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Old 17-11-2011, 20:54   #46
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Re: Health Care in USA for Cruisers

Here's a US based company offering broad, low deductible health insurance to overseas visitors for about $2000/yr. Looks like a pretty good policy but I know nothing about them. I believe you must get the insurance before you arrive.

Visitors Medical Insurance, Visitors Health Insurance for USA Visitor Travel to USA

In my experience, every country has a few things that are complete folly. For the US, paying for healthcare is probably tops on the list. A US based pharmaceutical company by law gets to charge twice as much for a pill to an American as the same pill sold to a Norwegian.

Carl
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Old 17-11-2011, 20:55   #47
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Re: Health Care in USA for Cruisers

The problem isn't that the US has to find more money to spend on health care--it already spends much more than the average first world country. The problem is that it needs to eliminate the money that is diverted to paperwork and profits for private insurance companies and to malpractice lawsuits. A single payer system would accomplish this, but the insurance companies and the lawyers are spending 100's of millions of dollars per year making sure that congress doesn't kill their golden goose.

The sad part is that the majority of Americans believe the lies they are fed about how good the current system is. However, another few years of 30% annual increases in health insurance premiums will convince even the dumbest of them.
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Old 17-11-2011, 21:07   #48
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Re: Health Care in USA for Cruisers

Not that medical costs in the US aren't insane, but there's more than enough blame to go around. Some pharmacies (WalMart, WalGreen) and supermarket pharmacies will give you a 30-day supply of common antibiotics for $4 IF you know enough to ask around. Some doctors can ive you samples they've gotten, for free. But you have to know to ask.

And some doctors, dentists, etc. will drop their price if you simply tell them up front that you are a self-payer can they do any better for you. Their incentive is that they don't have to waste time with paperwork getting reimbursed, but in the US we are taught not to bargain, or ask to bargain, with 'professionals'.

I was speaking to a South African expat today, his mother needed a hip replacement in SA and after four days she was sent home from hospital with no further followup. In the US? You'd be given orders for at least a month of rehab therapy, and yes, that's really the only proper standard of treatment. Usually insured and reimbursed.

If you're in the carribean or northern South America and have a serious accident? Guess what? The closest class 1 trauma center is in Miami, Florida!

So yes, our medical system is screwed up and the costs are doubly screwed up. But the medical care, despite all the mistakes that are made, isn't so bad.

We'll see what happens after the US Supreme Court throws out, or upholds, ObamaCare.
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Old 17-11-2011, 21:10   #49
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Re: Health Care in USA for Cruisers

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Originally Posted by Aussiesuede View Post
Not too dumb. Simply too busy being worried about what we've been led to believe is the "other side" win, that any common sense answers get torpedoed for purely partisan reasons - just as the greedy corporations desire. they've got Americans too busy hating reds and blues that they're too distracted to do anything constructive for the common good
.

Too many folks are treating our political arena like a football game and only care about their side winning. It's ridiculous.

Sorry, but if you can't solve a problem that lots of other people can solve, you're not the sharpest pencil in the box.

Having nearly $300k in medical bills in the last five years no doubt influences my thinking.
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Old 17-11-2011, 21:11   #50
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Re: Health Care in USA for Cruisers

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Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
Here's a US based company offering broad, low deductible health insurance to overseas visitors for about $2000/yr. Looks like a pretty good policy but I know nothing about them. I believe you must get the insurance before you arrive.

Visitors Medical Insurance, Visitors Health Insurance for USA Visitor Travel to USA

In my experience, every country has a few things that are complete folly. For the US, paying for healthcare is probably tops on the list. A US based pharmaceutical company by law gets to charge twice as much for a pill to an American as the same pill sold to a Norwegian.

Carl

More than twice. The Femara I took was $389 in the US and $89 in Canada.
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Old 17-11-2011, 21:42   #51
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Nothing gets my blood boiling more than than discussing the health care in the US. It's a "for profit" system that leaves not only the poor out of reach of basic care. It leaves all of the lower and middle income with hard choices that deteriorate our quality of life and squelch and stamp upon a lot of creativity and entrepreneurship. It cost too much to insure yourself let alone offer insurance to employees. How can we grow as a nation when these financial road blocks are thrown in our paths and the so called "pro-business" party backs this? They back it because the insurance companies are lining their pickets and helping them get re-elected and keeping their CEO's in healthy $ million dollar bonuses. Profits made upon the ill and down trodden. They sleep at night too! Because they are warm, their bellies and wallets are full. It's maniacal! It's disastrous! But they are too attached to their own greed.
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Old 17-11-2011, 21:45   #52
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People do without. People die. All to feed and profit!
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Old 18-11-2011, 00:08   #53
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Re: Health Care in USA for Cruisers

Yes, our system is a total disaster. From top to bottom. It stems from the simple fact that health care in this country has, from almost the very beginning, been a profit making enterprise and those making the profit learned that government involvement is wonderful to the extent, and only to the extent, that it continues and expands their ability to profit. Many reasons have been mentioned here, cost shifting, profit making at every level, big pharma costs, "defensive" medicine, the structure if insurance pools used by companies to determine premiums, our learned perception that government cannot run anything efficiently, no matter any evidence to the contrary. The reasons are too many to list.

You can see from the boat we own that we are not poor, neither are we rich. Yet, at age 62, a wife of 57, and a daughter of 12, I pay almost $15K annually for insurance and that with a high deductible. There are only two companies in my state that offer individual policies and one wants to cease doing so claiming it cannot make a profit.

