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Thread: Health Insurance and National Health Care

  1. #51
    My husband was just in a motorcycle accident. Luckily we have insurance because I was able to see what the hospital charged for his overnight stay $22,000. That didn't include the many trips to the Dr. and anasthesia. $22,000 just for hospital stay. We only paid $200 out of pocket.

  2. #52
    TNpuck Guest
    Yes, but I had to change jobs to get good insurance. My prior insurance was terrible and put my wife and I in debt for having the little one (my avatar).

  3. #53
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    Yes, I work for the government.


    It's funny the way most people love the dead. Once you're dead, you're made for life.
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  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuckMyKiss View Post
    That's outrageous. We have nothing like that here. If you go to an A&E department you are treated according to urgency, nothing else. I really can't get my head around it. It just seems so absurd. Some people criticize the NHS over here, I think those people need to go over to America and check the health care system over there. I am sooo glad we have it.
    Seriously, as an American citizen and UK resident who has seen both sides of these things thoroughly, I vote NHS hands down.

  5. #55
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    Yes. PPO (Health, Dental, Vision) 80/20 for Dental and Vision and $25.00 copay on health. Perscriptions used to be only $1.00 now they've changed it and they can range from $5.00 - $50.00 depending on the medication.

  6. #56
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    Nationalized Health Care Is Broken

    Nationalized Health Care is Broken

    By John Stossel
    Last week I pointed out that Michael Moore, maker of the documentary "Sicko," portrayed the Cuban health-care system as though it were utopia -- until I hit him with some inconvenient facts. So he backed off and said, "Let's stick to Canada and Britain because I think these are legitimate arguments that are made against the film and against the so-called idea of socialized medicine. And I think you should challenge me on these things."
    OK, here we go.
    One basic problem with nationalized health care is that it makes medical services seem free. That pushes demand beyond supply. Governments deal with that by limiting what's available.

    That's why the British National Health Service recently made the pathetic promise to reduce wait times for hospital care to four months.
    The wait to see dentists is so long that some Brits pull their own teeth. Dental tools: pliers and vodka.
    One hospital tried to save money by not changing bed sheets every day. British papers report that instead of washing them, nurses were encouraged to just turn them over.
    Government rationing of health care in Canada is why when Karen Jepp was about to give birth to quadruplets last month, she was told that all the neonatal units she could go to in Canada were too crowded. She flew to Montana to have the babies.
    "People line up for care; some of them die. That's what happens," Canadian doctor David Gratzer, author of The Cure, told "20/20". Gratzer thought the Canadian system was great until he started treating patients. "The more time I spent in the Canadian system, the more I came across people waiting. ... You want to see your neurologist because of your stress headache? No problem! You just have to wait six months. You want an MRI? No problem! Free as the air! You just gotta wait six months."
    Michael Moore retorts that Canadians live longer than Americans.
    But Canadians' longer lives are unrelated to heath care. Canadians are less likely to get into accidents or be murdered. Take those factors into account, not to mention obesity, and Americans live longer.
    Most Canadians like their free health care, but Canadian doctors tell us the system is cracking. More than a million Canadians cannot find a regular family doctor. One town holds a lottery. Once a week the town clerk gets a box out of the closet. Everyone who wants to have a family doctor puts his or her name in it. The clerk pulls out one slip to determine the winner. Others in town have to wait.
    It's driven some Canadians to private for-profit clinics. A new one opens somewhere in Canada almost every week. Although it's not clear that such private clinics are legal, one is run by the president of the Canadian Medical Association, Dr. Brian Day, because under government care, he says, "We found ourselves in a situation where we were seeing sick patients and weren't being allowed to treat them. That was something that we couldn't tolerate."
    Canadians stuck on waiting lists often pay "medical travel agents" to get to America for treatment. Shirley Healey had a blocked artery that kept her from digesting food. So she hired a middleman to help her get to a hospital in Washington state.
    "The doctor said that I would have only had a very few weeks to live," Healey said.
    Yet the Canadian government calls her surgery "elective."
    "The only thing elective about this surgery was I elected to live," she said.
    Not all Canadian health care is long lines and lack of innovation. We found one place where providers offer easy access to cutting-edge life-saving technology, such as CT scans. And patients rarely wait.
    But they have to bark or meow to get access to this technology. Vet clinics say they can get a dog or a cat in the next day. People have to wait a month.

  7. #57
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    If That's Not Good Enough For Ya...Here's Another.

