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Thread: O/T American health costs

  1. #1
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    O/T American health costs

    We have the NHS.
    Yanks pay through the nose for health care.
    How are the general population there going to afford treatment.

  2. #2
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    It's a good question, mostly through insurance coverage provided by employers which doesn't help as so many people have been put out of work due to closure of businesses. Just FYI, I calculated the other day that in the 21 years we've been here our insurance premiums, thankfully covered mainly by my employers, have exceeded $500K or $25K/year.

  3. #3
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    How long intensive care would that last?
    Would they refuse treatment to some with little insurance?

  4. #4
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    In terms of the over 65s, essentially everybody is covered either by basic Medicare funded through the Federal Social Security program or by Medicaid (which has some federal and state funding and is also subsidized by the hospitals themselves. Medicaid is the really basic service but it means pretty much everybody will be seen

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashbang View Post
    How long intensive care would that last?
    Would they refuse treatment to some with little insurance?
    In all honesty I've not heard of anyone being refused treatment or in fact seen any reports on the personal costs involved in treatment in this pandemic. I know that in 'normal' times I've heard of charges of $10K for a day in hospital aren't out of the ordinary, nor is talk of $100K+ for surgery. It's scandalous. I saw reports that the masks that are being commonly used through this that are available for $7 in the 'Boots' equivalents are ordinarily sold through distributors to hospitals for over $100 each.

    CT has had recent surgery so may have more first hand knowledge as luckily so far in our time here we've never had a need for anything but routine care.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashbang View Post
    How long intensive care would that last?
    Would they refuse treatment to some with little insurance?
    Picking up from CAMís comments, the quick answer is that Medicaid, the safety net base level care program, ensures that even the indigent will get treated. The quality of care will generally be low and the minimum required. There will be a long wait and people obviously die in this scenario more quickly than if they have proper insurance. So itís poor and inadequate but people arenít just left to die if they donít have insurance.

    My son is a doctor here in OB/GYN and he treats the full range of women from the rich to the very poor. If youíre having a baby or there are complications, you donít get turned away. Like most hospitals his has to accept a proportion of Medicaid patients in order to preserve its favorable tax status.

    Finally, as CAM says the vast majority are people are covered by some form of insurance and are very well cared for.

    My full knee surgery hasnít cost me a penny - at least directly. However, even at 68, Iím still paying insurance. Basic Medicare is about $140 per month which is deducted from my monthly US state pension. This buys me goodish cover but by no means covers everything. In addition, I elect to pay for a Part B Medicare supplement plan which is another $150 per month. This ensures everything is free for me and I get a nice single room with ensuite bathroom etc. Add to that a Prescription Drug plan which is another $25 per month and Iím paying about $315 per month (per person) for healthcare. I get to choose who I want to operate on me and within reason can get elective surgery done when I want in a very pleasant, technically advanced environment

    So, hopefully that gives a sense of the range of options available. I am very fortunate in that I can elect to get comprehensive cover and at a personal level am very impressed with what I get for my money.

    However, Iím not a supporter of the way the US system works and would vote for a party/leader who intends to overhaul it and move away from the overdependency on the profit based commercial insurance model.

  7. #7
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    Very similar situation to CT for me, including the part B. I think at the end of the day the lower taxes, gas prices etc offset the cost and many employers pay health insurance anyway. No hospital will refuse treatment to anyone who canít afford it anyway. I know a heart surgeon and heís such a top bloke that heís waived his fee many many times, his reward being the satisfaction of the job heís done. Not all are like that of course.

  8. #8
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    Not related to the current situation but here's another crazy example of the US Healthcare/Insurance business. Some drugs are so expensive here, in some cases the insurance companies will pay their customers expenses and a $500 fee to fly to another country (Canada, Mexico...) to pick up prescriptions. Some do this 4 times a year as the standard prescription is 90 days. It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world.

  9. #9
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    My other half works/lives in Dongguan, China. Just come out of 2 weeks isolation and goes to work tomz(Mon). She runs the Company in S. E Asia for a Sheffield company. 1 girl is coming back from Hubei and other girls are worried, even though she's been tested. So she's had another at a private hospital and got the negative result back in 3 hours. Total cost???...under £17..... £300/£400 in the UK.

  10. #10
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    I used to work in Yunnan province back in the day and thought it was cool that the Chinese would eat anything. So much so, that I would tell my kids off for leaving food they didn't like, calling them fussy eaters. How times have changed.

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