In three years, at age 65, I can no longer purchase full coverage insurance, I am forced into the Medicare system and can only purchase outrageously priced "supplemental" insurance for those items not covered by Medicare. But, many Docs will not accept Medicare because it pays them less, the "cost shifting" mentioned earlier.

The entire system should be imploded and, the next day, become a single payer system with a country-wide insurance pool for any company that wished to particicpate. Let them try to compete on service and coverage provided.

Sorry for the rant, but I read too many posts here and elsewhere with cruisers talking about health care received elsewhere and the costs incurred. In far too many countries in this world, health care is at least equal to ours and costs are orderes of magnitude lower.
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Old 18-11-2011, 02:31   #54
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Re: Health Care in USA for Cruisers

Uuumm..sure aussie. Just be sure the hospital you choose is still open.
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Old 18-11-2011, 02:46   #55
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Re: Health Care in USA for Cruisers

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Originally Posted by Aussiesuede View Post
Not too dumb. Simply too busy being worried about what we've been led to believe is the "other side" win, that any common sense answers get torpedoed for purely partisan reasons - just as the greedy corporations desire. they've got Americans too busy hating reds and blues that they're too distracted to do anything constructive for the common good
.

Too many folks are treating our political arena like a football game and only care about their side winning. It's ridiculous.
Yeah, well in the case of health care, I don't understand why there's even a debate.

I would think that pretty much EVERY business in the country would want to have single payor. In many industries, like Autos for example, GM is paying HUGE costs for healthcare, and BMW, Volvo, Hyundai are not. Makes it that much harder to be competitive in a global market.

I'm sorry, but the Right's position on Health care is anti everybody. We can have differences of opinion on how to do it, but this 'socialized medicine death panel' stuff was just bought and paid-for by a VERY small segment of the country.
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Old 18-11-2011, 06:21   #56
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Re: Health Care in USA for Cruisers

I was interested in the answer to the orginal question, but it appears we are raging aganist the machine instead.

From CF it always has seemed that if you weren't from the US you probably don't cruise here. I know the only other flags I see aren Canada once in a while
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Old 18-11-2011, 06:27   #57
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Re: Health Care in USA for Cruisers

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How about some practical advise gogoatingnow. You see how Obama's health care law is working out. Like it or not the only way is a single payer system like GB, Canada, ect. But to get there you have to pay for it, not borrow from China. That means taxes, not from the rich but from all of us. And more goverment control over delivery of care (death panels). I would love to stay but I have just been called to the er. I also do part time to make ends meet.
Health Care has always been rationed. and always will be.......even for those who pay direct rather than via the Govt (called insurance or just general taxation).

In the US they have a socialised Army, why not socialised healthcare?.........because can't afford both and more money to be made in killing people.
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Old 18-11-2011, 11:10   #58
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Re: Health Care in USA for Cruisers

raku-
"Sorry, but if you can't solve a problem that lots of other people can solve, you're not the sharpest pencil in the box."
By definition, there can only be one "sharpest" pencil in the box. Which begs the question of what all the other pencils will have to suffice with. And whether that sharpest pencil will simply be the first one to get its point broken.<G>

David-
What is a "socialised Army," ? That doesn't quite translate into Colonial. And there's quite some debate about our Veteran's Administration (VA) hospital/medical system depite many changes in recent years.

While Heinlein made a good point, that a civilization might be evaluated based on how it cared for the insane, unfirm, and those who could not generally care for themselves, the US wasn't founded on that basis, so it is not surprising that we don't have a perfect socialist state, much less a perfect medical system.
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Old 18-11-2011, 11:15   #59
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Re: Health Care in USA for Cruisers

Technically you are "Traveling". Most of the travel Insurance systems are set up for vacationers, right? Maybe you could "work" this system to your benefit!
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Old 19-11-2011, 02:07   #60
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Re: Health Care in USA for Cruisers

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No US taxation merely favours the rich. Government control of health may not be perfect but it's far better then corporate controlled healthcare.

As for the Death panels don't make me laugh. I've no comment on Obamacare. I beleive it's a mark of a civilised society that cares for it's sick and elderly and educates it children, irrespective of income.

Sorry if we've strayed. But I was asked what I would do. I'd raise taxes and cut military spending and use the money on some form of universal healthcare. If after that you what as the man from Oz said a saucer under your cup then insurance has a role.

Yea healthcare is expensive and national schemes can be imperfect and inefficient. But I suspect if a reasonable proportion of Americans experienced they'd never go back. Despite all it's issues the Brits would never dump the NHS nor any EU country undo it's state healthcare system.

So why does the US remain out of step with almost all the developed world. It's not as if it couldn't be afforded.

Dave
Wow what a can of worms!!! No system is perfect, that's for sure, but i do know it is the mark of a society as to how we treat those less unfortunate.
Illness or accident should never lead the unfortunate to bankruptcy that's just so off the mark it's insane.
Australia for a large part of its history was always a step behind America (say 5yrs!) however now i think in a lot of area's we are so advanced.
Wars are so expensive and draining to budget to feed the machine, so technical and so far away would be crippling. America cannot afford to be the policeman of the world without huge sacrifices on its own economy.
We are just people on yachts wanting to pay our own way, not rip anyone off and not be ripped off, methinks the great costs are not in the medical side alone but likely in the legal (sue your arse attitude) component, absolutely Shakespeare was right 'we should kill all the lawyers, kill them tonight'....
We will come equipped with travel insurance and we will tread carefully. Cheers Frank
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