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Growing number of people uninsured

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State health experts say 57,000 in the Wilmington area are living without health insurance. At a health summit at UNC-Wilmington today, state and local health professionals discussed the growing number of people who are uninsured and underinsured. The summit was a way for health care workers to find solutions and strategies for dealing with the problem. Mark Holmes, Vice President of the NC Institute of Medicine said, “In the interim we should be looking at making sure our safety net system, making sure all of our free clinics and the community health centers are strong and have the necessary finances they need to have these cares so no one will go with out it.”

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People Uninsured

Let's see; perhaps the uninsured were all supporters of Hilary Clinton who promised public health care for all. Read the article and the references to free clinics and health care. Who pays those costs? The taxpayer and the health insurance industry. If quality health care cost $1 per month, there would still be some who would demand free health care as their right. One must wonder how those numbers would be impacted if INS officers walked in, unannounced, to those free clinics. Might those same numbers be further reduced if probation officers walked into those clinics with open warrants?

3,000/yr

is not that much for health care. local and state gov employees pay that much for the family plan.

"experts say..."

"State health experts say 57,000 in the Wilmington area are living without health insurance." >Who are these "experts" and how would they know? Was this a random sampling of a few hundred individuals? Come on WWAY...dig a little deeper before broadcasting a story.

Five out of six Americans HAVE health insurance

Are we really ready to play around and experiment, possibly jeopardizing the quality of care for the vast majority? Individually funded health insurance is very expensive. It's almost impossible to afford.....until you dump the cell-phone bill, the cable bill, start wearing last year's jacket, buy a used car instead of the newest Megabucks import, and quit spending five dollars a day on cigarettes. Buy a loaf of bread and some cold cuts, make your lunch for the entire week, and stop giving some fast-food joint seven dollars a day. In other words, live within your budget and get your priorities straight. If you don't have health insurance but are watching 200 channels on that 48 inch HDTV, the problem is in your brain, not the medical or insurance systems.

I'll agree with you...

however, most individuals who purchase insurance either on the group side or individually, purchase far more insurance than they need. By "far more" I'm talking about co-pays and low deductibles. If an individual compares the premiums for a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) versus one with a lower deductible and co-pays, there can be a premium difference of almost 50% in many cases, with the HDHP being the lower of the two. When you purchase a lower deductible plan with co-pays, you are often times paying for coverage you don't need. My suggestion is to compare a traditional health insurance plan with co-pays (doctor/Rx) with a HDHP. You'll be surprised at the difference in monthly premiums. The sooner an individual wants the insurance company to start paying, the higher the premiums will be. The more cost the individual is willing to shoulder, such as doctor visits and Rx, the less the premium will be. Consider a HDHP and a HSA. I personally have a HDHP with a HSA. My deductible is $2500, and I put $125/month into my HSA, which is a pre-tax contribution. I use my HSA to pay for doctor visits and Rx. All money in my HSA that isn't used during a calendar year rolls into the next year. Many folks confuse a HSA with a FSA (flexible spending account). They work in similar ways but with different results. A HDHP with HSA is available for those purchasing their own insurance. For those interested in purchasing individual converage, I recommend they meet with a knowledgeable agent who will take the time necessary to explain the difference between the two plans...one's with co-pays and HDHP's.

Very good observations, SD

Too many people don't take advantage of their youth, good health, or odds when it comes to health insurance. Unless someone has a chronic medical condition, opting for a high annual deductible makes perfect sense. You are covered in the event of a serious illness or accident, but pay for the routine visits and medication out of pocket. Funding an HSA makes it even better, as you're paying with pre-tax dollars. In fact, the way you are managing your personal insurance clearly illuminates what is WRONG with health insurance in this country today. As a general rulle, most policies should be structured the way you are managing yours. Where did we ever get this crazy notion that every single office visit, vaccination, and prescription should be covered by insurance? Our auto insurance doesn't cover tune-ups and new tires; why should our health insurance cover "routine maintenance?" The insurance should be there for the big ticket items you don't expect. The individual should pay for sniffles and stitches. We also need the federal and state governments to butt out. When laws mandate that every policy include mental health coverage, it raises the cost for everyone, but few people reap the benefits. The same goes for state laws mandating everything from pre-natal and obstetric care to sex reassignment surgery. Those should all be available options, but government pandering to select groups drives the costs up across the board.

