I’m not going to sugarcoat it for you: Pregnancy — even at its best — is difficult. However, pregnancy with a high-deductible health plan is even more difficult. Want to get educated about the true cost of high-quality health care in a hurry? Enroll in an HDHP and then have a baby.
Over the last eight months, I’ve been to more than a dozen doctor’s visits and had dozens more prenatal tests to ensure the health and proper development of the baby and me. Obviously, my husband and I haven’t hesitated to do this and are grateful to live in a country and a metro region where access to high-quality care is abundant.
But holy moly, is it ever expensive. By the time our third child arrives this summer, we’ll have more than met the family deductible under our HDHP. Thankfully, I often think when each bill comes, pregnancy is not a chronic condition.
However, other Americans don’t get such a reprieve. The chronically ill must navigate our nation’s increasingly costly and confusing health care system 365 days a year. And even for those who aren’t covered by HDHPs, they find the experience extremely tough.
According to a recently released poll conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, three-quarters of people with a serious medical condition say cost is a very serious problem, and half said quality is a very serious problem. In addition, nearly half of those with a recent serious illness say they felt burdened by what they had to pay out of their own pocket for care, according to an article on the NPR website.
The chronically ill also were more likely to report that their care was poorly managed, and that they received the wrong diagnosis or treatment.
To more deeply investigate the poll’s results, NPR is launching a series called “Sick in America.” The outlet hasn’t yet released an air date for the series, but I’m looking forward to tuning in.
Meantime, read more about the “Sick in America” poll here and share your thoughts in the comments about how the findings confirm, change or enhance your view of the American health care system.
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