This might sound like a crazy idea for a post but believe me its not! Also sorry for grabbing your attention with that awful picture up there. But, If you live in Florida and have individual health insurance, then you will know what I am talking about when you read this article. Even if you are on a group insurance plan through your employer you probably by now have some idea of this subject as they are continually cutting benefits while raising prices. If I told you how much my health insurance policy was for my age group 5 years ago you wouldn’t believe it. It has gone up 100% and my benefits have been decreased! Don’t get me started…
So, here it goes: When To Go To The Emergency Room and When to Wait it out until Monday Morning.
Florida Health Insurance Primer For Emergency Room, Urgent Care and Clinical Care
One of the reasons why health insurance is so expensive is because of the tendency of people to go to the emergency room for colds, etc. In fact, I once had a roommate in college go there because she was constipated. The bill for that was astoundingly almost $2000. This is the part of health reform that will never be fixed until ordinary Americans take responsibility for their own care and stop living in a bubble. This is why we’ve included the chart below, so that our clients who must realize that when they have a Florida individual medical plan one of the major excluded items is an emergency room copay. What this means is that there is no copay when you go to the ER. Instead, it goes towards your annual deductible.
This happened to me last year, when I tore my chest in a brutal canine attack. No, I’m kidding, it was a more embarrassing fitness accident – but don’t tell. I received a bill that I had to pay totaling nearly $1500 for an X-ray. Also, because I relied on the ER doctors instead of seeing a specialist, my chest is now permanently damaged. It is imperative that you have the necessary testing done in a testing facility that will give you the proper attention. It is also true that this same accident would have had the same result in a single payer health care system because of the fact that there is a six month wait for MRI’s. This is why the first part of health reform has to occur with some help from us the consumer. We as health insurance brokers are just as culpable as our clients.
Be Smart and Use the Chart! Emergency Rooms, Go to the ER for:
- Heavy bleeding
- Large open wounds
- Chest pain
- Sudden weakness or trouble talking
- Major burns
- Spinal injuries
- Severe head injury
- Difficulty breathing
Don’t be a hero though! Go to the ER even if your symptoms don’t match our list, as if you’ve seen the TV show House, you will know that there is a remote possibility that you might have a vicious bout of “flesh eating bacteria” or something of that ilk.
These places are fantastic during the hours when your doctor’s office is closed or you can’t get an appointment in a reasonable amount of time. Most plans have co pays for urgent care centers and they will usually give you great attention for normal wear and tear situations.
An urgent care center can help with:
- Minor broken bones
- Mild asthma attacks
- Minor infections
- Small cuts
- Sore throats
- Clinical Care
Now there is the nurse clinician at most CVS drugstores at their Minute Clinics. These places are fantastic for colds and such things as long as you don’t abuse the antibiotics they often prescribe and cause a new super flu. : ) And whoever caused that swine flu epidemic, I have my eye on you!