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Isn't this fun? Health insurance premiums jumping 20%


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Our BCBS health premiums jumped last fall to the tune of couple of hundred dollars a month. Just opened a notice that those premiums will jump an additional 20% by May 1st.

 

Joy.

 

We are self employed so we pay every penny ourselves. I'm a cancer survivor so good coverage has blessed us in the past. Once a year rate increases I can at least brace for and understand. Twice a year.....no thank you.

 

I'm just so tired of it all.

 

 

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I'm sorry, too.  We have BCBS and we pay a fortune in premiums and have a ridiculously high deductible so we pay all of that money and avoid going to the doctor unless a limb is falling off.  It stinks.  

 

Yes but if that limb falls off, you wouldn't believe what it costs to replace it.  Ask me how I know :)

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but seriously, I did not know they were 'allowed' to raise your rates more then once a year.  I guess I just always assumed we were locked in for a year, no matter if it was a work policy, privately purchased policy, or a policy through healthcare.gov.

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We have BCBS, but the city (dh's employer) takes the brunt of the expense. Despite that, we have still seen numerous rate hikes, and we have seen a decrease in benefits. Our co-pays have doubled. We only pay a little over $400 a month in the premium, but it's that classic trade-off where dh makes a little less salary working for the city in exchange for better benefits.

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I don't know how people pay $1200 in insurance premiums monthly. This is the size of some mortgage payments.

 

Try 1850/mo. . . . and that's such a great deal. It would have been 2500/mo if I hadn't set up a work plan (we had been on the ACA Individual Exchange, now we are on the ACA SHOP Exchange -- which is for small businesses and has better plans and better rates).

 

Insurance SUCKS. 

 

The companies are evil. 

 

Fingers crossed that some good comes out of all the suffering we're all going through. Single payer is the way to go, IMHO. (With supplemental insurance if desired . . . just like they have in every other modern nation, lol.) 

 

And, for the love of all that is holy, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't let them put Medicare into the open market!!!!!! I keep trying to tell myself that no one would REALLY do that . . . and then I see the proposals . . . It gives me a heart attack just thinking about it. The only good thing about getting old was gonna' be not having to pay 45 zillion dollars a year for insurance when we get eligible for Medicare!! If they privatize it . . . we'll never be able to retire. Or, we'll just spend everything and then drive off a cliff when one of us gets really sick!

Edited by StephanieZ
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I don't know how people pay $1200 in insurance premiums monthly. This is the size of some mortgage payments.

 

It's larger than our mortgage payment... just sayin'.

 

We need Universal Health coverage - non-profit - no insurance companies.  I don't know how anyone disagrees with that TBH.  It's called being a first world nation in the modern world.

 

But seeing how likely that is... it's quite possibly cheaper to move and set up residence elsewhere.

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I don't know how people pay $1200 in insurance premiums monthly. This is the size of some mortgage payments.

 

 

It's larger than our mortgage payment... just sayin'.

 

I could pay my mortgage twice and still have some leftover!

Insurance prices are just horrible.  And the high deductible plans that go with them are evil.  Everyone I know avoids doctors at all costs because no one can afford the deductibles.  Having insurance is a great idea but when the deductibles are so high that you can't afford them then what is the point of having insurance.  (Yes I know it's for those really expensive things but statistically speaking odds are in most people's favor to skip the insurance altogether)

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I could pay my mortgage twice and still have some leftover!

Insurance prices are just horrible.  And the high deductible plans that go with them are evil.  Everyone I know avoids doctors at all costs because no one can afford the deductibles.  Having insurance is a great idea but when the deductibles are so high that you can't afford them then what is the point of having insurance.  (Yes I know it's for those really expensive things but statistically speaking odds are in most people's favor to skip the insurance altogether)

 

 

We are retired.  We own our house and our cars.  

 

Health insurance is 3x the next biggest expense we have.  And we have "catastrophic" insurance, with a $10,000 deductible, per person, which we have never yet met.  We pay cash for all our health care, which, frankly, is cheaper than paying for "health care coverage."  And *still* the catastrophic insurance is *by far* our largest monthly expense.  

 

Even our exorbitant PROPERTY taxes don't beat it.

