My friend had an abortion while living abroad and she paid between 30-40 dollars for it, didn't have to drive to another state where it was legal, and didn't get heckled or shamed for her choice in the matter.
I received a mysterious trauma to my 4th rib and it cost me 25 dollars for x-rays and anti-inflammatory medicine.
An x-ray in Mongolia literally costs $10, and you can pay 2 additional dollars to put it on a C.D.
When I had an irregular heartbeat due to heat exhaustion (which was my own fault), I got an EKG test for under 30 dollars!
*These were all "at price" costs- no deductibles had to be met, and there were no co-pays.
|A week or so after heat exhaustion, at a weight less than what I was at the beginning of high school.|
When I was notified by the U.S. Department of State that I was to go to Mongolia, it was contingent on passing a health exam and getting certain vaccinations. I initially panicked because I was living in China at the time, but I slowly found a hospital, got a physical, and got tested for TB (Tuberculosis). Luckily, I had the vaccines already thanks to Peace Corps medical requirements (that they paid for)
Total cost: Free physical and a $2.66 TB test.
Cost in the States: Over or near $700 (confirmed by other Fulbrighters)
When I had appendicitis in Mongolia, I went to a Korean hospital and got laparoscopic surgery, 4 nights of hospital stay along with painkillers and antibiotics, and very questionable "food." I know I joke about how bad it was, but I would rather go through that again than pay the bill in the States for the same surgery.
Total cost: $1,500.
Cost in the United States: Over $10,000
|Removing the staples my final day at the hospital.|
When I broke my foot, I went to a Mongolian E.R., got an x-ray, a cast, painkillers and calcium tablets for a month.
Total Cost: $120.
Cost in the States: I don't even want to think about that E.R. bill.
***For reference, I make only $2,000 LESS than what I made in Mongolia, just in case you thought I was making the big bucks either here in my grad program, or through the U.S. Department of State. For additional reference, I'm not a leech, or a moocher- I paid taxes in BOTH China and America when I lived abroad and I was happy to do so, despite the fact it was a surprise lump sum payment I made to China at the end of my teaching contract.
I know not all countries are like this, but please tell me why I can pick up painkillers, condoms, theraflu, beta blockers, and/or prescription strength migraine medicine at a drugstore for either cents on the dollar or for no more than 3 bucks, whereas in America all of these things are 3x that amount. Some of them I need to see a doctor (at an additional cost) in order to get a prescription for it.
Since it's nearly Thanksgiving and I've been venting about this cost and this problem, I should end on a thankful note. Even though I literally cry over the "what if" scenarios that run through my head in regards to my health, I'm thankful that I'm 24 and that my parents are so generous and amazing to let me stay on their insurance until I'm 26. I'm also so thankful that I lived in China when I had to get medical clearance for Fulbright and that my appendix decided to eject when I had complete health coverage through the U.S. Department of State.
Here's to your health. Cheers.