Heath Care / Insurance

yo vanilla

Well-Known Member
Location
WI, USA
I debated posting this here vs. the Health & Fitness subforum, but I am thinking of health care costs as a current affair. It is a subject that has come up often for me lately, especially with the COVID pandemic. It is something that makes me contemplate moving abroad given the costs and the general state of things.

I am going to offer some vague details about my health insurance costs and I would like to have a compare with others; most posters being from Europe have things a little different.

Background: I work for a fairly large company in the USA that can, being sizable, negotiate a "good" health insurance plan vs. a small business. This is to say some people in the US have it similar, I would wager not many have it much better, and many many aren't as good for cost or coverage.

Costs for family plan, non-smokers:
Monthly premium: ~$260 (my share) plus by the way the company pays ~$1300 meaning the true premium cost is $1500+!!
Plus whatever I choose to put into my HSA (Health Savings Account) out of my wages which currently is I think $150/month
= ~$400/month for the privilege of having insurance.

Deductible:
$3200, or $8000 if out of network
After this, insurance pays 80% of the costs until I hit my max out of pocket of $6400, or if out of network then 60% of the costs up to my ~$13000 out of pocket.
This means basically even with insurance I could potentially pay $6400 in a given year for care, in network or almost $13K if out of network.

Everything increases (or decreases) out of my favor every year; for example three years ago it was $40 less per month, deductible was less, co-pay was 95% vs 80% today. 10 years ago was much different still but I don't have that handy.

And none of this covers dental or vision which are separate and additional costs.
 
I pay 12% of my earnings after I have earnt above £183 per week or £9516 per annum.
These National Insurance payments go towards state benefits and services, including:
  • the NHS( national health service)
  • the State Pension- for a full pension you require 35 years contributions
  • unemployment benefits
  • sickness and disability allowances.
The NHS is also funded through general taxation, but the level of treatment you receive is not dependants on what you pay. Perscription rates are fixed at £9.95 per item with prepayment vouchers available to cover all required medicines at about £30 per 3 month period.

this is not an exhastive list of benifits or what we get in the UK I will let others fill in the gaps, as I am a bit busy ATM^_^
 
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johnblack

Über Member
Mine is completely free,, apart from the benefit in kind value on my tax code which I dont even notice, it includes me and both daughters whilst they are in full time education. I pay a max of £250 per year for any one claim but only as a percentage of each invoice, so if I see a consultant I pay somwhere in the region of £15 and the insurance pays the rest. If I have a hospital stay as part of the NHS, so not using my healthcare, they re-imburse me £100 per night. It doesn't include dental. I pay £40 a year for a checkup. I can ring up my insurer and arrange a consultancy over the phone so I do not even have to get a referral from my NHS GP. I think it's a fairly standard AXA policy.
 

newfhouse

Regressive elitist lefty
As with so much of American culture - guns, religion, flag reverence, health care - when it's actually written down it makes absolutely no sense to my European brain. How can it be that the life lengthening medical care you receive is so dependent on your ability or inability to pay? Why do you stand for it?
 

vickster

Legendary Member
I pay a fair amount for my Bupa private healthcare but I use it a lot and get my money’s worth :rolleyes:
£100 annual excess on top of the premiums
Obviously doesn’t cover chronic illness but the NHS does
Bupa does require a GP referral for Private appointments but provide a private GP service to use
As a self employed contractor, the benefit of accessing care quickly at convenient times with whom I want certainly works for me
Of course I pay the required NI too
 
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PeteXXX

Cake or ice cream? The choice is endless ...
Location
Hamtun
As I'm over my official retirement age of 65, but still working a few days a week, I have no NI deductions from my wage (but I had paid into it for 50 years)
I can see that changing for new retirees, soon, to help pay off the current fiscal situation.
 
I'm back. The state healthcare system in the Uk is nominally free at the point of use apart from contributions to perscriptions as I have already posted.
I will try to list what you will pay towards thing such as dental care, eyeglasses etc.

First off exemptions to NHS perscription costs am I entitled NHS costs

Dental charges, again there are exceptions for people on low/no income 3 bands of dental charges NHS

Eyesight Eyetests and glasses

Any emergency care is free at the point of use, to everyone including non nationals

If you wish you can buy private healthcare, which will get you faster treatments, but will not cover emergency care generally.
 