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Ours has just jumped up again as well, BCBS. $1800 a month for 3 people who have not been to a physician in years. No claims in years and years and years. But, there are two ways our healthcare differs than other countries with universal healthcare causing it to be more expensive:

 

1. Ninety percent of healthcare costs occur in the last 5 years of life. In the US, we compound those costs by keeping people alive no matter what. Recently, I saw a pacemaker which was placed in a 94 year old. We have full codes still in effect on lung cancer patients receiving only palliative care. There are nursing home resident dementia patients getting everything done to prolong life for a life threatening disease. Whether this is right or wrong, our country does not want to kill off grandmother. So be it. It is not the family of 4 who costs our healthcare money, it is the extraordinary end of life care that is choking our healthcare dollars when compared to other countries, Even our medicine choices can be ridiculous. Many drugs can costs tens of thousands a month. But, without an alternative it/ becomes a poor cost benefit ratio that is acceptable in this country. If we are going to model universal healthcare after other similar country, then those last 5 year costs will be reduced by death, or prepare to pay more for healthcare. It is what it is.

 

2. We still have shocking litigation costs and rewards. A headache in this country gets a CT scan and an MRI possibly. A headache in the U.K. where my DH was a physician gets an aspirin. Our country is ridiculously afraid of getting sued. And rightly so. Physicians lose out on valuable time with other patients, a risk of their own severe depression, and a loss of license and hospital privileges even with one lawsuit. In Florida, for example, 3 lawsuits is an automatic loss of license. All those years of schooling and helping people down the drain. Not only has this affected those in healthcare, this over testing phenomena has a negative effect on patients, too. Many people come to expect certain tests for the most benign of symptoms. Since someone else is paying, why not? They merely want to exclude some terrible disease. And everybody knows somebody with the same symptoms who has something terrible. If one looks at the number of negative tests in our country and compares it to the negative tests in other countries, the difference is huge. We are a country of over prescribing expensive, unnecessary tests. Furthermore, we do not trust our doctors, nor consider them confined to modern science. There is no crystal ball to determine who really has that weird, very difficult to diagnose disease and those who don't. Therefore, we just sue no matter what.

 

Without any change to the above, there will never be reasonable healthcare costs in our country, no matter what concoction we come up with for insuring it.

Edited by Minniewannabe
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but seriously, I did not know they were 'allowed' to raise your rates more then once a year.  I guess I just always assumed we were locked in for a year, no matter if it was a work policy, privately purchased policy, or a policy through healthcare.gov.

 

Yeah I did not know that either!  I can't think of too many things that work that way!

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2. We still have shocking litigation costs and rewards. A headache in this country gets a CT scan and an MRI possibly. A headache in the U.K. where my DH was a physician gets an aspirin. Our country is ridiculously afraid of getting sued. And rightly so. Physicians lose out on valuable time with other patients, a risk of their own severe depression, and a loss of license and hospital privileges even with one lawsuit. In Florida, for example, 3 lawsuits is an automatic loss of license. All those years of schooling and helping people down the drain. Not only has this affected those in healthcare, this over testing phenomena has a negative effect on patients, too. Many people come to expect certain tests for the most benign of symptoms. Since someone else is paying, why not? They merely want to exclude some terrible disease. And everybody knows somebody with the same symptoms who has something terrible. If one looks at the number of negative tests in our country and compares it to the negative tests in other countries, the difference is huge. We are a country of over prescribing expensive, unnecessary tests. Furthermore, we do not trust our doctors, nor consider them confined to modern science. There is no crystal ball to determine who really has that weird, very difficult to diagnose disease and those who don't. Therefore, we just sue no matter what.

 

No offense, 'cause maybe it's true in your area, but I really had to laugh at this one.  Doctors choosing to "overdo" and "overcheck" things both around here and where my mom lives is certainly not happening!  What we see is being given meds and told to go home - though in my mom's case it was just stress... even with left side chest pain that radiated down her arm.

 

As I talk with others, I hear of more incidents like ours than what you describe, but perhaps in FL it's different.

 

And it's not a money (can't pay) issue with any of us.

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No offense, 'cause maybe it's true in your area, but I really had to laugh at this one.  Doctors choosing to "overdo" and "overcheck" things both around here and where my mom lives is certainly not happening!  What we see is being given meds and told to go home - though in my mom's case it was just stress... even with left side chest pain that radiated down her arm.

 

As I talk with others, I hear of more incidents like ours than what you describe, but perhaps in FL it's different.

 

And it's not a money (can't pay) issue with any of us.

