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Old June 30th, 2004, 07:18 AM
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Default Poll: The high cost of Health Insurance

As stated in my good morning post we just added our kids to our health insurance policy. We are now paying close to $1000 out of our own pocket each month. This does not include my husband , the company is paying for it. We are on a company plan..I can not get anything cheaper since I have pre existing conditions.

This forced us to take them out of private school which is very dear to me.

What kind of insurance do you have or do you have any? Is yours as high also? Here in the state of Florida due to the high numbers of old people the insurance companies are charging an arm and a leg. Off course if you are "poor" it is for free. However after paying all this we feel poor also

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Old June 30th, 2004, 07:50 AM
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Default Re: Poll: The high cost of Health Insurance

If you think your in bad shape now... wait until your retired....
We have the privilege of paying over $103.00 a month EACH...Just brought my husband to the hospital this a.m. for total knee replacement.. we will be paying a charge of $50.00 per day at least while in the hospital, in the rehab center and i don't know what for the VNA when they come here and then when he goes to outpatient P.T. His prescriptions for medication run over $6,000.00 a year.. fortunately he was a veteran (that is another sad story in the country) and his meds are covered by the V.A., mine are not. It is not just in Florida... but all over...and the government is warning seniors NOT to go to Canada for their prescriptions which cost less There was just a case where a bus carrying seniors was stopped coming back looking for "illegal drugs"...Several cities in the country are defying our government and I say.. 'good for them"... Don't even talk to seniors about their health care.. My mother used to say "if you have your health you have everything"... so true
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Old June 30th, 2004, 07:57 AM
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Default Re: Re: Poll: The high cost of Health Insurance

Louise:

I would like to know more about meds being covered since your husband is a vet. How does that work? Planning on retiring one day.
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Old June 30th, 2004, 08:21 AM
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Default Re: Poll: The high cost of Health Insurance

When I paid for my own health insurance (up until December of last year) after I was laid off several years ago and then became a consultant, my premiums for a single woman went up to $800 per month. I have health issues and right prior to being laid off had operations on both of my shoulders. While I was on COBRA, the price was steady, as I was part of a group plan, but when COBRA ran out, they really jacked up the price on me because of my health problems. The kicker was, I also had a $2000 deductible before they would pay anything! So, $9600 in premiums, $2000 deductible and then co-pays...plus this insurance didn't cover prescription meds at all. I would ahve to pay out close to $12000 per year before I was even able to start using the "insurance".

Luckily, I am now covered under my company plan for about $60 per month. It is a HUGE savings and load off my mind.

Pea
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Old June 30th, 2004, 08:56 AM
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Default Re: Poll: The high cost of Health Insurance

Under my company plan I pay about $55 a week for both Mark and myself. I don't mind though because we don't have to pay anything out-of-pocket at the doctor's until we reach $1000, and we don't have to get referrals to see specialists.

We also pay about $50 a month for our prescription medications.

It's better than having no health insurance, anyway - Mark was without health insurance for about a year before we got married.

Cheers,
Michelle P.

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Old June 30th, 2004, 10:31 AM
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Default Re: Poll: The high cost of Health Insurance

We have our insurance through my husband's union. For a family of six it doesn't cost us anything extra. It's paid from his union dues which are based on a percentage of his pay. I think we figured last year he paid about $6,000 in union dues which covers our health, dental, vision and hearing insurance, his pension and his annuity. Not bad at all and the coverage is great.

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Old June 30th, 2004, 10:44 AM
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Default Re: Poll: The high cost of Health Insurance

We pay about 150 month for all of us( family of 5) this is our provincial plan. Husband's work gives us extended medical that pays 80% of our prescriptions, covers the extra 75$ a day charge for a "private" hospital room.
Yup , we do have long waits for non emergency surgery , but still, I can see a specialist for anything and it doesn't cost a penny more. My mom ( who was in the heart ward here for 2 weeks ) got taken to Vancouver for a major heart surgery( that no doc in town here could do) stayed in ICU for one week then in a heart ward for another 10 days, cost to us " 0$" . So I guess the waits are something I can live with, as I said , if it is a life or death thing they do move very fast, but, knee replacement( for example) can have a waitng list of one year( OR even longer) .
I do believe we( Canada) are moving to a more "two tier" system , where those who have the money can pay extra and get work done sooner, and the rest of us just have to wait our turn, I don't know if that's a good idea or not, I love our system, but it does take a while to get what you want. I do love that fact that with three kids I am always running one of them in for colds, ear infections, stitches( from falls, skateboarding,,etc.) and never worry about the cost. It would be awful to have to weight wheter a visit was "worth "it. And I would hate to have to decide whether or not to morgage the house to get a major surgery!
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Old June 30th, 2004, 11:14 AM
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Default Re: Poll: The high cost of Health Insurance