You must have done great in

You must have done great in school settling for five out of six. Open your eyes and your mind. Get out of your own little world. What if one out of every six people had AIDS or Cancer or was homeless... no problem right? Not everyone without health insurance is eating at Hardees and watching their 48" TV... but you go on thinking that and continue to be a real American hero. You're worse than the people you were trying to describe, in terms of having a problem in the brain. "If the system works for me, it should be ok for everyone else" is so typical of our society today. Sad.

I'll tell you what's truly sad

People being such saps that they think there's absolutely nothing wrong with people having disposable income, but not being expected to use it to pay for necessities like health insurance. The system is not only working for me, it's working for the vast majority of the American public, and people who have lived their lives responsibly should not be expected to subsidize those who just can't get their act together, or watch their healthcare system broken to cover the "also rans."

Oh no

But the DIMocrats promised me health care and said they would look after me by making the evil rich pay for my lazy butt. I'm not gonna give up my Oprah and 'boro lights. I can hear the whining already from the "poor." Make better life choices, don't have children you can't afford to feed and clothe and don't expect me to do it for you! I love getting in line behind somebody with their EBT card to pay for their food and then whip out the wad of cash to pay for the beer and smokes. Makes me want to go and work another 40 for them.

Health Insurance

My son, his wife and baby have health insurance only because he had to go to a private company and buy his own policy at almost 3K a year. He works full time and goes to college full time. His employer is a medium sized company and the insurance they offer him is more expensive and has worse benefits that what he has to buy privately. Their private policy does not cover pregnancy or birth control of any kind so they have to pay for that on top of the 3K. It is very expensive to cover your family. A little help would be nice, like making it possible for companies to give employees better rates than they can get privately. They do not make much money with both working full time. Most people in his situation go without or use the medicaid system. They are healthy and in their 20's.

Das...I'm curious

as to the health insurance your son's company offers. In order for it to be a true group plan, his employer MUST pay at least 50% of the premium. That said, it doesn't appear to be a group plan or else it would be LESS expensive than an individually-purchased plan and most likely offer a range of benefits greater than the individual plan. For what it's worth, $250/month for health insurance is not that expensive. I don't have any idea what they have, but had they looked at a high-deductible plan (HDHP) with a HSA, they may very well find their premium significantly lower than what they're currently paying. However, the HDHP doesn't come with co-pays...that's what the HSA is for. You fund it with tax-deductible dollars and use the HSA for doctor visits and Rx.

surfer

It was some sort of payroll deduction that was put into an account that could only be used for medical things. It had a card similar to an ATM card. I assume the employer added money to it as well. It had a deductible that was 1500.00 I think, which to me is high. That is all I know. Sounds strange to me. He also has dental and vision with the private insurance.

I agree

I agree there are many who ABUSE the system. But what is my 'lazy butt' supposed to do while I already work a full time job, go to school full time to try and change my financial situation? My husband also works full time. And the children I have are not out of the normal range as far as numbers are concerned. You are as ignorant as everyone else regarding most people! While I am not for universal healthcare, I am opposed to the generalization that anyone who doesn't have healthcare because they are wasting their money on other frivolous items such as beer and cigarettes. My kids don't have the latest in ANYTHING not only because I want to teach them they can't have EVERYTHING but also because I can't afford it. They have what they NEED! But you continue to live in your own little world of ignorance and ASS-U-ME that we are all the same!

Well..

You can afford internet...which runs 20-50 bucks a month and my guess is you have RoadRunner....I agree that insurance costs have risen to a point of almost not being affordable...get rid of ALL the illegals that are getting FREE care in our hospitals and clinic and that would be a HUGE start. This whole socialism idea from the Dems is really starting to irritate me!

internet

I have internet because I am in school full time, work full time and am a full time mom. Between all 3 of those things I don't have time or childcare to go to campus every time I need to use a computer! And yes I am married and my husband watches the kids on a regular basis but sometimes I need to be at home. not to mention the school has limited hours on the weekend for computer use. I agree with you though that the whole socialism idea is irritating. I don't want universal health care. While it would be easier and cheaper it wouldn't be beneficial because there wouldn't be a checks and balance system. While health care would be less expensive the quality would be horrible. I would rather pay out of pocket and get better health care than have universal health care and get substandard care.

