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Old 08-11-2015, 06:43   #211
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Re: Stupid, Ridiculous Prices for Stuff

[QUOTE=colemj;1956830]
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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post

I don't understand your response, or the question in it, as it relates to my post.

Do you agree that your wife is not paying $35,000/yr for health insurance? And that if the employer wasn't paying all of those things you list, your wife's salary would not see those savings? And that you have over-played this point trying to avoid cognitive dissonance with your chosen personal narrative?

Employers have always offered incentives to move their most expensive employees off the payroll and into retirement. This has been the case since the industrial age. It also has the benefit of moving new people into the workforce. It has nothing to do with Democrat/Republican, Obama, or any of the other proletariate rally screeds.

Mark
No.... Her employer offers lucrative incentives primarily to get employees off the expensive healthcare plans. Why else would her employer wish to get rid of their most experienced and valued employees in specialty fields?

As I've stated several times.... her employer pays the $35,000 towards our insurance on her behalf. Otherwise, why are we sent an official IRS statement from her employer showing the amount declared as "non taxable additional income?" W-2 form Box 12b DD. Look it up yourself. Box 12b "NON TAXABLE INCOME". The key work being "INCOME." Her employer redirects $35,000 of her INCOME and pays our healthcare premium.
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Old 08-11-2015, 06:46   #212
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Re: Stupid, Ridiculous Prices for Stuff

[QUOTE=Kenomac;1956835]
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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
No.... Her employer offers lucrative incentives primarily to get employees off the expensive healthcare plans. Why else would her employer wish to get rid of their most experienced and valued employees in specialty fields?
If you believe that, then the facts are either challenging your personal political/societal ideals, or you just don't understand business.

And you are still avoiding answering the simple and direct question I have asked twice.

Mark
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Old 08-11-2015, 06:49   #213
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Re: Stupid, Ridiculous Prices for Stuff

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$35,000 is insurance for two people on an expensive plan my wife signed up for 30 years ago. Beginning in 2018, we and/or her employer (depending on how you look at it) will need to pay additional income tax 50% or thereabouts on that amount thanks to Obamacare.

Your roads in Italy are actually much nicer than the roads here in Massachusetts. Maybe we can meet up sometime when I return to Italy in May.

So it's like pay twice of the taxes as private healtcare plus 50% of "new" Obama care?

I can see insurance owner and healtcare broker a bit upset...

Sure will be a plasure I sent you a pm
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Old 08-11-2015, 06:55   #214
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Re: Stupid, Ridiculous Prices for Stuff

Our healthcare, a Blue Cross Blue Shield silver plan just went up to about $1,000 per month, that's $12,000 per year which I find ridiculous. We are 54 and 52 years old. I can't fathom paying almost $680.00 per week for healthcare when I reach the age of 59. I guess it's true, people can't afford to retire because of the cost of healthcare.


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Old 08-11-2015, 06:59   #215
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Re: Stupid, Ridiculous Prices for Stuff

[QUOTE=colemj;1956837]
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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post

If you believe that, then the facts are either challenging your personal political/societal ideals, or you just don't understand business.

And you are still avoiding answering the simple and direct question I have asked twice.

Mark
Mark,

I did answer you. Please read post #211 once again..... very slowly this time. Focus on W-2 form Box 12b DD "additional nontaxable INCOME"

The government calls the healthcare premium "additional non-taxable INCOME," not just me.
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Old 08-11-2015, 07:08   #216
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Re: Stupid, Ridiculous Prices for Stuff

In 2013, the latest year for which data is available, spending per person on health care remained highest in the United States (US$9,086), about 17.1% of GDP.
Canada was among the highest spenders in 2013, at US$4,569 per person, about 10.7% of GDP.
Canada’s per-person spending on health care was less than Denmark’s (US$4,847 - 11.1% GDP), and more than that in France (US$4,361 - 11.6% GDP), Australia (US$4,115 - 9.4% GDP) and the United Kingdom (US$3,364 - 8.8% GDP).

In a 2013 Commonwealth Fund study of 11 developed countries’ health care systems, the U.S. ranked fifth in quality and worst for infant mortality. We also did the worst job of preventing deaths from treatable conditions, such as strokes, diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain treatable cancers.
Consumer Reports, September 2014 ➥ Why is Health Care so expensive? - Consumer Reports
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Old 08-11-2015, 07:10   #217
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Re: Stupid, Ridiculous Prices for Stuff

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Our healthcare, a Blue Cross Blue Shield silver plan just went up to about $1,000 per month, that's $12,000 per year which I find ridiculous. We are 54 and 52 years old. I can't fathom paying almost $680.00 per week for healthcare when I reach the age of 59. I guess it's true, people can't afford to retire because of the cost of healthcare.


