Healthcare

The numbers are staggering. We have very good insurance, and I’m grateful for that. I’d like you all to see what it costs to live with RA and Mr G’s totally routine outpatient shoulder surgery.

This is one calendar year of healthcare costs for a family of four in one of the richest nations in the world.

family_of_four_healthcare_costs_for_one_year

I’m speechless.

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Comments 25

  1. Try seventeen years of dealing with insurance companies and a severely disabled child with a seizure disorder. That people insist on calling this “the greatest healthcare on earth” is a joke. And I laugh even harder when people say “I don’t want the government coming between me and my doctor.” What they don’t realize is that insurance companies dictate nearly everything, and that the sacred relationship between doctor and patient has long since flown the coop. The American healthcare system is shameful.

    1. It is staggering. Just wanted to second what Elizabeth has said. The oft-repeated line that we have the greatest healthcare in the world is, sadly, out of date, as so many other countries who do health coverage for their people better than us have better health outcomes to match. 

      I blogged about this the other day–about my struggle to stay insured after cancer and how despite having money, smarts, and know-how, I wound up uninsured for six months.

      And what I heard from readers, over and over again, was that we can’t go on this way. 

      Sorry to hijack. This is a hot button for me!

      1. Not a hijack.

        It’s a really important discussion. I’m in great shape because my husband’s company provides exceptional benefits.
        When I started using Simplee I was able to see the totals and they are staggering.

  2. We do have the greatest healthcare system on the planet…that’s why people from around the world flock to it when they are in need. The problem is the SYSTEM, not the actual healthcare itself. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. The single best thing that could happen right now would be for the federal government to lift the ban on purchasing healthcare across state lines. Do you know how much more expensive you auto insurance would be if it had the same restrictions? When my family moved across the country due to a career transfer, we had to jump through hoops just to get the same health care plan from the same employer…this is the result of federal mandates.

    1. Explain that?

      I’m so curious because I really don’t know much about it. If my husband worked for a national company and transferred to an office in another state I’d have to change health plans?
      Is that what you’re saying?

      I know nothing. I’ve only left California for high school and college. Insurance wasn’t my issue back then.

      1. Well, sort of – but auto insurance isn’t any different. If you move out of state, you need to get a new policy. The laws (and what the insurance companies offer) are different in each state.

        1. Monique is right. Moving from MA to TX was a rude (to say the least) awakening for us wrt health care. It is probably our single largest out of pocket expense (depending on the year). Our auto insurance went way up too. Texas is a totally unregulated state. Insurance can hike, and did recently, as much as 10%. Our insurance and utility rates are among the highest in the nation and among the worst rated for consumer care. What we gained in lower cost of housing we lost in basic care costs. 

    2. Explain that?

      I’m so curious because I really don’t know much about it. If my husband worked for a national company and transferred to an office in another state I’d have to change health plans?
      Is that what you’re saying?

      I know nothing. I’ve only left California for high school and college. Insurance wasn’t my issue back then.

    3. that didn’t happen with us when we moved from st. louis to phoenix while my husband stayed with the same firm. our coverage and costs didn’t change.

  3. We do have the greatest healthcare system on the planet…that’s why people from around the world flock to it when they are in need. The problem is the SYSTEM, not the actual healthcare itself. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. The single best thing that could happen right now would be for the federal government to lift the ban on purchasing healthcare across state lines. Do you know how much more expensive you auto insurance would be if it had the same restrictions? When my family moved across the country due to a career transfer, we had to jump through hoops just to get the same health care plan from the same employer…this is the result of federal mandates.

