Steve's company was recently purchased by a company in Florida, which means we will be on another health insurance plan beginning in January. And it sucks. We took a look at the details this weekend. Whereas our current plan gives us each a deductible of $500 (for a total of $1,500), next year's deductible will be $3,000. Whereas our current plan will pay for any expenses we incur over $2,000 (more on that later), the new plan caps us at $6,000. So, knowing we're going to be having a baby in 2008 (not to mention a number of CAT scans for me), we're going to have to come up with an extra $4,000 to set aside for medical expenses.
It sucks. It really does, and Steve and I are looking at each other wondering where we're going to find the money and what we'll have to cut out. Home projects. Travel, certainly. We won't be able to take as many trips as we usually do, especially with the new baby — not that we took very many this year, but I don't see, for example, a long jaunt down the California coast in the cards. Other stuff we might not think twice about ... I'm on Craig's List these days, looking for a good double stroller because I don't want to think about shelling out $500-plus for a brand-new one.
But as the medical bills for my cancer surgery come in, and the checks go out, I am just breathing a sigh of relief that we have insurance at all. The total cost for just my five nights in my hospital room, I discovered today, was more than $49,000. Yikes. And that's not for the surgery itself, the anesthesia, the MRI, etc., which amounted to thousands more, maybe tens of thousands. Yet because we've easily hit our $2,000 cap, we won't be getting that hospital bill. I don't know how people without health insurance would survive something like what I went through. Maybe many wouldn't.
So in the end, I feel like we're lucky (or blessed, or however we want to see it). Lucky that Steve has a job that provides health insurance. (I don't know why having a job has to be a prerequisite for what I believe is a basic human right, but that's a whole new rant.) Lucky that we can afford to pay up to the $2,000 cap. Lucky that we will probably be able to eke out the $6,000 cap next year, though God only knows how we're going to manage that. Lucky that we have a rainy day fund. Lucky (or smart) that we don't have an unmanageable mortgage that squeezes us or tempts us to take out a home equity loan to afford major expenses. We're not rich, but when we stand back and think about it, we're actually doing pretty well.