    Another Bogus Report Card for U.S. Medical Care

    By John Stossel
    In May, the Commonwealth Fund issued its latest comparison of the U.S. medical system with five other wealthy nations' systems: Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and Great Britain.
    Predictably, the study begins: "Despite having the most costly health system in the world, the United States consistently underperforms."
    I was immediately suspicious, considering the loaded study by the World Health Organization seven years ago. (I wrote about it last week.)
    My suspicion was justified. It turns out the new study is almost as biased as the WHO's. The authors write, "The U.S. is the only country in the study without universal health insurance coverage, partly accounting for its poor performance on access, equity, and health outcomes."

    I see. America "underperforms" because we don't have enough government intervention.
    But while the U.S. lost points for not having national health insurance, the authors added, "[I]f insured, patients in the U.S. have rapid access to specialized health care services."
    That's an understatement. Insured Americans have almost immediate access to cutting-edge procedures performed by some of the best-trained doctors. It's why our outcomes for such diseases as prostate and breast cancer are markedly better than in Canada's and Britain's socialized systems. The Commonwealth Fund doesn't mention that.
    The United States is the center of medical innovation for the world. When internists ranked the world's top 10 medical innovations, eight were developed thanks to American innovations. The Commonwealth Fund ignores all that and focuses almost exclusively on the problems of our uninsured population.
    As I've noted previously, the problem of the 45 million uninsured is exaggerated. The statistics represent a snapshot, and many uninsured people are reinsured in less than a year. The same people are not uninsured year in and year out.
    The Commonwealth Fund study divides "quality" into right (effective) care, safe care, coordinated care and patient-centered care. The U.S. placed fifth or sixth in the last three.
    But where did the U.S. place in "right care"?
    First.
    "Right care" is the most important criterion because it includes things like how often women have mammograms and whether diabetics get proper treatment.
    The Commonwealth Fund ranked the U.S. last in "equity": "Americans with below-average incomes were much more likely than their counterparts in other countries to report not visiting a physician when sick, not getting a recommended test, treatment or follow-up care ... because of costs."
    But how much of that is due to the government's increasing the cost of care and insurance through mandates, a tax code that encourages reliance on expensive insurance and bureaucratic red tape?
    The Commonwealth Fund's study has other problems. It was based on telephone interviews with patients and doctors. So it grades nations on people's perceptions without controlling for their expectations. Yet patients who live in a country with long waits for medical care and bureaucratic inefficiency may have low expectations.
    More ridiculous is the arbitrary way the Commonwealth Fund assigns weight to each of its measures. The proportion of patients who say they got infected at a hospital counts about the same in the "quality" measure as the proportion of doctors who use automated computer systems to remind them to tell patients their test results. Those things aren't equal in my book.
    The study's authors also consider having high administrative costs and spending the largest share of GDP on health care worse than having the highest share of patients who wait four months or more for surgery. This seems designed to make the U.S. look bad.
    Finally, the study penalizes nations for having large numbers of patients who spent more than $1,000 on medical care out of pocket, as if third-party payment is somehow superior.
    Michael Cannon, the Cato Institute's director of health policy studies, summed up what's wrong with the study: "The report does nothing more than reveal which nation does the worst job of satisfying the subjective preferences of the people who conducted this study."
    Fans of the Canadian system should note that Canada ranked fifth out of six and did worse than the U.S. in many ways.
    Are you listening, Michael Moore?

  8. #58
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    I have an excellent health plan because I am retired federal employee. Also, if I am ever in a rock and hard place financial position, I also have a disability rating from the VA. I was hospitalized for eight days last month due to a colon infection. That didn't require any surgery, but the paperwork I am receiving from my health plan and Medicare let me know I would be in deep dodo if I had to pay these enormous amounts of money.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by endsleigh03 View Post
    So Tug, whats the answer then for those who cannot afford to buy it and do not have access to it at work??
    [SIZE=3]Health Savings Accounts: Putting Patients in Control[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=1]By JOHN STOSSEL, GENA BINKLEY and PATRICK McMENAMIN[/SIZE]
    Sept. 14, 2007

    Don't you hate that high deductible on your insurance policy? You have to pay thousands of dollars before insurance covers your care. That's terrible, some say, but is it really? A version of it may be the key to lowering costs and putting you in charge of your health care.
    Five years ago, the grocery chain Whole Foods Market switched to a different kind of health insurance, a policy that puts patients more in control.

