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Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:10 PM

I went to the walk-in clinic with chest pain yesterday

When they found out I was uninsured, they agreed to check me out - but I had to make a $108 down payment. Who knows how much the entire visit will cost. So basically, I had a choice: Go to the ER, where there would be no down payment but the cost of the visit would probably be much higher, or pay a $108 down payment to get checked out at the clinic.

I paid the $108.

Can't wait for Obamacare to catch up to me... or better still, the public option.

40 replies, 4393 views

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Reply I went to the walk-in clinic with chest pain yesterday (Original post)
Flying Squirrel Nov 2012 OP
flamingdem Nov 2012 #1
MADem Nov 2012 #2
Flying Squirrel Nov 2012 #7
seabeyond Nov 2012 #14
MADem Nov 2012 #24
1monster Nov 2012 #34
Liberal_in_LA Nov 2012 #35
hrmjustin Nov 2012 #3
WiffenPoof Nov 2012 #4
Flying Squirrel Nov 2012 #6
Care Acutely Nov 2012 #10
phleshdef Nov 2012 #13
riverwalker Nov 2012 #26
Lint Head Nov 2012 #5
lunatica Nov 2012 #19
Fridays Child Nov 2012 #8
MiniMe Nov 2012 #9
LittlestStar Nov 2012 #11
CaliforniaPeggy Nov 2012 #12
grahamhgreen Nov 2012 #15
bvar22 Nov 2012 #18
ProSense Nov 2012 #36
bvar22 Nov 2012 #38
ragulli Nov 2012 #16
Honeycombe8 Nov 2012 #20
Raine Nov 2012 #17
Honeycombe8 Nov 2012 #21
Raine Nov 2012 #32
Honeycombe8 Nov 2012 #37
Raine Nov 2012 #40
Patiod Nov 2012 #28
Raine Nov 2012 #33
HopeHoops Nov 2012 #22
hunter Nov 2012 #27
HopeHoops Nov 2012 #31
bvar22 Nov 2012 #23
Patiod Nov 2012 #29
bvar22 Nov 2012 #30
Patiod Nov 2012 #39
Jasana Nov 2012 #25

Response to Flying Squirrel (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:12 PM

1. I agree and really want to know the details

because I'm not sure that I can celebrate yet, I'm hoping to reduce my premiums mostly, and my deductible is ridiculous. If I go to the emergency room it's essentially out of pocket even though I get raked each month for premiums.

Glad you're okay and it's always better to check yourself out when it comes to the heart! What I really don't like is that they presented you with a decision when you're not well.

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Response to Flying Squirrel (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:18 PM

2. AND....?????

Was it a heart attack, a pre-heart 'incident' or a bad meal repeating on you?

Inquiring minds want to know!!!!!

Hope you came out of it all well, and only a hundred and eight bucks poorer for the fright...

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Response to MADem (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:20 AM

7. Just a muscle strain apparently

Had been moving some heavy equipment. Have had high blood pressure for 10+ yrs

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Response to Flying Squirrel (Reply #7)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:45 AM

14. isnt it something. do i go, do i not. is it really something. wont i feel like a fool

if i dont go and then...

it is a tough call.

i am glad you went, and all is well.

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Response to Flying Squirrel (Reply #7)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:38 AM

24. Thank goodness--take care of yourself, now! nt

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Response to Flying Squirrel (Reply #7)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:30 PM

34. Are you on medication for the BP? Many of them are only $4.00 per month and

more than well worth the cost...

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Response to Flying Squirrel (Reply #7)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:31 PM

35. Glad it wasn't anything serious.

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Response to Flying Squirrel (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:18 PM

3. I hope you stay healthy. Good luck!

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Response to Flying Squirrel (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:19 PM

4. So...What The Hell Happened????

You can't just leave us hanging. Was it a heart attack? What!!!!!????

Apparently you are fine and I am happy for you...lol.

-Paige

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Response to WiffenPoof (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:19 AM

6. It was just a muscle strain apparently

I have had high bp for 10+ yrs and got worried about the chest pain after moving some heavy equipment.

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Response to Flying Squirrel (Reply #6)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:53 AM

10. OK. Is your high blood pressure under control? If not, why not?

Many HTN meds are way cheap.

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Response to Flying Squirrel (Reply #6)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:43 AM

13. Sounds like Costochondritis.

I've had it off and on for about 3 years now. Its rib inflammation, can mimick heart attack pain sometimes and can be short lived or chronic.

