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Skiing w/o health insurance - Page 3

post #61 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman
Of course, this is your choice although not a very responsible one. And as long as you are willing to assume that risk and pick up the tab yourself if something critical does happen. That's fine. But if you become a burden on the system, and don't pay your bills if you icncur them, I see this as a problem.

It is no different then the guy who drives with no car insurance, but keeps his golf club membership when he loses his job. Sounds like a pretty ridiculous choice doesn't it!

I think the question at hand is as follows:

Should healthcare be a universal service similar to the Fire Department. In other words no matter who's house burns they show up & put the fire out!
I guess A-Man has never had the misfortune to have to make that difficult decision.

Pay for food, buy insurance.

Pay mortgage, buy insurance.

When you are a group of one---or even a family of 4 with out the actuarial benefits of a large group (consisting of hopefully exclusively healthy younger non-childbearing folks) --- health insurance is unfortunatly a luxury that many who are unemployed simply cannot afford.

Lets see, premium in a non-group setting for a family of 4 as much as $1,200 per month, mortgage $750---

I really don't have a clue where the $150 per month figures come from---no premiums for decent coverage have been that low around here in at least a decade.

which would you choose given that choice?
post #62 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman
Of course, this is your choice although not a very responsible one. And as long as you are willing to assume that risk and pick up the tab yourself if something critical does happen. That's fine. But if you become a burden on the system, and don't pay your bills if you icncur them, I see this as a problem.

It is no different then the guy who drives with no car insurance, but keeps his golf club membership when he loses his job. Sounds like a pretty ridiculous choice doesn't it!

I think the question at hand is as follows:

Should healthcare be a universal service similar to the Fire Department. In other words no matter who's house burns they show up & put the fire out!
Last I checked, it was not illegal to not have health insurance.

"Burden on the system?" That's what the system is for. Maybe you should start lobbying congress if you don't like the current laws.

I think the real questions are Why does healthcare cost so much? Why do physicians have such a penchant for treating symptoms rather than causes? Why are they so quick to prescribe drugs and surgery? Why don't we all just go skiing and quit worrying about these minor details? Worrying is very unhealthy.
post #63 of 99
I pay a littel less then $150 for myself. I have a $5000 The insurance pays 80% of cost. I pay the rest up to something like $20,000. Overall limit is 2 million. As a policy it sucks, but better then nothing. Also they won't cover a per exsisting conditon.
post #64 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utah49
I pay a littel less then $150 for myself. I have a $5000 The insurance pays 80% of cost. I pay the rest up to something like $20,000. Overall limit is 2 million. As a policy it sucks, but better then nothing. Also they won't cover a per exsisting conditon.
Utah49

Is that non-group coverage? And is that the entire premium?

I did say decent coverage, I don't consider that decent coverage. $5,000 per year deductible and 20% of the balance is hardly decent.

However it is the type of alternative that might be attractive if unemployed. As you say, its better than no coverage at all.
post #65 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utah49
I pay a littel less then $150 for myself. I have a $5000 The insurance pays 80% of cost. I pay the rest up to something like $20,000. Overall limit is 2 million. As a policy it sucks, but better then nothing. Also they won't cover a per exsisting conditon.
Nothing wrong with that coverage. You are going to pay the nickel & dime stuff but you are covered for something really catastrophic. Alos there is some kind of a stop/loss limit on your 20% that you didn't mention, Like 20% of the first $10k after that & your deductble the company pays 100%
post #66 of 99
I doubt there is a stop loss provision in Utah's policy. Especially at that price.

I do agree that for a catastrophic (sp) injury/illness that policy would fit the bill up to 2 MM anyway.

I guess in a sense, like with any insurance, you are gambling on the policy premiums being less in total than the benefits paid out.
post #67 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by suebrown
Last I checked, it was not illegal to not have health insurance.

"Burden on the system?" That's what the system is for. Maybe you should start lobbying congress if you don't like the current laws.

I think the real questions are Why does healthcare cost so much? Why do physicians have such a penchant for treating symptoms rather than causes? Why are they so quick to prescribe drugs and surgery? Why don't we all just go skiing and quit worrying about these minor details? Worrying is very unhealthy.
I not worrying I have health insurance. I never said it was illegal I said irresponsible! It is also expensive to expect to go to the Doc for every little sniffle for a $10 co-pay! And when you are not covered and you get treatment & don't pay, that is a burden on the system and that is not what the system is for.

