how much does your medical care cost?

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: You say if we drink a quart of green smoothie daily for $2.50 according to your calculations, that 12-15 servings of raw greens and fruit just might save us money on medical bills, thereby justifying the expense.

Answer: Thanks for this. I would like to know from anyone reading this, how much are your medical bills, annually or monthly?

I don’t have any medical bills so I honestly don’t know. I purchased medical insurance for myself after my divorce a year and a half ago, but I haven’t used it.

My son did require an x-ray and MRI recently when he threw out his pitching arm. (It was a rotator cuff sprain and bone bruise on the growth plate in the shoulder–he is out for 3-6 weeks.) And about 8 years ago my daughter was pushed off a slide and broke her arm. Besides that, we don’t go to doctors since massively changing our diet 15 years ago.

If your medical bills are low or nonexistent, because of lifestyle, say that please.

Those of you who know someone living the standard American lifestyle and diet, please let us know–what does it cost?

I am not asking about what medical care is for special circumstances. For instance, medical bills are $1 million annually for my friend with a hemophiliac son.

Just wondering what Americans are paying–out of pocket plus insurance.

15 thoughts on “how much does your medical care cost?

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  1. OK, I’ll stay anonymous for this one. I am a mom of 3, and former wife of 1.

    I went through all our claims for Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Utah. We used this insurance from May 2007 through October 2007 and March 2009 through May 2010 (present). The husband was removed from the insurance in December 2009. So this covers the mother and 3 kids for 21 months and the father for 16 months.

    The mother and the kids like the idea of healthy food, but eat a lot of crap, in particular, tons of sugary treats. They don’t eat much meat. They eat sporadic green smoothies. The kids eat school/daycare food/snacks. They eat fast food sometimes. The husband eats the same or worse, including daily energy drinks.

    I will give two numbers for each category. The first number is the total charge before insurance. The second number is what we paid out of pocket.

    Sickness (also includes any visit that I couldn’t remember what the purpose was. This category includes four episodes of sickness for the mom, 1 for the dad, 2 for oldest son, 2 for middle son, and 2 for youngest son): $1760 ins; $350 us

    Husband’s Colonoscopy (He was under tons of stress and having bowel symptoms including blood and thought he was dying. The colonoscopy turned out 100% OK, though maybe he wouldn’t have so much stress if he ate better.) – $1800 ins; $1150 us

    Injuries (stitches; scratched cornea) – $615 ins; $280 us

    Eye exams (could be diet related since Robyn reports better vision now) – $435 ins; $60 us

    So that’s a total of $4610 charged to insurance and $1840 paid out of our pockets.

    The amount I’d consider directly affected by diet is the sickness costs of $1760 to insurance and $350 paid out of our pockets. Our out of pocket cost for sickness was $3.50 per person per month. However, that doesn’t count missed work days, which would be $200 per sick day. My kids get sick more often than once a year – we just don’t usually go to the doctor for it.

  2. We used a different insurance from October 2007 through March 2009, but it was really unusual. The employer paid 100% of the premium, there was no deductible, and most things were covered 100%. I don’t have easy access to those claims online, so I just analyzed the months we used BCBS insurance.

  3. Let’s see…my kids haven’t been to the doctor for three years, but I think I’m going to take the baby for a hearing evaluation, so that will be $30. I go to the midwife for pregnancy, so we’ve got 10% of the birth this year. Hubs has asthma, so he goes once a year plus $10 every other month for a new inhaler. All told, we’ll spend about $1k OOP this year, barring any dental issues.

    My in-laws eat out every. single. day and both have cancer (MIL’s third go round with the disease). They each go to the dr twice a week, once for a check and once for chemo or radiation. I have seen their medical bills, but am literally too boggled to do the math, since they see more than just their oncologists. Sigh.

    They at least understand that our kids are healthier because of their diet, but don’t care to change their own. Sad, really.

  4. Well… we use to spend about $925 a month for a self-employed family of 4 (2 adults; 2 kids under 5). Our yearly average for additional co-pays and out of plan percentages you have to pay was probably about $500. This didn’t include the alternative stuff that I was always trying (ie: an EFT specialist who was the only one who could help me get over gnarly post-partum stuff without meds) BUT we have had to go bankrupt since the economy downfall, and haven’t had insurance for almost 1 1/2 years now. All is ok… dental stuff is darn expensive (but the above did NOT include dental). Question: Any ideas about great natural tooth care. I’m trying the stick tooth soap (the liquid “Tooth Soap” was too expensive to risk trying) and kids are doing pretty well, but my teeth are definitely not as white as using ‘Kiss My Face’ toothpaste I love–but it has glycerine in it (and I understand that is the tooth enemy…?) Any ideas of natural cleaners and whiteners that are good, or any brand of stuff, even if it’s expensive…I want to know from others that it is worth it. Hope that helps regarding the costs of healthcare… I’m hoping that since we are doing the GS now, we won’t have lots of med bills!