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Response to phleshdef (Reply #13)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:48 PM

26. if it's "reproducible" it's usually muscle

or costochondritits. Meanng, if you push or rub an area and it brings on the pain or makes it worse, it's probably not your heart.

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Response to Flying Squirrel (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:37 PM

5. If you hadn't had the $108.00 would they let you just have a heart attack?

This is despicable. Staying alive should never be for profit.

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Response to Lint Head (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:52 AM

19. He would have gone to the emergency room

He's saying he had a choice, which I'm glad he did. It'll get better when Obamacare kicks in. And hopefully it will lead to real universal healthcare for all citizens.

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Response to Flying Squirrel (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:34 AM

8. So, reading your OP made me want to look up the current thinking on the public option...

...and I found this: http://blog.heritage.org/2012/11/15/the-public-option-alive-and-well-in-obamacare/

It says that "in 2014, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the small agency that runs the federal civil service, will administer at least two nationwide health plans to compete against private insurance. OPM will be responsible for negotiating the new health plans’ medical-loss ratio, profit margins, and premiums.

"The OPM-sponsored plans will automatically qualify to compete against private health plans in the new state exchanges and thus will not be subject to the same qualifications and standards outlined in Obamacare for private plans in the exchanges. OPM must contract with an already existing large insurer, because such a plan must be offered in 60 percent of states in year one.

"These government-sponsored plans will be the only plans that can compete nationwide under a separate set of government rules. Moreover, such plans would have a clear advantage over private plans in the exchanges."

It's clearly a scare tactic-style article designed to rally health care industry lobbyists. And the fact that it's from the Heritage Foundation even further exposes the writer's agenda. But, is it true? Will we really have an option to buy our insurance from better priced federally operated plans, no matter which state we live in?

If this is true and the threat to the big health insurance companies is high, will this option become a bargaining chip for Congressional 'pukes to strong-arm Democrats with? If so, we need to do everything we can to convince our Congressional Democrats to protect it.

I hope you're feeling better!

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Response to Flying Squirrel (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:50 AM

9. You did the right thing to have it checked out

I was in the same type of situation 2 years ago. It cost me a bit less, don't remember how much I had to pay, but I left the clinic in an ambulance to the hospital. It was Christmas day, and I was really hoping that it was a muscle strain, but unfortunately, I was having a heart attack. Obviously, I am fine now, but it turned out that it was a good thing that I went to the clinic and was checked out. I still have an unpaid 36k hospital bill, but they took care of me in the hospital, put a stent in my heart, and I spent a few days in the CCU. You never know with those kind of things.

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Response to Flying Squirrel (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:30 AM

11. Well I hope you are ok!

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Response to Flying Squirrel (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:41 AM

12. I'm relieved it was only a muscle strain......

You were smart to have it checked out.

IF your blood pressure is not being controlled via medications, you should immediately seek help. Uncontrolled high BP is damaging not only to your heart, but also your kidneys.

I speak as a retired RN, BTW.

Perhaps there is a low-cost clinic you could visit?


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Response to Flying Squirrel (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:53 AM

15. Go to a "community health center" in your area,

It's the best part of obamacare

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #15)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:44 AM

18. Community Health Centers pre-date "ObamaCare".

I was going to our Community Health Center while Bush-the-Lesser was president.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #18)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:40 PM

36. "expand community health centers and double the number of patients "

President Obama on Tuesday signed a historic health care reform bill. “We are not a nation that scales back its aspirations,” Obama said of the decades-long struggle to pass the measure. Millions of workers, families, seniors, small business owners stand to benefit from lower health care costs, improved coverage and strong consumer protections. The landmark legislation will extend coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans, and reduce federal budget deficits by $143 billion in the coming decade. A provision by Senator Bernie Sanders will dramatically expand community health centers and double the number of patients receiving primary care, dental care, mental health counseling and low-cost prescription drugs. Sanders joined other members of Congress at the bill-signing ceremony in the White House East Room.

http://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/news/?id=50d57889-6180-4592-a4be-94d3918b73ac

It's a good thing, law of the land and all.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #36)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:25 PM

38. Many are under the impression that the Affordable Care Act created Community Health Centers,

....an "impression" that was fostered BY the people marketing the Affordable Care Act.
It didn't.

