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Old Sep 28, 2012, 11:37 PM   #26
Love
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We are very fortunate here in Canada as I have Alberta Health Insurance Plan that Provincial Government pays for which covers most hospital visits, operations (but not cosmetic) and family doctor visits. Then I have private insurance plan payed for by my employer which is about $400/mth and that covers 100% drugs, 100% dentist, ambulance and eye-wear ($200/yr.).
Pretty much my situation, too. AHS (Alberta Health Services) eliminated the premium in 2009 (was $44 per year per individual up to $88/year per family). My insurance plan through my employer gives me some extra benefits -- 80% of drugs/dentist/ambulance/etc. I'm also still on my parents' insurance plan.
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Old Sep 29, 2012, 04:20 AM   #27
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Pretty much my situation, too. AHS (Alberta Health Services) eliminated the premium in 2009 (was $44 per year per individual up to $88/year per family). My insurance plan through my employer gives me some extra benefits -- 80% of drugs/dentist/ambulance/etc. I'm also still on my parents' insurance plan.
We are a lucky bunch here in Canada. I think you meant 44/month not year. But still cool. I know in Ontario, your employer pays your health care.
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Old Sep 29, 2012, 05:17 AM   #28
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I live I the uk but I have private cover through work it a benefit that I just have to pay the tax on.

It's £50 a year excess for upto £50k of treatment.

Dental is separate at 80-100% cover depending on nhs status
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Old Sep 29, 2012, 05:46 AM   #29
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Isn't this a bit pointless without mentioning for example the own age?

We can get a private health insurance here in Germany as well, a lot of people did it when they were young and healthy = very low rates compared to the 'public' ones.
But rates go partly through the roof by getting older, while the other system stays more or less at the same level.
But I've to admit not knowing how the US systems is suposed to work (before and after "Obamacare" - terrible word btw).
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Old Sep 29, 2012, 09:05 AM   #30
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But rates go partly through the roof by getting older, while the other system stays more or less at the same level.
But I've to admit not knowing how the US systems is suposed to work (before and after "Obamacare" - terrible word btw).
That's the point of group health insurance, such as through the employer. Everyone in the group pays the same amount. It's a good deal for older people like me and not so much for the young (except for the young with children).

I suspect the name "Obamacare" was coined by people opposed to it. Obamacare basically creates groups, forcing the young and healthy to buy insurance thus effectively paying for the old and ill. It makes it possible for people with chronic illness (of any age) to obtain individual insurance which pre-Obamacare was not possible.
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Old Sep 29, 2012, 09:37 AM   #31
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The cost varies greatly depending upon the plan I choose with my company, anywhere from $150- $300 per month. I have no idea what the company pays. My favorite plan was an HSA (Health Saving Account) that costs about $100 per month, but it has a high deductible $2400 individual/$3500 per family and once the deductible was met, there were no more costs to the employee for the year. And what we paid was always moderated by the insurance company, in my case United Health Care. This last year it changed so that after the deductible was met they payed 90/10%. Obviously not as good now.

I know people who make in the range of $40-50k per year and although their company offers health insurance, they have to pay about $600 a month for a family per month and it's just too expensive where they end up buying health insurance or paying their rent... I can see lots of families not being able to afford health care and it seems that Universal Health Care will be the only direction we can go. IMO, for-profit health care has been a huge mistake. Course Republicans love anything that results in profits...
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Old Sep 29, 2012, 07:06 PM   #32
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We are a lucky bunch here in Canada. I think you meant 44/month not year. But still cool. I know in Ontario, your employer pays your health care.
You're right on that one actually, I did mean per month. A lot of Alberta employers did it before the elimination, but I don't believe it was mandatory.
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Old Sep 30, 2012, 12:13 AM   #33
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That's the point of group health insurance, such as through the employer. Everyone in the group pays the same amount. It's a good deal for older people like me and not so much for the young (except for the young with children).

I suspect the name "Obamacare" was coined by people opposed to it. Obamacare basically creates groups, forcing the young and healthy to buy insurance thus effectively paying for the old and ill. It makes it possible for people with chronic illness (of any age) to obtain individual insurance which pre-Obamacare was not possible.
Especially when Obamacare is basically Romneycare on a Federal level, too...

Mine is $150 every 2 weeks and after a colleague had a major health scare, I think I'll be getting some supplemental Aflac coverage as well.
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Old Sep 30, 2012, 12:34 AM   #34
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I used to pay $275... changed to another insurer after Obama care passed and they give me more or less the same benefits minus meds and I'm now paying ~$80 monthly personal insurance for young adults.
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Old Oct 1, 2012, 05:44 PM   #35
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Our company just got hit with a 16.5% group rate increase. The government still insists that inflation is at bay.
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Old Oct 4, 2012, 06:15 AM   #36
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I'm pretty lucky. My company likes to take care of their people.