    CEO John Mackey explained the appeal of these policies. "Because it's like, 'At last, I can go to that acupuncturist! At last, I can go to my chiropractor! At last, I can spend the money the way I want to spend it.'"
    Whole Foods has an insurance policy with a high deductible. That means an employee like Braden Weirs must pay about $1,000 before his insurance kicks in. If he gets cancer or heart disease, his insurance covers it.
    But if he has a sore throat or a sprained ankle, he pays.
    To help workers pay, Whole Foods puts money into an account for them. Weirs got $1,500 this year. If he doesn't spend it on medical care this year, he keeps it and the company adds more next year.
    "And I have plenty of money left over," Weirs said. "So I can go get my new prescription glasses at the end of the year."

    Individual Responsibility

    Most companies call these accounts Health Savings or Health Reimbursement Accounts. The company saved money, too. "Our costs went way down," said Mackey.
    Still, some employees were angry about the plan. They said they wanted their full coverage back.
    "When you go from a system where people are very dependent and now you're telling them, 'Hey, you have to take more responsibility for your own health.' That was frightening to them," Mackey said. "Because they were going to have to be responsible for themselves, they weren't going to be taken care of any longer."
    So, Mackey held a vote among his employees on the plan. "The result was, 77 percent of the team members voted for the health plan that we have today," Mackey said.

    Today, some workers have piled up $8,000 in their health accounts.
    "And then that's their money," Mackey said. "It builds up over time and so, that's great because the money is compounding for them."
    Related Stories



    Weirs said he can save up his money and afford to have a child later on. It's because he controls the money and as it builds up, it can cover all sorts of future out-of-pocket medical expenses.

    'How Much Will This Cost?'

    Mackey said this changed his employees' behavior.
    "They start asking how much things cost. Or they get a bill and say, 'Wow, that's expensive.' They begin to ask questions. They may not want to go to the emergency room if they wake up with a hang nail in the middle of the night. They may schedule an appointment now."
    They didn't ask what things cost before?
    "Why should they?" Mackey said. "Somebody else was paying for it."
    When she went to the doctor, Whole Foods employee Mary Ann Buttros never asked, "How much will this cost?"
    "Because it didn't matter," Buttros said. "And now it matters to me, because it's my money."
    Because it is Buttros' money, some people worry that Health Savings Accounts will discourage people from getting the preventive care that they need or that they'll shortchange their health to economize.
    "The premise in those kind of questions are that people are stupid. They're not smart enough to make these decisions for themselves. It's sort of an elitist attitude," Mackey said. "The individual is the best judge of what's right for the individual."

    Shopping Around

    Apparently, most individuals are making smart choices.
    Regina Herzlinger, a Harvard Business School professor and author of "Who Killed Health Care?," said that "people who have these high-deductible health-insurance policies take better care of themselves. They have more yearly physicals," she said. "Because they're saying, if I keep myself healthy, in the long run, I'm gonna be spending less money."
    Whole Foods employee Cheralyn Schmidt used her account when she wanted to get a physical. Because it was her money, she shopped around. She found prices varied by hundreds of dollars.


    Creating Competition

    But some say health care's different. It's too complex. We can't decide that.
    "Gosh," Mackey said. "You know, should we allow people to make decisions about whether they have children or not? I mean that's a pretty important responsibility, having children!"
    But what about the argument that people don't know anything about things like cancer treatments?
    "I don't know anything about cars," Mackey said. "[But] if I go buy a Toyota, or an Audi, or a Lexus, I know I'm going to get a pretty good automobile, because competition ensures that it will be that way."
    That is why Americans buy Toyotas instead of Trabants. Of course cars and cancer are different, but where there is competition, information resources like Consumer Reports and Web sites spring up to help consumers make decisions. As the sliver of competition has entered health care, similar resources have appeared, rating doctors and hospitals.
    Ingenix, a health-care information and technology company based in Minnesota, has developed software that analyzes data from insurance claims to rate doctors and hospitals on quality and price. The firm has found that doctors that rate higher in quality tend to cost less money. They also catch problems earlier and keep their patients out of the emergency room more often.
    Currently, this rating system is only available to customers of insurance companies, but the company plans to make it more widely available through public search engines in the future.

    Whole Foods' Mackey said competition could improve American health care, except so far, not enough people shop for that health care.
    "The doctor doesn't feel compelled to compete on price," he said. "The doctor doesn't worry that he's going to lose that business to a competitor down the street. So there really isn't any price competition going on."
    That's why, he said, despite their big initial savings, Whole Foods' health care costs are creeping up again.
    "But if everybody was out there asking doctors what things cost, if doctors were advertising their prices," Mackey said, "we'd begin to see prices dropping."

