For many years we had individual coverage, purchased directly from an insurance company. The premium on such a plan is no doubt very high. Majority of Americans have health coverage through their employers called group insurance, the premiums are deducted from the pay check which may range from zero to as high as an individual plan. During the last decade barring a couple of years when I was a full time employee our coverage has been through an organization called the National Association of Self Employed professionals. We pay premium where coverage is mostly for catastrophic situations while getting group rates for treatment but the doctor's bill would be paid by us. The health insurance also gets us admission to a doctor's office who for the most part would not accept patients without insurance coverage. A non insured patient ends up in the emergency room, where they cannot be turned away for lack of coverage.
That said, I took the DDs for their yearly checkup and vaccinations appointment. The bills we received should have given me a heart attack. The amounts given in parenthesis is the discounted amount through the insurance.
DD2's bill came to $509 (don't know yet)
DDs bill came to $406 (256.91)
Sick visit for DD2 $111 (52.95)
We are still sorting through the doctor's office about the actual amount that needs to be paid. The doctor's office claims that they have not heard from insurance company. No way am I blaming the doctor's office for the mess but the frustration and the multiples phone calls have me in a bad mood.
How do we deal with our lack of complete coverage? We have a health saving account (HSA) through which we contribute a yearly maximum of $5000 which can used solely towards payment for health related expenses. We also have a CD in the bank for expenses related to health. In case of a huge health related expense we are prepared to make a trip to India where we have family members who are doctors to get treated.
But surely this is not a perfect solution. What about people who are unable to pay? Tough luck.
No health care reform will have the impact it should without adequate tort reform. Tort reform to release doctors from the strange hold the sue happy lawyers have on them. Patients for sure need a single payer system where health coverage is not tied to an employer. I read both are not politically possible. Congress is so indebted to industry and special interest money that meaningful reform is probably impossible.
The biggest question I have in mind is the coverage that so called conservatives have. They are so offended by the government entering the health care business through the public option - this is not a radical thought the government is already entrenched in the health care market through Medicare. But what about the health care mess they and their family are in?
What we can do and is under our control is to eat healthy and stay healthy. Cauliflower and Potatoes is a much beloved combination in our house. Cooked mostly in a dry form, sookhi aloo gobhi are a great combination with chapatis. I wanted to make a slight modification and give this combination a try.
Cauliflower and Potato Subzi
1. 4 Medium sized potatoes cubed 4 cups worth
2. 1 head of cauliflower, flowers separated to bite sized pieces 2 cups worth
3. 1/2 onion sliced 1/2 cup
4. 1/2 medium sized tomato chopped very fine 1/2 cup
5. 2 tsp turmeric powder
6. 1/2 tbsp ginger grated
7. pounded 5 - 6 garlic cloves
8. 1 tbsp sambhar powder
9. seasonings: mustard, cumin and curry leaves
10. 1 tsp oil, salt to taste
1. In a wide bottomed pan heat oil and add the seasonings followed by the onion and garlic and saute till onions start to soften
2. Add ginger and give a good mix, add the turmeric powder followed by the potatoes and saute for 3-4 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes, cauliflower and salt, mix well, sprinkle 1 tbsp of water, cover the lid and let cook for 10 minutes or till the potatoes are soft and well cooked.
4. Open the lid add the sambhar powder and let look for 5 more minutes or till the moisture is completed gone.
Serve with chapatis.