  5. Concerning dental care in response to Anonymous (posted 5/17), my husband and I use Nature’s Answer PerioBrite Toothpaste and mouth wash. We buy it at http://www.vitacost.com, and it’s the best I’ve found. We have no teeth problems at all. The other thing I suggest is to floss everyday.

  6. We eat somewhere between a SAD and a very good. My kids LOVE their greens but since I’ve just introduced green smoothies they aren’t yet enamored. With even an estimated 60% improvement of SAD (good breakfast cereal or good eggs, organic milk, almost no ‘juice’, almost no meat, salads almost daily, steamed and raw veggies often, and many of snacks are veggie, fruit or air popcorn) – my kids have been sick enough to miss school or summer care about 5-8 times. One was impetigo, strep twice, one persistent high fever virus for a week (right after my divorce so I attribute that to stress), and another couple of fevers that didn’t go to a doctor. I think we had ear infections early on but it has been a while – they are 10 and 7. Between my ex and I we put aside $3000 for OOP medical. But most of that is my ex who has been a smoker on and off for over 30 years. The expenses have been decreasing over the past 10 years even with the addition of two children. The $3000 includes dental for all and eye exams for ex.

    Going more natural, organic, less processed, less meats, and more fruits and veggies has improved our health and decreased our medical costs. We probably spent the same amount 10 years ago for 2 people that we now spend for 4. I woke up with a scratchy throat this morning after working outside in the veggie garden and yard a lot this weekend – I realized I don’t remember the last time I had a sore throat or cough.

  7. We eat out. We order and eat in. I like the idea of green smoothies and have done them traditionally 4 days a week. However, fell of the bad wagon. I would say for myself, husband, and two kids a $1000 is accurate. $600 family deductible and then out of pocket costs. Last year, a baby, gallbladder surgery, yadda yadda, over 20,000 in bills. My OOP maximum is $1500.

  8. Wow, Melissa. What kind of company is your insurance through? My job is a professional services company, and our family deductible is $4500. Our company will reimburse us for half of that though (it ends up cheaper for them to do it that way, rather than decrease the deductible to $2250).

    I’m amazed at the vast difference in health insurance costs, based on who your employer is!

  9. I have no idea what medical expenses typically are. We have spent $90 this year taking my son to a chiropractor, since his neck was out of place. Not covered at all by insurance.

    But, I wanted to comment on the tooth whitening question. It sounds a bit weird, but I decided to try using a microfiber cloth on my front teeth and had great success with it. I usually brush with Dr. Christopher’s tooth powder, and I really like it, but I had noticed some discoloration (prior to the microfiber incident).

  10. Cherie,

    I used to be involved in some Dr. C. message boards, and the discoloration (graying) after extended use of the tooth powder was common. I don’t think it indicated that anything was wrong with the teeth, it just didn’t look very good.

  11. I changed my lifestyle about four years ago and started cutting out processed sugars and flours. Then about 4 months ago I found your blog and became a GS convert. I drink between 16-32 oz. of GS per day and the rest of my diet is comprised of whole foods (about 70% raw). I don’t eat any red meat, processed meats, or port. I do eat fish, chicken and turkey (unprocessed). However, I’m slowly trying to cut out chicken altogether and my consumption of turkey is usually only around the holidays, so I’m not too worried about that.

    In 2007 I stopped taking any type of medication, including aspirin and contraceptives.

    I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen my doctor since 2006… 4 times. All for regular well women checkups (PAP). Copays were $20, so in 4 years I’ve spent $80 out of pocket to see a traditional doctor.

    Aside from the PCP, I do see a chiropractor regularly, which I consider alternative medicine. I have a lot of back pain from injuries and chiropractic helps me immensely without having to take prescription drugs. Insurance doesn’t cover the chiro, so that costs $24 per visit (I go twice a month).

    My husband on the other hand…

    He has not converted to eating as healthy as I, but is slowly getting there. He has been drinking between 32-64 ounces of GS every day (Thanks Robin!) for the past few months and complains when I slack off on making them now.

    In October 2009 he suffered a hernia when he choked on a piece of unhealthy birthday cake! The total for that incident cost us just under $400 out of pocket after insurance paid their portion.

    Also, my husband suffers from Asthma, so we spend about $60/year on inhalers.

    All in all, our medical expenses are pretty low.

  12. My personal medical expenses have dropped from about $5,000 monthly prescription costs (retail – covered by medical insurance) to absolute zero. The entire family has done the same as everyone adopted a whole food plant based, mostly raw dietary path.

  13. I used to spend $500 on medical insurance but never used it. I am now 70 and have Medicare, I never need a doctor. I sometimes go to a chropractor to adjust my neck but that is all. I believe that I am so healthy because I am vegetarian and I never take any drugs. I am quite amazed that a person can be very healthy and live very well without taking any medicines. I became vegetarian in 1972, did some fasting, eat raw sometimes, and I believe that if you do not obstruct the body, the body will heal itself. I would take medicines if I really needed it, but I would try the natural approach first. My grandson is also very healthy because he eats well and no medications.

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