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 AUTHOR
 dragonbytes
Joined: 12/25/2014
Msg: 76
Life without health insurancePage 4 of 6    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

Not sure Dragon...my mom was a smoker and got checked every year. One year she skipped her annual and the next year she found out she had lung cancer that spread to other parts. She was given 6 months( they give the min. usually) and because of insurance paid treatments she lived another 4 years, comfortable enough to work most of it.
I generally go for my annual blood and urine test and that is all. But I feel safe by being covered. Of course it doesn't cost me anything but still.

As for accidents, they happen. Certain things can be treated cheaply at a clinic, I guess, but you would be surprised at the price of somethings.

I had a kennel worker get bitten by a foaming feral cat. They took her to an emergency room( I went also). The ambulance bill was 750 bucks, the multiple Rabies shots were over 6 thousand. Imagine that? Thank god she had some coverage.


Joe, I am sorry about hearing about the passing of your mother, it was good that she and her family got an additional 4 years together.

I do have health care now, but if it wasn't for the ACA and tax penalties, I wouldn't have signed up. I would have waited it out till medicare was available at age 65.

It would be a calculated risk that I wouldn't encounter a major health problem costing over $10,000.

I am never surprised by what they charge. BUT I was surprised what health cost if you have to pay full price.

I have a good idea about medical complications and expenses, but it's a danger to get over confident about this.

Ambulance services, my father had to be transferred a few hundred feet from a hospital to a rehabilitation facility, the hospital insisted it had to be in an ambulance. It was gross about $700, but since my father had medicare and untied healthcare supplemental health care, I don't think there was any out of pocket expense. If if were me and I had to pay, I would have had someone drive me the 200 feet.

Here it depends on where an ambulance is called out of, which township. But we have had an ambulance called out a fair number of times.

My father had emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, had quadruple bypass surgery and he had a large aneurysm in the femoral artery. When they discovered aneurysm they admitted him into the hospital and did surgery that day.

I was told if it bursts outside of a hospital there was a 90% fatality rate, and even on the operating table there was a high chance of death during surgery IF if burst.

Just the surgery alone for the bypass was $50,000, and he spent several days in intensive care.

My father eventually died some years ago of a heart attack, but he was very weak at that point. I had to half carry him if he went to the bathroom.

My mother currently has wet macular degeneration, she goes for injections of Eylea into both of her eyes every 3-4 months, the injections would cost $4,000 each just for the Eylea drug, not including doctors fees. If she had to pay the total billed amount, it would come to about $30,000-$40,000 per year.

I pretty much see all the bills and help my mother reconcile doctor's bills, personal payments with insurance payments. Often the doctors office will send an inflated bill because they have trouble billing the chronic disease relief fund for part of the bill. I call them to ask if they have sent that part of the bill to that payer. If I don't call, I think they would just keep trying to bill my mother for this. As long as they have someone to bill, I am not sure how much they care who pays.

Now my mother is getting dementia, so I am taking anything to do with finances, so I am pretty aware of medical bills.
 dragonbytes
Joined: 12/25/2014
Msg: 77
Life without health insurance
Posted: 8/11/2015 8:17:20 AM
Igor, BigBadNIrish in MSG 75 is correct, if you earn over $45,960 you will get no subsidy, but if you earn $45,950 you get a $130-$250 subsidy to reduce your health care cost. They increase or decrease the subsidy depending on your zip-code.

BTW The cheapest plan for those at our age that make over 46000 is about 370-470 depending on zipcode, though IMO that is still expensive for those types of plans.

I needed help filing out ACA online form, my wife has only lived in the USA for 2 years, she isn't eligible for anything like medicaid, but the ACA site still made us apply for medicaid and then wait to get rejected before they would allow me to pay for healthcare with a subsidy. Of course I could always elect to pay full price. That and there were some other complications caused by her going to work and us having a variable income. The online form isn't intuitively obvious in how to fill it our or how to jump into a completed form to make changes.

