Diary

Healthcare

In researching healthcare costs, I had a conversation which was very eye-opening. There has been allot of media and print about the cost of healthcare in the last 3-4 years. Obamacare has contributed to the rash of information, facts and figures thrown at us.

I decided to make a phone call and find out how much a common, generic “check-up” would cost. The adventure was interesting. First, I googled the largest healthcare provider in my area. This provider has offices, places of business and facilities on every corner in my hometown. It took me 3 phone calls and close to an hour to find someone who could answer the question “how much will a checkup cost me”. The first number I called tried connecting me with a surgeon. The second number connected with me with the  billing department. The woman who answered the second number gave me the number to the third and final person I talked to. This third call was interesting.

I called the third number and asked how much a checkup cost. I also made it clear that I would pay cash and did not have insurance. The woman replied that it depended on what they found. Essentially, she didn’t want to commit to it. I felt like I was at a car lot. (Do you want the convertible? Do you want the nice radio?) I finally asked “How much would it cost for me to see a doctor and have him say, `Okay… you’re as fit as a fiddle.’.” She replied anywhere from $49.99 to $168. She couldn’t even tell me how much it would cost for a checkup if nothing was wrong and I was healthy!

Based on that estimation, if you are relatively healthy, healthcare will only cost you $300 a year. Why are healthcare premiums so high? Injuries in a car accident are covered by car insurance. Injuries at work are covered by your employer. Are we all paying more than $300 because we think we might fall in the tub?