@joanlouise If you don't have income and need to go to the doctor, you should look into getting government-sponsored medicaid. Sometimes your local community health clinic can help you with the paperwork and any questions you might have. There are a lot of people, like myself, who make enough money not to qualify for medicaid, but not enough to afford health insurance, which can cost around $300-$600 per month, plus the cost of maintaining pre-existing conditions. I may have $150 to go see a doctor, but not $700 to see a doctor and pay for health insurance on top of that. Hope this clarifies things, and good luck!
@Bonnie thanks! I'm glad you find it useful. (My grandfather was a marine biologist from the 1940s, he got in on the ground floor and got to name corals after all his grandkids!)
@mirror_father_mirror hey josie, fancy seeing you here!
@NoReally Great idea for a follow up, though unfortunately I don't see getting employer-provided insurance in my particular career horizon. Your point makes me really curious about how that would play out, and how it has played out for other people. Do you know people who have gotten surreptitiously fired for being too expensive? On the buying my own part, I've tried but since it's now a preexisting condition, I would have to buy insurance for about $400/month, and pay for my current doctor's visits and tests on top of that for a year, since they won't cover this condition. I may have rejected them before they had a chance to reject me. I'm hoping that if the health care reform sticks and the preexisting condition clause is taken off in 2014, I can maybe justify buying health insurance. Or just stick to catastrophic health insurance and continue to pay the rest out of pocket.
@MuffyStJohn I'm glad you liked the article! My family happened to know a very good doctor, but sitting in her waiting room, I didn't get the idea that she treated an elite group -- it seemed like a mix of middle class people, which is to say, I think it was standard care...