I did get frozen out of the site numerous times. If you want difficult, I completed signing up using a tablet from Thailand over the Internet. I could only get part way through the sign up then had to contact ACA directly on a phone, then a facilitator asked me questions and filled it out for me. All at midnight in Thailand.

IMO the goverment supplied facilitator was excellant.

And I had previously gone to the local community health center to get advice on what would be the least expensive way to go, they were helpful as well.
 Brave_one
Joined: 6/26/2015
Msg: 78
Life without health insurance
Posted: 8/11/2015 9:57:50 AM

It would be a calculated risk that I wouldn't encounter a major health problem costing over $10,000.


DD, you def did your homework on said subjects.

And just wondering, what caused and at what point in time did the Dr’s, hospitals ,cost,etc... start to spiral out of control ?

Then you have People having health insurance ? And people selling health insurance ? Or plain greed in action ?

What came first, the chicken or the egg? lol more like for some ,''a golden egg.’'
 adventurejoe70
Joined: 3/1/2013
Msg: 79
view profile
History
Life without health insurance
Posted: 8/11/2015 10:35:37 AM

Joe, I am sorry about hearing about the passing of your mother, it was good that she and her family got an additional 4 years together.


Thanks Dragon.

That is one of the biggest problem with the health costs- a 2 tiered system( something Obama didn't fix). A bill that is 6k can be payed by the insurance company for 500 bucks based on contractual rates ,but the uninsured is expected to pay the whole inflated price.


Another issue is that the hospitals often send the bills because they get tired of waiting for the insurance to pay them.
 perfectlyfrank2323
Joined: 7/29/2015
Msg: 80
Life without health insurance
Posted: 8/11/2015 11:11:34 AM
^^^^ people don't realize that just because a health care provider sends a bill does not mean the person is obligated to pay it. Billing must be reasonable and customary. Anybody has the right to challenge a bill in small claims court, or in a higher court if they understand how to do so or hire a lawyer to do so.

Too many people roll over and allow these providers to extort money from them. If the individual started denying the charge and litigating the issues if necessary, the providers would be much more likely to try to negotiate. In the end, it is up to the Judge or Jury what the provider's entitlements are . . . . unless there was a per-negotiated rate, like they often is with Insurance Companies.

So I recommend everybody at least respond with a letter denying the reasonableness of the charge, denying responsibility, telling the hospital that you are willing to pay only X amount. If the Hospital doesn't agree, simply don't pay until it does. If you get turned over to collections, deny the obligation. My understanding is that Fica scores put much less weight on medical bills than they used to, but still, if a medical provider damages your financial reputation and your borrowing rates go up, no reason you can't bring a claim for defamation, so long as you challenged the bill to begin with.

Just as an example, a friend of mine was charge $600.00 for a PSA test. The same one my insurer pays something like $20.00 for. That is outrageous and extortion as far as I am concerned. I told him to challenge it. But he paid because he was concerned about damage to his credit reputation. These entitled skunks need to be challenged, not allowed to extort people left and right.
 FullMoonGuy
Joined: 3/7/2014
Msg: 81
Life without health insurance
Posted: 8/11/2015 11:47:00 AM

Or plain greed in action ?


BINGO !
 BigBadNIrish
Joined: 1/31/2011
Msg: 82
Life without health insurance
Posted: 8/11/2015 12:06:14 PM

If the individual started denying the charge and litigating the issues if necessary


Hate to break it to ya, but you can't sue your insurance company, because every health insurance contract in America states you have to engage in arbitration to settle any unsettled disputes. And good luck litigating every hospital bill-because these are the very same bills submitted to everyone else....the only difference is those bills, which are the same as the self payer bills, are negotiated downward based on the negotiating power of the entity...so good luck suing the healthcare provided who is submitting the same bill for the same procedure to everyone-the same bill-which is negotiated downward based on the negotiating power of the entity.


Billing must be reasonable and customary.


Nice term...sounds reasonable...who decides what's reasonable and customary? The insurance company who's paying the bill and no one else.


