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Health Insurance for the Poor?

Updated on June 18, 2017

Regardless of what you may think of President Trump's plan for healthcare (which many suspect will be just as bad as Obamacare), a recent experience of a friend reveals the insanity for those at the bottom.

You see, my friend has been out of work for six months and receiving unemployment and because Obamacare mandates he have medical coverage, he signed up for the coverage. Since he was earning less than $20,000 (actually, it was just $10,000) he was able to get his medical coverage via Kaiser Permanente for just $1.00. This coverage would normally cost a person who earns above $30,000 a year about $700 a month. It is Kaiser's cheapest coverage but it was a illusion. An illusion of being covered in many ways and exposed when he went in for a few basic services.

In his case, his visit to the doctor cost was $40.00. His deductible was around $10,000! He had to go get an EKG after his exam. Thinking this would be free, he was shocked when it cost $115. This EKG took no longer than 10 seconds. It was not the "treadmill" type last 20 minutes. In effect, it was just a snapshot. Later, he obtained some blood pressure medication, well, he was relieved that would cost $20. But, more shocks were in store when he scheduled an eye exam. Again, he thought this would be free or at a nominal cost. This cost would require a deposit of $115 and depending on exam results, might cost up to $250. Huh? None of this would include the cost of the glasses, which could run at least another $100+.

The fallacy of America's healthcare system for the poor is that it still costs. These costs mentioned above are real "hits" on a poor person's pocket book. What might happen if something much more serious occur? Keep in mind that the coverage he obtained would still a person who is working and earning over $25,000, at least $500+ a month. Think about it. This coverage with such high deductibles and exam visits only makes the poor person even worse off financially. It forces them to neglect using the coverage for more basic needs like food, housing, clothes.

The better coverage plans under Kaiser all cost much more per month in exchange for lower deductibles and exam costs. These are still to expensive for those earning under $30K a year. If you are earning $50,000 a year, you healthcare costs will be costly per month.

It seems the poor are not really covered very well. Why is dental insurance so much cheaper? One can obtain coverage for just $60 a month and have a low deductible and basic services covered. Vision plans that cover lens, frames, exams, are even less expensive per month.

If you have medical coverage stories that are shocking, what are they? Perhaps the best way to handle medical coverage is to take 30% of everyone's paycheck and create a socialized healthcare like those in Canada or Britain.


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    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR


      19 months ago

      I believe it was Kaiser Bronze plan

    • thebiologyofleah profile image

      Leah Kennedy-Jangraw 

      20 months ago from Massachusetts

      I would be interested to know exactly what the 1 dollar health insurance your friend had did cover?

      Because I agree with you the costs he was expected to pay, while unemployment, for routine health were too much. I wonder if Kaiser had that insurance option for people just so when they filed their taxes they technically were covered.

      It is very sad to know that people who are struggling financially cannot afford even the most basic health care in the US.


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