Community Health Centers pre-date the Affordable Care Act by many years.
Increasing the funding to Community Care Centers IS a good thing,
but probably wouldn't have been included in the ACA without the efforts of Bernie Sanders and a handful of other members of the Progressive Caucus who worked together and basically shamed the Party Leadership into doing this after they discarded the Public Option.

I would like to think that ANY Democrat would increase funding to this program in and of itself,
because it is a good program, and is successful at delivering Health Care where it is needed.

The Community Center My Wife & I have been using since the Bush Administration (2006) in rural Arkansas
offers a sliding scale based only on last year's income (bring a copy of your tax return),
and a 30% discount for paying cash on delivery for both Medical and Dental services.
The increase in funding and expansion of this program is a GOOD thing,
and I fully support it.

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Response to Flying Squirrel (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:03 AM

16. Clinic or ER?

I worked over night unloading trucks and at the end of my shift on a Saturday AM I started having chest pains so I clocked out and drove over to my clinic. It was early, I was the first person there and I explained to them what was going on. I did have insurance so everything started going pretty fast. I was laid on a gurney, they drew blood, hooked me up to a EKG and 15 minutes later they called an ambulance to rush me to St Luke's on the South side of Milwaukee, about 50 miles away. Once there they wasted no time either, sending a probe from my groin up to my heart where they found a few problems that took some work to fix. I was stabilized, anesthetized and on Monday morning I had a Quad Bypass. If I had not had insurance I would have died because there was absolutely no time to go through any red tape.

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Response to ragulli (Reply #16)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:57 AM

20. What kind of clinic did you go to? The only clinics I've seen here in Dallas`

are those emergency stop clinics like PrimaCare. That kind of clinic? They are not low cost. They're just easy to get into. They take walk-ins. I've been there a couple of times for emergency type things. It was great. Quick to get in and out. But they were pretty pricey. (I have ins. The co-pay was $50, as opposed to $25 for a dr. I think I have to pay $150 for it now, under my current lousy ins.)

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Response to Flying Squirrel (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:45 AM

17. I'm glad you are OK. I'm uninsured too

and I worry all the time, I'm doing my best to hang on till 2014.

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Response to Raine (Reply #17)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:59 AM

21. Do you have any low income clinics in your city? I looked online to find some

here in Dallas. We have only a couple, and they are very far from me. I have ins., but I wanted to know where these clinics are, in case I lost my job and got in trouble financially. But it was good to see that at least we had a couple. I'm sure the people going there have to wait a looooong time to get seen.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #21)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:09 PM

32. I don't know about low income clinics. There are some Urgent Care places that are no appointment

necessary. I went to one when I had an ear infection had to pay (can't remember how much). I'll have look in the phone book and internet to see if there is a low income clinic. I imagine they would be farther away though because I live in an affluent area even though I'm not affluent myself (it's the house my parents had). THANKS for the suggestion.

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Response to Raine (Reply #32)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:13 PM

37. I found a site listing free or no ins. or low income health care places....

Click on your state.

http://www.needymeds.org/free_clinics.taf

Those urgent care places you're talking about are like any other care provider. They take regular ins., are pricey, they will take no ins. if you pay for the treatment at the time. They're great for, well, urgent care. I've been a couple of times when I couldn't drive far enough to a regular dr., or wait very long. I have a pretty good urgent care place near me where wait time is short. There's a high co-pay for them, in my ins., though. They don't want us to go there. I guess they don't have contracts with them, or their prices are higher than normal. My co-pay is like going to an E.R., I think.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #37)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 05:16 AM

40. THANKS SO MUCH, this will be a reall help! I really

appreciate it.

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Response to Raine (Reply #17)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:11 PM

28. Have you thought about an HSA?

My SO and I are in good health, and I pay $200 for me (age 52) and $179 for him (he's a smoker and 50).

We get almost nothing for this but we are protected from catastrophe, and from losing the house if there is a huge medical bill.

Also, the $5000 we have in the account rolls over each year, and we feel better about that than we do about paying insane amounts for insurance each month and getting very little for it.


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Response to Patiod (Reply #28)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:11 PM

33. THANKS I will look into that. nt

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Response to Flying Squirrel (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:14 AM

22. I've done the ER thing a few times (ambulance included) - it's fucking expensive.

 

I hope the pain doesn't imply anything serious. It's better to get checked out and ignore the collection agency calls than to ignore the pain and see what happens. Vibes.