My understanding is that Fica scores put much less weight on medical bills


Really? Care to provide some legitimate literature to back up this rumor?


if a medical provider damages your financial reputation and your borrowing rates go up, no reason you can't bring a claim for defamation, so long as you challenged the bill to begin with.


Were you a jailhouse lawyer at one point?


That is one of the biggest problem with the health costs- a 2 tiered system


Joe, I hate to say it but it's a multi-tiered system of payment...medicaid pays the least, then medicare, the insurance companies pay a different rate from each other based on their negotiating power, and the self payer pays an all together different rate.


something Obama didn't fix


I'm sure President Obama would have liked to had medicare for all, but in order to have some sort of healthcare reform he had to present something that would have actually passed legislation....for instance...the government option for healthcare was dropped to gain bluedog democrat support (old name for the new dixie republicans) who wanted to protect the insurance industry from ahving to compete with government insurance.


Then you have People having health insurance ? And people selling health insurance ?


Hate to break it to ya but ACA insurance is sold primarily thru the exchange where there is no commission paid, and that which is sold by an agent or broker is paid on a fee per participant basis...something like $8 per participant per month...takes a lot of work to generate that $8 fee....and loads of greed for $8...
 perfectlyfrank2323
Joined: 7/29/2015
Msg: 83
Life without health insurance
Posted: 8/11/2015 12:12:43 PM

Hate to break it to ya, but you can't sue your insurance company, because every health insurance contract in America states you have to engage in arbitration to settle any unsettled disputes.


I was talking about suing Health Care providers not insurance companies, but no, in Florida you have EVERY RIGHT To sue an insurance company for refusal to pay and you get your attorney fees if you prevail. Arbitration is not enforceable in an insurance contract. Can't speak for other states.


Billing must be reasonable and customary.

Nice term...sounds reasonable...who decides what's reasonable and customary? The insurance company who's paying the bill and no one else.


I guess I don't understand what you missed. If the Insurance Company is paying the bill, it presumably has already negotiated a reasonable and customary amount. I am talking about people who are paying themselves without insurance, but in direct answer to your question, the Jury or Judge gets to decide what is reasonable or necessary, typically after being presented evidence or hearing from "experts"


My understanding is that Fica scores put much less weight on medical bills

Really? Care to provide some legitimate literature to back up this rumor?


No, not unless you want to pay me for doing research for you. I suggest you look it up yourself.


if a medical provider damages your financial reputation and your borrowing rates go up, no reason you can't bring a claim for defamation, so long as you challenged the bill to begin with.



Were you a jailhouse lawyer at one point?


Were you always a clueless azzhole?
 BigBadNIrish
Joined: 1/31/2011
Msg: 84
Life without health insurance
Posted: 8/11/2015 12:18:37 PM

No, not unless you want to pay me for doing research for you. I suggest you look it up yourself.


So, then, anyone can spread any clueless rumor without any substantiation...got it..



Were you always a clueless azzhole?


I'm not the one spreading clueless rumors.



EVERY RIGHT To sue an insurance company for refusal to pay and you get your attorney fees if you prevail


If your contract is an HMO...the federal government has already decided you cannot sue your insurance company....blame it on your congressman and Bush for you loss of rights.


Its not your HMO, it is any group insurance policy provided by an employer (not quite any . . . example, government insurance does not come under that umbrella). . . and they come under ERISA, the employment retirement income security act. These cases, at least in Florida (again, I have never researched other states, but I believe this is pretty standard) are not arbitrated . . . they do however go before a Federal Judge who looks at the plan, decides if the Insurer acted arbitrarily or capriciously, and if he finds in favor of the insured, will generally award attorney fees also.


Wrong Einstein....any HMO, employer based or not, has the right to sue waved by congress under legislation passed that was initiated By GHWB


Do your own damn research on the other issues.


You should really do your own research, because you're starting to look like a clueless rumor monger


I say BULL. Prove it, cite the Statute


Do you own F'in research

And actually ERISA limits your rights not expands them:

ERISA preempts (that is, overrides) many state laws that regulate employee benefit plans. Simply put, if you obtain your health insurance, life insurance, or disability insurance through a plan set up by your employer, ERISA probably applies. If it does, your rights are dramatically limited.

