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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 4, 2006
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    2,954

    Default Obamacare...or: Why I Went Three Weeks with an Unrepaired Broken Wrist

    With the election looming upon us, I'm sure my story won't change anyone's vote, but perhaps it will at least make you think.

    I'm a moderate in almost every way, and think both major parties have gone pretty far off track in their extreme views ("Hand outs for everyone, damn the cost!" vs "Legitimate rape, pay your own way in ALL THE WAYS!" etc). But as of october 6th, I essentially turned into a single issue voter. Here's why.

    I was laid off from my job managing a jumper/eventer barn in the first week of september. My former employers were kind enough to pay me for october as severance (extremely rare in the horse industry and much appreciated!). I immediately began pounding the pavement looking for a new job, did lots of petsitting, piled up cash as my favorite financial guru, Dave Ramsey, would say to do. Because I networked very well and am good at what I do, I was hired almost immediately part time at a dressage barn, just two or three weeks after I was given my notice.

    I am a single 24 year old. I have been financially independent and earned my own way entirely from the time I was 19 years old. I've had three sick days in my entire working life (approx 7 years). My parents do not have health insurance so I am ineligible to be on their plan. Any independently purchased plans didn't make sense or were totally out of my reach financially. So I am uninsured, though pretty much totally healthy.

    On october 3rd, my new boss said she wanted to hire me full time beginning in late october. Great! I'm fully employed, managed things well enough that I'll be fine through october. All is well...

    And then, on my way to work on October 6th, everything changed. I was on my way to work on my Vespa, when a woman in a jeep failed to yield to oncoming traffic, and made a left directly into my path at 45mph. She t-boned me in her right bumper, I landed on my back, saw stars. Luckily she stayed, and there were several witnesses. I had a nurse friend pick me up and take me to the hospital after the cops, ambulance, firetruck etc arrived. I was xrayed and diagnosed with a severely broken wrist that went right through the joint on my right (ie dominant hand), and was referred to a specialist - an orthopedic surgeon.

    The ortho saw me the following thursday and said I would need a CT scan, and then likely surgery - several pins, and a titanium plate. Great, I had medical payments on my insurance policy, and since she was at fault, her insurance would be paying for it regardless! Thought we were good to go.

    NOT SO FAST. The orthopedic surgeon wouldn't accept third party billing (ie my car insurance), and neither would my local hospital. They offered to do it for $3,800 in cash. Now, if I had that kind of cash laying around, I could probably buy health insurance, now wouldn't I?

    Now, you say, isn't there some sort of state or county funding you could get? Yes, but I was deemed ineligible, because there was an at fault party in a motor vehicle collision.

    But, you say, shouldn't her insurance be paying for it?! Well yes, but a) the accident report was not finished until almost two weeks post accident, so there was no way to assign fault, and b) They pay out in a lump sum settlement at the end of things, not as the medical bills are coming in.

    Last week, my aunt and uncle offered to lend me the money to get it taken care of, so I called the first surgeon to see if they could still do it, to which they responded "Dr X probably does not have time on his surgery schedule to do it, and because you are three weeks from the break, you may be beyond the point where we can fix you." I'm not sure if anyone has ever told you that you were unfixable, but I can assure you that you can go almost no lower. Did I mention I'd been in the same temporary splint for over two weeks? I had to get a nurse friend of mine to change it out in a back room during her night shift.

    So in the end I had to hire an attorney, go to a neighboring county in a bigger city to find a surgeon who would put me back together again, and borrow $3,000+ as a deposit and have the attorney file a lien on the remaining insane amount of money that this surgery cost. I have had to pay for my own prescriptions, and because I don't have a GP, I cannot get them refilled.

    Had my aunt and uncle not offered this to me, I might well still be sitting here with a severely displaced broken wrist, fusing together, deformed. In the meantime, I cannot do the job that I was hired to do, though I'm hoping to at least be able to clean stalls and feed with my left hand once I have a cast. In a supposedly civilized country like this one, this is absolutely f%^$king unacceptable. I cannot be the only person that this has ever happened to, and it happening to one is too many. Every week that this wasn't dealt with was a week I wasn't working, wasn't contributing taxes, wasn't spending money.

    Oh, now I think I hit my head when it happened (despite a very protective, expensive helmet) and I'm concerned that I'm going to run into the same issues, that I can't afford a neurologist or MRI to be sure.

    Like I said, I'm doubtful this will change anyone's vote, but maybe it will make you think. Just an ordinary taxpaying american citizen, trying to go to work, doing nothing wrong, and my life was forever changed. I don't believe this is how, I, as an american citizen ought to be treated in our healthcare system.


    52 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 18, 2010
    Location
    california
    Posts
    4,249

    Default

    I completely agree with you. I also had an accident when I was 24 and spent about 3 years paying off medical bills for out-patient surgery.