 

Same here.  You know my ulcer issue?  They didn't even do the basic scope thing that everyone here warned me about.  Not that I'm upset about that exactly (for the wrong reasons), but basically he decided to proceed with assuming I had one and he just quadrupled Prevacid.  I mean sure I am pretty afraid of the procedure so it's hard for me to be super mad, but you have to admit that doesn't scream overcheck or overdo. It kinda seems like WTH...

 

And I have excellent insurance that doesn't cost a boat load.  The deductible is $500.  Most procedures aren't even subject to a deductible. 

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Same here.  You know my ulcer issue?  They didn't even do the basic scope thing that everyone here warned me about.  Not that I'm upset about that exactly (for the wrong reasons), but basically he decided to proceed with assuming I had one and he just quadrupled Prevacid.  I mean sure I am pretty afraid of the procedure so it's hard for me to be super mad, but you have to admit that doesn't scream overcheck or overdo. It kinda seems like WTH...

 

And I have excellent insurance that doesn't cost a boat load.  The deductible is $500.  Most procedures aren't even subject to a deductible. 

 

Yeah, with my mom it was "Go home and take extra strength pain killers for a couple of days because I think it's a pulled muscle.  If the pain killers don't fix it, then come back."  When she went back it was "stress," but he reluctantly agreed to a stress test - which she promptly failed due to one artery being 99% blocked.   :glare:  Then it was stress when she didn't recover - until she insisted he check her blood for lyme disease (grasping at straws) and the lab discovered her hemoglobin level had dropped to 6 (12 is the low side of normal).  He was planning on sending her home - still stress - even though she could hardly walk and was out of breath, etc.  :cursing:

 

My stuff is unusual and they just won't look for anything beyond the top 2 causes - those came up negative - they won't move on to next most likely even when I specifically asked them to (and money is NOT an issue).  "Take meds."  Hers seemed to be super "classic," and still didn't prompt "too much testing."

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Yeah, with my mom it was "Go home and take extra strength pain killers for a couple of days because I think it's a pulled muscle.  If the pain killers don't fix it, then come back."  When she went back it was "stress," but he reluctantly agreed to a stress test - which she promptly failed due to one artery being 99% blocked.   :glare:  Then it was stress when she didn't recover - until she insisted he check her blood for lyme disease (grasping at straws) and the lab discovered her hemoglobin level had dropped to 6 (12 is the low side of normal).  He was planning on sending her home - still stress - even though she could hardly walk and was out of breath, etc.  :cursing:

 

My stuff is unusual and they just won't look for anything beyond the top 2 causes - those came up negative - they won't move on to next most likely even when I specifically asked them to (and money is NOT an issue).  "Take meds."  Hers seemed to be super "classic," and still didn't prompt "too much testing."

 

Frustrating. 

 

The new doc I have...geesh every ding she's offered me some pill.  If I took her up on it, I'd be on four different pills by now.  And I'd probably need pills to combat the side effects. 

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Our BCBS health premiums jumped last fall to the tune of couple of hundred dollars a month. Just opened a notice that those premiums will jump an additional 20% by May 1st.

 

Joy.

 

We are self employed so we pay every penny ourselves. I'm a cancer survivor so good coverage has blessed us in the past. Once a year rate increases I can at least brace for and understand. Twice a year.....no thank you.

 

I'm just so tired of it all.

 

I'm so sorry. I have BCBS as well, although it is mostly paid (2/3) for by DH's employer. 

 

I am also a cancer survivor, so I know how quickly health can change and you actually need all that insurance.  :grouphug:  It's the reason DH worked several years too long at a job 1 1/2 hours away - the medical insurance.

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Frustrating. 

 

The new doc I have...geesh every ding she's offered me some pill.  If I took her up on it, I'd be on four different pills by now.  And I'd probably need pills to combat the side effects. 

 

Mom's on more than 20 meds, and was at 21 prior to her cancer diagnosis.  I wish I knew more about the meds, but it's way too late to make a difference now.

 

The meds they wanted me to take would have (likely) given me side effects I don't want (though other folks illegally buy these wanting the effects - so it's all personal preference).  

 

My preference was to see if the cause could be discovered (and potentially fixed).  They wanted suppression meds.  End of story.  I can say, "no," but I can't "force" them to agree with me and check out other possibilities to see if it's fixable.  So... I get to live with things.  Do I want the issues or the side effects?  Wonderful choice.  I've picked issues.