As a practical matter, this means that when ERISA applies, there is no economic incentive for the plan to provide the benefits that have been promised. If the plan refuses, and the member sues, the worst thing that happens to the plan is that a court may order it to do what it was supposed to do in the first place. In other words, it pays what it owes. There is no additional penalty. This is like limiting the penalty for bank robbery to making the bank robber give back the money.

The absence of any right to compensatory damages can lead to tragic cases. In one, the plan refused to allow a member to undergo necessary treatment for cancer, even though it was covered. The member went through the plan’s various appeal processes, and the plan eventually relented and agreed to authorize treatment. But by then, it was too late, and the window of opportunity for the treatment to be effective had passed. The plan member died shortly after that.

When her family sued the plan, the court dismissed the case under ERISA, finding that there was no remedy available. Because the member was dead, there was no way to award her the plan benefits she was originally entitled to (the medical treatment) – which is the only remedy allowed. There is no remedy for emotional distress, or wrongful death. In effect, ERISA allows plans to kill their members with impunity.
http://www.ehrlichfirm.com/articles-briefs/what-is-erisa.html

and

The U.S. Supreme Court has limited the right of patients to sue managed-care companies for malpractice.

In February, I wrote about a consolidated case that was before the Supreme Court. Aetna Health v. Davila, No. 02-1485, and Cigna HealthCare of Texas v. Calad, No. 03-83. On June 21, the high court reversed the court of appeals and ruled that patients cannot seek damages if their HMOs refuse to pay for doctor-recommended medical care.

Relying on a 1974 federal statute, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which prohibits states from allowing patients to sue HMOs for refusing to pay for treatment, the court found that HMOs cannot be held accountable for the damages that ensue from their negligent decisions. That statute predates the dawn of managed care and the entirely different way in which health-care decisions are made.

http://cliffordlaw.com/news/firm-news/high-court-decision-keeps-patients-from-suing-hmos/


Erisa does limit your rights, which is why attorneys always try to avoid Erisa.


Dude....when you make the point that ERISA expands your rights...and then in the same post state that ERISA limits your rights...well, then you just look like a stupid fvck...
 perfectlyfrank2323
Joined: 7/29/2015
Msg: 85
Life without health insurance
Posted: 8/11/2015 12:26:11 PM
^^^^ yea you are clueless, but let me correct you on one thing. Its not your HMO, it is any group insurance policy provided by an employer (not quite any . . . example, government insurance does not come under that umbrella and an individual policy is NOT Erisa and can be sued in State Court for Breach of Contract). . . and they come under ERISA, the employment retirement income security act. These cases, at least in Florida (again, I have never researched other states, but I believe this is pretty standard) are not arbitrated . . . they do however go before a Federal Judge who looks at the plan, decides if the Insurer acted arbitrarily or capriciously, and if he finds in favor of the insured, will generally award attorney fees awarded to the insured.

Do your own damn research on the other issues.

Glad I could help.

let me edit to add I call Horseshit on not being able to sue an HMO. It is a basic, fundamental right of Due Process to be able to sue for Breach of Contract. If you are saying an HMO can arbitrarily deny treatment regardless of what the plan says and there is no recourse . . . I say BULL. Prove it, cite the Statute.

Edit:
Right, so its the way it is because you say its that way. I don't expect you are smart enough or knowledgeable enough to find the actual Statute citation, but at least you could find some sort authority and link it here, right, that says that you cannot sue an HMO if it decides a claim is not covered under its plan?

^^^^^ yes you dumb fuk, Erisa does limit your rights, which is why attorneys always try to avoid Erisa. But you still have the right to sue for arbitrary or capricious decisions and let a Federal Judge make the call. Anytime you end up in Federal Court, you are worse off than in State Court. Federal Courts generally protect the Oligarchy. State Courts protect the people. . . generally speaking of course.