Last time I looked we live in a democracy where you have freedom to make choices and decisions. But with that freedom comes much responsibility.

Most people have the answer to the preventative stuff right in their daily lives.

My personal experience with healthcare probably skews my view because it has been so outstanding!

I am alive after a normally crippling/fatal infection.

My son's knee is completely reconstructed and he can ski race, play football & baseball without pain or limitation. these results are nothing short of miraculous in my opinion. I bow down daily to the medical folks who saved my life and gave my son is sports life back!

Their is an obesity epidemic in this country! That is the doctors fault?
It is lifestyle choices. Smoking, drinking, diet, excercise. Don't put the cause stuff on the doctors. Yeah, they treat the symptoms, but when you eat your 1/4 pounder & fries & Coke have too many drinks, while puffin' on your Marlboro and sit on the couch as a form of excercise your Doc can't be there 24/7 trying to get you to make good decisions about your health.

I am sick & tired of victims. Take some damn responsibility for yourself & don't blame everything on someone else.

Take it from me when you are dying, you want the best treatment RIGHT FRICKIN' NOW to save your ass, regardless of cost. The people who work diligently to save folks and deal with life & death decisions daily deserve to get paid handsomely for it! When was the last time at work you had to decide how to cut someone's chest open and pull their heart out of their chest and put it all back together again so it works. Way too intense for me!

The MRI machines and all the incredible diagnostic tools, Heart Scans etc. , and treatments and R & D for drug companies is damn expensive.
post #68 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_j
I guess A-Man has never had the misfortune to have to make that difficult decision.

Pay for food, buy insurance.

Pay mortgage, buy insurance.

When you are a group of one---or even a family of 4 with out the actuarial benefits of a large group (consisting of hopefully exclusively healthy younger non-childbearing folks) --- health insurance is unfortunatly a luxury that many who are unemployed simply cannot afford.

Lets see, premium in a non-group setting for a family of 4 as much as $1,200 per month, mortgage $750---

I really don't have a clue where the $150 per month figures come from---no premiums for decent coverage have been that low around here in at least a decade.

which would you choose given that choice?
We have 4 of us insured on our Small Group plan through our company that my wife and I own with the 2 of us fulltime and 4 part time employess. Only my family is on the plan, It is $850 per month!

And yes I would have rather paid the $850 per month then the $500k when I was hospitilized.

Folks, we live in the US not the USSR! Take care of yourself. Don't be a burden on society. Don't get me wrong there are many people who have legitmate issues and need help. But way to many make bad decisions in theri lives and don't want to take responsibility for where they are in their lives.

Always blaming their misfortune on someone else or being a victimof circumstance.

By the way, I normally wouldn't even get involved in this discussion 'cuz I would be skiing, but there is no damn snow here!!!!!
post #69 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman
Folks, we live in the US not the USSR! Take care of yourself. Don't be a burden on society. .....
By the way, I normally wouldn't even get involved in this discussion 'cuz I would be skiing, but there is no damn snow here!!!!!
I take care of myself. I work out, eat healthy food, don't smoke, drink moderately, etc., etc. However I've had cancer that needed surgery and radiation treatment, and I had two birth defects in my heart that made me have to have open heart surgery last August. Neither of these were within my control. I was very lucky to have good health insurance and adequate sick leave. I'm better than new now. But if I was between jobs, in a service job, or in any number of other situations that would leave me without health insurance I would have been screwed. EVERYONE deserves health care and we have enough money in this country to be able to provide it to all. We just need to decide to do it. My life would have completely changed if I was not covered and I sure wouldn't be skiing now because I couldn't afford it.

But like you say, I'm not skiing anyway because there's no snow.
post #70 of 99
Pheft,

glad to hear you are well!

There is short term medical coverage available to people between jobs, there is COBRA coverage. There is individual coverage.

And yes i agree everyone is not at fault, there is "bad Luck"I am not talking about people with a legit circumstance.

But unfortunately, the majority is not you, you are the exception. My comment also was specifically in response to suebrown's "The docs only treat the symptoms not the cause".

I certainly didn't mean to belittle your plight!

But, you were responsible, had health care, took advantage of it and recovered fully!

Happy your well!
post #71 of 99
Since I am self employed that is the only covrage I cou;d get that wasn't over $500.00 a month. Not great but better then nothing.
post #72 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utah49
Since I am self employed that is the only covrage I cou;d get that wasn't over $500.00 a month. Not great but better then nothing.
This was really my point.
post #73 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman
We have 4 of us insured on our Small Group plan through our company that my wife and I own with the 2 of us fulltime and 4 part time employess. Only my family is on the plan, It is $850 per month!

