Don’t get injured until Sept. 1: thoughts on health insurance

Today, I played roller derby, a full contact sport. That’s me on the left, playing the “jammer” position. Jammers are basically moving targets for the opposing team.

TXRG Rec League scrimmage at the Millenium Youth Entertainment Complex, photo by Peter Voyvodic

My main goal today was to avoid injury. This is because my University of Texas health insurance kicks in starting next week.Elmar and I have health insurance, but it would really only cover catastrophic situations like cancer or a serious accident. If I were to break an ankle (which happened to another player today), I would probably pay for my medical expenses out of pocket.

Germany has universal health care. Even the unemployed are covered for doctors’ visits, dental check-ups, travel immunizations, etc. In most cases, there is a 10 Euro fee per quarter, which is really just to prevent hypochondriacs and lonely old ladies from going unnecessarily. Shortly before moving to the US, Elmar and I got booster vaccinations for stuff like rabies and yellow fever. It was covered in Germany.

In the US, health insurance is considered a benefit in addition to salary and vacation days. Therefore, one of the perks of my new job as an Assistant Instructor of German is a more comprehensive health insurance. However, I know people who have no health insurance. Some can’t afford it. Others are willing to take the risk to save money. That’s crazy, as the cost of medical care in the US is exponentially higher than in any other developed country.

It’s weird. Universal health care works in other countries. Why are so many people in the US so passionately against it?

3 thoughts on “Don’t get injured until Sept. 1: thoughts on health insurance

  1. With the healthcare system in Germany everyone has to have a good insurance. But that can cost each employee quite a bit. Especially as a young single, you have no choice than to pay roughly $ 400 a month. With the American system it’s only $ 70 for me for example. Guess what I prefer. I think the German system puts the young people in disadvantage.

  2. Yeah, you bring up a good point. I forget sometimes that my health insurance was quite cheap as a student. I didn’t really see the monthly cost anymore when I was working.

  3. When you are self employed the options are very poor. Also, the $70 example is just what the employee is seeing being withdrawn. The company is likely paying a much higher amonut than could be paid in wages if it were not going to (Insert insurance company name).