  10. #60
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    Quick note: I realize the last couple of posts were long but I was thinking that people may demand real information around here. I felt, if you do not have the want to read longer texts, you can use the scroll bar.
    I wanted to be efficient in the information and not be accused that I was making things up. The proof is in the pudding and it's all there to read.

  11. #61
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    i have an "hsa" through my employer, good stuff, they put in so much every year so that way i have no copay or anything out of pocket.
    "I'm not great at the advice, can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?"



  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by endsleigh03 View Post
    And if you are self-employed, between jobs, low income? Then what? We can't all go get a job at Whole foods. This may be a solution , but not for alot of people.
    Ends, you are forgetting that in modern America, you can get health treatments/emergency services without having insurance.
    An example of that would be illegals in this country who get full benefits without paying a dime (Not a good nor fair thing).

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tugboat25 View Post
    Ends, you are forgetting that in modern America, you can get health treatments/emergency services without having insurance.
    An example of that would be illegals in this country who get full benefits without paying a dime (Not a good nor fair thing).
    Tug, respectfully, you are forgetting that when you go to the ER, without insurance, you are facing the whole (always huge) bill. One trip is enough to wipe out alot of people for years.
    If people had the money to pay off unexpected ER trips most of them would buy health insurance in the first place.
    About the illegals...they can also enter their children in schools here, no status questions asked, according to something I read the other day, but that is a whole different subject.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by endsleigh03 View Post
    Tug, respectfully, you are forgetting that when you go to the ER, without insurance, you are facing the whole (always huge) bill. One trip is enough to wipe out alot of people for years.
    If people had the money to pay off unexpected ER trips most of them would buy health insurance in the first place.
    About the illegals...they can also enter their children in schools here, no status questions asked, according to something I read the other day, but that is a whole different subject.
    But I ask you, why is it up to the American public who are already over burdened by taxes and bills and payments etc to carry those who cannot/will not on their own? That is not meant to be harsh but there is a level, a limit to fairness for the vast majority of American citizens.
    I am sympathetic to people who struggle, I want the best for everyone in this country no matter who they are and no matter what social standard but there is a limit to the American peoples ability to carry others who cannot or will not improve their own lot.
    There are ways to cover charges, there are services and programs that do help. No one has ever been thrown in jail just because they got sick.

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuckMyKiss View Post
    I see, I thought you meant you had the right to turn a person away. I wasn't sure so I was just checking. That would be kinda wrong.
    Private hospitals here do have the right to turn people away.
    .

    Life goes on.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuckMyKiss View Post

    Yes, we are indeed, but we also pay for everyone elses rubbish to be emptied, houses to be fixed if they rent a house, keeping the country clean, woodlands to be preserved, transport links to be bettered...all of our taxes go to EVERYTHING. We don't look at it like that. We pay our taxes from our wages every month and thats that. Something you don't even miss, because it is taken out automatically everytime you are paid. When we do need the hospital, we walk in, get attended to, worked on, given an operation if we need it, given aftercare, and walk out. No bills to be paid, no money worries, nothing.

    You guys pay your taxes, and then ontop of that, whenever you need healthcare, you have to pay more.

    Would you not rather they use your taxes to pay for healthcare, rather than paying through the nose everytime you need something done?
    All good points.
    .

    Life goes on.

  17. #67
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    free tummy tucks!? sign me up.
    "I'm not great at the advice, can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?"



  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dotty View Post
    I can't get my head round the amounts of some of the bills quoted here just for hospital care???

    I much prefer our way, okay some people abuse the system (eg. flu jabs; people with asthma, pensioners etc. are advised to have a flu jab each winter. All they have to do is to go along the their local surgery and make an appointment, turn up at the agreed time and date and have the jab. Not one single person along the line asks them to prove that they are in one of the groups considered to be at risk. I know of at least one person that goes along and has a flu jab every year 'just in case'. The latest thing is tummy tucks on the NHS. I know of four women who have all had a 'free' tummy tuck.) but at least if you are ill or in an accident you don't have the worry of a huge bill to add to the trauma.
    There will always be people who abuse a system. Tummy tucks for free? Sheeesh.

  19. #69
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    I can't get my head round the amounts of some of the bills quoted here just for hospital care???