That is one VERY good thing about Canada. Our healthcare system. I pay no premiums for medical/dental/extended health-my work covers them(I am not union. I am very fortunate , but they were about $100/month when my work required us to pay half the premiums). I do pay 20% of the prescription cost-which up here is not much. Dental work is 100 % covered as my husband has his dental plan from his work. He does pay dental premiums=Cdn$40/month. There is a limit of $1500 from each dental plan for orthodontics;my oldest may get braces next month.$3000 will help but not cover all costs obviously.
Sue- I could NOT afford to pay $1000 aftertaxes on medical. I am so sorry you have to pull your kids out of private school for that! If I was an American, my job hunt would definately be looking for a job that has reasonable priced Medical plan premiums!

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Old June 30th, 2004, 11:19 AM
venice
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Default Re: Poll: The high cost of Health Insurance

this thread should receive alot of "hits"..I read an article in the local paper the other day that says that many people on fixed incomes are "stretching" out their refill schedule (i.e. instead of obtaining a refill once every 30 days they are now renewing every 60 or 90 days which means there are not taking their daily medication) and even people that are working they have to pay a hire co-pay...and there are an amazing amount of people that have lost their jobs that can't afford cobra so they have no coverage at all

the real political issue in this election year is affordable health coverage
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Old June 30th, 2004, 11:48 AM
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Default Re: Re: Poll: The high cost of Health Insurance

Brenda thank you for your sympathy about our school I did not even mentioned how much co-pay we have to pay, for hospitals, specialists etc. My meds run me well over 120 a month but only because one comes in a generic now.

As for this years campaign ..I doubt this will be sadly enough an issue. This entire system must be and will be <I hope> some day change..it just has too. We are forbidden to buy meds in Canada or Mexico. Does this sound fishy or what?

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Old June 30th, 2004, 12:06 PM
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Default Re: Poll: The high cost of Health Insurance

We have universal medical care in Canada, and I pay approx. $500 U.S. PER YEAR for myself, Mrs Kuki and our youngest son. The 23 year old pays about $200 for his.

And the care levels are pretty decent, especially under emergency conditions.

This sounds pretty good initially... however, the money to pay everyone's medical expenses has to come from somewhere. Thus, much higher tax rates in Canada, and many less things are deductible from personal income than in the United States.
So.. end result... we pay a considerable amount towards our "medical insurance".

The difference is we don't have all the middle men, taking an extra cut for their profits. Basically the governments act as administrators, instead of for profit HMOs.

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Old June 30th, 2004, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: Poll: The high cost of Health Insurance

Were your kids not insured before?

We pay $500 a month for the both of us. We have no copays for office visits and no copays for prescriptions. Our deductible is $1000 per year and then it pays 80/20. I don't think Florida is any worse then the rest of the country. I had a private plan a few years ago and paid $500/month for myself and had a $5000 deductible and no health issues.
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Old June 30th, 2004, 07:13 PM
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Default Re: Poll: The high cost of Health Insurance

Our health insurance costs $90 a month. Our co-pays are $5 for the primary care physician and $15 for any other doctors. Meds cost either $10 or $25. This includes dental and vision. Not too bad. This is for a family of 4.

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Old June 30th, 2004, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: Poll: The high cost of Health Insurance

I would like to ask our Canadian friends if they are happy with their system. One of the arguments we hear in the states against Universal Health Care is that the government is inefficient and this results in higher costs to the payer. What are your thoughts ? Have you found any government bureaucracy which makes your system inefficient ?
Have you ever seen any studies as to how much this increases your tax rate ?
I have had some Canadian friends who came to the states for certain procedures due to the time element involved in seeing specialists or having surgery. Is this a problem ?
What are your thoughts ?
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Old June 30th, 2004, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: Poll: The high cost of Health Insurance

Tax rates higher-yes, probably but I am unsure how much.
Yes, sometimes the wait times are poor; but if I had lots of $$$,I would definately go the USA if I felt it should be done quicker!! Our system is far from perfect, but I am happy with our system. I work ina Medical Lab. and the Doctors order all sorts of tests they really do not need to order.They have been a bit more careful ordering , the last few years. I can not think of anytime I have had a problem with care,waiting,etc. I live in Vancouver, B.C.;plenty of Drs and specialists and hospitals around here. Of course, anything administered by the Gov't is inefficient!! But I am glad we have the healthcare system here! Just my quick thoughts on the subject.

