Reader voices: Even for hospital workers, health care is a problem

AUSTIN, Texas (Texas Media Collective) – As a health care professional, taking care of people and helping them comes from my heart and soul. It is what I love to do and truly feel what I was called to do with my life. The place where I work and the people I work with are amazing and I would not hesitate to have them take care of me and my family.

Although health care is an essential piece of our lives, I have this growing fear that, while we work at a great place with great people, the company that owns this great place with great people keeps chipping away at its employees’ health care benefits. I don’t know where it’s going to end.

I keep hearing how the place where we work has received many awards for its excellent service. All this effort to get these awards is important because it makes sure we strive to be the best and show the results of that effort. It would be nice to be compensated for our hard work and awards in the form of better health care benefits instead of parties, lunch boxes, bags, or other trinkets. Being able to voice our opinion on the compensation we get would be great.

I understand health care costs keep rising but in the past five years the health care plan’s deductibles have gone up hundreds of dollars, out-of-pocket expenses have gone up also hundreds of dollars, and now even as employees we have to pay an inpatient admission fee each time we are admitted to the very institution where we work.

It seems ridiculous that even as an employee of a health care system we are given these types of insurance plan options.

If you happen to have a serious illness or even are about to become a new parent, the medical bills are going to pile up to make this significant and emotional time in your life even more stressful.

Insurance companies are also in my experience notorious for not filing medical codes right so you usually end up paying more, and by the time you figure it out (if you do) it takes a really long time and a lot of phone calls to get your money back.

I feel like I could go on for hundreds or even thousands of pages and rant about:

  • how upset I am about increasing insurance costs
  • how I keep looking at my medical bills from past health problems and worry about how to make the payments
  • how if a health crisis happens in the future my family and I might be financially ruined
  • how I thought the Affordable Care Act was going to help keep insurance and medical bills affordable, and
  • how unfair it is that hospital administration people make so much money yet we are struggling to pay our bills.

All these facts about increasing costs of insurance and health care trouble me … but you know what?

The bottom line is that I feel this is only a rant and won’t go anywhere or make a difference. I don’t feel like I have a voice in my health care benefits at all. It feels kind of like you’re drowning and no matter how much you struggle to reach the surface you keep getting pulled down.

I love the place I work at, I love the people, and if I didn’t get to work where I work and help people it would honestly upset me. I thrive in my work and it shows because I think other people feel that I love being there. I just want to have a voice and be able to choose my health care benefits and make sure my family and I are okay so then I can do what I do best and help others, which is my true life calling.

Photo: PW/Ben Sears