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Old 06-01-2010, 11:32   #61
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"the people who are supposed to protect us from that sort of thing are lining their pockets with dirty money."
As if "mordida" was a US concept?

Remember, the grass is always greener over the septic tank. If Mexico is really heaven, how come the coyotes aren't smuggling Americans into Mexico? Sometimes you need longer & harder before making those choices.
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Old 06-01-2010, 13:44   #62
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I didn't say Mexico is Nirvana, I said it's cheaper and that I've seen that they do a good job.
I also didn't say that the whole US is something to be hated, I implied that politicians are crooks and so are big drug companies, just my opinion.
If you're angry, I'd rather not fight. I don't mean to incite a riot or to hijack this thread, my intent was to share relevant anecdotes and my experiences. Apparently I steered too close to politics. I apologize for that.
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Old 06-01-2010, 14:37   #63
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Too bad Usanians are not allowed to go to Cuba, which has the highest number of doctors per capita in the world , and some of the best medical treatment .The travel distance for southern USanians is very short, far shorter than most other options for medical tourists..They offered 1500 doctors, free, for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, and Uncle Sam turned them down.
If they are ever allowed to travel freely to Cuba, a mass exodus of Usanians seeking affordable health care will ensue, possibly exceeding normal tourism.
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Old 06-01-2010, 16:31   #64
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HSAs

Ok Now i'm confused after reading through the thread. I thought an HSA was simply a tax deferred savings account (somewhat simular to an IRA). You are allowed to put money into it (a max per year) and you are allowed to use the money for health care related costs. It's really no different than setting aside some money "just in case" except in this instance the gov't is so gracious as to decide to not tax us on intrest earned on this money, since after all it MUST be used for healt care.. Am I right or wrong, or even close?
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Old 06-01-2010, 17:26   #65
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You are correct. As well as not taxing you on the interest you can offset your annual contribution against income tax. I believe, but I'm not positive, you can also use the money in your HSA to pay your HDHP premiums if you are unemployed.

There are various banks etc. that provide HSA accounts, some savings with interest, others can invest in the stock market, most charge a maintenance fee. Mine is in a credit union that pays 2.75% interest and charges no monthly fee.

Cheers.
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Old 06-01-2010, 17:56   #66
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Does not the IRS require all funds to be used by April for medical expenses from the preceeding year?
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Old 07-01-2010, 06:41   #67
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An informative article on 'Medical Tourism':
CBC News Indepth: HEALTH CARE
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Old 07-01-2010, 07:52   #68
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This medical tourism is a subject near to my heart. Early this year I finally got my knees checked out, and after a look at the x-rays..well...the GOOD one was horrible and needs replacing. The bad one...well I got it replaced back in April.

Now it got complicated. I had not disclosed a small meniscus tear fixed through a small hole 21 years ago. So now the insurance company, BUPA Latin America, is refusing to cover the second knee. Drat. Says I.

But they are standing firm, saying this is the classic 'non-disclosed pre-existing condition'. Now, while I expect that eventually this pre-existing condition stuff will be worked out, BUPA says the 'non-disclosed' part gets them off the hook entirely. They will NEVER cover it.

So, really, there's not a lot of incentive for me to stay with BUPA.

I am in the process of looking at other insurance companies, and waiting to see what the US government eventually spits up...but in the meantime I have looked into getting the second knee replaced out of the USA. And paying for it myself.

The knee replaced, in Houston, cost almost $ 50k. I wish I could go back there, but hey, fifty thousand is fifty thousand...

same operation in India....$ 6.5K

Same operation in Mexico, several options there, about $ 13-14K

In Costa Rica, $ 11.5K.

And since I only live a few miles away from Cuba, could slip in and out easily enough and I ain't got no beef with no cubans etc... I figured what the heck and I checked there, too. In Cuba, it would be about $ 14K, same as Mexico, but they use French made knees. All the others use USA made knees. And since I would have to break the law to by a knee in Cuba...I kinda struck it off the list. Mexico and Costa Rica are more competitive, and legal, anyhow.

So, for me, the obvious choice if I am going to pay for this myself would be Central America. India is way cheaper, but by the time you buy a couple business class seats ( you don't wanna fly coach for long stretches with a newly replaced knee, DVT risks) you might as well stay in the Americas.

