April 29, 2004

At These Prices, We Should Get Sick More Often

Last month, Shelby went to the emergency room, and this morning the bill came due. I'd been waiting for this bill for some time, wondering how much it would cost -- so I opened it with some apprehension, and ran my finger down the list of itemized charges to the bottom line to find we were being charged a total of ... 67 Euro!

67 Euro?!?? With all of our travails over the past couple of years, we've developed an acute awareness of what various medical procedures will cost us, and this is just a little more than the cost of our deductible for visiting an American emergency room. Maybe they're expecting further reimbursement from our insurance plan -- but the bill seems very complete, and makes no mention of insurance (nor have any German claims appeared in our insurance company's online claims database).

This is on top of the custom orthotics Shelby got last month, which cost us a total of 75 Euro. Our insurance company doesn't even cover orthotics (unless you meet certain tortured conditions), and after a quick Web search, it seems buying a pair of custom insoles in the States similar to what Shelby got here would cost us at least $150.

You can laugh at me later if (or when) the whole German system collapses under its own unsustainable weight, but right now this whole socialized-medicine thing doesn't strike me as so bad after all.

Posted by Kevin at April 29, 2004 10:22 AM