Originally Posted by Defcon
I don't have a job these days, the season is starting and me and my friends are planning a trip. With the impossibly high cost of medical care in the US, I'm wondering if its wise to do so, or should I wait to get a job or buy my own insurance first?
I'm not an advanced or extreme skier and have not been injured before, but I am adventurous and like to push myself so I don't always play it safe.
Don't worry about it. You have health insurance, whether you know it or not.
Teaching hospitals are dirt cheap. You will only have to pay what you can afford. There are a bunch of them up in the Bay Area.
I am in SoCal, and we have a number of them here. USC Medical Center is a high volume teaching hospital which has some great docs.....world renowned actually. And the docs get plenty of practice on accident victims and gun shot victims, so it's not like they don't know what they are doing. I recommend it all the time for people who don't have insurance, or who have high deductibles. And I have no qualms about referring patients there.
A recent patient there had ACl reconst. surgery and it cost her $125 -- total!
A lot of low income people and illegals get their healthcare here, so you might have to wait a while if you're not bleeding to death, or coughing up a lung, so just bring a book.
LA Co. also has a program for low income individuals (I think it's for those who make under 24K/yr, but don't quote me on that). It offers healthcare to individuals who qualify, and the insurance is issued through 3 large ins. cos. Actually, the insurance offered is better than the insurance I have for myself! Most people don't realize this. Just anted to fill everyone in.
SF has similar programs and teaching hospitals.
When people talk about how horrible our healthcare system is in this country, don't believe it. There are always options. I'm sure I'm going to be getting a bunch of Sh*t about this, but it's the truth. You might not get to chose the hospital or doctor you want, but you'll still get treated.
You can also get fairly inexpensive insurance with a high medical deductible ($1500-$5000), but with an emergency room deductible of only $500. So if you don't get sick very often and run to the doctor regularly, it's a pretty good deal as insurance against accidents.
But here's something interesting? And bear with me....I'm not trying to rag on you. How can you afford the lift tickets and lodging of your ski trip if you can't afford a monthly premium for health insurance? You probably haven't had to think about it, probably, thank goodness, because you are healthy. The only reason I bring this up is because I have a brother who complains that he can't afford health insurance, but he plays golf weekly at a course the costs $175/round. Go figure
At any rate, you really have "health insurance". Just seek a teaching hospital in your area.