$5000 for an X-Ray in the USA? Holy shit!

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Winston
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$5000 for an X-Ray in the USA? Holy shit!

Post by Winston »

Hi folks,
Guess what? Our tenant in Washington just called yesterday and said that she fell and sprained her arm, so she went to the doctor to get an X-Ray done, and the bill came out to be $5000! Holy shit! She has no health insurance there and was charged the full amount. That's frickin insane!

Why does it have to cost that much? Where does all that money go? It seems like a huge huge corporate scam.

What a waste.

She should have just not gone to the doctor and waited for it to heal. The odds are that it would have been fine.

Or she could have even flown to Taiwan for 800 dollars to get the X-Ray for almost free. The airplane ticket round trip would have cost less than 1/5 of that bill!

At the very least, she should have asked the hospital the price of the X-Ray before she got it. I'm sure you are entitled to know the fees beforehand, or at least get an estimate!

That's insane!
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Rock
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Post by Rock »

Hey Winston

Your right, it is a corporate scam and its insane. Corporations in America have an unfair share of power. That's the reason Wall St. Banks can screw-up big time, demand an unprecedented bail-out package to save themselves, and then use much of this taxpayer money to 'reward' themselves internally through the usual multi-million bonuses.

As I mentioned in another post, US health care costs eat-up 16% of national income, by far the highest on the planet. An American Journal of Medicine article claimed that over 60% of American bankruptcies are caused by medical bills.

On the other hand, Taiwan's system has served me well. This morning, I went back to my urology doc to request more blood tests. This time, he put it all on insurance and typed-up a reason into the computer to satisfy NIH requirements. I've noticed that after some of the doctors become familiar enough with me, they give me better service and preferential treatment. No matter what my number is, this one always slips me in within 5 minutes after I announce my arrival to the nurse. Perhaps they consider me a repeat customer and provide commensurate service.

Here's important advice: Whenever you travel to the States, take out a travel insurance policy loaded with medical riders and make sure the duration is long enough to cover your full trip. Otherwise, you could find yourself in the same position as your tenant. Fortunately, my Visa card from Taishin gives me a free month of such insurance whenever I use the card to buy my ticket.
ladislav
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Post by ladislav »

Here in the Philippines, an ex ray I'd taken once cost me P300. Some $7.
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Repatriate
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Post by Repatriate »

I live life on the edge. No health insurance but I am in a country where medical care is pretty good and affordable if something were to happen. It's sad how much general contempt the public has for taking care of fellow citizens.
momopi
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Post by momopi »

She probably went to the emergency room.

If she went to a clinic and explained to them that she doesn't have insurance and need to pay in cash, usually the doctor would try to work with her. Or, if it's not an emergency, there are low-cost or even free clinics avail in many areas.

$5k for X-ray is excessive. My goddaughter spent 1 week in ICU at CHOC hospital and the bill was $95,000. Thank goodness for insurance.
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Winston
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Post by Winston »

For those of you in the US who do not have health insurance, what do you do when you need to see a doctor? And what do you do when you need a $5000 X-Ray?
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globetrotter
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Post by globetrotter »

Winston wrote:For those of you in the US who do not have health insurance, what do you do when you need to see a doctor? And what do you do when you need a $5000 X-Ray?
Unlike almost all other countries w/o single payer, in the USA you don't pay at time the service is rendered.

So, the Doctor says:
"Don't worry about the price. Let's just get you healthy."

That is because HE DOES NOT KNOW THE COST. That's right, no Doctor knows the prices of what he is doing. This harkens to the age of a Tradesman's entrance in the back. Doctors walked in the front door, could not be bothered with impolite matters such as the bill.

So you get treated, you go home. 3 weeks later a bill for $7,000 arrives and then you owe, go into debt or get the harassing phone calls.
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Winston
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Post by Winston »

But our tenants are not even US citizens. So what would happen to them if they didn't pay the bill? Does it affect their credit, even abroad?
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globetrotter
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Post by globetrotter »

Winston wrote:But our tenants are not even US citizens. So what would happen to them if they didn't pay the bill? Does it affect their credit, even abroad?
Credit scores are not international.

No one in the USA can be DENIED treatment. Treatment can be DELAYED. Your tenants will be treated and those with insurance will pay the price indirectly.
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Post by Repatriate »

globetrotter wrote:
Winston wrote:But our tenants are not even US citizens. So what would happen to them if they didn't pay the bill? Does it affect their credit, even abroad?
Credit scores are not international.
Speaking of which..how do international banks chase bad loans from borrowers who flee then?
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