    I much prefer our way, okay some people abuse the system (eg. flu jabs; people with asthma, pensioners etc. are advised to have a flu jab each winter. All they have to do is to go along the their local surgery and make an appointment, turn up at the agreed time and date and have the jab. Not one single person along the line asks them to prove that they are in one of the groups considered to be at risk. I know of at least one person that goes along and has a flu jab every year 'just in case'. The latest thing is tummy tucks on the NHS. I know of four women who have all had a 'free' tummy tuck.) but at least if you are ill or in an accident you don't have the worry of a huge bill to add to the trauma.

  20. #70
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    Ooops, sorry. B*ggered up my post a bit there...

    But yes, free tummy tucks

  21. #71
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    WOW. talk about abusing the system!!
    "I'm not great at the advice, can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?"



  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dotty View Post
    I can't get my head round the amounts of some of the bills quoted here just for hospital care???

    I much prefer our way, okay some people abuse the system (eg. flu jabs; people with asthma, pensioners etc. are advised to have a flu jab each winter. All they have to do is to go along the their local surgery and make an appointment, turn up at the agreed time and date and have the jab. Not one single person along the line asks them to prove that they are in one of the groups considered to be at risk. I know of at least one person that goes along and has a flu jab every year 'just in case'. The latest thing is tummy tucks on the NHS. I know of four women who have all had a 'free' tummy tuck.) but at least if you are ill or in an accident you don't have the worry of a huge bill to add to the trauma.
    Speaking of costs...my daughter developed a skin condition and recently I had to take her to the dermatologists. She has insurance thru her dad's work THANK YOU GOD! Anyway, I used a new pharmacy and the actual prices were printed on the paperwork. One was a .60 ml bottle...$295.00. Another small bottle was $195.00. She has six prescriptions altogether. It added up to almost $600.00 for all of them.
    These medical/prescription costs are OUT OF CONTROL. And again, thank god for the insurance, or I wouldn't have been able to buy them, and that stuff would have continued to creep all over her face.

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by onehunglow View Post
    Yes and pay 100% for the People that work for me. It is all tax ded. and like it never came in. We do have $2000.00 deuduc. but I got a great deal on a group plan. Covers scripts as well. No vison or dental.
    A really good visual and dental are so hard to come by, even if your insurance is great....hats off to you for what you do for your employees....not many like you around anymore

  24. #74
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    Nope ...I have a "pre-existing condition" so I can't get coverage..I had state insurance that I paid alot for then they cut that program and the alternative was just too expensive. I was recently in the hospital and have a huge bill but I can pay it a bit at a time

  25. #75
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    I'm very sorry for all of your situations. You are all in my prayers. As I stated in another thread, I have a swollen blood vessel in my brain which causes seizures and migraines. Even though I automatically qualify for permanent, Social Security Disability (SSDI not SSI, because I've worked for close to 30 years) I HAVE to work. WHY? Because my husband has cancer and we couldn't afford all of the uncovered expenses that Medi-Cal and Medicare don't cover that we both need. We need good insurance and we need to be able to pay for the good insurance premiums, copays, deductibles, out of network costs, etc. It sucks, but I will say I'm less depressed when I"m working. When he was diagnosed with cancer, I realized I didn't have a choice, and now I'm happier working than sitting at home. I've been FIRED because of my disability (yes, they were within their rights because it was an "essential function" that I was unable to perform and they packaged me out). I have never in my life performed less than well, but I had to go out and try again because we need the insurance.

    So to make a short story long again...do I have insurance? I live for it.
    Either this wallpaper goes or I do. ~~Oscar Wilde's purported dying words

    I did not get my SpahettiOs. I got spaghetti. I want the press to know this. ~~ Grasso, Thomas J. - 1995 death row inmate on his last meal

  26. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuckMyKiss View Post

    Our taxes cover it. But you can't really complain. I'd rather pay my taxes and get free health care, then have to pay taxes AND pay thousands everytime I need a trip to the hospital.
    But your taxes are absolutely Insane over there SMK!!
    You guys are taxed to Death.
    No way would I Ever want the U.S. to have a tax code like the one that exists in the U.K.

  27. #77
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    Full coverage, good thing too after this year.

  28. #78
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    In Australia

    We have free medical care as well and you dont have to pay for most things (there is a GAP price though which you will have to fork over even if you are covered by Medicare) The wait to get non essential surgery is an absolute disgrace and not getting any better...

    I did however have to go get an Xray the other day and a consult in the emergency room (on a referral from the doc) and everything from the initial doctor's appt to the consult & xray was free! lucky me. We pay a tax on this though, but you dont have to pay for the tax if you get private medical insurance. this allows quicker times for elective surgery and private hospitals as well. I cant afford it though.