We have an HSA plan. $2400 deductible for the year. My company pays the deductible for us by depositing $200 a month into a savings account. We have $20 copay for visits, dental, and an allowance for optical. We don't have to put any of our money into the plan.

Anything that we need to pay out of pocket we use debit cards or checks from our HSA account.

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IMO, for-profit health care has been a huge mistake. Course Republicans love anything that results in profits...
I don't think it was a mistake.

The problem is the states regulate what companies can 'sell' insurance. So the one's with the most money that can lobby the greatest make out.

If healthcare were like car insurance, where companies can compete over state lines I think we would make out better. As it is we're stuck with limited choices.
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Old Oct 4, 2012, 09:11 AM   #37
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I'm pretty lucky. My company likes to take care of their people.

We have an HSA plan. $2400 deductible for the year. My company pays the deductible for us by depositing $200 a month into a savings account. We have $20 copay for visits, dental, and an allowance for optical. We don't have to put any of our money into the plan.

Anything that we need to pay out of pocket we use debit cards or checks from our HSA account.

----------



I don't think it was a mistake.

The problem is the states regulate what companies can 'sell' insurance. So the one's with the most money that can lobby the greatest make out.

If healthcare were like car insurance, where companies can compete over state lines I think we would make out better. As it is we're stuck with limited choices.
That's definitely a great plan.

We have an FSA but it's our own money going into it.
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Old Oct 9, 2012, 06:50 PM   #38
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An therein lies the entire discussion!!
When I lived in Canada, there were no premiums. Just pulled out my health card and that was it. No copays, coinsurance, deductibles, pre-existing condition exclusions, lifetime maximums, endless paperwork, claims, bills in the mail, fears of bankruptcy, or headaches.

And the care I received was top notch, with none of the insurance industry propaganda of long waits for essential services.

Last edited by Jackintosh; Oct 9, 2012 at 07:28 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old Oct 9, 2012, 07:17 PM   #39
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When I lived in Canada, there were no premiums. Just pulled out my health card and that was it. No copays, coinsurance, deductibles, pre-existing condition exclusions, lifetime maximums, endless paperwork, claims, bills in the mail, fears of bankruptcy, or headaches.

And the care I received was top notch, with none of the insurance industry propoganda of long waits for essential services.
And as a provider, having to bill umpteen different insurance companies with umpteen different forms, many of which require prior approval for service, and frequent re-authorizations for continuing treatment...the cost of office staff and time is horrendous.

I am a strong supporter of universal healthcare in the US...but the insurance companies are to powerful and it will never happen.
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Old Oct 9, 2012, 07:26 PM   #40
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And as a provider, having to bill umpteen different insurance companies with umpteen different forms, many of which require prior approval for service, and frequent re-authorizations for continuing treatment...the cost of office staff and time is horrendous.

I am a strong supporter of universal healthcare in the US...but the insurance companies are to powerful and it will never happen.
Yes, I'm afarid you're correct. And interesting to have confirmation of the huge insurance bureaucracy that drives health care costs up and controls our health in this country. I wish Obama hadn't given into the insurance industry and cancelled the public option. It was the saving grace of the new plan.
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Old Oct 9, 2012, 09:06 PM   #41
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@OP

I think your cost is pretty competitive with those who have insurance through employers. Although some in this thread are reporting their cost being in the $300.00 range per month, if you add the employer share to the cost it will be close to your cost. With my last company I had very similar coverage as you and the employee + employer total cost for a family was in that neighborhood. What I find strange is that your costs are close to a group insurance plan where the young subsidized the old, and the sinngle subsidized families.

My current company employee share cost is roughly 124 per two weeks, but they give me 5k (pre tax) that I can use to pay for those health premiums. So you can look at it as my gross income is 5k more than what I was hired in at salary wise, or my total cost monthly for health insurance + vision + dental + life insurance for everyone in my family is $50 a month.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 07:10 AM   #42
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Obviously, this topic is for Americans, as most of the rest of you have universal health care.
That's a bit of a misconception because health insurance may be compulsory in some countries (like mine), the citizens/residents still have to pay for the basic health coverage themselves. The UHC you talk about would be tax-funded (UK, Spain, Portugal, etc.), while other countries offer a publicly and privately funded system (Germany, France, Japan, etc.).

Here in Switzerland, for example, the Federal Health Insurance Act demands that every insurance company has to provide a basic, untouchable model that covers all the needs of their customers despite age or medical condition; any extra coverage or treatment can be met by a higher premium.

