Saturday, September 1, 2007

Downfalls of being poor: Episode 1---No Health Insurance

Some of the downfalls of being "poor": DOWNFALL #1.

You can't afford health or dental insurance--- a few years ago I burned my foot by spilling a big pot of boiling water on it-ouch...and I went to the emergency room they cleaned it up gave me some ointment and told me to come back in two days to make sure that it was healing fine. I returned 2 days later and the doc looked at it and told it was healing nicely :)....Do you know how much this two day spa treatment cost me? $USD 1000.00 :S I had no health insurance and to pay it all out of pocket, while I was still in school and was making about $6.00 an hour. It took me a couple of months but eventually I paid it off. When I made assistant manager at the old retail job, I decided too get the company health insurance, even though I was making only a little more and really could not afford it, but I decided to bite the bullet and sacrifice that extra $130.00 a month but I soon found out that the deductible was much more than I could afford with what I was making so the insurance became an extra deduction out of my paycheck. Then the dental insurance was completely useless, it would not even cover my extraction of a wisdom tooth that had become abscessed, and I had to go to the emergency room because the left side of my face had become swollen. The emergency room doctor told me that I had better get the tooth extracted, because the abscess infection could spread to other parts of my body--pretty scary. Then he told me I should just stop spending my money on frivolous things and pay the money to have my tooth extracted lol I wanted to hit him for that comment. I didn't have the money to spend on things I needed, never mind frivolous things.

I frantically tried to think of an idea to come up with the money, and finally I realized I could take out $500.00 from the mere $750.00 I had in the 401K that I had at work. Just a year before the incident the company elected to open a 401K for me, because I had been there for over 5 years and reached the required age of at least 21. They deposited a little money for me, so I thought why not put a little money like 5% of my paycheck into the account every payday. Big decision for me; not making too much to begin with. But I am happy I did because I was able to take an early distribution on the money (paid a $50.00 fee for that when I did my taxes) and get my tooth extracted.

Emergency room visit for abscessed tooth: $USD 300.00
Antibiotics: $USD 80.00
Fee for early distribution from 401K: $USD 50.00
Cost of procedure: $USD 500.00
Feeling alot of the pain of my tooth being extracted, because 5 shots of numbing med. did not numb me until 5 minutes after procedure was over.....priceless.


Anonymous said...

Health Insurance is the biggest scam in the world, right next to life insurance, car insurance and social security! Have you seen Sicko by Micheal Moore? You can watch it online for free, let me know if you would like the link. :-)

Anonymous said...

There have places in big cities, usually dental schools or hospitals that use dental residents that do a lot of teeth work for real cheap. Like $50 to pull a tooth. I cannot believe you paid $500 to get your tooth yanked. Sorry to hear that.

Wasaski said...

Yes alot of people were surprised I paid so much, butI went to a specialist, and actually when I called around to some oral surgeons, their rate was about the same. Except I paid an extra 200.00 for a graph he put in my jaw to help stabilize it, which I think was just another way of making money lol because what went in was so small and microscopic, that I couldn't beleive I paid 200.00 for it. As far as going to dental schools, I am kind of skeptical and the one in my area it had a waiting list and they said they would have to look at it first, because they may have needed to refer me to an Oral Surgeon. I needed to have my tooth taken care of A.S.A.P.

Wasaski said...

Incidently, I had the option of a root canal, but of course that was even more money! So as much as I wanted to save the tooth, I had to go with what I could afford. So sa :(