    We have certain perscriptive drugs that are at a low cost as the government subsidises these - so if you are need them and they are on the list then you are lucky as they are much cheaper...

  29. #79
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    We are starting new Insurance this next year and we even have new vision insurance. Bout time. I've gone from 70/30 to 90/10 so yea me! I have really good medical/dental/vision insurance but best of all, best perscription coverage. My copay went from $15 to $25 a visit. ouch! But single mom of 3 teenagers, it pays for itself in march or april with all the broken bones, minor surgeries, etc.
    Looking forward to walking the streets of gold.

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    You asked for a Y/N...and got an essay...no, a novel

    After suffering the slings & arrows of working in retail managment for about a dozen years, I made a jump to working for the phone co. back in '96. It was a huge blessing, since the following year one of my little "birth defects" finally became problematic. I was LUCKY to have excellent health insurance, which covered every penny of my 2 open heart surguries & 7 other in-patient ordeals afterwards. (zero deductible at that!) Another wise move that I'd made when I went to work for a huge corp. was electing for long-term disability insurance.

    One the flip side, between hospitalization #3 & 4....the 4th in less than a year, since I worked in a union call center, I was introduced into the disciplinary system. (We have to treat everyone the same way, and you cannot afford to miss ANY more work!!!) When I was lying in recovery from my 1st of 4 attempts to resolve my arrhythmia....and it returned (while I was still groggy!!!) I began to examine what the future would hold. I could return to work asap.....and TRY to keep from being fired and IF that worked out, had to sweat it out through a pending merger (GTE & Bell Atlantic were about to become Verizon) OR I could elect to use my L.T.D. insurance, which I was paying for...and saving it for what? A tubal pregnancy?!?!????

    I chose the safe bet but it was not a perfect plan. It took more than 2 years to get approved for SSDI, during which my long-term policy paid 60% of my salary. I ended up have to use 2 different law firms to get approved...even though I was in & out of the hospital quite often at the time. What the good folks had failed to inform me of was that once I was approved for SSDI, I would have to repay the difference between what I'd been getting & what I would receive from the govt. The insurance co. withheld my benefits until the difference was repaid.

    Another unplanned surprise came when I discovered that after being on SSDI for a year I would be dropped by my health insurance & become a Medicare patient. (My former employor still pays for my supplemental, vision & dental). There is an artform to keeping the insurance company & the government happy with their endless forms to maintain my status. What's really eating away at my finances now is the cost of my meds.

    My current cardiologist has no qualms about filling out the required forms to keep me "on the dole" which is good since I do go through periods of feeling very guilty. Perhaps there is some job that I could perform but....and aint there always a but?!?? IF one is receiving SSDI & elects to return to the workforce, I hear that it is next to impossible to get approved ever again and it was such an ordeal when I was really very sick. The "bright" spot in that soothes my guilt is that my doctor keeps telling me to enjoy my run of good health for as long as it lasts....but that he does not expect that it will be indefinitely stable. There has been talk of eventual pacemaker/defribulator and transplantation....but I don't let my mind go there for now.

    My advice: Take whatever insurance benefits you can get...hopefully you'll never need them. I'm glad that our govt. has SOMETHING in place, I wish it could be improved on...but it is what it is. As a kid, I had "socialized medicine" as an Army brat. (Maybe that definition is not accurate....but it comes awfully close.) My dad paid into Social Security & died before he ever saw a penny. I will never have any dependants to collect. I feel like the theme of this novella has become "do it to them before they do it to you." Maybe so...but I'd gladly trade my medical history for excellent health with an excellent job with excellent benefits that I never needed.

  31. #81
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    Oct 2007
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    2,524
    Yep, I have insurance, more important then the salary anymore.

    Member since 10/10/07

  32. #82
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    Nov 2007
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    Leicestershire, England.
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    Quote Originally Posted by endsleigh03 View Post
    Speaking of costs...my daughter developed a skin condition and recently I had to take her to the dermatologists. She has insurance thru her dad's work THANK YOU GOD! Anyway, I used a new pharmacy and the actual prices were printed on the paperwork. One was a .60 ml bottle...$295.00. Another small bottle was $195.00. She has six prescriptions altogether. It added up to almost $600.00 for all of them.
    These medical/prescription costs are OUT OF CONTROL. And again, thank god for the insurance, or I wouldn't have been able to buy them, and that stuff would have continued to creep all over her face.