    We all need insurance and at reasonable costs. Romney will make sure "Obamacare " is repealed-I think on his first day in office.


    12 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 20, 2006
    Location
    wyoming
    Posts
    527

    Default

    Are you blaming Obamacare for this? Cuz this sort of thing has been happening for years now. Insurance seems expendable until you need it. Then, not so much. If you are young, then insurance shouldn't be too expensive. If you don't bother to buy it even though you are in a hazardous job and ride a hazardous vehicle, well, I guess you learn a lesson.

    Obamacare saved us somewhere north of $1200 this year on our insurance, so while I was and am doubtful about it long term - I sure am happy with it short term.

    I've made sure I was insured since I fell off my parents policy when I was 18 or so. Have only needed it a couple of times - and one of them was for a badly damaged hand and wrist. Sure glad I had it then for the surgery!

    I am sorry your lesson had to be so painful.

    Liz


    15 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2010
    Posts
    2,445

    Default

    Hugs to you, Dazed, and lots of healing vibes being sent your way! I agree, affordable healthcare is absolutely necessary in this country. I, too, do not have health insurance--last time I looked into purchasing it, I was quoted some absolutely astronomical prices because of my medical history (which is really not all that bad). They even told me my payments had to go up by 20% because at one time I bad been prescribed Ambien. Ridiculous!


    6 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    8,618

    Default

    Frizzle-keep asking other companies about coverage. A friend's daughter needed insurance so her mom bought an individual Blue Cross policy, and it was kind of pricey. A few years later when the daughter married, her mom told her that she and hubby needed to get their own health insurance, and to make sure it included maternity care. The daughter found a Kaiser policy for both of them, and with good coverage it costs less than the Blue Cross one did for one person. It all depends on where you live, and it is by state. Unfortunately, you can't buy across state lines.

    Many doctors don't take patients with accidents, or with Workmen's Comp either. The claims process can get very involved, and the doctors don't want to go to court or depositions to testify. I don't know if they always have to go to court or if the medical records work for documenting injuries.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 4, 2006
    Posts
    2,954

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by prairiewind2 View Post
    Are you blaming Obamacare for this? Cuz this sort of thing has been happening for years now. Insurance seems expendable until you need it. Then, not so much. If you are young, then insurance shouldn't be too expensive. If you don't bother to buy it even though you are in a hazardous job and ride a hazardous vehicle, well, I guess you learn a lesson.

    Obamacare saved us somewhere north of $1200 this year on our insurance, so while I was and am doubtful about it long term - I sure am happy with it short term.

    I've made sure I was insured since I fell off my parents policy when I was 18 or so. Have only needed it a couple of times - and one of them was for a badly damaged hand and wrist. Sure glad I had it then for the surgery!

    I am sorry your lesson had to be so painful.

    Liz
    No, I desperately WANT socialized medicine in this country.

    Why should this be a "lesson"? Why should I have to suffer? I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG.

    I already explained health insurance was out of my reach. It doesn't matter if you're young and healthy - it is still insanely expensive. I could find no plan under about $250 a month and even that was a huge deductible. I didn't ride a hazardous vehicle. I had it so I would be spending within my means and not be in debt/have a car payment. Aside from that, she still would have hit me if I'd been in a car or a bike or anything else because she was paying attention to a yard sale sign and not the road.

    Are you proposing I should have just taken some money off the money tree in my backyard and come up with an extra $250 a month?? REALLY?

    Seriously. I can't believe people.


    36 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 28, 2006
    Posts
    343

    Default

    Ummmm yeah.. I had to re-read your initial post two times, I wasn't sure why you hadn't yet been seen by an ortho and the wrist wasn't repaired within 2 days after your car accident..

    Then I realized, I'm Canadian. And I am quite happy paying in the 50% tax median so that my fellow citizens, regardless of their income, have full medical care..

    I'm sorry, Dazed, it really shouldn't come down to what country you live in, to have the ability to receive appropriate medical care.

    You are the next generation - get your butt out there and vote.

    eta: I just re-read for the 3rd time.. you sat there for 3 weeks with a displaced broken wrist? That is just so wrong, on so many levels.


    30 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May. 24, 2006
    Posts
    2,896

    Default

    And what praytell does this have to do with Obamacare..When I was uninsured 15 years ago and had a really big health problem, I ran into the exact same thing. I think you are making alot of assumptions that have nothing to do with Obamacare, its how this country has treated the uninsured for decades. Probably has alot more to do with the doctors personal policies.


    10 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 9, 2012
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    506

    Default

    I'm not clear at all on what the health care plan entails but I thought that it said everyone had to purchase health care insurance or be penalized, and not that everyone gets health care insurance like countries with socialized medicine. Does anyone know how its all spelled out?



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2001
    Location
    Almost Aiken
    Posts
    2,691

    Default

    I think she's saying the we NEED Obabmacare, and more. That she should go without medical care for a fracture because she couldn't pay is inexcuseable, but sadly not at all uncommon.


