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Health Insurance


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Stories like this motivate us to keep helping people get and stay healthy - and even to think if we can somehow be part of the solution for this issue.

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I have been on SparkPeople for one month, and I'm doing great. I have lost nearly 20 pounds, and I exercise every day. Before last month, I NEVER exercised, and I needed my kids to help me get up off the couch. So I have NO complaints, and am as happy as I can be.

One thing that I wondered, though, was how many of you, like me, have no health insurance.

I am so happy that SP is here for me to get healthier. I know that, without insurance, which also means without seeing a doctor regularly, my health has been deteriorating for years. Only with SP have I seen light at the end of the tunnel.

20 pounds ago, I used a cane. I was afraid to go to a doctor, which I couldn't afford anyway, because I knew they'd stick me for hundreds of dollars so that they could tell me I had high cholesterol and I probably had a blood sugar level high enough to worry about. I was losing sensation in my toes on one side and could see many bad things beginning to happen in my life.

In general, without SP, even all that was NOT enough to get me going. I needed support. And without support, I knew I would fail at losing weight. I had failed so many times in the past, I had virtually given up on even trying. I had decided to get to love myself as a heavy person.

But without that insurance, it was even hard to love myself correctly. I couldn't take care of myself.

Anyway, the point of this sad tale is that, thanks to SP, now I feel 100% better and I intend to take complete control of my health.

However, when it comes to health insurance, my family and I are still out there in the wilderness.
We've had it in the past, but over the years, it got so high, we couldn't afford it.

We own our own restaurant, and our goal is to eventually get insurance. We know how important it is, because my husband had a hospital stay ($17,000) last year. But while we're paying back the hospital, we still have no money for insurance.

What a country.

Anyway, I'm inviting all you other insurance-free SPers to gripe, comment, and maybe help figure out who we need to talk to so that everyone in this country (even working people) can have insurance.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAPELE 7/28/2007 3:27PM

  We are self-employed too, which seems to be the group that has fallen through the cracks in health insurance. I am a liver transplant recipient, which puts me in the "high risk" category, making my health insurance rate soar: I am denied health insurance in my state, and must subscribe to the "high risk" insurance pool that the state provides. Cost for me alone is over $1200 per month. My immunosuppressive medication co-pay is $480 per month. I wonder about health insurance companies acting as the "middle man," thereby increasing the cost of health care to the consumer. Wouldn't it be better to eliminate the insurance company, and level the playing field for everyone, so more people could afford health insurance? Insurance companies give great rates to big companies. I'd love to have a health insurance rate of $400 per month with 100% prescription coverage, no co-pays, and no deductible like that of my friend who works for a large corporation. The last insurance I had cost $850 per month with a $3000 deductible per person, and a maximum prescription coverage of $2000 (which covered my prescription costs for one month). Ridiculous. The politicians seems to forget about the self-employed when it comes to health insurance. Frustrating. My health care costs are our biggest expense, and often take us to the breaking point.

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2A_HEALTHIER_ME 7/14/2007 11:10PM

    Hi...I,like alot of you out there, am also uninsured medically. As crazy as it is for me to say it...I'm a Registered Nurse. I left my staff position about three years ago (and my health insurance along with my departure). This I did in order stay at home more to care for our three children...(not really big on strange people watching my babies). Anyway, it was all right at first, because my husband who also had a city job, carried the family on HIS insurance plan...FINE! That was...Until hubby decided he could no longer continue to work there. I can't say that I blame him, because it truly seemed that his efforts and diligence there were ignored and unappreciated. I actually supported his decision to go. However, our insurance coverage with the city expired in May. We are now amongst the have nots. With young children, 3yrs,5yrs, and 12yrs, it is a very scary thought to possibly need to go see the doctor, or visit the ER, or Heaven forbid have to be admitted for something without the necessary coverage. Having a national health insurance program in place has never been more relavant to me...to us... than now.Not to sound like a public announcement or anything, but I certainly hope to find out more about such a program when Michael Moore's "Sicko" comes to NY theaters. I caught a few clips from the film on the internet and just the tidbit of information I saw, absolutely outraged me,but I think more importantly...has made me very curious. I mean...can you imagine going into an ER after an accident with an electric saw, without having any health insurance? knowing darn well you won't be able to dig yourself out of the hole they will put you in to perform the rather delicate surgical procedures to reattach your severed digits. So, unless you can afford let's say about $19,000,instead...you are forced to choose. You can either reattach the middle finger, which will cost you let's say....$15,000 or the ring finger which will run ya about $4,000. Hmmm...no insurance...well the married guy in the movie, nicknamed by Michael, the hopeless romantic, chose to save his ring finger. Contrary to this American tragedy, Michael also visited England where he walked into one of their ERs. He stood there with a film of an orthopedic patient. The man had broken up his leg pretty badly. Michael said to the doctor..."Oh this guys in trouble...that ought to run up a pretty big bill to get him straightened out, huh?" (of course, I am paraphrasing) But, the government-paid MD simply responded, rather nonchalantly..."Oh no...we have a national insurance program here. It won't cost him anything." Michael took a ride with one of these British MDs to interview him regarding his stance on the healthcare system. Certainly, working and studying hard to become a medical doctor is worth more than a mere lowly government salary. Michael was surprised to be riding along with the British MD in his top of the line AUDI, to his very expensive-looking home. Upon interviewing the doctor, he asked him"how is it that you receive a government salary, but seem to be doing so well for yourself. The seemingly quite content MD told him that in his country, the government also awards bonuses....hmmmm....For every hypertensive patient they have whose pressure they can knock down a certain number of points, for every diabetic patient whose sugar they can keep normalized, for every patient they can get to start a smoker's cessation program, etc....they are REWARDED! I swear to you...after watching that scene I knocked myself on the head in disbelief that we are still living so a_ _backwards here in America! Why haven't we figured out a system like this?? I mean, sheesh they've been doing it forEVER in other countries! It apparantly works! Preventive medicine is actually practiced somewhere on the face of the earth??Our country has now allowed the pharmaceutical companies to tie up our tv and radio airwaves with commercials for their drugs that can potentially make us more ill than we started. I mean, do I really wanna start poppin' pills that can potentially cause loss of appetite, weight loss, loss of libido, heart palpitations, migraines, seizures, and uhh, let's not forget...maybe even a little.... death...Gee Whiz! Are they serious?? ...Who am I kiddin'? Of course they are. You better believe that as long as the American people are kept sick, doctors will thrive, pharmaceutical companies will work on the next batch of poison, and the pockets of the government agencies overseeing these companies will grow fatter. Do THEY want a national health insurance program?...I suppose...they reeeally do NOT! I don't know about you...but I'm going to see that movie. I plan to get a lil' reunion goin with my friends from that job I left and we'll see it together. I encourage you all to see it too. I think we will learn how we can start this ball rollin'...That is, at least my hope! Talk to ya soon...................~Allison