 

Our country pays a ton, but I don't see where we get anything "better" out of paying that much (overall - of course there can be individual anecdotes).  I think our overall stats (health-wise) are worse than most first world countries, aren't they?

 

(No time to look that up - need to go be social as others just got up!)

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Insurance prices are just horrible. And the high deductible plans that go with them are evil. Everyone I know avoids doctors at all costs because no one can afford the deductibles. Having insurance is a great idea but when the deductibles are so high that you can't afford them then what is the point of having insurance. (Yes I know it's for those really expensive things but statistically speaking odds are in most people's favor to skip the insurance altogether)

I loved our switch to a high-deductible plan (with an HSA) because it did really help open our eyes to medical costs. But it was a reasonable deductible (for us) - it met the minimum thresholds of a high-deductible plan and I felt it was quite reasonable.

 

We now have a 6 or 8,000 deductible and my feelings have changed. I don't go to the doctor unless we absolutely absolutely have to -- I was not one to see the doctor much before this either. But I feel like my hands are tied more because we can no longer put enough in our HSA to cover the deductible like we could before. So now I am now super critical of every trip and we often just wait and see as long as possible.

 

My DH just went in and they did X-rays too and while I am sure it was helpful for the doctor I am already anxious about how much that will be on top of the specialist visit. And that's the issue too -- it's a slot machine guess at how much anything will cost because no one can tell us until the insurance responds to a claim.

 

Last year, if I had known having a concerning skin issue removed would have been almost $500 - I probably would have waited another year or forever to have it checked and removed (ahhh but what if it had been that really bad form of skin cancer - oh well I suppose). or when told what it most likely was and that removing it would another $350 - I would have let it be and trusted the doctor (but would I have trusted her? What if she was wrong... damn internet and their stories).

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I loved our switch to a high-deductible plan (with an HSA) because it did really help open our eyes to medical costs. But it was a reasonable deductible (for us) - it met the minimum thresholds of a high-deductible plan and I felt it was quite reasonable.

 

We now have a 6 or 8,000 deductible and my feelings have changed. I don't go to the doctor unless we absolutely absolutely have to -- I was not one to see the doctor much before this either. But I feel like my hands are tied more because we can no longer put enough in our HSA to cover the deductible like we could before. So now I am now super critical of every trip and we often just wait and see as long as possible.

 

My DH just went in and they did X-rays too and while I am sure it was helpful for the doctor I am already anxious about how much that will be on top of the specialist visit. And that's the issue too -- it's a slot machine guess at how much anything will cost because no one can tell us until the insurance responds to a claim.

 

Last year, if I had known having a concerning skin issue removed would have been almost $500 - I probably would have waited another year or forever to have it checked and removed (ahhh but what if it had been that really bad form of skin cancer - oh well I suppose). or when told what it most likely was and that removing it would another $350 - I would have let it be and trusted the doctor (but would I have trusted her? What if she was wrong... damn internet and their stories).

 

Yeah and that was the whole "miracle" idea of the HSA.  That it would be consumer driven.  Like you can shop around for the best rates, blah blah.  This is such utter bull.  Good luck finding a place that will even tell you their rates.  The insurance company certainly won't tell you anything. 

 

 

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I loved our switch to a high-deductible plan (with an HSA) because it did really help open our eyes to medical costs. But it was a reasonable deductible (for us) - it met the minimum thresholds of a high-deductible plan and I felt it was quite reasonable.

 

We now have a 6 or 8,000 deductible and my feelings have changed. I don't go to the doctor unless we absolutely absolutely have to -- I was not one to see the doctor much before this either. But I feel like my hands are tied more because we can no longer put enough in our HSA to cover the deductible like we could before. So now I am now super critical of every trip and we often just wait and see as long as possible.

 

We briefly had an HSA at a former job and that was tolerable.  The company put some money in their each year and then we could add to it as we saw fit.  So at least it felt like we had a bit of buffer there.  However, the company DH is at now has a grandfathered plan and is not HSA eligible. So we are back to everything being out of of pocket.

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No offense, 'cause maybe it's true in your area, but I really had to laugh at this one. Doctors choosing to "overdo" and "overcheck" things both around here and where my mom lives is certainly not happening! What we see is being given meds and told to go home - though in my mom's case it was just stress... even with left side chest pain that radiated down her arm.

 

As I talk with others, I hear of more incidents like ours than what you describe, but perhaps in FL it's different.

