I live in Texas. I have what is called county health care HCHD- as the job I had was not providing me benefits - someone enrolled in HCHD pays a sliding scale based on their income - I also had it two years ago when I had cancer surgery. I had some income so I payed a modest amount at that time.
I have been out of a job since the first of the year when I went into the hospital for two weeks with pneumonia. Had multiple CAT scans, Two MRI's, and Three EUS's ( all major testing/ diagnostic proceedures ) With no job I paid nothing. Since then I have fallen, resulting in compression fractures of my lower spine ( more MRIs ), been diagonosed with DVTs (Ultrasound and more CAT scanns) and been hospitalized for a week in May. and just last week admitted again for another week when I had internal bleeding ( at least it wasn't the heart attack they thought it was )
For all of this including the twice that I ended up in the hospital by going througth the emergency room I have not paid a penny.
My medications are $5 to fill and refiLl, including a three week stint on Lovramax - an injectable medication that if prescribed without me being HCHD would be $599 per one weeks worth of medication - ( and that $599 is checking at the biggest pharmacy discounter in the city )
My twice a week clinic appointments cost me nothing as well.
However there is a down side of this- you don't pay in money, you pay in time.
The time I went to the ER with pneumonia, they took me into the treatment area immediately- my vitals were rocky - and they began treatment right away but it was over fifteen hours before they found a bed for me.
I was lucky last week I had to be in the treatment area only ten hours.
When I went in for the compression fractures ( Feb 2nd ), I sat in the waiting room from nine in the moring till after midnight before even being taken into the treatment area - and when I finally saw a doctor he saw me for all of maybe ten minutes and determined that I'd "just injured my back muscles" - it was the middle of March before they made the proper diagnosis and got me on pain medication.
It is the weekly clinics where you pay the worst- my doctor may spend twenty minutes with me but I have in general waited 3 hours to see him, and to get my appointment for next week and any perscriptions filled, I wll wait an average of two more hours. One visit takes up half a day. And thats for what I call the "fast" clinic.
A first appointment with a your assigned main physician may take four to six months to set up. I haven't been able to get into the eye clinic even with a referal becasue they are booked up past the six month limit.
To do a non ER walk -in each general medicine clinic is limited it to the first 10 walk ins. The time I had to do a walk in at my local clinic I got there at 5 am to wait in line for a 7 am door opening - I made it as #9 of the first ten. The doctor saw me at 1 pm ish and getting my meds took me until ten minutes before they closed at 7 pm
The lines are long, the health care staff small and over worked- but going at it valiantly- they have all been professional, kind, friendly and thoughtful.
So we pay in time.
However I'd give anything to have my private health insurance back.
Edited by Shalamar, 07 September 2006 - 11:33 AM.