For obvious reasons (like, say, quadruple bypass heart surgery!) I am grateful that I have health insurance. Mine is through Kaiser. So far, the costs of the initial testing and subsequent surgery total $47,458.12.
My personal costs? $20 in co-pays for two office visits plus another $30 for additional medications.
I went back to work full-time yesterday, exactly four weeks and two days after the surgery.
Health insurance is on my mind because a colleague submitted her resignation in my absence, and I can't help but think she's making a terrible mistake. She's not happy with her supervisor, but the two of them have worked together for over 25 years. What would another couple of years matter?
More importantly, she's only 62. She can get social security, but she won't be eligible for Medicare for another three years. Unfortunately, even if she can afford COBRA (and I'm not sure she can) it will only cover the first 18 months after she leaves. That means she will be uninsured for another 18 months until Medicare kicks in.
Her response? "I'll just go to the emergency room. Besides, I'm healthy."
Umm--Hello? Didn't my experience teach you anything? I thought I was healthy, too. Instead, I've been a walking time bomb for years.
Who wants to risk a $47,000+ debt hanging over their retirement?
Not me, that's for sure. Now if I could just persuade my colleague.