Shortcomings

My brother’s friends were all in a terrible self-inflicted accident last week and one guy died, one guy is still in the hospital, and one guy owes $70,000 in medical bills and his dad is outraged because he doesn’t believe they’d charge Mexicans that. The driver is fine, though apparently he had to be stopped by people from leaving the scene.

The car was not even theirs, so it’s not clear what insurance will cover, if anything.

There’s just a series of stupidities. I mean, they did this to themselves. They all got drunk, one kid was also on Xanax, and sped home at over 100 miles an hour, the driver drunk and on meth.

And my poor brother is just furious and heartbroken and hell if I know what to say to him. I spent my whole lunch hour talking to him and I was just like “they need to get lawyers,” “they need to get lawyers.” They’re all adults and apparently the hospital has already approached the parents of the kid still in the hospital about how they’re going to pay for his care.

I am afraid for my brother, too, really. And it’s hard to get at what makes me afraid for him. It’s not just that this is how his friends carry on and therefore could be how he’s carrying on. It’s the resignation in his voice. When I said, “I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this” he said “Eh, it happens to everyone.”

But you know, if I had to think of the four friends of mine who would be most likely to be methed up and drinking or on Xanax and drinking… my list is empty.

6 thoughts on “Shortcomings

  1. The one guy’s dad is right about the Mexican thing, sort of. If a Mexican national had suffered such a mishap in Mexico, then he likely would not be owing $70,000. He might not be owing anything at all.

  2. I dunno about that, Sam. An American without insurance who took ill and needed surgery in Mexico ended up $14K out of pocket. Here, she would have qualified for government assistance (based on the bill’s percentage of her income) and likely wouldn’t have paid much out of pocket – certainly not $14K. Someone who had the same surgery here, with insurance, paid the deductible.
    The hospitals here would try to charge the full amount to anyone without insurance, but they wouldn’t collect that much from most people.
    If the kid in Aunt B’s post has medical insurance, he’ll have to pay the deductible. If he has no insurance, he’d best look into Medicaid.

  3. You think his is a case of survivor’s guilt? Or maybe he’s wrestling with the notion of having trusted these friends’ judgment before… perhaps he was in a situation with them wherein things might have gone horribly wrong, save for a few degrees on the spin of Dame Fortune’s wheel.

    Or maybe he just now has information about these fellas that he didn’t have before. Gross recklessness is typically something I would like to avoid in a friend…

  4. Opus, yeah, but they’re having to go through a layer of stupidity right now that is common among people who don’t have insurance that I think people with insurance aren’t aware of.

    Like, for instance, the kid who owes $70,000 in medical bills for being life-flighted to the hospital and then his er stay and such can’t get them to take his stitches out. Nor did they stitch up his leg.

    They did only the work on him that they thought was necessary to save his life and no more. My brother said his leg is healing up, but he’s going to have a gruesome scar.

    The guy who’s still in the hospital, who was in a coma and who is now in a kind of semi-comatose state? The second his parents arrived at the hospital, the hospital was trying to get them to sign papers saying that they’d pay for his medical bills. He’s an adult, not their dependent.

    They do need to get Medicaid involved, but, in my observation and experience, hospitals don’t always steer people to resources for how to get Medicaid involved. And accosting people who’ve just been told their son might die to get them to agree to cover his medical costs, when he’s an adult, is just kind of disgusting.

    Andy, I think he knew these guys were rowdy, but didn’t know the extent of their rowdiness (he works nights, so it’s not like he’s going out with them), and I think he’s pissed that they didn’t care as much about themselves as he and their families did.

  5. If they are in Tn then Medicaid will not help.
    in Tn you must be a child or pregnant or a certain type of parent/guardian AND low income.
    you health status has NOTHING to do with TenncareMedicaid eligibility.

  6. And even with insurance, there’s not just the deductible, there’s the percentage of the amount over the deductible that you still have to pay. With (for example) a $5,000 deductible and 80% insurance coverage over that amount, an original $70,000 will cost the patient $18,000 out of pocket, which is not a tiny amount.

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