^^^^^^^and yes, when you sue insurers, generally you sue for the damages arising out of Breach of Contract . . . which are "compensatory" damages . . . . but there are cases, at least in State Court, if the Insurer's reckless conduct was so horrid that the courts allow claims for compensatory damages, pain and suffering, etc. if there is serious emotional or physical harm as a result of the insurer's intransigence.

Not sure there are cases that allow the same under Erisa, but I would not be surprised if there were exceptions if the insurer's actions were egregious enough.

^^^^ yes, malpractice is generally against the actual medical providers even though insurers like to try to manage care and practice medicine.

^^^^^^

Dude....when you make the point that ERISA expands your rights...and then in the same post state that ERISA limits your rights...well, then you just look like a stupid fvck...


I see. You just make stuff up now, is that how this works. I NEVER would say something as dumb as ERISA expanding rights, but it certainly gives more rights than you claimed there were . . which are none . . . no right to sue your insurer.
 _mungojoe_
Joined: 10/1/2014
Msg: 86
Life without health insurance
Posted: 8/11/2015 1:13:20 PM

Right, so its the way it is because you say its that way. I don't expect you are smart enough or knowledgeable enough to find the actual Statute citation, but at least you could find some sort authority and link it here, right, that says that you cannot sue an HMO if it decides a claim is not covered under its plan?


And this is coming from the SAME moron... that thinks articles written in languages he is TOO fvcking stupid to understand... aren't "valid evidence"...

^^^^ yea you are clueless

Do you mean... as clueless as a fvcking idiot... who got his a$$ so thoroughly kicked... it gave him a concussion... and still runs around with his fingers in his ears... shouting "la la la I can't hear you"...?

Do you mean THAT kind of "clueless idiot"...?

Why am I so clearly reminded of that loser... "the nipple guy"...?
 perfectlyfrank2323
Joined: 7/29/2015
Msg: 87
Life without health insurance
Posted: 8/11/2015 1:35:47 PM
Munghole, you were so upset I was ignoring you on the Netanyahu thread, that you had to follow me here?

Look, I'm sorry the best you can do is plagiarize hate from other websites. But I can't debate a man who has no original thoughts. Sorry.

Prove to me you have the ability of original thought and maybe I will play with you again.

Try to do better next time :-)
 BigBadNIrish
Joined: 1/31/2011
Msg: 88
Life without health insurance
Posted: 8/11/2015 1:45:42 PM
nipple boy is that you????

So, you're standing by this comment nipple boy?



in Florida you have EVERY RIGHT To sue an insurance company for refusal to pay and you get your attorney fees if you prevail.


and this one:



I NEVER would say something as dumb as ERISA expanding rights


First, you should learn how to write in standard understandable English...and then explain why you say ERISA only diminishes employee rights when ERISA protects employees pensions...expands COBRA...adds health insurance portability...

Frank the nipple boy...have you been taking your meds???


And yes, Erisa took all of the claims against employer group policies (absent goverment), preempted them from State Breach of Contract Actions, and threw them into Federal Court, changed the standard . .(arbitrary and capricious), and removed the right to a Jury


So, now your saying that an insurance company cannot be sued? Which is it nipolini?


We are talking in the health care context.


Perhaps we were...yet you still made the claim that ERISA took all employee rights and protections away...and if was only in the healthcare context please explain COBRA and HIPPA sections of ERISA and how they expand employee healthcare rights under ERISA


Have no idea who Nipple Boy is


Sure you do nipolini-you're the nipple boy...no denying it...we all saw it right off the bat...your harsh posting style is hard to conceal...So, how many times have you been kicked out of here?? 4 or 5???
 perfectlyfrank2323
Joined: 7/29/2015
Msg: 89
Life without health insurance
Posted: 8/11/2015 1:58:33 PM
^^^^ I see you are getting angry because I showed you are full of sh^t. We are talking in the health care context. And yes, Erisa took all of the claims against employer group policies (absent goverment), preempted them from State Breach of Contract Actions, and threw them into Federal Court, changed the standard . .(arbitrary and capricious), and removed the right to a Jury. That is a diminshment of rights. You are simply too clueless to get it.