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #22)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:00 PM

27. I'm very good at ignoring collection agency calls.

There hasn't been a day since my wife and I last had good insurance (back in the 'eighties) that we haven't had medical bills we can't pay. My wife now has insurance through her work, but it's not very good. There's a lot that doesn't get covered and too many claims get denied and have to be fought for. It's $500 here, $180 there, and it all adds up. I've been avoiding my own doctor this past year because I owe him money. I don't think he cares, but I do.



We're better off now then the time my wife and I were both forced to work as independent contractors and we ran out a COBRA from her previous job. That was when we discovered we were uninsurable. My wife had to go on a state run "last resort" insurance plan. We bought separate health insurance for our kids. I got by with no insurance and cut my meds back to mere survival mode.

Chronic medical problems suck. Accidents and chronic diseases can happen to anyone. The USA is not a first world nation because it lacks a national health care plan.

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Response to hunter (Reply #27)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 05:03 PM

31. Well said. Even "good" insurance sucks.

 

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Response to Flying Squirrel (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:23 AM

23. What exactly do you expect ObamaCare to do for you?

"There will be four different categories of plans available on the exchange: bronze, silver, gold and platinum (as well as a catastrophic plan available mostly to young adults). The benefits of the four plan types will be similar; all will cover a package of comprehensive “essential health benefits” yet to be determined by the secretary of Health and Human Services. What will vary is a family’s cost-sharing responsibility for each of the plan types. Someone in a bronze plan can expect it to cover 60 percent of average medical costs in the plan, for example, while someone in a silver plan can expect 70 percent of plan costs to be covered, and so on."

http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/08/why-would-i-sign-up-for-a-bronze-plan/


"For a bronze plan, the insurance would cover 60 percent of all health care costs for an average person. Enrollees, on average, would be responsible for paying 40 percent of the costs."

http://101.communitycatalyst.org/aca_provisions/coverage_tiers


If I am hospitalized for a heart attack,
it won't really matter if I have to pay 40% or 100%, the outcome is the same.
They will STILL take everything I own and have worked for my whole life.

In civilized countries, the term "Medical Bankruptcy" is virtually unknown.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #23)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:14 PM

29. I agree 100%

No one should go bankrupt from a medical emergency.

Health insurance shoudn't be an employer's responsibility

We need universal care NOW

Until then, I got an HSA so that everything over $5K/years is covered 100%. I do not want to lose my house to a hospitalization.

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Response to Patiod (Reply #29)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:37 PM

30. You are fortunate in that you have access to and can afford a HSA in addition to Health Insurance.

Millions can not, especially the unemployed over 50.
Mandated "Bronze" Insurance won't really help them either,
though many don't realize that in addition to the cost of their premiums and deductibles,
they will also be responsible for 40% of the actual Medical Costs.

My Wife & I (over 55, self-unemployed, no insurance, but own property and have some assets) are positioned to benefit from the Medicaid Expansion since the means testing portion is supposed to be dropped,
but the Medicaid Expansion is under attack.
The Supreme Court has Struck Down the original Mandatory State Participation, and changed it to Optional State Participation.
I have a creepy feeling Means Testing for eligibility will also be resurrected before 2014,
and returned to If you own anything you don't qualify.

I don't think that 2014 will go over well,
especially when those millions (40 - 70 Million projected uninsured by 2014) try to convert their "ObamaCare" "Bronze" Insurance into actual Health Care.

There are going to be a bunch of angry Americans, and ALL the Republicans have to do is say,
"Yep! We voted against it."

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #30)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:55 AM

39. I'm self-employed and >50

I pay $200/mo and husband pays $179. I don't expect to actually use it much, but got it to protect the house. Haven't run it by an accountant yet, but I couldn't sleep worrying about losing the house to a medical bankruptcy. Couldn't wait for 2014 - one hospitalization and we're toast.

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Response to Flying Squirrel (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:59 AM

25. Good Christ! And I'm an Atheist...

What if you had been having a heart attack and the "do you have $108.00?" had delayed your treatment? What the hell is this heathcare system coming too? If someone comes in with heart attack symptoms, they should be taken straight to the ER and seen by a qualified doctor immediately. They can sort of the $108.00 later. Oh this pisses me off! I hope you're okay and feeling better now. Take care.

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