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Cash Before Chemo: Hospitals Get Tough

There is an article on the front page of the Wall Street Journal describing the experiences of a Texas woman diagnosed with acute leukemia, who had to come up with $105,000 in cash before she could be treated for her life-threatening disease.

Hospitals are no longer going to treat first and bill later. The rising number of uninsured patients and those who do not pay their bills is creating an increasingly severe burden on non-profit hospitals, which in the past would have absorbed the costs. 

The good old days are gone.

And if you think this is a problem for poor people, think again.

Take a close look at your health insurance - especially the chemotherapy and drug benefits - as well as your financial assets and see if you could afford thousands of dollars out of pocket tomorrow if you were diagnosed with an illness such as acute leukemia which requires immediate, intensive treatment to save your life.

Most people are closer to the situation described in today's Wall Street Journal than they realize and there will be no safety net to catch them.

It makes more sense to take charge of your own health. Prevention is much easier than the cure. Eliminate stress, get more sleep and exercise, and make sure you are eating enough fruits and veggies every day.

If you want to change your health, you have to change your life.