Before I mentioned it, you didn't even know what Erisa was, hadn't heard of it, and its good to see you have been furiously researching it over the last hour.

Have no idea who Nipple Boy is, and I surely need no instructions from you in how to write or any demands on what I should explain.

You are one of the board know-it-alls,but it is clear to me you talk about things you don't know a lot about, then when you are bested, you have a hissy fit. Sorry there charley. Learn something about the subject matter and then we will talk
 _mungojoe_
Joined: 10/1/2014
Msg: 90
Life without health insurance
Posted: 8/11/2015 2:13:04 PM

You are one of the board know-it-alls

Yes... but it is much better to be thought of as... a "know-it-all"... than being known as... a "know-nothing"...

Say... I'll bet you're one of those guys who has to get the clerk to check the label in your old shoes... just to know what size of new shoe you need...

19 yr old clerk: "What size?"

nipple guy: "I don't know. How am I supposed to know that. You're the shoe salesman, you should know"

19 yr old clerk: "May I see your old shoe?"

nipple guy: "Why?"

19 yr old clerk: "So I can check your size"

nipple guy: "You can DO that?!?"

19 yr old clerk: "Ummm, yes?"

nipple guy (after looking at shoe):"You liar! That isn't even English, there is NO WAY that is my shoe size!"

19 yr old clerk: "I'm just going to bring the manager over. Wait one minute please."
 perfectlyfrank2323
Joined: 7/29/2015
Msg: 91
Life without health insurance
Posted: 8/11/2015 2:26:04 PM
^^^^ Brilliant. Do you write for Seinfeld? LOL

How come you and the know-it-all get to come and hijak this thread as you please. It was going pretty well until know-it-all started arguing for no good reason.

I wonder if Moderate azzhole will terminate your memberships . . . if he has that power. . . for doing so.

VVVVV not sure if you are trying to insult me Moderate, but if you are, it is going over my head. Y0u may want to explain it to me . . . just like I am a five year old child. LOL
 Moderate_Recall
Joined: 3/1/2015
Msg: 92
Life without health insurance
Posted: 8/11/2015 2:32:02 PM

Say... I'll bet you're one of those guys who has to get the clerk to check the label in your old shoes... just to know what size of new shoe you need...


Let's try to be a bit kinder and not talk about George's shoes since he is disabled, and has that stuff that happened to his wife that most of us weren't aware of. We understand a bit more now about the personality.
 perfectlyfrank2323
Joined: 7/29/2015
Msg: 93
Life without health insurance
Posted: 8/11/2015 3:00:38 PM
well since song was nuked . . .I guess I am next . . . . .so I will self-delete and take a break . . hopefully for a long time.

See you all.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
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 Peppermint_Petunias
Joined: 3/30/2012
Msg: 94
view profile
History
Life without health insurance
Posted: 8/12/2015 2:46:27 AM
I have found some procedures and surgeons bills can be negotiated.
These Drs/ health companies/hospitals etc are stuck with so many unwilling to pay anything ins wont cover and stiff them.

Say you have a surgery/procedure and your ins pays 80% of a 20k bill, then you are stuck with the balance.
You can look up yourself what these things usually cost and write a letter to negotiate.
(It could average 12-17k in your area/state.)

OR do as I have done and have a physician write a letter asking why the procedure was so expensive compared to what most Drs charge.
The Dr was so embarrassed he just accepted what ins paid.
Many have more say than you think when billing.

They rather get some part/ even payments rather than you just saying "screw it, thats crazy and not pay.The mortgage is due on the Aspen home ya know or some new equipment they just bought.

Many will work with you . Lower it by 10-15 % and still take payments.

Dont forget they "up sell" too. You may need your throat checked for something not visible to a light and tongue depressor. Your GP sends you to a specialist that could easily slip a camera through your nose and see the area while you are awake in a few minutes, but he wants to do a complete upper gi and get you to do the* rear end *also"(since you will already be under).
Just say no.