And yes I would have rather paid the $850 per month then the $500k when I was hospitilized.

Folks, we live in the US not the USSR! Take care of yourself. Don't be a burden on society. Don't get me wrong there are many people who have legitmate issues and need help. But way to many make bad decisions in theri lives and don't want to take responsibility for where they are in their lives.

Always blaming their misfortune on someone else or being a victimof circumstance.

By the way, I normally wouldn't even get involved in this discussion 'cuz I would be skiing, but there is no damn snow here!!!!!
A-man, respectfully, you dodged the real question.

Even folks that "take care of themselves" and are not really "Victims" occasionally end up in circumstances that make the choice between mortgage, food, clothing and health insurance a REAL decision. I know, I've been there.

You say you would have rather paid the 800 plus a month instead of the 500K your care cost, I say that is the right choice IF YOU HAVE the means to pay it.

My example of a grand a month for a non-group family is not outside the realm of reason. That is not even the "best" one could find in terms of coverage.

I've been unemployed 3 times in my working carreer, in none of those cases did I feel like a victim, (one I dared to defy the owner, based on principal---bad choice wage wise, good choice sleep wise!, and once was downsized! and the most recent was another "personality conflict" with the check writer---I guess I will never learn!) I was lucky in the sense that the spouse could get insurance through her work for those periods. If not, nearly 1/3 of my unemployment benefits would have been eaten up by the state run version of insurance available to the unemployed. It was shi+++ insurance to boot. But it was available if I needed it and I would have used it if another alternative was not available. (I was at the very top of the benefit scale because I make a very good income. I never did the math to see what someone who made 10 bucks an hour would have paid as a percentage---I suspect in some cases, as much as 50% of the UI benefit---just a guess)

I'm very glad I never had to make the choice between food, shelter and helath insurance.

Please don't atuomatically assume those that are forced to make that choice are of a "poor me i'm a victim mentality".
post #74 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_j
Please don't atuomatically assume those that are forced to make that choice are of a "poor me i'm a victim mentality".
Hear hear! I hope I didn't come across as having a victim mentality. I am where I am because of choices I've made (as are we all). I have more of a "I don't have insurance at the moment, tough shit, get over it, I'll ski if I want to" mentality.
post #75 of 99
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by suebrown
Hear hear! I hope I didn't come across as having a victim mentality. I am where I am because of choices I've made (as are we all). I have more of a "I don't have insurance at the moment, tough shit, get over it, I'll ski if I want to" mentality.
I understand your position, but have you considered how catostrophic the consequences could be for something as small as a broken leg skiing? If you are having trouble paying the mortgage now, think about what it could be like with 10k in hospital bills. I'm not saying you don't have the right to go on living your life, but voluntarily engaging in an activity that is a grat deal riskier than crossing the street might not be such a great idea at this point.

Again, I think this underscores how disfunctional the US health care system is today. The only reason I have coverage this year is because NY state forces HMO's to provide reasonably priced plans to those in certain situations.
post #76 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by suebrown
Hear hear! I hope I didn't come across as having a victim mentality. I am where I am because of choices I've made (as are we all). I have more of a "I don't have insurance at the moment, tough shit, get over it, I'll ski if I want to" mentality.
Hey chill, the choice IS yours. I could really give a shit either!
post #77 of 99
While I applaud the free spririts who might ski w/o insurance, I personally would not.

I do physical work, and if I'm laid up, the disability I'd collect wouldn't cut the mustard.
post #78 of 99
Quote:
College kids are, I believe, often covered through the school.
I can't think of any university that does not have mandatory health insurance in the U.S. I know you can sign a waiver, but most school insurance is <$1000 per year.

If your a college student (like I am) try to start a "recreational ski club" at school. Many schools, at least mine, assesses clubs for things like insurance and then offer to help pay for it for the group.

Cheers
patrick
post #79 of 99
Just ran into this thread. Just a few comments.

First, health insurance is just that - insurance. Just like car insurance, if you don't get in an accident or have your car stolen, you don't need it. Staying fit and healthy is fine and well, but does it guarantee health? Just ask Jim Fixx or anyone unfortunate enough to develop Leukemia or a malignancy. There are conditions that are simply out of one's control. Certainly care and fitness can guard against traumatic and certain health problems.

