The true cost of healthcare: Winchester man surprised by high bill
CLARK COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Healthcare Value Hub reports more than 50-percent of Kentuckians struggled to afford healthcare last year, and experts say prices are only going up.
One Winchester father has first-hand experience with a high hospital bill. Joshua Moore says a small pea created a large financial problem.
“For me, it was a matter of principle,” Moore said. “I was enraged. It makes me never want to go to the hospital again.”
A few weeks ago, Moore’s three-year-old son shoved that 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 out the door in 15-minutes.
The problem was solved, or at least he thought so, but then the bill arrived. It was more than 2,000-dollars and insurance would cover only half.
“To me, that’s a ridiculous amount of money for a 15-minute ER visit,” Moore said.
The ER visit alone was more than 1,600-dollars – something Moore said he wishes he’d known ahead of time because his son wasn’t in pain. Despite that, Moore said 500-dollars for the treatment is outrageous.
He said he pays more than 2,000-dollars a year for insurance through his employer, and now he questions what it’s really for.
“It’s really overwhelming,” Moore said. “I’m a fairly educated dude and even I get confused with the different health care plans and what different things mean.”
Cara Stewart, Kentucky Voices for Health’s director of policy advocacy, said the cost of healthcare has always increased disproportionately year-after-year, but she said the real issue is too many of those true costs are hidden.
“Commercial health insurance is too expensive and it doesn’t cover what anyone thinks it’s going to cover,” Stewart said. “What I think consumers should do is to advocate to not have their insurance tied to their employment.”
That way, Stewart said they have more control and knowledge. However, she said she knows it’s only one step in fixing a much larger problem.
“We have to overhaul a lot of it,” Stewart said.
As for Moore, he said he’ll think twice before going to the hospital now, which makes him nervous because his children are so young.
“I think that this is a shining example of what’s wrong.”