Get everything itemized from every person involved with a procedure and write them all if you must since most bill separate.
We all know how to get a good deal.
Same with health care in a lot of instances.

It may not always work, but more than not it helps 10-15%.
 spot4username
Joined: 6/19/2007
Msg: 95
Life without health insurance
Posted: 8/12/2015 7:36:12 AM
My divorce was final in '99 and that was the end of health insurance for me until this January when my ACA insurance kicked in. So yes, I have been without it for many years. I work two jobs (at this time and have worked more in the past) and am in the same boat as many Americans - it has never been a part of my employment and I could never have afforded it on my own. In the next few months I am hoping to make an appt for a full physical since I obviously haven't had one in many years.
 runningtome2222
Joined: 7/28/2015
Msg: 96
Life without health insurance
Posted: 8/12/2015 7:36:45 AM
This is my last post on this board and then I am gone for good.first, peppermint...yes you can negotiate them, but you are entitled to a much greater discount if they are too expensive for the marker to begin with. And like I said...just because they bill it doesn't mean they are entitled to it.

Munghole... you are offensive to liberals everywhere. Your level of obnoxiousness exceeds all reasonable boundss of decent conduct. A disgrace to the cause.

Irish, you are a fricking idiot. I mean you are really a dummy. Before you open your mouth, you should try to educate yourself. You're comprehension abilities reflect a feeble mind. Sorry but true. If you are another liberal you are also an insult to the cause.

Moderate small iq azzhole, of you are going to moderate these boards, then do a better job of it. These boards are not nearly what they were in the past. That's because the crazies are allowed to post here with no restrictions.
 LLove2LaughToo
Joined: 3/5/2011
Msg: 97
Life without health insurance
Posted: 8/13/2015 7:30:34 AM

NJgirl116 :
If you don't have health insurance, does it affect your life choices? I haven't had insurance since February, and I have made changes to my lifestyle. I don't drive anywhere unless I have to. My job is 10 miles away, the grocery store is right here, church is 9 miles away, that's about it. Absolutely no driving out to NYC. I'm just afraid of something happening. I don't even drink and drive anymore, those days are over.



LLove2LaughToo :
If I was in my 20's my response would be different. At my age, I cannot afford not to have health insurance. It is better to have and not need it than to need and not have.


Back in June I had to leave my office early, ended up at the E.R. with chest pain. Blood tests, vital signs and electrocardiograms were normal, no evidence of heart trouble after doctors ran routine tests. I spent a night at the hospital under observation.

The hospital bill just arrived yesterday.

Total charges: $28,895.97
I have to pay this amount: $200.00

As I said on my previous comment, “at my age, I cannot afford not to have health insurance. It is better to have and not need it than to need and not have”.
 HawkingJr
Joined: 4/16/2007
Msg: 98
view profile
History
Life without health insurance
Posted: 8/13/2015 8:14:19 AM
I’m probably a rare person on here who has never been without health insurance. Both of my parents were public school teachers and had excellent health insurance plans (good thing, since I was a very sickly kid, and I don't know how many operations my brother had to have from sports injuries) and I got my first professional job (complete with health insurance) within a few months of graduating from college, right before I was about to be dropped from my parents’ insurance.

However, the strength and type of my insurance at my current company has changed over the years. When I started it was a very restrictive HMO that forced you to get a referral from your primary doctor before you could see any specialists and the primary doctor had to sign off on all hospital visits, even E.R. ones (after the fact, of course). Very annoying, mostly because my primary doctor was almost impossible to schedule on short notice. A few years later, the company changed to a PPO plan that was almost ridiculously flexible – huge network of primary doctors, specialists and hospitals, and you could go directly to any of them and still get network rates, with really small co-pays, usually around $10 unless you needed an MRI or something major. It was AWESOME.

