OT. How much does it cost the average American (family) for health care insurance.

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There's been so much debate here and on other forums about Universal US health care (pro and con) that one gets curious about how much it NOW costs, say, the average US family, to have 'Health Insurance'.
We guess that the cost is either fully paid by the subscriber? Or in other cases, partly by the subscriber and partly by their employer? Then there are others, we gather who have no health insurance at all? And we understand there is something called Medicaid?
Insurance cost numbers a) As little as 'a few hundred' b) Over $12,000, per year have been mentioned?.
But what is a 'typical' (or average) USA cost?
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terry wrote:

Hi, Where I am up here in Alberta Canuck land, we don't pay anything. No premium payment. Our system is not perfect but everyone is taken care of. I understand U.S. spends more than us per capita on health care. And many are left out? That is something I don't understand. To me health care is service for the public, not profit generating business.
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You pay. It is just that your premium is hidden in the taxes.
--
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Kurt Ullman wrote:

Hmmm, Our tax rate is lowest in Canada and no sales tax here as well. Why then your tax does not cover those who don't/can't have coverage? When we go down there I notice more over weight folks and the portion of meal they eat at restaurants!!!! Wife and me, one order is enough to fill us up. Ultimately health is individual responsibility. We just came back from week end alpine trek reaching up to ~7000 feet in the rockies. Our ages are closer to 70 now. I retired in '96 from Honeywell. Wife from hospital operating room in '92. One of my kid is MD. She takes care of us here half year, then she goes away for volunteer service the other half. October this year she is going to East Timor to work at TB clinic there run by Aussie nuns and American doctor. About 5000 suffer from TB over there due to climate.
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Tony Hwang wrote:

Well, when I was traveling to Sask servicing coal analyzers during last trip since plant was in an outage there was significant OT; the plant chemist who had oversight of the analyzers as part of his job description and had gotten quite familiar over the years. Invited to supper one evening; pay packet had arrived that day. W/ the OT, total withheld was >50% of gross--that's pretty daggone expensive. Then afaik all are responsible for GMT which while I no longer know what rate is, ain't just a percent or two...
And, since this was pretty close to the US border, it was common that when kids had anything routine such as vaccinations, earache, etc., they simply took them to Minot or Williston as it would be so long before there was any opportunity to have them seen in Estevan or Weyburn and there were no services in Coronach/East Poplar where the plant was actually located. All in all, the system didn't seem particularly anything to wish for even then.

Something about roughly half to two-thirds of the uncovered are either undocumented or the well young that choose to spend their dollars elsewhere. Any critical need patient will get treated simply by showing up at the emergency room. A major reason for the high per capita cost is that there is a large fraction of the above groups that simply use emergency room services as their family doctor; the most expensive way possible to get services but they mostly choose to not use conventional services of their own volition.
It's complicated but single-payer gov't controlled isn't going to help in any way I can see.
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About 1/4 as much as if the government handled it all.
--
Christopher A. Young
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Then why does USA gubmint spend as high a percentage of GDP on health coverage as is spent by gubmints of other western nations who do handle it all?
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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Don Klipstein wrote:

It's not the U.S. government that's paying, it's the individual.
We pay more a higher percentage of GDP because we CAN.
Once diagnosed with a chronic disease like cancer or heart failure, the five year survival rate in the U.S. is greater, sometimes far greater, than elsewhere. For example, the five year survival rate for men diagnosed with prostate cancer is better than 95%. In the UK, it is 56% (and in the high 80s in Canada).
But it comes at a cost - a cost we as individuals are willing to pay but which some governments are not.
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HeyBub wrote:

Because in the US we are fatter and sicker younger.

That's ridiculous. 56% in UK? Where did you get that number?

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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

I usually just make up the numbers based on my experience. Turns out I was being overly generous for both. Here are the actual statistics:
5-year survival rate for prostate cancer US - 92% UK - 51% http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7510121.stm
Survival rates, male, all cancers. US - 66% UK - (Wales 48%, England 45%, Scotland 40%) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1560849/UK-cancer-survival-rate-lowest-in-Europe.html
This first article also states: "...some of the differences could be attributed to variations in 'access to diagnostic and treatment services. This, of course, is associated with the amount of investment in technology such as CT scanners.' "
The UK has about 9 CT scanners per million people, the US has about 33 http://www.oregoncatalyst.com/index.php/archives/2594-Chart-2-US-has-better-access-to-health-tech-than-world.html
(Australia has even more than the U.S. I think it's because of the kangaroos.)
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HeyBub wrote:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1560849/UK-cancer-survival-rate-lowest-in-Europe.html
http://www.oregoncatalyst.com/index.php/archives/2594-Chart-2-US-has-better-access-to-health-tech-than-world.html
Wonder what the numbers look like when adjusted for age of the patient at first diagnosis. Saw in the papers a year or so back where AMA is now saying if an 80 YO is diagnosed, no point in treating, because in all odds he will die of something else before he becomes symptomatic.
-- aem sends...
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aemeijers wrote:

Not just 80-year olds.
For just about anybody with prostate cancer, the first regimen is "watchful waiting." Most prostate cancers are extremely slow growing and usually do not metastasize.
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Many but not most. The first regimen is get the biopsy and the histology done, THEN decide on what you want to do.
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dpb wrote:

Hi, Here true emergency is always taken care of. Too many people swarm emergency rooms. I saw an old lady came to emergency ward for med. refill. Here there is private clinics as well for rich folks who ca afford quick service. It's not all public service. Actually origin of Canadian health care service is Saskatchewan.
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Tony Hwang wrote: ...

Well, it didn't seem to be working very well since they mostly went to the States...
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dpb wrote:

Also, one of the primary sources for new physicians here in rural US is from those dissatisfied-enough w/ the Canadian system to immigrate. At present roughly 1/4 of the local hospital professional staff are Canadian nationals; only one of them was a recent graduate at the time came--all the others were experienced but fed up.
--
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wrote:

And then they will get a gigantic bill which THEY WILL HAVE TO PAY, at least if they own anything. I've already decided that if anything even remotely serious happens to me I will just die, since I can't afford to pay. What's the point? Save myself so I can be homeless after they take my house? No thanks.
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h wrote:

And why shouldn't one pay for services rendered????
That's when ones' personal responsibility is _supposed_ to kick in...
The problem is and one of the prime reasons it is _SO_ expensive is that a very high fraction of those folks who use emergency room facilities injudiciously don't pay so the expenses have to be reimbursed from those who can/do pay for not only their care but for a significant number of others who didn't...
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wrote:

Yeah, but people with insurance get it for free. If they get it free, everyone should get it free.
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Kurt Ullman wrote:

In the US, the cost is "hidden" in everything purchased or paid for in tax dollars. Wonder what would happen to small business if Workers Comp suddenly disappeared, and just plain one-for-all universal coverage replaced it? Is it possible highly profitable businesses, small or large, would pay more than those less profitable? No more ambulance chasers or insurance adjustors....ohmygosh, watch out for the horrible "bureaucrats" from the gov.; they might shoot you rather than video-tape you, with your bad back, up on the roof throwing bundles of shingles around :o)
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