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Health Insurance - A "Must Have"

Health Insurance - A "Must Have"

Old Dec 3rd 2011, 9:16 pm
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Exclamation Health Insurance - A "Must Have"

Last month, Mrs. Express spent three nights in the Hospital, for a condition related to her Diabetes. Incidentally, this prevented me from travelling to England for my Cousin's Funeral.

She required no surgery, but, needed fluids and an Ultrasound. We just got the Bill, yesterday, and it came to a tad-bit under $12,000. Fortunately, our part of the Bill is just less than $1,000.

This covers the Hospital Portion of the Treatment. The Payment for the ER Physician is still yet to come.

Make sure you get Health Insurance, if you don't already have it!

Jim.
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Old Dec 4th 2011, 12:06 am
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Default Re: Health Insurance - A "Must Have"

Must admit it still amazes me how much healthcare costs in the US. Do the docs arrive at work in private helicopters?

A few months ago I had eye surgery, a general anaesthesia op lasting nearly two hours, billed privately. That, along with subsequent laser surgery and numerous outpatient appointments, has cost under £2,500. And my surgeon lives quite well thank you very much, albeit no helicopter that I know of.

On the one hand, stories on here show just how crucial insurance is, but also how expensive it can be.
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Old Dec 4th 2011, 1:28 am
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Default Re: Health Insurance - A "Must Have"

Ouch. Sorry to hear that and condolences on your cousin

Little Bobette v2, couple months shy of a year old now, we've still getting a couple of new bills in the post from labs that interpreted some scan results and for "hire" of hospital equipment

And we had insurance, 90/10 split at the time and we're owing somewhere over $10K a few bob more...so yeah, easy to do the maths, but premature baby 3 weeks ICU ain't for the faint of hearted
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Old Dec 4th 2011, 6:59 pm
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Default Re: Health Insurance - A "Must Have"

[QUOTE=GeoffM;9768661]Must admit it still amazes me how much healthcare costs in the US. Do the docs arrive at work in private helicopters?

While it may appear from medical TV dramas that doctors (physicians, more precisely) live a glamorous life, the reality is far more... mundane; it is often grueling, stressful and affects family life long after hours.

Physicians salaries have not increased for over 30 years. My wife's starting salary was the exact same number as that of her 'attending' (supervisor) in 1980; which is to say that salaries have decreased over this period due to the effects of inflation.

What has changed is the role of insurance companies. They dictate prices and coverage. In doing so they limit payments to physicians and premiums to patients. Almost all older physicians lament the changes to the profession over the past 30-40 years; it is a perennial conversation at the annual Christmas party. Consider that for most OB/GYNs the first $140,000 earned each year goes directly to paying the malpractice insurance (OB/GYN is higher risk, most others are lower).

A friend of my mother-in-law came to the US a few years back. She had a stroke. 9 days in hospital. After extensive negotiations the bill was brought down to $87,000. No insurance. They paid. It's a horrible side of medicine.

The salaries of physicians are still good, but I'm saying that they are just a part of the reason for high costs.
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Old Dec 4th 2011, 7:04 pm
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Default Re: Health Insurance - A "Must Have"

Yup. I just got an EOB that was just under $20,000 billed charges. No doctors fees were on it, just medical equipment, three blood tests, one pill and a couple of scans.
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Old Dec 4th 2011, 7:20 pm
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Default Re: Health Insurance - A "Must Have"

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
Must admit it still amazes me how much healthcare costs in the US.
How much it costs, how much is billed and how much is paid are three very different numbers!
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Old Dec 4th 2011, 7:50 pm
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Default Re: Health Insurance - A "Must Have"

Originally Posted by marmaladecat1 View Post
Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
Must admit it still amazes me how much healthcare costs in the US. Do the docs arrive at work in private helicopters?
While it may appear from medical TV dramas that doctors (physicians, more precisely) live a glamorous life, the reality is far more... mundane; it is often grueling, stressful and affects family life long after hours.
I was kind of joking about the helicopters... should have been more obvious.

Originally Posted by sir_eccles View Post
How much it costs, how much is billed and how much is paid are three very different numbers!
Yeah, but they're still big numbers!

Anyway, a rhetorical question, why does it cost so much and where does all that money go? If the doctors aren't overpaid and the nurses aren't overpaid, and the drugs don't really cost that much, and the machines are the same as in the UK, and the treatment isn't necessarily any better, then where does it go? And if private healthcare in the UK is a similar model (shareholders, private business making money - okay, maybe not exactly the same), then why doesn't that cost anywhere near what the US costs?

Don't bother picking holes in my question, it's not really meant for answering or to hijack a thread. It still amazes me after 18 months on this forum, that's all! It costs what it costs and that's what I'll have to pay so there's no point dwelling on it personally.
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Old Dec 4th 2011, 10:28 pm
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Default Re: Health Insurance - A "Must Have"

Geoff, I think BUPA is not-for-profit. But you're right, private treatment in the UK is way cheaper, and if you go to continental Europe, even cheaper (depending on country). I guess because the European states provides healthcare at no cost or reduced cost to the patient (in most cases), the private providers have to compete for business and therefore their charges can't be ridiculous.

