Posted by: martinworster | May 12, 0200

48. LAND OF THE FREE (BUT NOT HEALTHCARE)

Where’s socialised healthcare when you need it?

Thankfully we were covered by insurance for Tristan’s birth. If not the bill would have set us back 26 K in $ – a lot of Benjamins. It was money well spent. The healthcare was incredible in a new hospital that was very luxurious with marble floors and a ubiquitous Starbucks in the basement.

I was also very surprised to get a bill from the ambulance land on our door matt. We called the emergency services as it was all a major panic giving birth (please see previous story). At the time I didn’t know this wasn’t free like in England. When I first saw the bill which was for around $1100 I didn’t think our insurance covered it and I was pissed off. The bill was even itemised. $60 for the IV drip. $900 for labour (I never asked for five members of the emergency service to come to our gaff). They had even listed down ‘Use of blanket – $8’ – we had never kept this blanket, why were we getting charged for it? The mind boggles over here.

It was incredible. What happens if you are uninsured or can’t afford it? It does make me miss Europe and socialised health care. Everything is about money here and if you haven’t got it your fucked.

Actually the amusing codicil to this story is the only thing the insurance didn’t cover us for was Tristan’s circumcision. This was deemed ‘non-essential’ so we had to pay for it. Everything, including the anasethetic, came to $470. So I had to pay nearly five hundred bucks to get half my sons nob lopped off. It was a perverse irony, perhaps one that I will never be forgiven for.

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