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Welcome to the club my friend. Getting older sucks in many ways, especially when we get stuck between a rock and a hard place, like having to pay increased healthcare premiums when still seven years away from Medicare.

On another note: Your earlier apology is greatfully accepted. Thanks.

Ken
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Old 08-11-2015, 07:42   #218
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Re: Stupid, Ridiculous Prices for Stuff

Ken, I'm not doubting you pay what you say but those are crazy expensive rates for your healthcare.

We are in Maryland and belong to a large group through our employer, the local school system. We have really excellent and very comprehensive health care coverage. The total cost per year for two people is $17K, of which we only pay a very small portion. I would love to understand the difference between states or between plans that would make your wife's plan cost almost double that. I don't believe your coverage could be any better than ours. Sounds like an outrageous case of gouging.
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Old 08-11-2015, 08:15   #219
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Re: Stupid, Ridiculous Prices for Stuff

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Ken, I'm not doubting you pay what you say but those are crazy expensive rates for your healthcare.

We are in Maryland and belong to a large group through our employer, the local school system. We have really excellent and very comprehensive health care coverage. The total cost per year for two people is $17K, of which we only pay a very small portion. I would love to understand the difference between states or between plans that would make your wife's plan cost almost double that. I don't believe your coverage could be any better than ours. Sounds like an outrageous case of gouging.
Becky,

You're in the elitist minority being part of the education employed and enjoy the benefit of such reduced rates....

Ask around to all of your friends NOT in the education field, and I think you'll be shocked at what you hear...

And then wonder how anybody gets by...
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Old 08-11-2015, 08:41   #220
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Re: Stupid, Ridiculous Prices for Stuff

[QUOTE=Kenomac;1956846]
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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Mark,

I did answer you. Please read post #211 once again..... very slowly this time. Focus on W-2 form Box 12b DD "additional nontaxable INCOME"

The government calls the healthcare premium "additional non-taxable INCOME," not just me.
You are stuck on semantics. You specifically said they took that money out of your wife's salary, and attempted to make a social-political point about it. Here are your words: "her employer continues to pay for her insurance at the rate of $35,000 in lew of paying us that portion of her salary"

They did not. Your wife would not receive an additional $35,000 each year if her employer did not pay her healthcare benefit. It is not a portion of her salary that is being paid, it is a portion of her benefits, which along with the salary is part of her overall compensation (along with any sick days, vacation, etc). If the benefit goes away, her salary remains the same.

I sit on this point, because you have used it to push a political and social viewpoint that is not based on fact. I don't have any problem with your agenda, but do have a problem with your facts.

Mark
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Old 08-11-2015, 08:47   #221
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Re: Stupid, Ridiculous Prices for Stuff

I think most people don't understand why Obamacare was written. In Obamacare, The prez was targeting a particular "bad" thing that he observed in his own family, when he was young. It actually fixes that particular problem. The people who fall outside his target purpose may very well pay more now than they did before, because they were never much of a consideration, because (he perceived) they could fend for themselves.

Obamacare kicks in at the minimum-hour full-time minimum-wage. Below that, and you're on Medicaid. When it started, I think that minimum income came out to $12k. Everybody knows that you die when your income is $12k and you get sick. It also subsidizes, but to a lesser extent, people with somewhat more income, and beyond about $40k doesn't help much. But - it wasn't ever intended to, in spite of (probably) a lot of rhetoric that was spoken in order to get the measure passed. So, it really depends upon your viewpoint of humanity whether you're going to like Obamacare or not.
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Old 08-11-2015, 08:47   #222
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Re: Stupid, Ridiculous Prices for Stuff

Those are crazy rates and her employer is crazy to pay them. They could offer different kinds of plans that are more like HMOs along with an HSA and it would cost significantly less. There are a variety of plans employers can offer that still meet the criteria of the ACA (I.e. Preventative procedures are covered at no cost) that are high deductible and much lower cost. Why wouldn't a healthcare employer offer these types of plans? It seems like the issue is the employer not offering any options.

Total cost for my "very good coverage" is 17k for the family, of which I pay around 6k/yr. This is a PPO type plan with fairly low deductibles. They do not consider the age of the participants since it is group coverage. That includes dental, vision, and pharmacy. We have offices in a variety of locations in the US (FL, DC, Rochester, CO) and all offices offer similar costs for these plans.