Second, socialized medicine has its drawbacks. Examples given here by CanuckInstructor and Snowfanatic are in emergency situations. Whether in a "free market" or socialized setting, situations such as fractures will be cared for in a prompt manner. In fact, even in the US, those without insurance will still be treated. Physicians are required to treat all comers coming through an emergency department. Where the Canadian system has a problem is in the non-emergent situation. It's one thing to fall and fracture your femur or tibia - you'll get treated quickly. When you fall and rupture your ACL, the knee Xrays in the emergency room show no fracture. Then try to see an Orthopedic Surgeon. After waiting for an appointment, see how long until you get an MRI. Guess where the highest concentration of MRI scanners in the world can be found - Buffalo/Niagara Falls, NY. Why? Because many Canadians are willing to pay out of pocket to get an MRI instead of waiting for the health system. Now, this was from about 5 years ago, but I doubt things have changed. I'm not knocking the Canadian (or any socialized) system. Without question, it provides health care and it's "inexpensive" (although the higher taxes dip into the cost). I'm simply stating that such a system has it's disadvantages. From my understanding, though, the Canadian health plan is better than the English one, where wait times can be quite long.
post #80 of 99
I have in the past skied without health insurance but only one season.

My wife was between jobs briefly a year ago and we checked into private health insurance rather than cobra. The quote came back as $1500.00 a month with $2,500 deductable. I hate to think what it would be after the cancer.
post #81 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman
I don't think the socialistic systems provide the same level of care as we have here in the states.
There are exceptions to every example, but I think we have the higher quality of care.
I've done time in hospitals in 4 countries.
England: Not great. Sometimes actually made me nervous. Really wished I wasn't there.

France (south): Great.

US and Canadian hospitals...both great, but I'll never forget the woman I met in an Arizona hospital whose daughter's recent illness had already cost her $85,000. She said she would have to dedicate the rest of her working life to paying off the bill (the girl was not close to be discharge, either).
NOTE: American nurses said they could tell I was Canadian because I asked the Dr. so many questions and wanted to be informed of everything. :

post #82 of 99
Understand that insurance is a BET.
I BET Travelers $1,268 that I am going to wreck my car and hurt somebody this year. They BET me $100K, $500K, $300K that I won't. Then I do my darndest all year to make sure that they win the BET. The best insurance is to ski safe and get the name, address, and insurance company of the b-tard that hits you.
post #83 of 99
Good plan smarty. 'Cept if the "bastard" is a tree, they usually don't carry ID. :
post #84 of 99
Living without health insurance is a dumb idea. Therefore skiing without health insurance is even dumber. Dumb and dumber.

There's no reason not to have health insurance. At the very least, have a high-deductable health insurance--it doesnt cost all that much compared to the cost of skiing. If you can't afford health insurance, then you shouldn't be skiing. The money you spend skiing should be used to save up so you can buy health insurance. People need to get their priorities straight.
post #85 of 99
Just explain to me a good reason why prescription drugs cost here 1 &1-2 what the same thing is in canada and twice what it is in GB? Ransom money to get them approved or just We'll take everything we can wring out of you.
post #86 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve crumbaugh
Just explain to me a good reason why prescription drugs cost here 1 &1-2 what the same thing is in canada and twice what it is in GB? Ransom money to get them approved or just We'll take everything we can wring out of you.
Very easy--its cause the Canadian government is being bastardly. If every government paid the US market price for the drugs, then everyone would pay the same price. But since governments can set prices, they can basically set any price they want. In the end, its the U.S. that's getting screwed over cause we're essentially paying for all the new drugs that come out and benefit the rest of the world. Alternatively, you can take the opposite perspective that the U.S. should set prices too. The U.S. government can say OK, Lipitor will now cost 1 dollar a pill from now on. Good luck getting any cutting edge drugs in the future.

