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

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Massachusetts is doing just that. As a worker or student over 18, you must show proof of insurance or be liable for some sort of fine. You won't get a state tax refund if you don't. I don't know how well it is working though. Plenty of people are still uninsured.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Have to actually read the legislation/requirements but doesn't sound as though that would be the way, superficially. In particular, doesn't sound as though the consequences are of any serious import or couldn't be worked around so easily as to be of no consequence.
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http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=mg2subtopic&L=4&L0=Home&L1=Resident&L2=Health&L3=Health+Care+Reform&sid=massgov2
The penalty is less than the cost of buying insurance The maximum penalty for tax year 2009 will be $89 a month ($1,068 for an entire year of non-compliance) for a person 27 or older with income over 300 percent of the federal poverty level ($31,212 or more for singles). The 2008 penalty for this same individual was $76 per month or $912 per year. The maximum penalty increased slightly compared to 2008 due to slight increases in health plan prices and the requirement that individuals have prescription drug coverage as of Jan. 1, 2009. The penalty for those with incomes over 300 percent of the federal poverty level and ages 18-26 will be $52 per month ($624 per year).
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=mg2subtopic&L=4&L0=Home&L1=Resident&L2=Health&L3=Health+Care+Reform&sid=massgov2
Totally futile...
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Fact is, older people do use more than young people. OTOH, they have been paying into the system for many years and should not now be punished for it.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Of course, on average, they do. The issue is that presently companies consider every individual individually rather than as a member of a population (whether that population group is entire US, a State, a County, a company, whatever...) unless they happen (essentially by chance) to be a member of an existing group. By doing so they make the odds untenable for the individual or simply refuse coverage entirely. Particularly since it is so easy for an individual to lose the standing through no fault of their own in that group and suddenly have no recourse.
This is ok for them ("them" being the insurers); not so good (as in unacceptable) for the prospective/hoped-for insured.
I'm not saying they shouldn't have rates that are appropriate to the group; only that individuals need to be able to join reasonably-sized and diverse groups. Otherwise, I don't see there really is an alternative but mandated, sponsored single-payer systems for a fair number including a goodly fraction of the problem population that reform is intended to cover. Thus far, afaict, the insurance companies don't want to address that problem effectively and as much as I am against government single-payor systems, there does have to be a way for currently uninsurables or those w/ extremely high premiums beyond any reasonable reach to be able to get into the larger pool somehow. Elset, there will never be coverage for these folks and the problem of cost recovery for the uninsured will continue to eat up the system.
Have specific case in family of self-employed, uninsurable owing to pre-existing conditions even though it is a specific well-contained issue they still won't write coverage for any other condition as well. That just ain't an acceptable solution that apparently on legislation is going to cure. Unfortunately, it appears the fly will be swatted w/ a 30-MT nuclear device, but if the existing system can't generate solutions on its own as it seems unable to do, at least to date... :(
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On Fri, 28 Aug 2009 05:25:03 -0700 (PDT), terry

I have not seen a doctor in a few years except for free prostate cancer screenings, don't take any prescriptions, and no health/dental insurance. My cost is currently zero, but my concern is what the government's health care will charge me.
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wrote:

I have been waiting to see where this subject would go. It is outrageous that our insurance industry handles our health so they can all have big yachts and big houses and big bank accounts. I was paying over 13,000 per year when my wife was dying of cancer 5 and 6 years ago. On top of that we got bills from all sorts of hospitals etc. Some has to be done and soon or the average person will be having to pay double that for basic coverage. I am on social security now and my deduction for med and pharmacy is about 80 bucks a mo. I will be 67 in Nov. and my daughter will be 19. I would rather have my wife back including the charges from hospitals but can't arrange it. Alas it would have been even better if she could have been healty, continued on with her nursing career and lived past the 51st year. Been gone now 5 years this nov 28.
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Phisherman wrote: ...

And there's the typical short-sighted self-serving attitude that is fine until wake up w/ a serious and the rest of us are stuck w/ your costs.
Unless you have a sufficient resources at hand to handle the potential of several 100K to M it's "TheDoofus" personified... :(
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Early 60's, self-employed. For self and wife pay $19,000 per year in HMO membership fees + $20/$30 co-pay per MD visit, $15 for 30 day supply of generic Rx, much more for brand name, no charge for lab work, x-rays, most diagnostic stuff.
Only bright spot is that being self-employed, the HMO premiums are tax deductible. But before you rant, remember that self-employed people pay DOUBLE the rate that employees do for social security tax.
Big bucks overall but I sure as shootin' don't want the government involved in it!!!
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Back in the early 90's I was also self-employed and having difficulty getting insurance on my wife and I because of pre-existing conditions with my wife. I was paying over $1600 per month for $2500 deductable major medical only. When Clinton started the healthcare overhaul push I was elated and hoping it would finally give me some relief. Then I read the details of the plan they were proposing, realized that it was opening a door for government control and promptly contacted all of my Senate and Congressional representatives and demanded they vote it down. Now that damn snake has reared its ugly head again and this time we should cut its damn head off.
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OMG, that is a lot to pay. A friend is self-employed. She joined the Chamber of Commerce to get a group rate. I'm her only employee, and I pay all of my own ins., but at least I can get the group rate, too.
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$0. Can't afford insurance (self-employed) and I only go to the doctor if red stuff is spilling out. In the past 10 years I've spent $2,300 on medical and dental combined (I get my teeth cleaned twice a year). I'm in my late 50s and my "medical" expenses consist of a good diet and a $10/month gym membership which I use at least 27 days a month. Oh, and I didn't have children, so I'm not subject to most of the "female" issues which plague other women my age.
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h wrote:

