Is employer-provided health insurance worth it


By Dan8267   Follow   Thu, 21 Feb 2013, 5:32pm   1,673 views   59 comments
In Boca Raton FL 33433   Watch (1)   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (2)  

Soliciting opinions. Is employer-provided health insurance a better or worse deal than what you can get in the free market? Do you know of a good or bad health insurance provider? If so, speak up here.

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  1. Dan8267


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    20   12:55pm Sat 23 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    @Patrick

    Google really likes your site. I just did a search for BlueOptions Predictable Cost 535 review and http://patrick.net/?Healthcare was the number one hit because of this thread, which is only two days old.

    There has to be a way you can capitalize on this. Maybe have a form where people can fill out what health insurance they have, how they rate it, and write a review like users on Amazon.com do. Then use a nice SEO path like /healthInsurance/{InsuranceProvider}/{PlanName}. For example, http://patrick.net/healthInsurance/BlueCross/BlueOptionsPredictableCost535.

    I mean, geeze, you're the number one Google search result for a specific plan just because of this one thread. You gotta take advantage of that. Marketers would kill for that page ranking.

  2. Patrick


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    21   1:29pm Sat 23 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike   Protected  

    Thanks for the suggestion Dan!

    Dan8267 says

    There has to be a way you can capitalize on this. Maybe have a form where people can fill out what health insurance they have, how they rate it, and write a review like users on Amazon.com do. Then use a nice SEO path like /healthInsurance/{InsuranceProvider}/{PlanName}. For example, http://patrick.net/healthInsurance/BlueCross/BlueOptionsPredictableCost535.

    Yes, that's a good idea. But how would I make money from it? Ads I suppose, but ads have never worked well for me.

  3. Patrick


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    22   1:30pm Sat 23 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike   Protected  

    Dan8267 says

    this plan only costs about $125/month ($1500/yr).

    I don't believe it.

    Certainly there is nothing like that for a family of 4 with the parents in their 40's.

  4. MMR


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    23   2:35pm Sat 23 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    Situations like this are the reason why I'm pretty darn sure I'll never accept insurance after I'm done. Based on studying insurance reimbursements from different insurance companies for various procedures, I don't think it is exactly rocket science to come up with rates that a person could reasonably afford to pay out of pocket and also present to the patient in advance.

    Insurance is a noose around the neck forcing doctors to become shift-working salaried employees who are minimally concerned about doctor-patient relationships that once made medicine a highly rewarding profession, both personally and professionally.

    CaptainShuddup says

    just because you're insured, life saving procedures and follow ups, are ofter not done because of executive decisions or if you want those done, you'll have to pay out of pocket. Like CT scans after mass removal, to make sure they got it all. Usually they are told by the ins companies to wait three months, against the Doctors suggestion. Also the waits to get procedures done or hell even diagnosed. Two of the people I'm talking about complained to their doctor for up to 6 months before they were even diagnosed.

    Where as the poor people in the emergency room, they get every thorough test ran before they leave. They know they have cancer the day they complained.

  5. MMR


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    24   2:40pm Sat 23 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    Although I know some dirtbag gunners, the vast majority want to make a good living without necessarily having to choke off those who need help. I suspect that people who are 'all about money' don't often pursue medicine, since there are far easier ways to make money, like getting an MBA at a top 5 school.

    The extortionists are the insurance companies and ambulance chasing bottom feeders.

    Patrick says

    Note that neither of these requirements has anything to do with taxes. It's just about preventing extortion.

  6. Dan8267


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    25   9:14pm Sat 23 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (2)  

    Patrick says

    Dan8267 says

    this plan only costs about $125/month ($1500/yr).

    I don't believe it.

    Certainly there is nothing like that for a family of 4 with the parents in their 40's.

    Well, obviously ensuring 4 people is going to cost more than insuring just one. The $125/month is for an individual plan. The family plan costs more. I ran the numbers at the US News site for a family of 4 in Florida and got this result... $350/month but with a $20k deductible, which is a bit high even for just guarding against catastrophes. Of course, if you are married, there's probably other coverage you might want to get like maternity that's not covered by this plan.

  7. Dan8267


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    26   9:24pm Sat 23 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (2)  

    Dan8267 says

    7 tips for choosing a health savings account by BankRate

    I love the fact that someone here is so petty that he's disliking every post I make, even if it's just a link to tips or faqs on health insurance. Every time I see such a dislike I know that I pissed off some troll so much that I'm always on his mind and ruining his day, and that puts a smile on my face.

  8. elliemae


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    27   12:18pm Sun 24 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (1)   Protected  

    CaptainShuddup says

    So I went to the owner of the company and told him I had to quit and become indigent, so that I could get the best healthcare in the world.

    CaptainShuddup says

    The only people who have it made in this country are the piss poor people who go the Emergency room, and get operations through social worker welfare groups.

    CaptainShuddup says

    In the last 10 years, I know about 5 people who got serious stage 1-3 cancers, and were treated and never saw one bill. They are all alive today and cured.

    I know about 6 people who had cancer on employer based insurance. and 4 of those people are dead.

    Where as the poor people in the emergency room, they get every thorough test ran before they leave. They know they have cancer the day they complained.

    I realize that you are angry - happens alot, btw - but you are over-generalizing. Can't remember who, a poster from long ago, had a mantra that "the plural of anecdote is not data." That applies in your example.