Milkfloat

An Peanut
Location
Midlands
So over and above my general taxes I pay of which ~19% contributes to the NHS bill of ~£125B per year I have private health care paid for by my employer. This private health care costs ~£2500 per year for my family and I personally pay ~40% of that in tax. As other have mentioned the private cover allows me to get treatment in the private sector that the NHS may not offer me or where is a really long waiting list. I have minor deductibles for most things (£100) privately.

Having lived in the US I found that yes the insurance was eye wateringly expensive, but the level of care was excellent, but it was clear that the medical services were padding out treatments to include things that we in the UK would find totally alien and wholly unnecessary.
 
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Unkraut

Master of the Inane Comment
Location
Germany
I'm back. The state healthcare system in the Uk is nominally free at the point of use apart from contributions to perscriptions as I have already posted.
I will try to list what you will pay towards thing such as dental care, eyeglasses etc.
Much the same here as in your post. Eyesight stopped being covered years ago, some limited dental work is covered, although you can pay a bit more on top for something with a bit more quality if you want to.

The main difference with the UK is there is a specific deduction from your pay for health that your employer has to match, and is subject to adjustment depending on the financial state of the system. Usually up! You also have to pay €10 a day for so many days (28?) if you are in hospital to cover cost of food etc.
 
OP
yo vanilla

yo vanilla

Well-Known Member
Location
WI, USA
As with so much of American culture - guns, religion, flag reverence, health care - when it's actually written down it makes absolutely no sense to my European brain. How can it be that the life lengthening medical care you receive is so dependent on your ability or inability to pay? Why do you stand for it?
I don't know that we do stand for it; I would say everyone agrees costs are out of control and that something should be done, although no one agrees what that something should be. Obama got elected largely on lowering healthcare costs, and all that came out of that was "Obamacare" which was a giant letdown IMO. Fast forward to today where the government is too busy fighting themselves to make any changes.

I don't know the accuracy of this chart but it at least illustrates the costs increases over the years in the US. See the differences between the '90's and mid 2000's when Obama was running for office on the healthcare costs platform, and then again compare to today. Not trending in the right direction!
 

Ridgeway

Senior Member
Here we have the minimum basic coverage (most things are considered as extras), for that we pay around £1500 per month for 2 adults and 4 children. Consider that each time we make a trip to the docs that the invoice arrives before you get home.... and that you need to pay for it directly and then "request" a reimbursement, you'll typically get back 95% of the invoice value if it's covered as there's a flat admin fee per activity so on top of the £1500 i pay approx £100-150 a month in excess fees if you like. That as i said is for basic coverage so no eye, teeth or what's considered as complimentary services like acupuncture, aromatherapy etc but the basics are well covered.

You're also expected to pay for your children's health insurance here until they are 25yrs old, after that they are on their own so we have quite a few years to pay yet.....

On a positive note you get what you pay for: few weeks back Mrs R was advised by the knee doc that she needed an MRI scan, he called downstairs and she had one on the way out, then after that he offered dates for some keyhole surgery for the following week.

Health insurance here is considered as, well insurance as that's what it is after all ^_^ you pay more and you get more.
 

Ridgeway

Senior Member
Do your fire services operate using the same model?
Here yes, we have fire insurance and they have their own fire fighters, the trouble is each county only has one provider so that insurance isn't cheap. In theory they won't come out to an uninsured property but as those don't exist they attend all fires.

Same goes for ambulances here, that's also separate and payable, you need insurance for that as well.... and if it's in the mountains then a separate special policy is required as an air ambulance ain't cheap, No2 daughter took a tumble last Winter and was air lifted off, took 3 mins and cost £3k:sad:
 
OP
yo vanilla

yo vanilla

Well-Known Member
Location
WI, USA
Am I right in thinking that the concept of sharing the cost of vital health care across the entire population, based broadly upon income, is seen as dangerously close to communism? Do your fire services operate using the same model?
I would say a large percentage of people would feel that way. I admit once upon a time I might have thought that or at least considered the correlation. People would say, the government is forcing me to pay for health care, instead of me choosing to. Or, then the gov't has the say-so on which services I receive or cannot. And so on.

Interesting comparison! Fire and Police services are in fact paid for with tax dollars and services provided by the public services.
 
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