 

And it's not a money (can't pay) issue with any of us.

In recent years, many insurance companies are now dictating when tests and procedures can be done. A particular medicine must be tried first, physical therapy failure before an MRI, etc. Sadly, the insurance companies are usually more right than the physicians. But, most have been disappointed to find their favorite medicine is no longer on formulary, for example. This is insurance driven, not medicine driven.

 

In addition, some of the OPs' experiences highlight the public' s expectation of tests and disappointment when the physician just throws a pill at the problem rather than a test. As medical consumers, we feel like we are not taken seriously without some tests. And, rightly so, as a positive test can uncover life threatening problems sometimes. But, overall, we as a society are a huge consumer of unnecessary medical testing compared to other countries with universal healthcare. Our consumption was generated out of physician fear of malpractice claims and now perpetuated by patient expectations.

 

Bottom line, healthcare costs are such a multifactoral problem in this country with lots of painful necessary changes if we want to cut costs. If we do not, then we need to fork over the money.

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I think I would some transparency in the numbers. The 1-5% that are so costly that they aren't wanted in any pool, are who?

 

The rest is split. I understand people who want a PET or CT scan...they don't want to be dead of the same cancer that killed parent and grandparent. They tend to live cleanly, but they can't get the insurance to cover preventative. Then we have massive numbers that won't make lifestyle changes and want to give the bill to everyone else.

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Ours has just jumped up again as well, BCBS. $1800 a month for 3 people who have not been to a physician in years. No claims in years and years and years. But, there are two ways our healthcare differs than other countries with universal healthcare causing it to be more expensive:

 

1. Ninety percent of healthcare costs occur in the last 5 years of life. In the US, we compound those costs by keeping people alive no matter what. Recently, I saw a pacemaker which was placed in a 94 year old. We have full codes still in effect on lung cancer patients receiving only palliative care. There are nursing home resident dementia patients getting everything done to prolong life for a life threatening disease. Whether this is right or wrong, our country does not want to kill off grandmother. So be it. It is not the family of 4 who costs our healthcare money, it is the extraordinary end of life care that is choking our healthcare dollars when compared to other countries, Even our medicine choices can be ridiculous. Many drugs can costs tens of thousands a month. But, without an alternative it/ becomes a poor cost benefit ratio that is acceptable in this country. If we are going to model universal healthcare after other similar country, then those last 5 year costs will be reduced by death, or prepare to pay more for healthcare. It is what it is.

 

2. We still have shocking litigation costs and rewards. A headache in this country gets a CT scan and an MRI possibly. A headache in the U.K. where my DH was a physician gets an aspirin. Our country is ridiculously afraid of getting sued. And rightly so. Physicians lose out on valuable time with other patients, a risk of their own severe depression, and a loss of license and hospital privileges even with one lawsuit. In Florida, for example, 3 lawsuits is an automatic loss of license. All those years of schooling and helping people down the drain. Not only has this affected those in healthcare, this over testing phenomena has a negative effect on patients, too. Many people come to expect certain tests for the most benign of symptoms. Since someone else is paying, why not? They merely want to exclude some terrible disease. And everybody knows somebody with the same symptoms who has something terrible. If one looks at the number of negative tests in our country and compares it to the negative tests in other countries, the difference is huge. We are a country of over prescribing expensive, unnecessary tests. Furthermore, we do not trust our doctors, nor consider them confined to modern science. There is no crystal ball to determine who really has that weird, very difficult to diagnose disease and those who don't. Therefore, we just sue no matter what.

 

Without any change to the above, there will never be reasonable healthcare costs in our country, no matter what concoction we come up with for insuring it.

End of life care is like that here too even with single payer.

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End of life care is like that here too even with single payer.

 

How does it work in your neck of the woods? Do you pay something monthly, employer pays, what about the unemployable/disabled, deductibles? Are people by and large happy with it?

The powers that be in this country should perhaps look around the world and see what is working and what is not.

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People are by and large happy here - Australia. I know that I can get in to see a gp same day for free, or for about $50 for my preferred gp.

I know that I can take my kids to the hospital and they'll be treated with whatever they need and I'll never see a bill. Sometimes the wait can be long (I've never waited more than 4hours at the emergency room - for things like non-urgent stitches, and I've been seen very quickly for truly urgent emergencies. I took my youngest in for some breathing difficulties last year - they tested his oxygen sats in triage and we were taken straight through)

I've had 4 babies - including one homebirth - through the public system without paying a single cent.