Also that dental bill for cleaning likely was $240 negotiated down quite a bit. Since it is preventative, you paid $0 out of pocket yes?
So maybe it was a $150 cleaning which probably is reasonable for your area (MA), dental assistant, equipment, insurance, office, etc. If we don't talk about what the real costs are (what you actually pay out of pocket and why they charge those prices only to negotiate with each insurance company differently), it's only makes it more difficult to have real conversations about the cost of healthcare in this country.

I have no illusions that if my employer decided not to offer this benefit, I would then have my salary increased by 17k, or even 6k. They may call it "untaxed income" but it's a benefit that could vaporize if they so wished without any additional compensation to me. My employer also calls workers comp part of MY benefit plan.

The new thing starting in January is no more defined vacation time accrual of which they are selling as "unlimited vacation". But it really means you no longer EARN vacation and therefore no need to pay out for unused time. It now means we can "request" time off at their discretion but it sure feels like a loss of benefits. I noticed their stock prices went up with that announcement too so I guess the shareholders are pleased. This is all under a large, profitable and growing defense company.
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Old 08-11-2015, 08:58   #223
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Re: Stupid, Ridiculous Prices for Stuff

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Let's cut through the BS.
If the TRUE market was at work, the cost of any transaction would be what it was worth between the customer and the provider.
That's what progressives / liberals just cant or refuse to see.
Let the people run their own lives....and government stay the fk out of the way !
Waiting for AVB3 to close the thread and delete this post.......3-2-1....
Lets keep in mind there are few areas where there is anything close to a free market. In health care two examples come to mind, concierge medicine and lasik eye surgery. Counter to other trends in medicine lasik surgery has a downward curve on cost and concierge medicine is far cheaper than more conventional approaches. Lasik surgery has real competition and the equipment has improved and the cost has declined over time. Concierge medicine has the advantage of far less paperwork than conventional medicine and the ability to limit members to mostly healthy people.

On the other hand conventional medical care in the US is constrained by government rules that require hospital emergency rooms to treat anyone who walks in the door no matter if they can pay or not. So folks who lack the ability to pay are forced to utilize the most expensive care (it is far more expensive for someone with the flu to go to an emergency room than see a concierge physician assistant) and those who do have resources to pay (via insurance) are forced to subsidize those who lack resources.

To make matters worse there is a real shortage of medical resources. Traditionally scarce resources have been rationed by price or by time. So folks who have the ability to pay the price choose a concierge service and those that do not wait in line in the emergency room. Critics are quick to point that many of the non US medical systems suffer from rationing by time. One area where the US system shines is in cancer mortality rates. The explanation is the wait for cancer treatment is much shorter than places like Europe. On the other hand many countries with some flavor of socialized medicine are better able to deal with the more common problems by providing wide spread preventive medicine.

But the biggest issue most folks fail to admit is that medical care is not an undifferentiated commodity. When I had a knee injury(ACL and MCL) playing high school football my Dad who was a medical doctor sent me to Dr. Herbert Virgin. Dr. Virgin was the team physician for the Miami Dolphins and operated on me the same day he operated on two All Pro linemen from the Dolphins. No doubt there were many other orthopedic surgeons in Miami but he was the best as far as I was concerned.

So the real question is how to ration medical care when there is a lack of doctors and many folks don't have the resources to pay for medical care even if they could find a doctor.

Sorry, I don't have a good answer.
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:11   #224
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Re: Stupid, Ridiculous Prices for Stuff

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SNIP

Also that dental bill for cleaning likely was $240 negotiated down quite a bit.

SNIP
As already noted dental cleanings are available from local community colleges that train dental assistants for very low prices, sometimes even free.

But the $US240 was not just for a cleaning, it was also for what my dentist calls a six month exam, something I had earlier this month. I went in for the appointment and was told I could get the cleaning, which I did. Problem the computer system was down and they could not take the digital xrays. I went in about a week later (at 7:30 because they were making up canceled appointments) and walked into a room where I stood under some funny contraption and put my chin on a rest. The nurse walked out of the room and a metal circle was lowered around my head. Then a box on the circle rotated 360 degrees around my head taking maybe a minute or so.

Bingo, xrays of all my teeth were produced digitally untouched by human hands. The reason I go into such detail is because I will bet the machines used to produce these xrays make the term boat bucks sound like what pikers spend on cheap toys. Not to mention those xrays, and all my other dental records, have to be stored somewhere. Most likely stored according to some government imposed regulations and conforming to some type of insurance rules.

And all of that is just the tip of the ice cube.
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:16   #225
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Re: Stupid, Ridiculous Prices for Stuff

That is absolutely true Tom and most dental plans cover this at no additional cost at least once a year. So he pays $0 for insurance (covered by employer) and $0 for the dental visit (preventative). Of course, without insurance it is a whole different story but you can often negotiate directly with the provider.
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