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What if you don't have health insurance in America?

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to North America. For those looking to relocate within the US or Canada, discuss your experiences and pros/cons of each domestic region.

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What if you don't have health insurance in America?

Postby Winston » Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:09 pm

I have some questions about healthcare in America.

For those of you who live in America, do you all have healthcare? If so, where do you get it from?

How much does it cost you?

What if your employer doesn't provide it? Then how much do you pay for it per month if you subscribe directly as an individual?

What if you don't have any healthcare coverage at all? How do you pay for your doctor visits and medicine? Do you just hope you never get sick? How do you deal with that?

What do most Americans do about this issue? Are most Americans covered? If not, what do they do when they have to go to the doctor?

Suppose I go back to America, even for vacation. Since I'm no longer covered by state healthcare, what if I have to see a doctor? What then?

Are there certain states in the US where healthcare costs are lower than other states? If so, which ones?

Thanks in advance for any answers.
Last edited by Winston on Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby gsjackson » Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:04 am

At 62 I don't have health insurance. My first rule of health care is stay away from doctors, and generally I'm able to. Pay out of pocket when I have to go. Except for the occasional antibiotic, I never take their recommendations. I should get accident coverage -- about $17 a month -- in the event of something unforeseen. For anything at all serious, given a bit of lead time, I'll go overseas and pay market rates, as I did for hip surgery. I have no confidence at all in a health care system based on the profit motive.
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Re: What if you don't have healthcare coverage in America?

Postby zboy1 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:29 am

Winston wrote:I have some questions about healthcare in America.

For those of you who live in America, do you all have healthcare? If so, where do you get it from?

How much does it cost you?

What if your employer doesn't provide it? Then how much do you pay for it per month if you subscribe directly as an individual?

What if you don't have any healthcare coverage at all? How do you pay for your doctor visits and medicine? Do you just hope you never get sick? How do you deal with that?

What do most Americans do about this issue? Are most Americans covered? If not, what do they do when they have to go to the doctor?

Suppose I go back to America, even for vacation. Since I'm no longer covered by state healthcare, what if I have to see a doctor? What then?

Are there certain states in the US where healthcare costs are lower than other states? If so, which ones?

Thanks in advance for any answers.


I don't have private health insurance since I was unemployed a couple of years ago. I did apply for the Healthy New York State insurance program (for those that lost their jobs and have a certain income level), but I discontinued it a year ago because I felt like a complete scum being on welfare. I suggest that if you're healthy don't bother to get health insurance for now, but Obamacare will eventually force everyone to buy health insurance or face a fine (What a ridiculous piece of legislation!).
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Re: What if you don't have healthcare coverage in America?

Postby Tsar » Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:13 am

zboy1 wrote:I suggest that if you're healthy don't bother to get health insurance for now, but Obamacare will eventually force everyone to buy health insurance or face a fine (What a ridiculous piece of legislation!).


The only country in the world that would force it's people to purchase extortinate health insurance. Other countries have affordable pay-out-of-pocket costs or national health coverage.
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Postby Andrewww » Sun Jan 06, 2013 6:15 am

I think another question worth asking is why are doctors so overpaid in North America ? Many people go abroad for expensive surgery because it costs 10 times less. Hell, even dental work is ridiculously expensive.

A while back my dentist asked 1500 bucks for fixing a tooth...one f***ing tooth. So I went to Romania and got it done for 200 euros.

I dunno about the US but in Canada they constantly bitch that they don't have enough doctors yet immigrants have to take university courses to have their diplomas taken into consideration. Plus, it seems that having a $300,000 salary per year is not enough for some and they leave for the US.

Most of the doctors I've met work 3-5 days a week, they don't stress, they don't work long hours and yet they make more than 99% of the population.
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Postby Globus » Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:48 am

Andrewww wrote:I think another question worth asking is why are doctors so overpaid in North America ? Many people go abroad for expensive surgery because it costs 10 times less. Hell, even dental work is ridiculously expensive.

A while back my dentist asked 1500 bucks for fixing a tooth...one f***ing tooth. So I went to Romania and got it done for 200 euros.