In a thread about dental treatment I read about Americans getting their teeth worked on in Mexico! I think for a large amount of work it would save a fortune.
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Old Dec 4th 2011, 11:14 pm
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Default Re: Health Insurance - A "Must Have"

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
Anyway, a rhetorical question, why does it cost so much and where does all that money go?
Well lets look at some of the items on the bills I've received from our local "non-profit" hospital.

* Saline drip bag- $85 per piece. Changed when still over half full.
* Little cup to pee in to catch kidney stone - $350.
* Needle for back of hand for anesthetic - $70. Went through 6 of those.
* MRI for knee - $4,500.
* One overnight stay - $12,000

I could go on but I won't. It's a racket, plain and simple. The insurance companies and the medical facilities are raking it in hand over fist. Sadly, the majority of people don't see anything wrong with heatlhcare being run for profit and those supposedly non-profit enterprises are still taking advantage.
I had a rather spirited discussion with a neighbour last night about this. Her attitude was the common one about "why should I pay for someone else's healthcare?" I pointed out to her that I have no kids, she has 4 and 40% of my property tax goes to the school district. How is that any different?
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Old Dec 4th 2011, 11:30 pm
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Default Re: Health Insurance - A "Must Have"

My wife has been ill for close to 3 years now (hopefully finally on the road to recovery) at one point her employer let her go and never informed us. We were without insurance because it was past the 30 day qualifying event to get insurance through where I work before we realised.

So I tried to get us COBRA but just medical for her was an ungodly amount and we were still waiting for long term disability to kick in.

I have had bills roll in from anywhere between $18,000 to $46,000. Total costs before any insurance has been factored in is well over $250,000 to date.

Then they wonder why people have to file medical bankruptcy.
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Old Dec 4th 2011, 11:57 pm
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Default Re: Health Insurance - A "Must Have"

I am very thankful that my husband has insurance for the both of us through work. However as he has been seasonally employed until this year, I know the cost of not having it.

February last year I took a hard fall playing derby, separated my shoulder and had a decently sized gash on my chin. I didn't want an ambulance, I was happy to wait for my husband, but, some idiot called them and in my husband's haze of worry said yes to them taking me.

Needless to say, with charity from the hospital who took care of our bill because neither of us were working, we were left with the bill from the ambulance. $1000 for 9 miles.
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Old Dec 5th 2011, 1:42 am
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Default Re: Health Insurance - A "Must Have"

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
Anyway, a rhetorical question, why does it cost so much and where does all that money go? If the doctors aren't overpaid and the nurses aren't overpaid, and the drugs don't really cost that much, and the machines are the same as in the UK, and the treatment isn't necessarily any better, then where does it go? And if private healthcare in the UK is a similar model (shareholders, private business making money - okay, maybe not exactly the same), then why doesn't that cost anywhere near what the US costs?
Private in the UK is cheaper because the NHS is the basic infrastructure, using same doctors and facilities as well as anything major is normally punted on the NHS such as cancer treatment.

The cost of drugs/treatment being regulated and the government able to get bulk rates probably helps with the cost too.

Then again, the companies know they can screw the local market by hyping the cost, so they do. Much like software companies do the reverse and hike the cost in the EU - Cost of say Photoshop is x3 in England to the US for instance....you screw who you can screw basically.
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Old Dec 5th 2011, 1:44 am
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Default Re: Health Insurance - A "Must Have"

Originally Posted by cluedweasel View Post
...Her attitude was the common one about "why should I pay for someone else's healthcare?" I pointed out to her that I have no kids, she has 4 and 40% of my property tax goes to the school district. How is that any different?
That and they are already paying for socialised medical care for others, they just can't use it themselves. Paying for the elderly, the vets, anyone in government etc, etc.
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Old Dec 5th 2011, 2:21 am
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Default Re: Health Insurance - A "Must Have"

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
That and they are already paying for socialised medical care for others, they just can't use it themselves. Paying for the elderly, the vets, anyone in government etc, etc.
Not forgetting the uninsured who have little choice but to use the ER.
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Old Dec 5th 2011, 4:24 am
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Post Re: Health Insurance - A "Must Have"

Someone mentioned BUPA in this thread.

I'm insured with BUPA International for global health insurance coverage.

You may be interested to see what they are charging in the UK for a "Female Executive Health Screen" at the BUPA hospital on the Cromwell Road (A4) near Earl's Court/South Kensington:

http://www.cromwellhospital.com/bupa...th_screen.aspx

(485 GBP). I would love to know how much it would cost in the US. It is frustrating/astonishing that medical charges in the US are rather like paying for a flight; the person next to you may pay a totally different price for the very same product. Why can't it be the same price for all for the same amount of service provided?
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