    17 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 30, 2005
    Location
    England
    Posts
    10,607

    Default

    That is totally crazy. Hope your wrist heals well.

    I'm never been so glad to live where I do.
    Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


    3 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2010
    Location
    Where humidity isn't just a word, it's a way of life.
    Posts
    751

    Default

    Where was your vehicle insurance in all of this? Is this a California thing?

    I ask because we have had accidents where the other party was at fault, but our vehicle insurance made it clear that we were covered regardless of fault.
    I been involved in 3 injury accidents (none my fault) and have never had to show proof of health insurance to be treated. I did have to show my vehicle insurance paperwork and fill out extra forms on the accident that caused the injury, but that was it.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec. 11, 2006
    Location
    Cheesehead in Loudoun Co, VA
    Posts
    2,486

    Default

    It's not just you who's been screwed with. My 30 y/o coworker was in San Diego for a work conference last year and broke his hip while running. Only he didn't know it was broken because the x-rays at the CA clinic showed nothing wrong. It took him a MONTH of arguing with both doctors and CIGNA about the serious pain he was in before someone finally ordered an MRI and saw the break. My coworker was ordered to stay off the leg and return for surgery the next day. To add insult to injury, he was told he needed $800 for the copay up front or the surgeon wouldn't look at him. The surgeon's policy is for the patient to pay and then be reimbursed by their provider. He's lucky he had that much available. Not many people do--and we have good insurance.
    I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right
    Violence doesn't end violence. It extends it. Break the cycle.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    10,447

    Default

    Nope, not gonna change my vote. If YOU don't want to pay for your health care, I'm certainly not going to do it.

    Unless we pay for socialized medicine by instituting a 10+% federal sales tax. ESPECIALLY on groceries and other things everyone has to buy so it hits the people getting the care the hardest. The non-payers of federal income tax need to start ponying up big time before I support any more of my money getting taken away for their benefit.

    I have to pay my own way with health care. Find a way to pay yours. I'm sick of being a cash cow because I'm single and plan and other people don't. If you want charity, see the Salvation Army.


    33 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    10,447

    Default

    Now THIS forum is doing that 'oops didn't post' double post thing? These upgrades have bugs....



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 28, 2006
    Posts
    343

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    Nope, not gonna change my vote. If YOU don't want to pay for your health care, I'm certainly not going to do it.

    Unless we pay for socialized medicine by instituting a 10+% federal sales tax. ESPECIALLY on groceries and other things everyone has to buy so it hits the people getting the care the hardest. The non-payers of federal income tax need to start ponying up big time before I support any more of my money getting taken away for their benefit.

    I have to pay my own way with health care. Find a way to pay yours. I'm sick of being a cash cow because I'm single and plan and other people don't. If you want charity, see the Salvation Army.
    Yikes... that certainly appears to be the "Sucks To Be You" philosophy.
    How caring.


    26 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    41,166

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    Now THIS forum is doing that 'oops didn't post' double post thing? These upgrades have bugs....
    Me too, have had three posts now double post on their own, had to go back and delete one.
    Never seen that before, without clicking twice somewhere by mistake.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2003
    Posts
    1,888

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Crackerdog View Post
    I'm not clear at all on what the health care plan entails but I thought that it said everyone had to purchase health care insurance or be penalized, and not that everyone gets health care insurance like countries with socialized medicine. Does anyone know how its all spelled out?

    In the OP's case, if her parents had insurance then she would still be eligible for coverage on their plan until she's 26. Since they don't, in a couple of years she will be eligible to buy insurance through an exchange, which if I'm understanding it correctly, is like a pool that allows people to buy in a huge group, which reduces the costs.

    If DMK is around, she can explain it much better, since she's well versed in all the ins and outs.
    According to the Mayan calendar, the world will not end this week. Please plan your life accordingly.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2010
    Posts
    2,445

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    JanM, I did get quotes from several companies and they were all extremely expensive. And, no, I have never had any bad accidents or workman's comp issues or anything like that. My one "accident" that caused injury was when I slipped on ice and broke my ankle, which required seven screws and a plate. So, really, not exactly major.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2008
    Posts
    4,081

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    This story is interesting because when I broke my anke and needed surgery, I had to wait from a Sat (day of break) to the next Tue for surgery. When asked if I had medical insurance I told them I had none, hence the wait for the next Tue, when the Drs did their pro bono orthopedic surgeries. I still had to pay for the room, anesthesiologist and other expenses. I called up the hospital and told them my situation, the knocked the bill down by at least 40% and I spent the next year or two paying it off. As long as I kept current, I could pay $5/month to each bill. There were 4 bills, or so. So tops, I paid $20/month. It was annoying to pay 4 bills, but I paid off the smallest first and worked my way up from there.


    12 members found this post helpful.

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