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How good is healthcare insurance for those government employees?

How good is healthcare insurance for those government employees?

Old Nov 8th 2012, 11:59 pm
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Default Re: How good is healthcare insurance for those government employees?

Originally Posted by Sally Redux View Post
It's whined about but it actually is world class and what's more you never have to think about it.
You're preaching to the choir. The NHS served me well. No amount of money over here will buy that level of peace of mind, unless I win the lottery or can earn $300,000 a year. Those with stellar health insurance over here now could be laid off and find themselves staring into the 'WTF' abyss. It could happen to anyone.

Peace of mind = priceless.
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Old Nov 9th 2012, 12:01 am
  #17  
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Default Re: How good is healthcare insurance for those government employees?

Originally Posted by Ethelred_the_Unready View Post
You're preaching to the choir. The NHS served me well. No amount of money over here will buy that level of peace of mind, unless I win the lottery or can earn $300,000 a year. Those with stellar health insurance over here now could be laid off and find themselves staring into the 'WTF' abyss. It could happen to anyone.

Peace of mind = priceless.
Absolutely.
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Old Nov 9th 2012, 12:02 am
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Default Re: How good is healthcare insurance for those government employees?

To Ethelred_the_Unready, so you implicitly admit that those US government workers may have a better deal?

Of course, it is true they may lose everything if they lose the job.

In my friend's case, he said that is why it is very difficult to fire any permanent workers in his organization. They rely on the unions and office politics to fight to the death. So it is very hard to sack anyone.
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Old Nov 9th 2012, 12:03 am
  #19  
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Default Re: How good is healthcare insurance for those government employees?

Originally Posted by jmorgnita View Post

1. The quality of healthcare: I enjoy NHS but don't think it is "world class" as many fans in the UK would claim. I don't know what it is like in the US, so that is why I asked the question.
NHS treatment is generally "world class". Some areas need improvement, but the general standard of care is excellent.

2. The cost: My wife and I in the UK both have to pay the national insurance to get access to NHS.
You don't have to pay anything to get NHS treatment, you just have to be a UK resident. NHS funding comes out of general taxation not NICs. If you lived in the US you would pay 7% federal tax to fund your old age pension and Medicare which is the subsidized federal health insurance for those over 65. Then you'd also have to pay for your own health insurance and be responsible for the deductible ($5k or $10k) if you got ill. For a family the premiums could be from $5k to $15k a year depending on how much your employer will pay....
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Old Nov 9th 2012, 12:10 am
  #20  
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Default Re: How good is healthcare insurance for those government employees?

Originally Posted by Ethelred_the_Unready View Post
You are very lucky and MA is a very progressive state with the right attitude.
Yes that's why I live there. If I lost my job it's MA law that I must buy my own health insurance. Under COBRA I could keep my existing insurance for 18 months paying the full $400/month after that I'd have to buy private insurance which would be around $500/month for a $2k deductible and $4k annual out of pocket max plan. Also in MA you cannot be refused insurance or pay higher premiums because you have a pre-existing condition.
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Old Nov 9th 2012, 12:37 am
  #21  
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Default Re: How good is healthcare insurance for those government employees?

Originally Posted by jmorgnita View Post
This is just an academic discussion, as I would like to have more information and advice.
The US health care system industry is how not to do it. The results are low to medium, a sizable proportion of the population only receives treatment through the ER, and the costs are a good 2 to 4 times more than comparable countries. Any academic discussion would knock it out of the reckoning about 30 seconds in.
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Old Nov 9th 2012, 12:44 am
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Default Re: How good is healthcare insurance for those government employees?

Hi fatbrit, my question, as in the title, is only about the healthcare insurance available to government employees. I would appreciate hearing information about this particular aspect only. Not a general criticism about the whole country.

Is there any evidence that those working in the public sector in the UK have comparable package, or is it simply that US government employees enjoy better care?

Last edited by jmorgnita; Nov 9th 2012 at 12:48 am.
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Old Nov 9th 2012, 12:59 am
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Default Re: How good is healthcare insurance for those government employees?

Originally Posted by jmorgnita View Post
Hi fatbrit, my question, as in the title, is only about the healthcare insurance available to government employees. I would appreciate hearing information about this particular aspect only. Not a general criticism about the whole country.

Is there any evidence that those working in the public sector in the UK have comparable package, or is it simply that US government employees enjoy better care?
There are federal, state, county and city employees. 1 federation, 50 states (+ a few odds and ends), 3000 odd counties and gawd-knows-how-many cities. So any answer is going to be a generalization.

