The true cost of healthcare: Winchester man surprised by high bill
CLARK COUNTY, Kentucky (WTVQ) – The Healthcare Value Hub reports that more than 50 percent of Kentuck’s residents struggled to afford health care last year, and experts say prices are only going up.
A Winchester father has firsthand experience of a large hospital bill. Joshua Moore says a little pea created a huge financial problem.
“For me it was a matter of principle,” said Moore. “I was angry. That makes me never go to the hospital again. “
A few weeks ago, Moore’s three-year-old son shoved a pea up his nose at school. Moore said he took him to the emergency room at Clark County Regional Hospital, the pea was removed, and they were at the door in 15 minutes.
The problem was solved, at least he thought, but then came the bill. It was more than $ 2,000 and the insurance would only cover half that.
“To me, that’s a ridiculous amount for a 15-minute visit to the emergency room,” said Moore.
The emergency room visit alone cost more than $ 1,600 – something Moore said he wished he had known beforehand because his son was in no pain. Even so, Moore said $ 500 for the treatment was outrageous.
He says he pays over $ 2,000 a year for insurance through his employer, and now he’s wondering what’s the real point of that.
“It’s really overwhelming,” said Moore. “I’m a pretty educated guy, and even I’m confused about the different health plans and what different things mean.”
Cara Stewart, director of policy advocacy at Kentucky Voices for Health, said the cost of health care has increased disproportionately from year to year, but the real problem is that too many of those real costs are hidden.
“Commercial health insurance is too expensive and doesn’t cover what anyone thinks,” said Stewart. “I think consumers should work to ensure that their insurance is not tied to their employment.”
That way, Stewart said, they would have more control and knowledge. However, she said she knew this was just one step in fixing a much bigger problem.
“We have a lot of reworking to do,” said Stewart.
As for Moore, he said he would think twice before going to the hospital now, which makes him nervous because his kids are so young.
“I think this is a shining example of what is wrong.”