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Old 09-29-2019, 03:14 AM
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wolfpup is offline
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 11,252
Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
How much did the CT scan cost me out of pocket? Zero. How much did parking in the hospital overnight cost me? Zero: because I was an overnight-emergency patient I was given a parking voucher.
Excellent post, Banquet Bear, and I suggest that everyone read it in its entirety because stories like that happen all over the world every day, where health care is a service available to all as a matter of principle, delivered at little or no cost to the individual. I'm just amused about the parking voucher -- here in Canada hospitals are a lot more mercenary, perhaps because of the geographical proximity to the mercenary US health care system; not being allowed to extort patients for health care services, hospitals extort them for parking! An overnight stay in ER would have cost me anywhere from $15 to $25 for parking, though of course zero for actual health care.

I had an experience similar to yours a couple of years ago, which I won't repeat in detail because I think I've talked about it before. I drove myself to the ER as a precaution because I'd been having chest pains for several days. I left some wine and cheese on the counter figuring I'd be back in a couple of hours at most. It was five days before I was back because it turned out I was having a heart attack! The two basic messages I want to leave here about that are these:
  • Various procedures were considered including the recommendation of bypass surgery -- the classic open-heart surgery -- or stenting (PCI) instead. The important thing here is that medical considerations and my own preferences were the only criteria -- costs were irrelevant, nor was any consideration of what would be "covered", because there was no insurance company involved, only a universal health care system.
  • The entire experience did not cost me one dime. Nothing. Literally zero.*

* Just don't ask about the parking cost! I should have taken an ambulance, for which the maximum out of pocket cost is $40.