Note From Kalen: This is simply a story in the healthcare world. No agenda is being pushed, and I would post articles supporting either political side of the healthcare debate. The more information the better. No bias here.
Hospital costs continue to soar. In fact, the parents of a three-year-old born with a rare medical condition would face over $200,000 in bills for one week of necessary hospital care if not for Medicaid coverage.
On her Twitter account, mother Alison Chandra recently posted a picture of the obscene hospital bill. Healthline shares her story.
“I’ll save you some math; without insurance we would owe $231,115 for 10 hours in the OR, 1 week in the CICU, and 1 week on the cardiac floor,” she wrote.
Her child was diagnosed with Heterotaxy Syndrome, leading to four open-heart surgeries before her son turned three years old. Thanks to Medicaid, the family only paid $500 to save their son’s life.
They are the lucky ones, as one of the leading causes of bankruptcy in America is medical expenses. When people suffer from a chronic condition, their financial situation can become exponentially worse. Missed work, accumulating bills, more missed work, and inevitably job loss. This results in the loss of both income and insurance at one time.
But medical bankruptcy isn’t the only sign of healthcare inflation. Today, a fractured arm could cost you up to $2,500 if you are uninsured. Compare this to urgent care, where four out of five facilities can treat you for fracture care for a fraction of that price.
The fact is, something is amiss in the healthcare world. The problem is more apparent when you see many individuals and families turning to crowdfunding sites for help paying for their treatments.
NerdWallet reported in 2015 that although 41% of crowdfunding campaigns were for medical reasons, only 11% were ever fully funded. Still, every little bit helps.
With over 10,000 people in America turning 65 every day, many with chronic medical conditions, it might be time to find a new way to bill for medical treatment.
It would be unfair to neglect to mention The Affordable Care Act, which has helped ensure almost 20 million individuals since 2010. The following six years also saw bankruptcy filings fall a shocking 50%. This, economists suggest, is likely a combination of improving economic factors, but it would be dismissive to say the ACA didn’t play its own part.
On the other hand, continued attempts to crowdfund medical expenses as massive hospital bills pile up reveals the healthcare system is still far from perfect. More work is yet to be done to ensure that no family falls on the other side of Alison Chandra’s story.