I dunno about the US but in Canada they constantly bitch that they don't have enough doctors yet immigrants have to take university courses to have their diplomas taken into consideration. Plus, it seems that having a $300,000 salary per year is not enough for some and they leave for the US.

Most of the doctors I've met work 3-5 days a week, they don't stress, they don't work long hours and yet they make more than 99% of the population.


Spot on. I live in Canada too. About 100km west of Toronto. I cant believe how expensive it is to fix your teeth here. That is why whenever I go to my home country Macedonia I fix my teeth for a much cheaper price than in Canada. You are also right about people here bitching that there aren't enough doctors. And some doctors that make $300 000 a year in Canada are unhappy and want even more money :shock: . Canada is so pathetic. This country has no future and the women and social scene are awful too. It used to be in Canada you could at least get a good job to compensate for the shitty social life and women but you cant even get a job anymore without connections.
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Re: What if you don't have healthcare coverage in America?

Postby jamesbond » Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:04 am

zboy1 wrote:Obamacare will eventually force everyone to buy health insurance or face a fine (What a ridiculous piece of legislation!).


Yes, with Obamacare going into effect January 1, 2014, you will be forced to buy health insurance or face a fine. This is socialism at it's finest and also, it is unconstitutional as the government CANNOT force people to buy something.
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Re: What if you don't have healthcare coverage in America?

Postby gsjackson » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:16 pm

jamesbond wrote:
zboy1 wrote:Obamacare will eventually force everyone to buy health insurance or face a fine (What a ridiculous piece of legislation!).


Yes, with Obamacare going into effect January 1, 2014, you will be forced to buy health insurance or face a fine. This is socialism at it's finest and also, it is unconstitutional as the government CANNOT force people to buy something.


The government forcing people to do business with private companies is not socialism. The form of government is called oligarchy. Everyone in Washington takes marching orders from corporate money.
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Re: What if you don't have healthcare coverage in America?

Postby Billy » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:45 pm

jamesbond wrote:
zboy1 wrote:Obamacare will eventually force everyone to buy health insurance or face a fine (What a ridiculous piece of legislation!).


Yes, with Obamacare going into effect January 1, 2014, you will be forced to buy health insurance or face a fine. This is socialism at it's finest and also, it is unconstitutional as the government CANNOT force people to buy something.


but then some countries in the world are socialist for example germany. your payments for health insurance start at 150 euros.

i don´t have to pay it as i live now out of europe. 150 euros is good money in some parts of the world.

at the moment the legislation allows to get back into the system without paying the time when you were out of the system. let´s see if it will change.
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Re: What if you don't have healthcare coverage in America?

Postby momopi » Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:22 pm

Winston wrote:I have some questions about healthcare in America.
For those of you who live in America, do you all have healthcare? If so, where do you get it from?
How much does it cost you?
What if your employer doesn't provide it? Then how much do you pay for it per month if you subscribe directly as an individual?
What if you don't have any healthcare coverage at all? How do you pay for your doctor visits and medicine? Do you just hope you never get sick? How do you deal with that?
What do most Americans do about this issue? Are most Americans covered? If not, what do they do when they have to go to the doctor?
Suppose I go back to America, even for vacation. Since I'm no longer covered by state healthcare, what if I have to see a doctor? What then?
Are there certain states in the US where healthcare costs are lower than other states? If so, which ones?
Thanks in advance for any answers.


1. The cost of private insurance depends on your age. The cheapest 50/5000 HSA plan at Kaiser for 20 year old living in LA is $72/month, vs. a 40 year old will pay $140, and 60 year old will pay $277 per month. This is assuming you're buying coverage for yourself only. The better copay or PPO plans will likely cost twice as much (or more).

2. Just because your employer provide health insurance does not mean that you don't pay for it. Often the employer will pay 80% and you have to pay the other 20% of the monthly premium costs.

3. If you don't have health insurance, you can visit your local clinic and pay in cash. Many doctors and dentists are flexible and will give you a "cash discount" for not having to deal with insurance claims.

4. By law, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) requires hospitals to provide care to anyone needing emergency healthcare treatment regardless of citizenship, legal status or ability to pay. In other words, you tax dollars pay for medical care provided to illegal immigrants who cannot afford to pay.