Generally, government employees get better health care benefits than the average employee. But you can't compare it with the UK where residency, not your employer, is the only qualification for excellent, cost-effective health care.
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Old Nov 9th 2012, 1:22 am
  #24  
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Default Re: How good is healthcare insurance for those government employees?

Originally Posted by fatbrit View Post
There are federal, state, county and city employees. 1 federation, 50 states (+ a few odds and ends), 3000 odd counties and gawd-knows-how-many cities. So any answer is going to be a generalization.

Generally, government employees get better health care benefits than the average employee. But you can't compare it with the UK where residency, not your employer, is the only qualification for excellent, cost-effective health care.
+1
There is a wide range of health insurance offered to US Government employees and retirees. The premiums are usually far less than those paid by people in private industry. The standard of care will be similar to that you get on the NHS. So IMHO and as a MA Government worker the NHS is better because it gives comparable care at a lower cost and there are no out of pocket expenses. FYI the level of taxation in the US is similar to that in the UK once Federal, state, and local taxes are included......and then you also have to pay for health care.

Last edited by nun; Nov 9th 2012 at 1:27 am.
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Old Nov 9th 2012, 1:24 am
  #25  
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Default Re: How good is healthcare insurance for those government employees?

Originally Posted by Sally Redux View Post
Personally, the last thing I would move to the US for is the healthcare.
Indeed. Considering how cheap BUPA is as a top up in the UK, compared to the US..
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Old Nov 9th 2012, 1:29 am
  #26  
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Default Re: How good is healthcare insurance for those government employees?

Originally Posted by jmorgnita View Post
Hi fatbrit, my question, as in the title, is only about the healthcare insurance available to government employees. I would appreciate hearing information about this particular aspect only. Not a general criticism about the whole country.

Is there any evidence that those working in the public sector in the UK have comparable package, or is it simply that US government employees enjoy better care?
Like everyone has said. It depends massively where and what the person does.

One example, I've already given. Do you think that's better?

Folks in the UK generally don't need healthcare as a benefit, so they get other benefits...holiday allowance generally being one of them that is much better than offered in the US.
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Old Nov 9th 2012, 10:49 am
  #27  
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Default Re: How good is healthcare insurance for those government employees?

Just giving my own example:-

Almost two years ago I had to go to hospital with headaches. This wound up being a 4 night hospital stay, 3 months of speech therapy, several more visits for tests and 6 months after I was admitted, I ended up getting brain surgery - this was at Johns Hopkins, which is definitely world class.

I'm a state employee, with a pretty good insurance policy (but not the best I can get), and ended up paying somewhere in the region of $1,000 of this. The biggest chunk I payed was for the therapy, but the surgery was as close to free, and many of the pills were free.
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Old Nov 9th 2012, 12:47 pm
  #28  
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Default Re: How good is healthcare insurance for those government employees?

Originally Posted by nun View Post
I'm very grateful for the fantastic insurance I get as a Massachusetts state worker and I have access to some of the in the world's best hospitals like Mass General. My single person premium is $50/month. There is no deductible, but I pay $15 for each doctor visit, $100 for the first diagnostic test and $250 if I get admitted to hospital. Last year I had some outpatient surgery and the cost was $115. I also have excellent dental insurance that costs $12/month and recently had a root canal. The bill was $1400 and was completely covered by my insurance.

I've much the same as a dependent under my husband's NYS healthcare provided by CSEA (the school system). Before he retired he paid no premium for either himself or me. After retirement, his is still free, they reimburse him for his Medicare payment and my insurance (the same as I have always carried) is $100 a month, so $1,200 annually. I have no deductible; it is a PPO so I can see anyone without a referral; emergency room fee is $60 and a charge of $100 if admitted to hospital as a patient. Co-pay is $10 per visit for primary care personnel and $25 for specialist.
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Old Nov 9th 2012, 1:29 pm
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Default Re: How good is healthcare insurance for those government employees?

Based on the few examples I have read here, I would say the cost of federal/state employees insurance is better than what most of us in the private sector has. But as far as getting better healthcare in a better hospital, I would disagree with that.
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Old Nov 9th 2012, 6:18 pm
  #30  
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Default Re: How good is healthcare insurance for those government employees?

I am a fairly new fed employee and compared to the plans I had with previous employer (private sector) fed plans are better. I think I pay $150 per month for husband and myself - need to check on that. There are at least 200+ plans to choose from - all of them are listed on OPM.gov website
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