Many people do not consider getting health insurance. For some people, just living day to day and getting the bills paid, and supporting their family can seem stressful enough. For other people, getting health insurance in California might seem like one of those extras that they do not really need, until the moment they do. A health or medical emergency can occur at any time, and can severely affect a family’s finances, not to mention the emotional and physical well-being of everyone that will be affected.
For fifteen years, John had been working in the IT department for a company in San Diego. While he enjoyed his job his company did not provide John or his family with a health insurance plan. While he knew getting health insurance in California was important for himself, his wife, and his four children, he never got insurance. John was healthy, loved eating lots of vegetables, and fresh fruits and he also loved to exercise, especially if it involved running down by the beach. For anyone looking at John’s life from the outside, he seemed to be the picture perfect image of a healthy Californian.
Despite John’s healthy habits, sometimes an illness, accident or other health related incident can happen to the best of us. One day at work, John began to feel an uncomfortable pressure in his chest, but mistakenly thought it was just a little heart burn from his morning coffee and work stress. Unknowingly, John was not suffering from heartburn, but he was suffering from an acute heart attack. For a moment things looked harrowing. John was rushed to the emergency room and had to have emergency angioplasty surgery and several medical professionals eventually saved John’s life one December afternoon. While John had a long way to go physically, his family would soon learn the difficulties of a hospital visit without health insurance in California.
John was very lucky that someone from his office happened to have first aid training and was able to properly use the defibrillator that was on site. This probably helped save John’s life, but even with that, John’s heart attack cost his family financially. Without health insurance in California, John’s emergency room visit, his surgery, and the nitroglycerin he was prescribed cost John and his family almost fifty thousand dollars in medical expenses.
John and his family were lucky on one account, but the expense of John’s heart attack put much unneeded financial, as well as mental and emotional stress on John and his family. Before John never realized how much a medical emergency would cost his family without health insurance in California. But now, he makes sure to let everyone know to get health insurance and get covered because medical and health emergencies can happen to anyone.
This article was written by Lesley Luzuriaga on behalf of Covered California, The mission of the California Health Benefit Exchange is to increase the number of insured Californians, improve health care quality, lower costs, and reduce health disparities through an innovative, competitive marketplace that empowers consumers to choose the health plan and providers that give them the best value. To know more about the health insurance statistics in U.S., visit about.com