Is there anything more convoluted (but necessary) than medical insurance? It can be an administrative nightmare dealing with approvals, costs, and more forms than you ever imagined. But that coverage can make it so that your life — or that of someone you love — can be saved without (hopefully) bankrupting your family. Indeed, medical costs remain the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States.
“Our American healthcare system can perform miracles, but it is overly complicated and overly expensive,” writes Ted Yang in Table For Five, A Father’s Story of Life, Love and Loss, a memoir about the birth of his premature triplets and the fight for their survival.
Luckily for Yang, he had an exceptional medical insurance policy, through an employer, which covered the almost $10 million total cost that saved two of his preemie triplets. Most people, however, aren’t so lucky. Many don’t even realize they have gaps in coverage until a medical emergency hits.
For years Yang and his wife had to basically run a home ICU to take care of their preemie daughter Sofia. And that involved lots of interaction with their insurance company.
“The first time we needed any piece of [medical] equipment,” writes Yang in Table For Five, “it was a logistical nightmare…Honestly the system is so broken that you would think it had to have been designed by some demon.”
We asked in “How Much Will Your Insurance Cover In A Medical Emergency” if you’ve ever had to fight your insurance company over coverage or bills, and over two-thirds (484 respondents) of the total 685 who participated in the polls said “yes” they had.
It is not uncommon for consumers to question their insurance companies over cost and over approved care. The one thing that is clear, is that while it may be cumbersome and difficult to pull together the necessary paperwork, it’s worth challenging your insurance company since almost half of all appeals are won, according to several online sources.
Unfortunately, as things currently stand, the safest plan is to get the best insurance policy you can afford and then hope you won't need it.
You can learn more about Yang’s story in Table for Five, A Father's Story of Life, Love and Loss, which details the fight for his premature triplets and how it changed him.