 

Private health insurance here is very different to the US. I used to work for a PHI company. Private health insurance (hospital) means that you can access funds to choose to go to a private hospital or use a private doctor of your choice (instead of whoever is on call at the public hospital). It generally only covers in patient procedures - not specialist appointments. You can still access the private hospitals without it - you just pay for it yourself.

 

I cannot fathom paying $1000+ a month for health insurance. Generally phi is less than a couple hundred a month for top cover. And anyone can buy cover - you do have waiting periods to serve especially for pre existing ailments. Generally not more than 1-2 years.

There are some caps in payout amounts for some types of treatments, and some treatments will not be covered (elective cosmetic etc)

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Also, people sometimes pay for things at private clinics (like ultrasounds) simply because they can get in earlier or the location is more convenient. The prices are generally manageable ($100-$200) and you still get a medicare partial rebate (like $40 ish)

 

My little sister had a breast cancer diagnosis about 18 months ago. She went from gp to surgery within 2 weeks, then had a year of chemo & radiotherapy. All 100% covered by medicare - apart from one scan in that first week, she could get in a couple of days faster privately, for around $100.

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People are by and large happy here - Australia. I know that I can get in to see a gp same day for free, or for about $50 for my preferred gp.

I know that I can take my kids to the hospital and they'll be treated with whatever they need and I'll never see a bill. Sometimes the wait can be long (I've never waited more than 4hours at the emergency room - for things like non-urgent stitches, and I've been seen very quickly for truly urgent emergencies. I took my youngest in for some breathing difficulties last year - they tested his oxygen sats in triage and we were taken straight through)

I've had 4 babies - including one homebirth - through the public system without paying a single cent.

 

Private health insurance here is very different to the US. I used to work for a PHI company. Private health insurance (hospital) means that you can access funds to choose to go to a private hospital or use a private doctor of your choice (instead of whoever is on call at the public hospital). It generally only covers in patient procedures - not specialist appointments. You can still access the private hospitals without it - you just pay for it yourself.

 

I cannot fathom paying $1000+ a month for health insurance. Generally phi is less than a couple hundred a month for top cover. And anyone can buy cover - you do have waiting periods to serve especially for pre existing ailments. Generally not more than 1-2 years.

There are some caps in payout amounts for some types of treatments, and some treatments will not be covered (elective cosmetic etc)

 

Although to be fair we need to compare stuff like taxes.  One way or another, this stuff is being paid for.  My husband for years would go on and on about how much better the insurance situation in Germany is, but when we sat down and compared numbers, it wasn't much of a difference in terms of the bottom line for our situation.

 

What IS different is the cost may be spread out differently in Australia.  Also, you may have nobody going without care.  But again, this isn't free and it's a cost that anyone who can afford to pay for it is paying.  You might also have caps on what can be charged (something we do not have here).  So it's also likely doctors in the US are being paid more (whether or not that is good or bad, I don't know, just stating what might be part of the difference). 

 

Some of the complaints you read about here of people paying XYZ amount are coming from people who must be making 6 figures or close to it if they aren't receiving any sort of subsidy.  (Not that there aren't a segment of people who are being asked to pay way more than most would agree is fair.)  They aren't necessarily hurting financially.  They just don't want to pay that much (and I'm not arguing that they should be forced to), but they'd be taxed far more heavily in other countries with different healthcare systems.  So they wouldn't necessarily be paying less. 

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Between the value of our employer paid portion and what we pay for our portion plus what we put in our FSA for out of pocket costs, healthcare outstrips our housing outlay and we do not live in a LCOL area. That said, we are in the fortunate position of having had small premium increases each of the last 2 years.

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Although to be fair we need to compare stuff like taxes. One way or another, this stuff is being paid for. My husband for years would go on and on about how much better the insurance situation in Germany is, but when we sat down and compared numbers, it wasn't much of a difference in terms of the bottom line for our situation.

 

What IS different is the cost may be spread out differently in Australia. Also, you may have nobody going without care. But again, this isn't free and it's a cost that anyone who can afford to pay for it is paying. You might also have caps on what can be charged (something we do not have here). So it's also likely doctors in the US are being paid more (whether or not that is good or bad, I don't know, just stating what might be part of the difference).