But then the company decided that plan was too good for us and switched over to a high-deductible health plan in conjunction with an HSA. Our monthly payments were cut in half, but of course that came with a cost: the insurance company pays for nothing until you reach their ridiculous deductible, the lowest of which is about $3000 for individuals among the plans offered to us – unless I end up in the hospital, I never make it close to $3000 worth of medical expenses a year. The only positive, for me, was the company also seeded the HSA each year with a good amount, and then the first couple years we had the HSA, I only needed to go to the doctor for the required annual checkup (which as preventative medicine, is free). By the time I had to go to the doctor for real and pay “out-of-pocket,” my HSA was well-stocked and I’ve never paid for anything with non-HSA cash.

However, my best friend is under the same plan but for a family of 4 that includes two younger dependents and she complains about it all the time as just “catastrophic insurance” because they have so many expenses each year that drain her HSA to zero but never make it to the deductible (which is much higher for a family). If not for the HSA, the only regular benefit our plan would give us is somewhat cheaper negotiated rates for in-network providers. However, if we got cancer or in a major car accident or something else “catastrophic,” we would easily meet the deductible and the plan would pay everything after that point.

Now you hardcore conservatives are probably ready to chime in with “Look what your precious Obamacare did to you!” There’s just one problem with that theory: my company switched over to a high-deductible plan in 2008, before Obama was even elected. So employer-provided insurance was already headed in that direction before Obamacare was enacted. Because they're cheap b*stards.

That insurance is even employer-based at all in the United States is nothing more than an accident of history and somewhere down the line someone should have said “This is nonsense. Let’s do something else.” The most annoying concept of the current system (among those that actually HAVE health insurance) is that many people end up feeling married to their jobs that they might hate, and if they find another job with reduced or no health care benefits, they probably won’t take it. Slowly but surely they become less productive at the job they hate, all because they need the health insurance.

Obamacare tried to fix that problem, but didn’t go far enough – either a nationally-run single payer plan or pure portability is needed. And besides “the people,” it would greatly benefit U.S. corporations, which currently have to compete with many corporations in other countries that don’t have to or feel the need to provide health insurance because the country they’re in has already taken care of that. Health insurance is a massive drain on American corporations. Of course, somebody still would have to pay for the insurance, but I think we’d all be better off if it was paid for by a tax (maybe both on “the people” and businesses). And if a company wanted to offer a better plan than the basic provided by the government in order to entice people to work for it, it could. At that point, if someone wanted to leave a bad work environment, maybe their insurance coverage wouldn’t be quite as good but at least they would have enough insurance to survive a catastrophe and they wouldn’t be as compelled to stick with a job they hated.
 gtomustang
Joined: 6/16/2007
Msg: 99
Life without health insurance
Posted: 8/13/2015 8:52:51 AM
I remember when HSA's came out, every article on how you should save for retirement/where you should dump extra pay went from "maxing out your IRA" at the top of the list, to "max out your HSA" at the top of the list. it was the hot new investment vehicle. my place of work at the time was always changing health insurance since one of the son's wife had some kidney disease that required two transplants and likely the son has it.

anyhoo, I ended up maxing it out just before I retired, and for a year it was nice b/c I didn't have to pay anything for health insurance since I had my $3K plus in. then the company changed policies, and the company told me they were ending the policy. darn. now I have to cough up $270 a month, apparently I should complain my insurance costs went up :)

going to single payer like Congress and the VA does, has one big speedbump--all the workers who will get put out of a job overnight. insurance is just big business, and of course, like any big biz, it contributes to Congress. it was the only solution that was going to get past the PACs, even get some of their muscle.

health care is a big drain on corporations--it was always said that General Motors was a health insurance company that made cars. And wait a decade or two to watch what happens to the defense budget to pay for all the TBIs and other casualties of war.

a tax on cigarettes and high fructose corn syrup might help offset cost, but guess which economic class that hits?
 adventurejoe70
Joined: 3/1/2013
Msg: 100
view profile
History
Life without health insurance
Posted: 8/13/2015 10:26:54 AM
Pharmaceuticals is another one: look up what Teva (Isreali company I think) is doing. Tetracycline's and other cheap generics are now expensive. Used to be 4 dollars!
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