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Sunday, October 25, 2009

H1N1 Worries Confirm Importance of Securing Illinois Health Insurance

Posted by patrick

By Mike Novelli

While many uninsured anticipate Obama's Health plan to take effect, this season's flu epidemics serve as a gentle reminder that being uninsured is non-negotiable. According to the Centers for Disease Controls (CDC), the H1N1 virus is responsible for 20 deaths and 476 hospitalizations. [Source: Illinois Department of Health] Residents covered with Illinois health insurance, as well as those, who are uninsured, are advised to obtain flu and H1N1 vaccinations. Given the uncertainty of the virus, minor to fatal events are possible.

It is estimated that some 250,000 children in the state of Illinois do not have medical coverage. With the death of a Naperville high school student, uninsured families have a few affordable health care plans. [Source:]

The Kronishs' experience with H1N1 was a sickeningly expensive fiasco. When Mr. Kronish lost his job, the cobra benefits for a family of six was too expensive to maintain on a $57,000 annual income. Not to mention, all four children aged eight, 11, 13 and 14 had been a pillar of good health.

The Kronishs' rushed their 11-year old son to the hospital, after he complained of symptoms similar to the ones used to describe the H1N1 virus. The emergency room visit turned into an overnight of observation valued at $3500. To prevent another problem, the rest of the family was vaccinated at a doctor's office for another $375. Not having Illinois health insurance cost them $3875. Meanwhile, the entire - cost the Kronish family medical bills ended up costing the same amount as medical coverage for the entire family. While they're making payments on the emergency bill, they remain uninsured and protected from any potential other medical crises.

Today, medical clinic and doctor's visits are between $65 and $150. The visit does not cover the cost of any prescriptions or vaccinations. In other words, for the uninsured, the H1N1 vaccination is $75 to $85, compared to the free service, Illinois health insurance plans are promising. Not, to mention, medical coverage policyholders can even go to the local general stores (in example, Walgreens, CVS, Osco, and other locations) for the vaccinations.

Sick days, doctor's visits, and medications reflect just a few of the cost differentials between having Illinois health insurance and being uninsured. Most physicians and clinics charge $65 to $150 for a single medical visit. These fees do not include any vaccinations, antibiotics or other medical services. H1N1 is the perfect example of a simple emergency room and overnight observation can mount into a single expensive incident that otherwise an Illinois health insurance would cover.

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