 

Some of the complaints you read about here of people paying XYZ amount are coming from people who must be making 6 figures or close to it if they aren't receiving any sort of subsidy. (Not that there aren't a segment of people who are being asked to pay way more than most would agree is fair.) They aren't necessarily hurting financially. They just don't want to pay that much (and I'm not arguing that they should be forced to), but they'd be taxed far more heavily in other countries with different healthcare systems. So they wouldn't necessarily be paying less.

But some of us would be very happy to pay more in taxes so that we could have universal healthcare in this country. My family would absolutely pay more under universal healthcare, as our employers cover almost all the costs of our excellent insurance and we have two working professionals. But I'm completely fine with it. Just as I would be completely fine with paying SS taxes on all of our wages in order to keep the program solvent for those who need it.
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What IS different is the cost may be spread out differently in Australia.  Also, you may have nobody going without care.   

 

And this, to me, is all that matters.  Many, many health care issues are simply luck - not lifestyle - luck, either genetic or "accident" or whatever.  Person A shouldn't have to go without care or be bankrupt simply due to drawing that short straw and having to deal with the issue(s) they get while others who draw lucky straws enjoy the extra cash.

 

Dealing with health issues is difficult enough.  No one should have to worry about how to pay for it - or if they can pay for it - or if they even get treatment if they can't pay for it - on top of it all.

 

We all should pay so that all are covered.  Period.  If one wants extra on top of that, then fine, pay for that, but basics like breaking a bone or getting cancer or even plain ole checkups?  Those should be free at the point of service.

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https://www.irs.com/articles/2016-federal-tax-rates-personal-exemptions-and-standard-deductions

 

https://www.ato.gov.au/rates/individual-income-tax-rates/

 

I'm not an accountant but there's the rates. We also have 10pc GST. Doesn't look that different to me? You have to remember that universal basic healthcare takes the profit part out of the equation which I assume your insurance companies need to make. Over a certain income level you have to have private health insurance or you pay a levy. Our private health costs under $300 a month.

 

Access to healthcare is pretty reasonable though harder in remote areas.

 

I personally think public health care and public education to an employable level are essential for preventing massive growth of income inequality.

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And this, to me, is all that matters.  Many, many health care issues are simply luck - not lifestyle - luck, either genetic or "accident" or whatever.  Person A shouldn't have to go without care or be bankrupt simply due to drawing that short straw and having to deal with the issue(s) they get while others who draw lucky straws enjoy the extra cash.

 

Dealing with health issues is difficult enough.  No one should have to worry about how to pay for it - or if they can pay for it - or if they even get treatment if they can't pay for it - on top of it all.

 

We all should pay so that all are covered.  Period.  If one wants extra on top of that, then fine, pay for that, but basics like breaking a bone or getting cancer or even plain ole checkups?  Those should be free at the point of service.

 

I agree.  But some people who are complaining about cost would be the same people complaining about cost.  KWIM?

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But some of us would be very happy to pay more in taxes so that we could have universal healthcare in this country. My family would absolutely pay more under universal healthcare, as our employers cover almost all the costs of our excellent insurance and we have two working professionals. But I'm completely fine with it. Just as I would be completely fine with paying SS taxes on all of our wages in order to keep the program solvent for those who need it.

 

Yes, that was not my point.

 

My point was this stuff is not low cost.   The money comes from somewhere one way or another. 

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https://www.irs.com/articles/2016-federal-tax-rates-personal-exemptions-and-standard-deductions

 

https://www.ato.gov.au/rates/individual-income-tax-rates/

 

I'm not an accountant but there's the rates. We also have 10pc GST. Doesn't look that different to me? You have to remember that universal basic healthcare takes the profit part out of the equation which I assume your insurance companies need to make. Over a certain income level you have to have private health insurance or you pay a levy. Our private health costs under $300 a month.

 

Access to healthcare is pretty reasonable though harder in remote areas.

 

I personally think public health care and public education to an employable level are essential for preventing massive growth of income inequality.

 

This is only one tax.  There are other taxes that you pay (and we pay).  So this could be a very misleading comparison. 

 

We pay under $400 for insurance per month.  But the employer pays the rest.  I couldn't tell you how much because that's not so easy to say because they are self funded (which means they buy contracts and administrative services, but not really insurance...they pay the bills from their own pot of money).

 

I don't know what it would cost us if we had to buy it.  We live in a state with a lot of decent options.  Some states don't have good options.  That's another thing.  This varies by state in the US. 

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