While many countries around the world are looking at American healthcare with confusion (and horror), for most Americans, this is everyday business they have to go through. Shockingly, a December 2019 poll by Gallup showed that 25% of Americans say they or their family member have delayed medical treatment for a serious illness due to the costs of care. Another 2019 study from the American Cancer Society found that a whopping 56% of American adults have at least one medical financial hardship.
But the real scope of the problem with the American healthcare system becomes evident in the stories from people who had to experience it firsthand. Just like this anonymous person who recounted an incident at the mammogram office and shared it on Imgur. The post starts with a mammogram office calling in to tell the person bad news, and fortunately or not, it’s not health-related.
The bad news came with a financial burden of $775 since the diagnostic procedures weren’t covered by their insurance. The post stirred quite some comments on Imgur and amassed 4.8k upvotes. Read the full story below that reveals how flawed some American health insurance policies can be.
Image credits: Army Medicine (not the actual photo)
The author added some more information on their situation
Image credits: Rumpleteazer
Previously, Bored Panda spoke to Wendell Potter, a New York Times bestselling author and an advocate of health insurance reform, who shed some light on the sinister tactics health insurance companies use. Many Americans have become especially vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic. “Our system is on the verge of collapse, in large part because we have allowed private insurers to run that system. For one thing, the days in which they call the shots in this country are numbered.”
Unlike in most developed countries, America is nowhere close to having universal coverage, explained Potter. “Even 10 years after the Affordable Care Act was passed, we have approximately 30 million people who are uninsured—plus another 60 million who are underinsured. Many people in this country are reluctant to seek the care they need because of the expense.”
One cannot help but wonder how the insurers get away with all their machination. “One is because we have never had adequate oversight and regulation of the health insurance business in this country.” Everyone has taken a patchwork approach to regulation.
What’s more, “most people with private health insurance get their coverage through their employers, and because of a federal law enacted several years ago, those health plans are exempt from state regulation.” According to the former health insurance executive, many insurance companies will “deny care and maintain profits while making it look like they’re heroes.” Read our full article on insurance companies’ tactics during the Covid-19 outbreak.