> Posted by Amelia Kuklewicz, Bobbi Gray, Gabriela Salvador, Freedom from Hunger
It’s a scene many can identify with: rushing to an emergency room at 1 a.m. with a young child whose fever has spiked and cannot be controlled with over-the-counter medicine. We generally feel helpless and our mind leaps into worst-case scenarios.
While we’re considering the financial implications, they are secondary to ensuring our loved one receives immediate medical attention.
For many of us with health insurance, we already know what the visit is likely to cost us but we’re still mentally considering what financial resources we’re going to draw on to cover the emergency room co-pay.
Now imagine you are a mother that lives in Ecuador. Since neither you nor your spouse has formal employment with a consistent salary, you are ineligible for state health insurance. Private health insurance is out of the question with monthly premiums in the hundreds of dollars. To top it off, the first question you receive from the attending nurse in reception isn’t about your child’s condition but rather, “Cash or credit?” Many people are known to die during triage, simply from the requirement of having to show payment up front.