    Good grief and to think I've complained at having to pay 6.65 per item on a prescription! Never again. Unbelievable

  33. #83
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    Oct 2007
    Posts
    309
    Nat'l healthcare can't work in the US. We are just way too big with over 260 million now. That would be one very humongeous, and messy bureaucracy which we already have too many of.

    Prescriptions are out of control. My bro-in law is bi-polar, and his meds cost almost 1000 a month, and he was forced to apply for Medi-cal because his job don't offer coverage, and he can't ever get a raise at work now or he will lose it.
    Last edited by Chascsq; 11-15-2007 at 11:49 PM.

  34. #84
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    Oct 2007
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    Rehab
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    Quote Originally Posted by MIZIZVOGUE View Post
    You are paying for EVERYONE else's hospital trip too, through your taxes.

    So if we're paying for someone else, who's paying for us? It's based on averages and on average 90% of healthcare is given to you in the last 10% of your life. I'm personally never ill so yes; technically there's an argument, albeit weak, that I'm currently paying for someone else. However who's to say I won't get hit by a bus tomorrow and spend the rest of my life being waited on hand and foot by medical professionals? I'm willing to take the risk and cross the road and I'm willing to take the risk of losing money with Taxation fuelled Healthcare.




    Starting in 2001 a new MS drug variant was available to my partner. It had been proven in another market to the UK but was approximately 3 years away from full UK availability. We were offered it at a cost of just over 22,000 a year. I paid this figure for three years until it was available on prescription. Now it's been available to her at a standard prescription cost every quarter for nearly four years at a total cost to us of less than 150. The drug company is still getting their money and will continue to do so for the rest of her natural life. The price has dropped slightly over that time but it's still a consierable amount of money and someone's paying it.

    It doesn't matter where you are in the world, if the drug companies injected 10% of their joint annual profits into local health care systems everyone would receive health care our ancestors could only have dreamed about.


    It doesn't matter how good our respective health care sytems are, the drugs companies are bending us over and aiming for penetration.

  35. #85
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    Oct 2007
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    So if we're paying for someone else, who's paying for us? It's based on averages and on average 90% of healthcare is given to you in the last 10% of your life. I'm personally never ill so yes; technically there's an argument, albeit weak, that I'm currently paying for someone else. However who's to say I won't get hit by a bus tomorrow and spend the rest of my life being waited on hand and foot by medical professionals? I'm willing to take the risk and cross the road and I'm willing to take the risk of losing money with Taxation fuelled Healthcare.
    Personally I don't agree with this but I've already explained why earlier in this thread. This however, I do agree with:

    the drugs companies are bending us over and aiming for penetration.
    One of my many prescriptions costs $400 per month for nine pills. All together if we were to pay cash for my prescriptions, we'd be looking at roughly $5000 per month on those alone. With insurance, it's less than $1000. I'm 44 btw, not some teatime lady who lunches and fell upon health misfortune in her golden years. Just your average, middle-aged chick.

    There are programs here in the U.S. where the drug companies do help people pay for their prescriptions-even with insurance-if they can't afford them. But the margin of people who really qualify for them is much narrower than the drug companies and advertising would like us to believe.

    Why nine pills cost over $400 is beyond me other than profit motive. Everyone wants to be Microsoft these days I guess. But I like you am not amused nor do I applaud these drug companies for their abuse of the free enterprise system at my expense. So yes you're right, that is a big part of it. I just wish political agreement could be reached to put an end to that abuse at our expense.
    .

    Life goes on.

  36. #86
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    Oct 2007
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    Penetration....achieved.

  37. #87
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    377
    I know exactly how you feel, endsleigh. My ex doesn't have insurance at his job, I have none at mine. So, my daughter has no insurance at all. I work pretty damn hard to pay the bills and feed the and clothe a growing teenager, I simply can't afford out of pocket health insurance. I can't afford ER bills or scripts either. It's not a matter of me not working or not doing for myself or my kid, it's a matter of just not making enough to cover everything. I can cover her through CHIP in my state, which I'm in the process of doing right now.

    What bothers me about the way some people approach the uninsured is their belief that those of us without coverage who just want a bit of help are lazy or not willing to do our share. I work full time and I go to college full time. Lazy is one thing I'm not. Overwhelmed, well yeah. I wish I could be lazy for like 5 minutes once a month. That, to me would be heaven.