  4. I’m confused. Is this your family you’re highlighting? I’m guessing that most families of 4 don’t go to the doc 51 times in a year…

  5. Don’t get me started. I’m self-employed, so I buy my own (and I am required to do so in Massachusetts). Each year, I play the “must go onto the next lower level” plan because the premium increases each year kill me. I have a good friend who lives in Canada. She is a professor, and she’s also lived stateside when she was going to school (so she has some experience with our health care system as well). She has said that she would not give up her national health care insurance card in Canada for anything. She’s never had to wait for services, nor has she experienced the other horror stories that some propaganda purports is true in Canada. Have you seen Michael Moore’s “Sicko”? Yes, I realize he’s more left than Ted Kennedy was, but even if a 1/4 of what he states in that documentary is true (and he has sources for all his claims on his website), then, well…I leave it up to everyone to draw their own conclusions. :)

    1. Robyn,If she’s a professor than I’m assuming she lives in a larger urban centre, somewhere in central Canada or BC most likely.
      Because our healthcare is federally funded (with provincial coverage and management) people assume that it’s the same across Canada.It’s not.She’s never had to wait for services? Lucky her. My son with a genetic disorder that is supposed to see a pediatrician every six months at the least hasn’t been seen in over a year. The regular blood pressure and heart monitoring he’s supposed to get hasn’t happened yet – he’s 3 1/2. We finally got the MRI after a six month wait (that was a rush MRI, I myself waited 3 years for one for neurological symptoms that were, in my doctor’s words “troubling”). As a result of the MRI we were finally referred to neurology (who should’ve seen us at the outset) and waited another six months for that appointment. Of course there’s only one pediatric neurologist in our entire province and he’s on the other side – so we had to drive ten hours, pay for gas, food and hotels, etc to see him (or I suppose we could’ve flown at $700 roundtrip per person). Now our dermatologist – who is the only practicioner we were able to see every six months as required – has left and we’ll have to do that same trip supposedly twice a year to see a new one – when we get an appointment.It’s not propaganda. Canadian healthcare is NOT the nirvana it’s assumed to be.
      Yup, we live in a more rural area (though it is a city, it’s a small one). My parents lived in the boonies in NY. The doctor apologised to my father that he had to wait a week for his MRI. One week. We can’t even get in to see a doctor for a routine visit in under a week.
      If I could get consistent care, reliable care and timely care, I’m not sure where I’d scrape the $4000 or so from, but I’d be willing to pay it. I’d get a pizza delivery job if that’s all it would take to get my son the care he needs.

  6. Our healthcare system is broken so badly that it is not funny.  

    My health insurance bill is enormous and we are healthy. I am exceptionally grateful for that because I don’t know what would happen if we weren’t.

  7. $10K. We have to pay out $10K out of pocket annually before coverage kicks in. We get “discounts” from our insurance but that’s it. The closer we get to $10K, though, suddenly things are not eligible. So we never actually manage to hit the “eligible” ou tof pocket $10K though we might (and do) spend over $10K out of pocket. Nice. And we are generally a luckily healthy family. I don’t think we hit quite 51 office visits per year but we do have:

    8 dental trips (2xyr+4 people)
    4 eye doctor
    4 annual exams
    1 woman’s health
    1 men’s health
    1 skin cancer check

    at least, not counting any sick or allergy visits.

  8. I work in healthcare as a social worker and nurse…Obamacare and the government have put so many modifications on our system that pretty soon you will not recognize it as healthcare as you knew it nor will it be better nor will you like it. 
    To compare our system to Canada is just ludicrous since we have federal involvement and state involvement when it comes to insurance and what is covered by the state public aid system.
    Yes healthcare costs are through the roof…but look at the overhead…medical school costs…malpractice cost…many docs are closing “private” practices and joining hospital practices so that they can provide services…..small private practices are phasing out.
    I wish I had more time…it is a sad situation and your medical bills are just a symptom of a very serious problem that is not getting better because people want something for nothing so they are willing to trust the government to actually monitor healthcare and keep it affordable… 

    1. I don’t want something for nothing.

      What I want is for my tax dollars to stop being allocated to killing people and invading countries in the name of “democracy” which is really a code word for corporate interests and instead to be redirected toward health care for me and my fellow countrymen, women and children.

        1. Of course you’re right, between the industry, insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies doing such a bang up job of it!

  9. Pingback: Obamacare, The Republican Diet and Comedy that Writes Itself | Jessica Gottlieb A Los Angeles Mom

  10. I had to file bankruptcy on $200G worth of med bills in 1999 – I nearly died because I didn’t have insurance so I didn’t go to the doc to manage my illness. Read: http://www.riderscramp.blogspot.com/2008/07/possibly-end-of-line.html

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