Post by Ron Hunter Post by Bob Henson Post by Ron Hunter Post by The Real Bev Post by WaltS48 Post by Ron Hunter Post by WaltS48 Post by Daniel
Post by WaltS48
I only write the monthly rent check, annual volunteer fire department
donation, and annual emergency services membership.
"annual emergency services membership" ..... Do you have to contribute
to the funding of your EMS?? Or you are a volunteer member of your fire
department but have to pay some compulsory annual EMS membership fee??
Last year I found out the hard way when I had to go to the emergency
room, that not being a member of the NorthWest EMS service cost me $363.
If I had been a member "No Hassle Billing. NorthWest EMS will directly
bill a member’s health insurance or third party on your behalf. As a
subscribed member, any co-payment will be waived for members with a
health insurance plan."
The emergency room visit cost me a $65 co-pay.
I just support the volunteer fire department,
Neither are compulsory, but you never know when you might need the
service. It costs me $30.00 to be a subscriber to the EMS service and I
usually donate the same amount to the fire department.
Last year I was trying to save $60.
My insurance has a co-pay, and that is all I pay for the emergency room
at the hospital in my plan (HMO). But ambulance service is quite
expensive, and some insurance doesn't pay for it at all.
If such plans are available, they can save people who need ambulance
service often (a neighbor seems to go by ambulance two or three times a
year), a lot of money. For those in rural areas, there are plans for
helicopter ambulance service on the same 'prepaid' arrangements.
I'm waiting to see how much the surgery I had Friday is going to cost
me. My co-pay is $125 after the deductible is met. I'm nowhere near
meeting that $750.
Medicare (and presumably REAL insurers) has negotiated prices for
various services, which is the BIG advantage of insurance. We chose a
medicare supplement policy (Blue Shield Plan F PPO) which pays the 20%
that medicare doesn't pay after it's decided what it WILL pay. No
co-pays, no deductibles. Its premium is 4x Medicare's.
The advantage is that we NEVER have to think "Is this really worth the
cost of going to the doctor?" That's why I didn't go to the doc when I
broke my ribs skiing, and hubby is even worse.
His aortic valve billing was over $250K. It's such a pain to deal with
the EOBs that I stopped looking after a while. Not my circus, not my
monkeys. I'll worry about it when somebody sends me a bill that they
actually expect me to pay.
My wife's knee replacement cost us $500. Plus some for the rehab
treatments, and included a 3 week stay in a rehab hospital.
In the UK, it would cost you nearly that much for an initial
consultation with the surgeon, and more than that for a scan and x-rays.
What about that much vaunted 'free medical' the UK is supposed to do so
much better than the US???
Not the bits I've seen, they aren't. Wolf K quoted the same thing above,
but from personal experience I can tell you that whilst it works, it is
a very second class service to private medicine here. The NHS ER
departments have been missing every target for months now. Having has a
heart attack in the middle of the night, I was treated and then left
propped up on a trolley for seven hours waiting for a vacant bed with
the very occasional inspection by passing staff. Several hospitals have
been taken into "emergency care" themselves, until standards can be
raised to avoid unnecessary deaths.
I've had two major operations and one minor in private hospitals and my
other half has had one. Whilst visiting her at the weekend, I booked in
for meals there with her, the food was so good. Since the insurance got
too expensive I've had to have another in an NHS hospital, and although
the surgeon was fine (same one as in the private hospital) the hospital
was filthy, noisy and unpleasant and the food barely eatable, never mind
healthy. The cardiac ward in the same hospital was clean and pleasant,
but the nursing and medical care was lax and understaffed. I waiting
eleven days in there to have a cardiac stent fitted that should have
been done within hours, not days, for optimum safety. Waiting lists
are interminably long. In general practice, it takes days (sometimes
weeks) to get to see your own particular doctor (despite the fact I
worked with/for ours here for 15 years and started up the surgery
pharmacy from scratch). I worked in/alongside the NHS for 50 years, and
whilst it was never good, it has never been so bad.
Credit where it is due, they NHS management is one of the most
efficient, self-perpetuating bureaucracies you're ever seen, and the
personal empire building amongst senior staff (at public expense, of
course) is quite unsurpassed. They don't do anything useful, of course,
but that's not their aim - just get more staff and a bigger pension.
Rant over - but it could be a lot longer :-)
Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England
Barbecue - Food prepared alfresco on a grill in the belief that
salmonella-infected meat cooked in sweat and dead flies is appetising.