that the health insurance cost would be so above and beyond my current deduction.
First thing that happened was the whole family contracted the flu including Quincy our son, wife and myself. We thought this is great that we have Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas and everything will be taken care of and we can get better so we could return to work and school. It turned out to be nothing further from the truth.
Health Care Cost
Cost of Health Insurance
They told us at the emergency medical clinic that we would have to come up with the first three hundred dollars for our deductible and twenty percent of the medical bill. They wanted the funds before we were treated. Well for all three of us it was a total a little under $500.00 (five-hundred-dollars). It might have well been $10,000.00 as far as our financial situation was at the current time.
The company has an open enrollment program that allows you to borrow for medical expenses that they put on a special medical insurance visa card – and they deduct it from your paycheck weekly to repay it. First off we could not afford the insurance much less an additional weekly deduction of $34.00 to pay off the medical loan for the deductible and the twenty percent of our part of the insurance payment. Honestly we were better off with out health insurance at this point. Now there is a total of $49.00+$34.00 per week coming out of my payroll check automatically. Can I afford it? No – it’s cutting into the basic essentials like food, fuel, rent, etc…
You have to have gas to go to work, you need to pay the rent to prevent being homeless, so food gets cut. Here is the real irony I work at a grocery store and we now have to go to a food bank to just feed our family. The first time we went to the food bank I was in uniform and got some really funny looks from people. I know what they were thinking and it was embarrassing. Picking up a few cans of beans and a bag of rice and some day old bread, plus a few cans of vegetables to keep Quincy and us going is a necessity but at the same time very embarrassing having to ask for help like this.
Yes I blame myself for not going to college and getting a degree – to have a better life and give more to the family. But at the same time it’s a real conundrum that you cannot work very hard at a job for eight hours a day and still be beyond broke. I do not believe in nationalized heath care and do not want such a system in place now or in the future. The one thing that should be in place is a set of checks and balances on health care costs, housing costs, etc. that will allow the majority of the population in these United States to have a life that is not fraught with constant concerns over the little things in life.
Having to tell my son that he cannot play little league or take karate lessons because that money is going to health insurance or health insurance savings is degrading and demoralizing to me. This is not someone yelling on a soapbox screaming victim, but just a working person trying to live the American dream without all the drama and anxiety that comes with it today.
Really, except for becoming upper middle class by going to night school or becoming a successful entrepreneur, I do not know how this financial demise we have arrived at will change.