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Old 09-29-2019, 03:14 AM
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Quote:
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.