Btw, this is why importing drugs from Canada is stupid. It would be far more efficient to just have the U.S. government control drug prices. Importing drugs has the essentially the same effect of lowering drug prices but you're throwing money away to the middlemen.
post #87 of 99
I buy 30 day short term insurance when I go skiing it is only $112


FORTIS INSURANCE COMPANY

501 West Michigan Milwaukee, WI 53203 A Stock Company

BENEFIT SUMMARY
Short Term Medical Coverage Agency Name: OFFICE HOME Policy or Certificate Number: 6327113 Agency Address: SPECIALTY PRODUCTS

PO BOX 3175 Effective Date: 12/24/2004 MILWAUKEE, WI 53203 Waiting Period: None Agency Number: 00013312100001 Form Number: 136.IL Agent Name: OFFICE HOME Payment Option: Single Agent Number: 00013312000001 Type of Plan: Single Plan - If You have a single Plan on the Effective Date of coverage, a Covered Dependent cannot be added after Your Effective Date




BENEFITS
Lifetime Maximum Benefit:
Individual Deductible Per Benefit Period:
Rate of Payment:
Individual Out-of-Pocket Limit:
Copayment:
Inpatient Hospital Services:
Outpatient Hospital Services
Health Care Practitioner Services:

Surgical:
Anesthesia:
Per Office Visit:

Reconstructive Surgery;
Inpatient Rehabilitation Programs:
Skilled Nursing Facility Care:
Home Health Care:
Outpatient Physical Medicine Services:
Ambulance Services:
X-ray and Laboratory Services:
Prescription Drugs:



$2,000,000 $500 for each Insured 100% $0 after deductible none up to Lifetime Maximum Benefit up to Lifetime Maximum Benefit

up to Lifetime Maximum Benefit up to Lifetime Maximum Benefit up to Lifetime Maximum Benefit up to Lifetime Maximum Benefit up to 30 days per Benefit Period up to 30 days per Benefit Period up to 40 visits per Benefit Period up to 10 visits per Benefit Period up to Lifetime Maximum Benefit up to Lifetime Maximum Benefit up to Lifetime Maximum Benefit

FORM 136.BNS.XX Page 1







PREMIUM SUMMARY


Benefit Period:

30 Days
Premium:

$112.61
Benefit Period Term Date 11:59 PM:

1/22/2005
post #88 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve crumbaugh
Just explain to me a good reason why prescription drugs cost here 1 &1-2 what the same thing is in canada and twice what it is in GB? Ransom money to get them approved or just We'll take everything we can wring out of you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrzinwin
Very easy--its cause the Canadian government is being bastardly.
Yes, blame Canada! : : :

This is so ridiculous. You're not Alan Greenspan, but you sure could be George W Bush.
post #89 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by asb2164
I buy 30 day short term insurance when I go skiing it is only $112
Not being American, I buy an extra $112 worth of beer and wine and food.
post #90 of 99
Gosh, I am glad I live in New Zealand. Our system is a bit of a mixture of private and socialised, but hospital care is basically free unless you don't want to go on a waiting list for 'non-acute' surgery.

We have a national scheme called 'Accident Compensation' (ACC) that pays for accident medical care regardless of how the accident occurred eg. at work, sport, car, at home. How do we pay for it? Employers pay a levy dependent on the type of work you do, our car registration includes a levy to cover your ACC levy ($170 yr). In recent years workers now also pay a levy as part of their tax to cover sports injuries, which is fair, why should employers pay for our sports injuries. So if you have an accident, even the helicopter is paid for by ACC. When the scheme was introduced over 30 years ago we lost the right to sue for accidents - if you are off work for a while it pays you 80% of your income until you go back to work, and also pays lumps sums for disbailities like loss of limbs. If you are the breadwinner and die in an accident, your dependents will get a pension from ACC. Unfortunately the scheme does not work too well for the self employed as they are employers not employees. This topic made me wonder how much of my tax last was ACC levy, I paid $950 over the year. It is dependent on salary so the higher paid do pay more, but then their earnings compensation is higher if we are off work. As it is taken off our pay before we get it, you don't really think about how much you have paid. I think it is a good scheme, reduces administration costs for heath care, no questions asked when you are admitted except for 'was it an accident?', if yes you fill out a ACC form. The info is used for hopsital funding as well as statistics on what is costing them money, eg. type of sports.

A lot of people still buy medical insurance too though, usually for non-accident related healthcare, then you can go private for hospital care. Standard of care in public hopsitals is just as good as private, but it might take you a while to get your operation. My neighbour has just had a 5 graft heart bypass, he was operated on within a week of discovering he needed it at a cost of $30K to his insurance company. If he went public to get it free he may have had to wait 12 months, and by then it may have been too late.

So if you have money in NZ you can get better medical care than the poor. But hospital care, acute and non-acute, is available free for any residents. I have never heard of anyone being bankrupted because of hospital bills, but they do die on the waiting lists though.
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