  38. #88
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by cleanskull View Post
    When I lost my job I lost my insurance. No one will hire me beacuse of age with numerous health problems. I have a doctor who gives me samples for most of my problems but it is a stop-gap measure. My wife is self employed. I might make it to 65 and medicare but I wouldn't bet on it. I am trying to get on SS disability but they make it a long and hard process. I paid into it steadily since I was 18 and I just want a little back for health care. At least my widow will get it.
    Sorry this has happened to you. Keep up with trying to get the SSDI. My MIL had to go through hell and high water to get hers for Parkinsons, but she finally got it.

  39. #89
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    Oct 2007
    Posts
    3,078

    I need to buy health insurance, any advice?

    I have not been insured for the most part since about 1994. I have been lucky to not need it for the most part over the years but I'm coming to an age where I am realizing I need some sort of coverage. My job does not offer insurance but does pay me to buy my own. I had an HSA (Health Savings Account) through American Family but I dropped it because times were tight and I was a little heavy and they were surcharging me for my weight. I'm thinking about going back to the HSA, it isn't very expensive even though it has a $1000/year deductible it covers 100% after that. However with the HSA and I assume any private health insurance is going to put a rider on my history of respiratory problems stemming from bronchial asthma. I am open to listen to any advice my death hag friends would like to offer.

  40. #90
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    4,768
    Yeah..most private health insurance are scams.You pay out the nose but they cover nada.Just my 2 cents. Get a major medical policy.

  41. #91
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Staten Island
    Posts
    1,659
    How old are you now?

  42. #92
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    Oct 2007
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    25.

  43. #93
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    Oct 2007
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    Staten Island
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    I am licensed here in NY but for Medicare and other senior products, not regular health, but I understand the lingo.

    I can tell you your best bet is to look for an HMO. It is prices on a community rating which means it is your best chance for the asthma not interfering with your fees.

    If you find something and you are not sure of a term or something you can PM me if needed.

  44. #94
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    Oct 2007
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    3,078
    Thanks a ton!

  45. #95
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    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    583
    Just get insured, dammit!!! LOL!!!
    Drink coffee and do stupid things faster with more energy.

  46. #96
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    Oct 2007
    Location
    Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by deathybrad View Post
    I have not been insured for the most part since about 1994. I have been lucky to not need it for the most part over the years but I'm coming to an age where I am realizing I need some sort of coverage. My job does not offer insurance but does pay me to buy my own. I had an HSA (Health Savings Account) through American Family but I dropped it because times were tight and I was a little heavy and they were surcharging me for my weight. I'm thinking about going back to the HSA, it isn't very expensive even though it has a $1000/year deductible it covers 100% after that. However with the HSA and I assume any private health insurance is going to put a rider on my history of respiratory problems stemming from bronchial asthma. I am open to listen to any advice my death hag friends would like to offer.
    I thought you were a police officer? How come you don't get benefits??

  47. #97
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    Oct 2007
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    Staten Island
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    I send you a PM. Email me again if you need.

  48. #98
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    Apr 2008
    Location
    Connecticut, You know home of ESPN
    Posts
    9,266
    Private insurance is expensive! I have to get my own and I pay 326.00 a month for Blue Cross. Icky


    "I will be buried in a spring loaded casket filled with confetti, and a future archaeologist will have one awesome day at work."

  49. #99
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Liverpool, England
    Posts
    349
    I was on the "Gas" comparison site earlier, having a moan about Britain's petrol (Gas) being around $16 a gallon. I take the moan back.

    Most people in Britain don't need health insurance. If we have an illness we see our GP (doctor) and if necessary a referral is made to a hospital. Chronic illnesses are treated as appropriate, no matter how serious. If I needed emergency treatment (god forbid) I would just go to a hospital and be treated.

    In the area I live in we have some of the best services in the Country including Maternity/Cardio/Cancer Treatments which are based at different sites across the region.

    Our service is not perfect - there's lots of flaws - but if someone's needs treatment they get it for the most part. There are long waiting lists for some treatments - but if someone has a heart attack for instance, this would be treated immediately.

    The British system is called the NHS (National Health Service), which people pay for from their salaries. Even people who don't work have the service.

    I am aware that Americans need to fund their own health insurance and this is expensive, however, my only experience of American healthcare is ER, which is not real life therefore, can someone tell me what happens when someone doesn't have health insurance and has an accident or something like a heart attack - how do they get treated?

  50. #100
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Staten Island
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    1,659
    Long story short, they will get a huge bill. Some private hospitals can turn them away.

    If you really need medical help and have no money for insurance, you may be forced onto medicaid which is the government free health welfare system.

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