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Old July 1st, 2004, 05:48 AM
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Default Re: Poll: The high cost of Health Insurance

I agree wtih Brenda, all things considered I am very happy with our system, I consider the American system frightening. Some get help and some don't !!! And the costs , ugh, and the thought that a COMPANY ( hmo) could say NO to a doctors request to do surgery or treatment on you, scary. AND what is with a hmo being able to say WHICH doctor you use, that would drive me insane!
I agree our system is NOT perfect, but I know that any important problem is treated quickly and without extra cost, it is something we just take for granted though( which Brenda did touch on) we expect our doctors to rush out and order a bunch of exspensive tests for us far too easily, and some did,but, they are being more "cost consisous" now though.
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Old July 1st, 2004, 06:49 AM
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Default Re: Re: Poll: The high cost of Health Insurance

Tide Pride........I am originally from germany and we also have Universal healthcare system there <but it is changing where some have to pay $5 for visits etc> The system isn't perfect either but everyone has insurance. Having lived in the USA for well over 21 years and putting up with the health care system just makes it clear to me the USA sytem is not working...well it is but only for the rich or for those who have credit cards!

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Old July 1st, 2004, 11:38 AM
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Default Re: Poll: The high cost of Health Insurance

One of the reasons costs are so high in the U.S. besides fraud, lawsuits, and greed, is the AMA only certifies so many doctors per year regardless of how many graduate and pass the exam every year. My niece just received her residency but some of her classmates have to wait for another year or more to get their certification.

This keeps the number of doctors in the market at artificially low numbers to keep their prices up. If they would stop limiting the certifications and let the graduates enter the business this would help drive prices down. Low supply + high demand = high prices.

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Old July 1st, 2004, 04:36 PM
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Default Re: Re: Poll: The high cost of Health Insurance

Before I turned 65, I had a PPO with Blue Cross. It was the only plan I could get because of my diabetes. My husband paid about $700 a month. To see my MD, was $25 each time. When I actually turned 65, had we kept that insurance, it would have been $1000 a month, just for me.

Now we are on Secure Horizons where we pay nothing per month and $5 for a copay, $15 for a specialist, and $50 for a hospital. Since Keith's ordeal with the brain surgery, we have paid $50 for the E.R. Now the big stuff: a form letter saying one of the hospitals was $39,000 plus, a $400 bill from the anesthesiologist, and today . . . hang on . . . $69,000 plus . . . they don't say which hospital, but I'm guessing the week's stay in the ICU.

We get our drugs discounted, fortunately, because Keith is on a bunch.

My son-in-law says that insurance is at a crisis stage. He's right.

J.
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Old July 1st, 2004, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: Poll: The high cost of Health Insurance

sue, that is a huge expendature, but what can you do?? we have to have insurance. one never knows when something will happen. i am not that happy with my job and location i live in. my brother lives in pheonix and his wife and him keep telling me to move down there with them untill i could get settled and get a place of my own. it is so tempting but i cant be without insurance for a year and i also have pre-existing medical conditions. and i could not afford the monthly cost of insurance on my own. so here i am medically stuck but wanting live else where. also my cruise trips keeps me from having any extra money. i do have my priorities and cruising and paying my monthly bills come first.

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Old July 1st, 2004, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Poll: The high cost of Health Insurance

J Secure Horizon is it just available for those over 65? How did you get it with diabetes?Are the supplies covered?

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Old July 2nd, 2004, 01:03 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Poll: The high cost of Health Insurance

Sue, Secure Horizons is available only to those 65 or over, and pre-existing conditions don't matter. Supplies are available if you need them. Currently, I take Metformin twice a day and that's it. No insulin or needles necessary, thank the Lord.

J.
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Old July 2nd, 2004, 01:44 PM
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Default Re: Poll: The high cost of Health Insurance

Cruising Kand J, Do you have to pay those HUGE bills?? or are they covered under your plan??????? I was a bit unsure when I read your post. I sure hope you do not have to pay that much cash!!!! Brenda in Canada

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Old July 2nd, 2004, 08:37 PM
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Default Re: Re: Poll: The high cost of Health Insurance

So far, we haven't been aasked to pay for anything. When I do get a bill I used to panic. Now I just shuffle it off to Secure Horizons. Haven't gotten anything back yet. Doesn't mean I won't, though.

J.
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