Since I can only get basic coverage due to my health, I pay the equivalent of $444 a month, dental included.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 07:23 AM   #43
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I live I the uk but I have private cover through work it a benefit that I just have to pay the tax on.

It's £50 a year excess for upto £50k of treatment.

Dental is separate at 80-100% cover depending on nhs status
Same here. My employer will even pay for my fiancée to be covered: I just pay the tax for the benefit which is not a particularly large amount.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 07:32 AM   #44
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If they removed the restriction in the US for insurance companies to cross state lines, we would have more competitive costs IMO.

But, seeing as how we are forced to buy from companies that insure in the state we reside; one is smart to shop yearly. This stems from the cost increases that come at renewal times.

I pay 989.00 per quarter out of my pocket for my son and I. It increased this year again- no major claims or health concerns (thank god)

5 years ago I paid 689.
I have worse coverage now (PPO with a 2k ded. And 10% co pay) where as before I had 100% coverage no ded. No co-pay.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 07:35 AM   #45
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Same here. My employer will even pay for my fiancée to be covered: I just pay the tax for the benefit which is not a particularly large amount.
Same here lol
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 09:17 AM   #46
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Seems like the vast majority of people here are getting their insurance through an employer. Who out there is not?
My husband & I paid $1425 per month, self-employed, Blue Cross. No dental or optical coverage. $30 office visit copay, $45+ specialist copays, RX copays, copays for CAT scans, MRI's etc. Amazingly, no copays for blood work, ...usually. $100 copay for hospital. I stopped paying for my health insurance about a year ago so have no idea how much it would have gone up in the past year.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 09:25 AM   #47
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£0. Good ol' NHS. I'll be sure to enjoy it while we still have it.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 11:33 AM   #48
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When I lived in Canada, there were no premiums. Just pulled out my health card and that was it. No copays, coinsurance, deductibles, pre-existing condition exclusions, lifetime maximums, endless paperwork, claims, bills in the mail, fears of bankruptcy, or headaches.

And the care I received was top notch, with none of the insurance industry propaganda of long waits for essential services.
Nothing is free. The money to pay for it comes from somewhere.

Canada also has tort reform which makes their system possible. The US does not have tort reform (and will never get it since most of the politicians are lawyers) which makes any system like Canada's not possible without quickly bankrupting the country. If you are in favor of getting a health system like Canada's, push for tort reform then we can get a workable system in the US.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 12:02 PM   #49
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I cannot figure out why there is such a vast cost difference between group plans and individual policies. There is no rational reason that an unemployed or retired person has to pay nearly 2X the cost for the same coverage.
There are a few reasons for this...

The larger the pool of premium payers into an insurance system, the larger the "float" available to pay the claims that are likely to occur at any given time.

Group insurance rates are therefore discounted both because there's a guaranteed pool against which the premiums to claims ratio is largely predictable, more than on an individual basis, and because a given group plan guarantees a certain volume of patients to in-network providers, who therefore are able to guarantee bigger network discounts back to the insurance provider which is passed on to you in the form of lower premiums.

Universal healthcare costs could be much lower, but we don't have true universal healthcare just yet.

For example: I pay about $500/mo for family coverage, with zero deductible and 100% coverage on all services, procedures, diagnostics, etc. I pay a copay, and that's it. The only hitch is that for non-emergency services I have to go to a network provider, but that's not hard. Emergency copay is $150 but 100% coverage thereafter. That adds up very fast. In the past year, while my premiums were $5500 the total pre-discount cost of services my wife and I have had is around $100,000.... but closer to $20,000 after all network discounts added up.

Lastly, the other factor that comes into this is employer contributions to your healthcare spending. Under new tax guidelines, employers are now required to disclose that amount, which is non-taxable as it's never part of your income (but nonetheless a significant part of benefits), in your W-2. My employer's contribution to my healthcare coverage ON TOP of the premiums *I* paid for the year? About $15,000. This isn't the largest company I have worked for, but some companies see healthcare as an investment in employee productivity, because people lacking proper preventive care tend to be either less productive while going to work sick, or are just out sick more frequently.

This is why it gets super-expensive for the uninsured.... and expensive for me too, because by state law, ER services are covered by taxpayers. So when someone has to wait until they have kidney damage to get treatment, because they have no preventive coverage, then it costs ten times as much for the procedure as it would have if I'd have pitched in a dime or two to pay for their insurance coverage.

Moral arguments aside, NOT having universal healthcare in a society is a bad investment decision.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 11:07 AM   #50
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I have Kaiser and pay $198 a month for an individual plan. I just started a new job, so I'm looking forward to getting on the company's health plan in three months.
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