Like psychotic grandchildren?
TDD
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My family health insurance varies every couple of years when whatever current company I have drops the group, then we sign up with another. Currently mine costs $17,280 for family of five, no dental
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terry wrote:

Self-employed; 64/62, $870/mo w/ a so-so dental.
Of course, that doesn't count the Medicare premiums, 2.9% (total) of earned wages w/ no cap.
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terry wrote:

A family plan with lower deductibe costs employer and employee combined about $10K annually maybe a year or two ago, inflating about 10% annually.

When there is a subscriber, one or the other of these is true (unless the employer picks up the full tab, as is often the case for most members of the more politically powerful unions).

Medicaid is available to the "truly poor", and not to most who merely cannot afford private health insurance.

"A few hundred" is probably typical or highish-typical among employees with employer-sponsored health insurance that the employee has to chip into. Some employees pay nothing (usually if members of motre politically powerful unions), some pay 100% (several hundred to close to $1K per month), most pay in-between.
$12K sounds to me about average or very slightly high-side for employer and employee combined to pay for health insurance for an employee and the employee's family.

- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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I don't know the avg. but we pay 1,000 bucks a year (33.00 bi-weekly) for the wife and myself..Blue Cross/Blue Shield , 1,000.00 deductable , 500.00 heathcare credit for tests and preventive care BEFORE deductable , 10,000 total out of pocket expense , includes eye , dental , perscriptions and 4 dollar perscriptions and OTC drugs...Insurance provided by Walmart where SWMBO is employed full time....I am self employed....
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terry wrote:

I hope that before any healthcare legislation gets voted on that people will stop spreading the insane hysteria about killing granny and INFORM THEMSELVES, Invite your family doc over for a barbecue. Take a tour of a nursing home, have a chat with some of the nurses - not the DON - and find out what an incredible waste of money is going on. There is EASILY enough money in current costs to pay for good healthcare coverage for everyone.
Try to remember that some corporations are vitally important, that their profits furnish us with new and effective treatments. Anyone remember the days before polio vaccine? Before antibiotics? Before pacemakers? Before joint implants?
Every damn Walgreens pharmacy has a CVS across the street from it. How do they do it?
Nursing home chains are responsible, by law, to their shareholders. They operate to cheat patients out of any possible "extras", to minimize costs, to furnish goods with a profit. They build new homes, furnish them with expensive looking stuff that will reek of urine.
Time for folks to be creative - to start small co-ops to care for a few of their spouses or parents, to volunteer to provide care, to share housing among a few elders who can help themselves.....there are lots of ways for baby boomers to provide for themselves if there is family and community support wise and informed enough to try something new.
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

Could be, but I'm reminded of the logistical problem in a cavalry regiment. On a campaign of 100 mounted troopers, one wagon of hay was required for each ten horses. That's ten wagons of hay. But the wagons were drawn by two mules who also needed hay. So, for twenty mules, an extra two wagons were required. but that meant four more mules and one more wagon. And so on.
To eliminate the waste in the healthcare system, more oversight is required. These green-eyeshade types, wearing decorative sleeve-garters, in turn, would need managers, and the managers need supervisors, and the supervisors need directors. All in the loop need manuals, guidelines, studies, reports, standards, exceptions to the standards, lawyers, investigations, notaries public without number, and so on.
In a perfect system, a pharmacist who dropped a pill on the floor, then stepped on it, would have to fill out forms in triplicate, attend a board of inquiry, and stand by while committees were formed, new guidelines developed and promulgated, and fussing without end ensued to ensure this ghastly waste never recurred.

Screw all that! I remember a world before breast augmentation. The world was a dismal place indeed.

Competition. Lower prices. Better service.

And if they get no "residents" the profit to the shareholders goes to zero. The fault is not with the nursing home - they are catering to a particular class of people. On the other hand, there ARE nursing homes that can compete with the finest hotels. It's all in the choice of the client.

Society used to have such a thing. It was called children and grand-kids.
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