5. To compare cost of medical care, simply search for premium quotes by state.
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Postby Winston » Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:54 pm

Then how come my aunt and uncle in California have to pay 700 dollars a month for health insurance? My aunt has diabetes, so she can't afford not to be covered. So they are forced to pay $700 a month, so they can be near their son. Otherwise, they could just leave the US. They can afford it. But it's a lot.

What do other Americans do when they don't have health insurance? Do most Americans have it?
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Postby terminator » Sun Jan 06, 2013 6:46 pm

In New Zealand and Australia there is excellent almost-free health cover for EMERGENCIES like heart attacks or auto-crashes. But I CHOSE to get private cover because for less urgent situations like hip-replacements or kidney stones. With no private cover you'll be put on waiting lists for years, as there'll be urgent cases who will jump ahead of you. In Australia Ambulance trips cost $800 (or free if you're on welfare), so you need to pay the $50 p.a. for ambulance cover. In NZ ambulances cost $40 so you don't need cover. Doctors are paid around NZ$60,000 p.a. in Australia they are paid a lot more.
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Postby momopi » Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:03 pm

Winston wrote:Then how come my aunt and uncle in California have to pay 700 dollars a month for health insurance? My aunt has diabetes, so she can't afford not to be covered. So they are forced to pay $700 a month, so they can be near their son. Otherwise, they could just leave the US. They can afford it. But it's a lot.
What do other Americans do when they don't have health insurance? Do most Americans have it?


See:

momopi wrote:1. The cost of private insurance depends on your age. The cheapest 50/5000 HSA plan at Kaiser for 20 year old living in LA is $72/month, vs. a 40 year old will pay $140, and 60 year old will pay $277 per month. This is assuming you're buying coverage for yourself only. The better copay or PPO plans will likely cost twice as much (or more).
(snip)
3. If you don't have health insurance, you can visit your local clinic and pay in cash. Many doctors and dentists are flexible and will give you a "cash discount" for not having to deal with insurance claims.
4. By law, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) requires hospitals to provide care to anyone needing emergency healthcare treatment regardless of citizenship, legal status or ability to pay. In other words, you tax dollars pay for medical care provided to illegal immigrants who cannot afford to pay.



How old is your aunt and uncle, and what kind of health insurance do they have? (HSA/HMO/PPO/?)

It's possible that your aunt is paying higher premium due to preexisting condition (diabetes). If so, her premium will drop on Jan 1st, 2014 (Obamacare):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patient_Pr ... e_Care_Act (see: "Effective by January 1, 2014")

(Hopefully I'm getting the numbers right here) Let's say if you're an older couple where the husband makes $45,000/year and the wife stays home. That's 300% of Federal poverty level of $15,000. By law the annual health insurance premium from Jan 2014 will be capped at 9.5% of the income, or 45,000 * 9.5% = $4,275, divided by 12 months, = $356.25/month maximum for both husband and wife combined.

If you're a single person making minimum wage, your health care insurance will cost about $20/month under Obamacare in 2014.
Last edited by momopi on Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What if you don't have healthcare coverage in America?

Postby E_Irizarry » Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:29 pm

Tsar wrote:
zboy1 wrote:I suggest that if you're healthy don't bother to get health insurance for now, but Obamacare will eventually force everyone to buy health insurance or face a fine (What a ridiculous piece of legislation!).


The only country in the world that would force it's people to purchase extortinate health insurance. Other countries have affordable pay-out-of-pocket costs or national health coverage.


Well there are countries which the majority of its citizens cannot pay diddly-squat for insurance, but they have cheap-yet-still-effective work-arounds for avail on many of those countries' local black markets.
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Postby E_Irizarry » Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:34 pm

gsjackson wrote:At 62 I don't have health insurance. My first rule of health care is stay away from doctors, and generally I'm able to. Pay out of pocket when I have to go. Except for the occasional antibiotic, I never take their recommendations. I should get accident coverage -- about $17 a month -- in the event of something unforeseen. For anything at all serious, given a bit of lead time, I'll go overseas and pay market rates, as I did for hip surgery. I have no confidence at all in a health care system based on the profit motive.


Frugal but smart at the same time. I'm that way, too. Sometimes borderline cheap, but nevertheless, I'm mostly frugal. ;-)
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