I am getting top notch medical care in Great Falls.  I want to be sure to make it clear this is not a commentary on medical professionals or services in the Electric City.

This is NOT a commentary on medical care in Montana.  It's a question.  And really, I'm not the first to ask it.

How Come Hospitals and Medical Centers Don't Have To List Basic Prices?

No matter where you shop in America, almost everywhere you eat in America, items are listed by price.

Medical test

Nobody walks into a grocery store, loads their cart up, and goes to directly to their car, wondering what the bill is, hoping they can pay it and hoping the grocery store will take payments for the food they need to survive. There are proper checks and balances in place.

Nobody goes into a car dealership, takes a car, and hopes they can afford it and that the dealership will take payments that are within their budget.  A car dealership would never let you drive off with a car without proper checks and balances.

Nobody moves into a home and hopes the bank will finance them with payments in their price range.  There are check and balances in place.

There Is No Obligation Like This For Medical Things

Recently, I've had to have some tests run.  When making appointments for them both, I asked for an approximate price for these services. Not only have I been met every time with "I don't know.", there is general disgust in their voice that I would have the gall to inquire as to the price. All I'm trying to do is spread them out so I can pay for them in a timely manner.

My Life Was Completely DESTROYED By My Dead Husband's Medical Bills

You have to understand that when you lose years of savings, a home and a spouse due to illness, jumping back into that pool is not something that happens without a huge amount of consideration.

I had been saving money for retirement since I was 14 years old.  When my husband died in 2008, to shore up his medical bills, I cashed EVERY BIT of that out and sent it to doctors and hospitals.  EVERY BIT.  I also had to give up my house.  I was 39 years old.  I had been saving for half my life for retirement (I had a 6 times more money than my husband who was 10 years older than me.  I had planned on retiring early my entire life.), and now, I CAN NEVER RETIRE.

Medical Bill

Why Am I Being Scoffed At And Judged For Wanting To Be Sure I Can Pay My Bills?

It's asinine to act like I don't care about my health because I wonder about what a test costs.  I asked my doctor, if you live outside in a tent because you gave medicine all of your money, is that a life worth living? Come on, I am too old to go through all of that again.

It took me YEARS to recover financially when Dave died.  I'm 16 years older now and don't have that kind of time left.  I want to live.  There's no doubt about it.  But I also don't want my golden years filled with odd jobs to pay medical bills for tests that I might not have really needed, and were astronomical in price. I deserve a decent last few years of my life considering I have literally been in the workforce since I was 14 years old.

20 States With The Worst Medical Shortages

According to 24/7, These are the worst 20 states with medical shortages.

"To determine the states whose residents were most affected by both prescription and over-the-counter drug shortages, 24/7 Tempo reviewed a report by the LendingTree insurance subsidiary ValuePenguin, a consumer spending data site."

Great Groups For Montana Rock Hounds

Rock hounding in Montana is HUGE! Almost everyone has collected rocks at some point in their life, and for those that still enjoy collecting or learning about geology, there are several active groups for you to join.

Gallery Credit: mwolfe

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