Any other ex-pats out there have health insurance plans they like? BUPA pays 100% after the deductible, and it costs the two of us about $ 5,800. a year for the insurance. Both in our 50's.
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:24   #69
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Please DON'T think that I'm suggesting that anyone of us CFers are obese, but:

Obesity may effect knee replacement success | AORN Journal | Find Articles at BNET

http://www.jbjs.org.uk/cgi/content/a...t/88-B/10/1269

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/he...rch-shows.html
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:09   #70
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It's a catch 22, the more your knees bother you, the less active you get, and the less active you get the more weight you gain and the more muscle tone in the legs you lose, and the more weight you gain the more your knees bother you, and the less active you get....etc. a viscious cycle.

I had crept up to almost 260 lbs when I finally decided to get those rotten old leg bone beam ends sawed off and replaced with unobtainium. Since doing that the increase in my activity level is amazing. I could never have spent a week on a catamaran before the knee replacement. Well, not as an active participant, anyhow.

Now spending a week sailing all day every day is not a problem. And I still have one knee to go.

Since the knee replacement I have lost about 30 lbs without a lot of effort. And it continues to fall off. (the excess weight, I mean. Not the knee.)

I quit smoking a month before the surgery, too, and would have expected a gain from that. But the increase in physical activity more than makes up for it.

A side benefit is that I am a half inch taller with the new knee.
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:41   #71
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Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
It's a catch 22, the more your knees bother you, the less active you get, and the less active you get the more weight you gain and the more muscle tone in the legs you lose, and the more weight you gain the more your knees bother you, and the less active you get....etc. a viscious cycle...
I know exactly what you mean!

I've been sedentary for over a year, due to arterial occlusions, that prevented me from from walking mor than a couple of minutes at a time.

I've recently had an angioplasty, where they installed a long stent*, which has normalized the blood flow to my (most affected) leg. I can now wal;k a half hour, without leg pain; but I'm totally out of shape.

* made of NiTiNol - 50/50 alloy nickle & titanium

BTW: 30 pounds, or even 50# overweight isn't obese - it's, errr, just overweight.

I was looking for a very recent study of obese knee-replacement candidates that were put on a medical diet. They found that virtually all the patients that successfully dropped the required weight, no longer needed the surgery. I'll be home in a week (at my computer), and could locate the info' then, if anyone's interested.
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:34   #72
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"BTW: 30 pounds, or even 50# overweight isn't obese - it's, errr, just overweight."

Gord, last time I accdientally saw them, there were "standard" medical categories for these in the US. IIRC, "overweight" then "obese" "obese II" and "morbidly obese". I don't recall the dividing lines but 50# overweight is, I'm pretty sure, defined as "obese" 1 or 2 in the US.

Your mileage may vary. (Kilage? Kiloage?)
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:44   #73
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Our cruising plan was based on cash for everyday malady's and catastrophic policies for more serious events. Not sure how that will play out with the US government possibly mandating we all buy health insurance.
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:52   #74
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Joli-
That's easy. Assuming some final form of the bill passes, assuming it is not overturned by the courts (BIG assumption), Congress is basically saying you will pay a 2.5% "health tax" on your income, the same as a 2.5% increase in income tax rates.

Unless you buy an approved policy or qualify for exemption/aid.

Now, if they'd just said "We're increasing the income tax by 2.5% and putting eeryone on Mediwhatever"... they might not have gotten re-elected but they could save the whole long court process.

And the lynchings would have made for "Must See Tee Vee!" :-)
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Old 07-01-2010, 13:41   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
It's a catch 22, the more your knees bother you, the less active you get, and the less active you get the more weight you gain and the more muscle tone in the legs you lose, and the more weight you gain the more your knees bother you, and the less active you get....etc. a viscious cycle.

I had crept up to almost 260 lbs when I finally decided to get those rotten old leg bone beam ends sawed off and replaced with unobtainium. Since doing that the increase in my activity level is amazing. I could never have spent a week on a catamaran before the knee replacement. Well, not as an active participant, anyhow.

Now spending a week sailing all day every day is not a problem. And I still have one knee to go.

Since the knee replacement I have lost about 30 lbs without a lot of effort. And it continues to fall off. (the excess weight, I mean. Not the knee.)

I quit smoking a month before the surgery, too, and would have expected a gain from that. But the increase in physical activity more than makes up for it.

A side benefit is that I am a half inch taller with the new knee.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
I know exactly what you mean!

I've been sedentary for over a year, due to arterial occlusions, that prevented me from from walking mor than a couple of minutes at a time.

I was looking for a very recent study of obese knee-replacement candidates that were put on a medical diet. They found that virtually all the patients that successfully dropped the required weight, no longer needed the surgery. I'll be home in a week (at my computer), and could locate the info' then, if anyone's interested.
As I understand it, how much and what you eat plays a roll in your weight also .

No Sig on this one .
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