Student Insurance

So our fourth-grader comes home with a brochure about insurance. I recognize that we don’t live in the best part of town. I understand that a lot of the students in that school may not have insurance of any kind, and for that I can see the usefulness of such a program. What I don’t get is that the insurance is so bad.

Let’s look at my recent visit to the hospital. It started with the ambulance. The cost for that trip was roughly $600. For $43 a year, you can get a plan that will cover “usual and customary” charges, to a maximum of $200. Well, okay, you’re saving a bit – but come on. For $75.50, you can get a plan that covers you up to $400. A little more useful, perhaps, but not much. And that’s only the ambulance.

So there is an emergency room expense coverage, which is good. No mention of “usual and customary” on this plan, so that may be good or it may be bad. My cost is currently somewhere around $2500 (bills keep trickling in). Maybe I should run a dropcash fundraiser to help. Regardless, the basic plan (the lower cost plans) covers a maximum of $250 for emergency room visits. The high option, $500.

I’m all for making services available to those who won’t normally have the opportunity, but let’s get real. You approach someone without insurance, tell them they can get insurance for $X, they might look at it with interest. Then they actually get a bill and realize that the insurance they bought only covers a tenth of the cost? That’s just wrong.

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