Noooo, Guesty. That never happens.

Don't you read the posts from the sob-sister brigade? All these people that need us to carry their load don't have a spare dime to their name. When you see them buying cigarettes and beer with cash, it's because a rich neighbor asked them to pick those things up at the store and gave them the cash... ....and you and I are simply dinosaurs for thinking that people should be responsible for managing their own lives, and not existing as de facto wards of the state with all the benefits but none of the responsibilities.

6 of 6 have a right to care

Everyone has a right to emergency medical care. They cannot refuse you at the door for any reason. They must provide life saving medical care. The rest need to get up off their butt and work harder to provide for their own.

You have no common sense!

I dont drive the latest model available. I still wear a coat I bought over 10 years ago. My cell phone is my only phone (no bellsouth for me). I don't smoke and I already eat sandwiches on a regular basis versus eating out or buying expensive cuts of meat. I don't own an HDtV, just the simple old 27" Magnavox that I've had for years. And the only reason I have the cable I have is because I am in school full time and need the fast internet connection. So please tell me where else I am supposed to cut corners to 'afford' the private insurance?? My children are covered but we can not afford to cover ourselves. I pay out of pocket everytime I NEED to go to the doctor. You have no clue what you are talking about. Many of us can't afford it because we truly can't afford the insurance premiums. It is all we can do to make ends meet on the money we do have due to the rising cost of EVERYTHING! If you don't assume I am wasting my money, I won't assume you are some know-it-all who has no commonsense at all!

Let's hear the rest of the story

"My children are covered but **WE** can not afford to cover ourselves." We? Who is we? Are you referring to your husband? What is his contribution, and why is he not mentioned at all? Do YOU have a job, in addition to going to school full-time? If not, might I suggest that you quit school, get a job, and have that much more money with which to purchase your own health insurance? Full-time student often clashes with the fiscal realities of full-time parent. Sometime you just can't "do it all" in life.

As a matter of fact....

FYI, my husband DOES contribute by working a full time job, just as I do, which is more than I can say for some people in this world. I'm not sitting around letting someone else do the work for me or paying my way anywhere. I WORK for everything I have. It has not been handed to me for free. And why should I quit school?? The reason I am in school is to provide better for my family in the long run. People who complain and lump everyone into one group are generally those who are tightfisted ignoramuses who don't understand what it is like to do without for the benefit of others. All they do is look out for #1 and screw everyone else in the process. And I didn't have a complaint about not having health insurance (while it is bothersome at times). I was offended at the generalization that those in my situation are abusing the system and squandering our money. And you are right, sometimes you just can't do it all in life. That is why I don't drive the latest model of car, or wear the latest fashions and neither does anyone else in my family. We usually spend our money on the necessities like food, gas, electricity, a roof over our heads. But I guess I should just quit school, not be able to get a better paying job, wait for my children to be ready for college and ask 'you' to pay for it with Pell Grants and other federal/state money.

If

you TRULY make that little...your children can be covered by the State Cadillac plan for almost FREE!

never said

I never said I make that little or that much. My whole argument was regarding narrow minded people who think life was perfect for them so it must be perfect for everyone else. I am also not complaining about my 'lot in life'. I am merely pointing out that there are people in this world who truly need the help. They aren't the stereotypical people who abuse the system by getting all the aid they can get and using their money to pay for drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, etc. But there are those in this world who have their blinders on and don't see the whole picture.

Uh...who am I "screwing?"

Hey, I proudly plead guilty to being tight-fisted...but it's my money, so that's my right.....right? My children are on their own, well established in high paying jobs and paying loads of taxes. Do you actually think I never "did without" for them when they were young? I went back to school while working full-time as well, so I admire your drive. At the time, however, I was already established in my career field and had great health insurance. That was BEFORE my wife and I chose to have children. Financial stability first, children second. How's it feel to know that even an ignoramus can arrange life's sequence of events in the correct order?