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MOMOFLAUREN 6/21/2007 2:38PM

    I to run my own business from home and my family doesn't have health insurance luckily my daughter can get on health wave- Medicade through kansas but i don't think she will quilify for next year since i started my home business.. Its ashame that we americans work so hard but yet can't afford it because the price of living keeps rising.. my husband works for a moving company and i run a home business so we both make okay money but no enough to pay for health insurance :( My husband has 2 hernias in his stomach and can't get them taken care of because he doesn't want hospital bills pilling up.. So i to understand what its like not having insurance we are planning on having a second child next year hopefully we can get on insurance by then!!

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MELLYJC 5/30/2007 1:01AM

    I do have insurance, but I wouldn't call it "good" by any means, and I still wonder why I pay for it, when it's done nothing for me.

I have an individual plan through Blue Cross at the insistence of my mother. For $88/month I have a $5000 deductible. They charge me 25% more because I saw a chiropractor, which they never paid for. Chiropractic is preventive care and should LOWER rates, if anything! They've also raised their rates $8/month EVERY year. Imagine how much more money they're raking in, given all their clients! If my wages went up $8/month, I wouldn't mind, but that hasn't happened. If the cost of living hasn't gone up that much, how can they justify this?

The first time I actually tried to use the insurance- after paying into it for 2 years, it took them 48 hours to get their act together so I could get my prescription. I got a prescription for birth control, and it wasn't covered, even though it's a single-time expense; they only cover hormonal birth control, which I don't trust. How is this fair, that we don't get to choose how to take care of our bodies?

I'm sure I've spent more in medical premiums than I've gotten benefit out of the insurance. I really don't know why I bother, and I look forward to being able to get on my husband's insurance; it's no more expensive, and MUCH better coverage.

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AINTBEHVN 4/10/2007 5:52AM

    I also do not have health insurance. I did buy a pre-negotiated discount plan, but that runs $100.00 per month and really doesn't provide much in savings, yet I'm scared to not have anything. I still have 3 kids at home, and in the past I've paid a $16,000 hospital bill to fix a spiral fracture of the femur (as well as other kid accidents: one went through a window once, one was hit in the eye with a paintball once, and they all have their chin or scalp split sutures). I was always against socialized medicine, believing that we'd just be trading one evil for another-he who has the money gets the medical attention for he who knows the right person get the medical attention, but now I am thinking that we need to pressure our politicians to get rid of insurance companies altogether and establish a socialized system.

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VOIX.MAGIQUE 3/21/2007 6:46PM

    I wish i knew how to solve the 'health insurance' issue. I too, do not have health insurance. America is supposed to be such a great country, but so many millions of people do not have health insurance because it is unaffordable. Either private business owners, college graduates who work in temp jobs (me), struggliing performers (me) and probably a gazzillion other reasons.
It's ridiculous. Many other countries have made this heathcare possible, so why is it so difficult for the American government to make health insurance available for those who have trouble making ends meet? I'm not a lazy individual, i just have college loans to pay back!

All I can do is eat healthy and exercise, and hope that no major illness/injuries come my way. I have youth on my side. But many people do not.

This needs to be changed!


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MARYANN20071 3/12/2007 6:49PM

  I am also in the same position. We do not have health insurance for we also are self employed. I recently went to the doctor because I was not feeling well, my symptoms were slightly dizzy, headache, and sick to my stomach. They immediately ran an E.K.G. which they concluded showed I was having a heart attack. So the P.A. says I need to get to the hospital A.S.A.P. "I know you dom't have insurance , so can your husband take you? she says WHAT your thinking, us too. So we went in our own car, they ran a bunch of test for two days and quess what thats right I am as healthy as a horse(a bit over weight one that is lol) So now $40,000 later here we are. I wish there was a company small business could join as a group, there are more and more of us everyday.

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SHERI1049 2/20/2007 1:59PM

    Not having health insurance is frightening to me. My husband and I have our own business, too, with one employee. We have been fortunate enough to purchase our own insurance (and supplement our employee by paying 75%). Our youngest son graduated college last year and his employer will pick up insurance for him in another month (after 90 days) - so we're paying that bill also.

This is an important issue - especially for young families with children that have no coverage. The issue continues to be politicized by the media and the Washington fatcats! It makes me angry and frustrated because we'd like to do something about it - but like so many of the pressing issues, what can one person do?

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