Health insurance can make or break you. If my husband and I did not have health insurance, our recent health crisis would have ruined us. Neither of us have access to health insurance through our work, so we searched for a plan that was affordable, and we settled on a temporary health insurance plan. This proved to be a good decision on July 23rd, when a freak accident happened.
We were at the pool for our son’s 13th birthday party. My husband got on the diving board and jumped up to get some spring. When he came down on the board, he heard a loud pop. He landed in the water, barely made it to the side of the pool, and the lifeguards had to pull him out using a backboard. The paramedics arrived and whisked him off to the ER.
The diagnosis was that my husband had ruptured the patellar tendon from his kneecap. A week later he had surgery and was released after five nights in the hospital. We arrived home at noon and just a few hours later I had to call 911 because he was having trouble breathing. On this second trip to the ER we discovered he had one of those complications from surgery you think will never happen to you: he had a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lung).
He was rushed to ICU and spent a week there. Other blood clots were discovered; one in each leg, and one in each lung. All together, he spent 20 days in the hospital. We have no idea what the grand total will be for all of this medical care, but we know the maximum we have to pay is $5,000, thanks to our insurance policy.
He will be on the blood thinner Coumadin for at least six months, will have to endure painful physical therapy to get his knee functioning again, and who knows how long it will take for his lung strength to return to normal. These are difficult challenges, but at least we have peace of mind that we will not be ruined financially.
If we were uninsured, we would never be able to pay off the actual cost of this unfortunate series of events. No one would ever have thought that a simple day at the pool could turn out so disastrous. That’s the whole point of insurance: you are buying protection against unforeseen events. You hope it never happens to you, but can you afford the gamble to go without insurance?