Narrow Minded

I’m betting you are as just as narrow minded as you sound. Life doesn’t always work out the way we planned. I’m one of the many uninsured in this town. I work 40 hours a week and in school 33 hours a week. I’m doing what I have to do to make my life better. I’m struggling and I don’t even have kids. I couldn’t imagine having to support more than myself right now. I’m glad that you have the good life and no worries at the time but not everyone is on the same boat. It is a same that there are “legal citizens” who can’t afford to have insurance. But our government is giving it to “illegal immigrants”. So why go down to Social Services and jump on their backs, leave this woman alone who is doing right by her children by getting an education so she can give them what they need

Let's go over this again....

You work forty hours, you go to school 33 hours. **YOU** have made a conscious **CHOICE** to spend your money on tuition, textbooks, lab fees, etc. **INSTEAD OF BUYING HEALTH INSURANCE.** That is certainly your right, but please don't cry about how tough things are when you **DO HAVE THE MONEY FOR HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS" but are choosing to **SPEND IT ELSEWHERE.** Got it yet? Here's an idea! Drop back to half-time and buy health insurance. Here's another idea - learn the difficult concept of "chronological order." The woman you feel that I should "leave alone" replied to ME.

Yes, I did.

Yes I did reply to you! And yes life is all about choices, some good and some bad. I am not going to pretend I made only good choices in my life but no one can say that every choice they have ever made was a good one. So, for the bad choices I am paying for them, in more ways than one. But the great thing about making mistakes, is you learn from them. Apparently you have never made a mistake and it must be nice to live in such a 'perfect' world. I, however, live in the real world and in that real world people make mistakes. Now I am trying to change the choices I made and make a better life for me and mine. I have not asked 'you' to do anything for me. Like it, don't like it. That is up to you. Thankfully, I don't answer to you about ANYTHING! Having said all that, continue to 'attack', or judge me as you will, it doesn't matter. I know what I am doing with my life is right for my family.

Attack you?

I'd suggest you review who has been doing the attacking. First I had no common sense. Then I was a tightfisted ignoramus. Go back and read the messages. Then feel free to admit that YOU are the one who has been more than willing to attack and name-call. So let's just agree that you hate tightfisted ignoramuses with no common sense, and I'm not too fond of people who make bad choices and then whine about it. I'll tell you the same thing I told the other poster - drop back to half-time and buy health insurance. You're making a choice to spend your money elsewhere, so it really doesn't matter if you spend it on tuition and books or cigarettes and beer: The fact is, you COULD purchase health insurance if you rearranged your spending priorities. Which was the whole point of my first post...

Never

I never called YOU a tightfisted ignoramus. I did say you had no common sense at all. And I don't believe I complained about not having personal health insurance or whined about it. As a matter of fact, I believe I said I didn't even support universal healthcare! As I have stated before, my problem was with the generalization that those who don't have insurance are squandering their money. I pay for all my medical bills out of pocket because to be honest it would be cheaper to do that than to pay the premiums. You spend your money your way and I will spend my money my way. I don't care what you do with your money. Judge me, don't judge me. For me this conversation is over. I know I am doing what is right for me and mine! And your approval is of no consequence to me!

I agree with the choices

I agree with the choices comment. Even in college you have a choice what to major in. you can take the easy major and party and struggle the rest of your life. Or you can pick a better major, with better job placement and better pay and make it harder on yourself in college but easier on yourself in the long run. Now having said that, I know things don't always work out as planned. Can you prevent a layoff? No. but then you have another choice. Move and get another job. you do what you have to to thrive and survive. Life is all about choices. Here is something else to consider? All of the tests doctors run at the office/hospital.....ask yourself "are they necessary?" do research on anything a doctor tells you. Things like unnecessary procedures are also shooting up the costs of healthcare, in addition to illegal immigrants. And remember, YOU ALWAYS HAVE A CHOICE. That's the wonderful thing about livinmg in america. How you use that choice is up to you.

Whoooooa!!!!

Excuse me, but I have a 52" HDTV. Get your facts straight before mouthing off.