Reflections of cultural differences (Medical Care II)
Let's move on.... I gave you some background about who I was and what kind of experience in health-related fields I'd been exposed to.
Birth is a beauty of life, isn't it? Many of you who have your own family may be nodding with approval.... It's a challenge... Apparently it is even a bigger one here in the US when compared to with the one we had in Thailand.
I have two kids.... The older one was born in Thailand, the younger one was born in the US.... As a governmental officer, Thai government has all kinds of health-related support for my family... So, my wife went to see an Ob-Gyn doctor and had both pre- and post-natal care from him.
Well, most of the time, she went to see him at his private clinic and had the delivery done at a public hospital... So, we could reimburse every cost spent in the hospital, but we had to pay for visits at the clinic and special care during delivery.
Anyway, totally, we paid only 3,000 Baht for all of those cares.... Well, we were happy with that not only the affordable price but also our son was born healthy... That's all we, as parents, could hope and ask for, right?
Just like the wardrobe malfunction during the SuperBowl, in the latter case, we had a birthcontrol malfunction though.... :) And, as a result, we had the youngest one made and born in the US.....
Financially, it was very scary.... But, my wife and I had prepared for the worst.... So, just dancing along the new yet unfamilair territories, we might have had some fun to be exposed to this upcoming and pleasant experience....
As a J-1 visa holder, it's a must for my wife to have a health insurance... She is also a sponsored student, so she had a free health insurance from her sponsor.... Anyway, in our school, (ridiculously) it's mandating that every foreigh student must have a health insurance from the school or having a policy which is equivalent to the school's policy....
Sadly, the sponsor's policy wasn't equivalent to the school's policy... So, my wife reluctantly bought the school's one while she had the free one from her sponsor. Yes, she had two health insurance policies.
So, after the preg test kicked out the positive green result, my wife went to the school health center... A nurse there gave her an advice for her to go to a Women's clinic in town. Consequently, my wife had pre- and post-natal cares from the Women's clinic under a female gynecologist.....
Pregnancy is considered to be an infectious disease for some reason. I saw our neighbors always being pregnant... So those were really good sources about how and what would cost us.... So we asked our neighbors... We found out that, with the school's health insurance, if my wife gave birth naturally without any complications, that would cost around 2-3,000 bucks. If she needed a roller coaster ride (for example; C-section), the cost would jump to 20-30,000 USD.....
By looking back into our bank accounts (to be honest with you, both in the US and Thai banking accounts), we found out that, with the number we currently had at the time, we would be OK in either case.... So, financially, we would be fine....
At the Women's clinic (or any clinics or hospitals in the US), they always asked for your health insurance and related information first... always, always, and always.... So, when my wife checked in for the first time for her pre-natal care, the clerk asked about her health insurance... With her scientist's curiosity, she asked the clerk whether it's possible if she (my wife) could give her information of both insurance policies she was holding....
The answer was yes... The clerk said one could serve as a primary and another one could be a secondary policy....
In most of the cases, every time when there was an expense that was reimbursible from an insurance company, the clinic would forward the bill to the insurance company... and the left-over part which the company declined to pay would be back to us and belonged to our financial responsibility.
But, in our case, the bill would go to the primary company first, then the left-over part would be forward to the secondary company, and, the last leftover part would be our financial burden then.
So we had a big relief and felt very grateful for her sponsor giving her an additional health insurance policy to her for free.... :)
My wife is a adventurous kind of women... So she is never satisfied with any "normal and uneventful" situation. So, she needed to have a C-section to pull the small giant out of her womb after she had tried with full of her efforts for more than 8 hours. The surgery took place at around 6AM in the morning, 30 minutes later, the big little guy was pulled out, and, has been manacing us ever since!!
We'd been gathering all of the medical bills from the very start until the last one.... It was around almost 30,000 USD.... But the total payments from us were around XXXXX.XX USD.
You may guess it when you give your comments upon the issue, I will give the answer in the next 5-7 days. Please be aware that I have no prize to give you in return in the case that your guess is right though.
================================= Note: My life has been intertwined with works and many others. New responsibility has emerged, resulting less and less time for my ordinary life. Although, a love to write is still intact... But having less time is related to having less imagination.... Therefore, I could not come up with new writings for quite some times.
It might be a good time for me to leave this forum for moment.... Please take it as Mr. A.T. is having a sabbactatical leave or something like that....
As noted above, my love to write is still the same... and will not be changed. Sometimes somehow, I hope I could come back and give some thoughts in this blog once more.
Cheers, Mr. A.T. June 6th, 2008
My pen-name in Pantip is amatuer translator. Actually, I'm a lousy translator with lame translation. My pen-name is somewhat misleading, I have no background in linguistics what-so-ever. Anyway I love to read, write and communicate with people...
Reading is my most favorite hobby. I read everything from shopping bags to articles in theoretical physics. I do research and teaching for my living. So, reading, writing, thinking and doing research works are my everyday routine.
I would like to define myself as a person who is accepting new ideas and adopting those into my way of life.
I believe in power of knowledge/education. I think every society can be a better society with knowledge. Ignorance can be dispelled by it. Humanity can live sustainably and harmoniously with each other along with its biosphere with understandings in the nature surrounding it.
Apart from my philosophical thoughts reflecting who I am, I can tell you something I like or love in particular;
I love dogs.... Particularly, labradore retrievers.... One day, I would like to spend my time and life with them as a big part of my family.
Zhuge Liang is my hero. With his wisdom and faithfulness, he led a tiny army to a mighty and formidable kingdom. He left his humble residence with a hope to come back. But, sadly, he had never returned and died far far away from home in a horse carriage in a battle field. If I could choose where I would, I would say where-ever my lovely wife was nearby.
I value happiness and my family as my first priority. My profession and my philosophy come in the second. Pursuit in wealth has never been in my desire.
I'm glad to be your friend, and look forward to seeing you around krub.