    1) Many people don't qualify for Medicaid. That will change under Obamacare, but in many states one doesn't qualify for Medicaid unless they are under 18, over 65, or handicapped/disabled (such as SSI recipients). If it were as easy as quitting your job to receive medical coverage, there wouldn't be so many unfunded hospital patients. You make it sound so easy - "I'll just quit my job and then all my troubles will be over..."

    2) Medicaid isn't the "best healthcare in the world." A patient whose payment source is Medicaid is assigned a hospital case manager and his costs/treatments are only provided if necessary. Even then, if the treatmens/tests can be provided in a less expensive environment, the patient will have to receive them on an outpatient basis.

    3) Medicaid reimbursements to providers (including hospitals, nursing homes/rehabs, labs, physicians, etc) are shit compared to private insurance. Hospitals are paid months later at a substantially reduced rate.

    4) People who are admitted through the emergency room and sent up for an operation receive the care due to medical necessity regardless of the payment source. If the treatment can wait, the patient will have to jump through all sorts of hoops but if it's medically necessary and life threatening, the patient will be sent for surgery.

    5) Your anecdotal evidence about the cancer patients who were cured vs those who died is inflammatory - but every cancer is different, every patient is treated according to his disease process. That five people with stage 1-3 cancer were treated and cured (or are in remission) can't be compared to the 4/6 people who died. What stage were they? What type of cancer was it? When was it diagnosed? How was it treated?

    The latter patients had insurance - so they could have made arrangements to pay the copayments. Either way, they had access to treatment.

    For all we know, the first patients you described had stage 1 breast cancer or encapsulated prostate cancer, while the 4/6 had pancreatic cancer or metastatic lung cancer.

    Your anger at what you perceive to be a system of free healthcare vs that for which you are paying renders your arguments useless. You are looking for cause & effect based on payment source - and although that does exist (such as the person who has no health insurance and can't access a physician, therefore a sign or symptom of a serious condition isn't caught until it seriously impedes the patient's ability to maintain his lifestyle), it doesn't exist here.

    Dan8267 says

    I love the fact that someone here is so petty that he's disliking every post I make, even if it's just a link to tips or faqs on health insurance. Every time I see such a dislike I know that I pissed off some troll so much that I'm always on his mind and ruining his day, and that puts a smile on my face.

    I have the same problem - a trollster who dislikes me enough to stalk my posts & dislikes them. I imagine them masturbating as they do it.

  9. CaptainShuddup


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    28   6:29am Mon 25 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    So you're saying I'm Ellie? I didn't imply everyone gets medicaid, I simply stated that those that have it, fare far better than those LIKE MY SELF, that are paying out of the ass for insurance, and still are nickle and dimed on every turn. On top of that, good Doctors are still hard to find.

    My guess based on what you're saying. Florida has a better system than Utah.

  10. elliemae


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    29   3:59pm Mon 25 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (1)   Protected  

    CaptainShuddup says

    So you're saying I'm Ellie?

    I'm fairly sure that you're not Ellie, because when I looked in the mirror this morning all I saw was the same lovely face as I always see.

    CaptainShuddup says

    I didn't imply everyone gets medicaid, I simply stated that those that have it, fare far better than those LIKE MY SELF, that are paying out of the ass for insurance, and still are nickle and dimed on every turn. On top of that, good Doctors are still hard to find.

    Many private physicians don't work with Medicaid due to the piss-poor reimbursement. And just like all insurance plans, there are limitations as to the services Medicaid patients receive.

    CaptainShuddup says

    My guess based on what you're saying. Florida has a better system than Utah.

    No - Medicaid eligibility is pretty much the same from state-to-state at the moment. This will change when the healthcare reform kicks in, but for now the eligibility categories for Medicaid in Florida is:

    •Low income families with children
    •Child-only coverage
    •Pregnant women
    •Non-citizens with medical emergencies
    •Aged or disabled individuals

    Florida families with children may qualify for Medicaid coverage if they meet the following requirements: •Family income below the limits for Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA). In 2011, the limit is $364 for a family of four and increases approximately $62 for each additional family member. For more details see the TCA eligibility chart.
    •Countable assets less than $2,000 (excluding your homestead)

    $364 for a family of four? I'm hoping (and guessing) that you make more than that. Most people who are receiving unemployment benefits don't quallify for Medicaid.

    I'm not trying to be contrary here. It's just that you seem to have a misconception that people who are on Medicaid are happy just to be screwing the system. They're not - they're struggling to get by. If they're fortunate enough to receive the assistance mentioned above, they're pretty fucking poor.

    Also - your comment about people on Medicaid having every test run isn't accurate. I work in the field and have seen many, many examples of patients who were referred to a primary physician without any testing having been done at all. Emergency rooms are supposed to be for emergent conditions, not diagnostic purposes. Many hospitals have case managers who have to approve testing before its done, because MD's would run every test possible for every patient if they could.

    And if they ran every test, and found every condition, and treated it - well, where would we be? Oh, yea - healthier.

    Btw, Walmart started a $4.00 prescription program that most pharmacies (except CVS) follows. For many common medications, it's cheaper to get 30 days worth at $4 than to pay an insurance copayment.

  11. curious2


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    30   5:14pm Mon 25 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    elliemae says

    And if they ran every test, and found every condition, and treated it - well, where would we be? Oh, yea - healthier.

    That's a myth of "preventive care." Many tests are harmful and produce ambiguous results, leading to unnecessary procedures that can injure or even kill. More interaction with the medical-industrial complex does not necessarily lead to better health, in fact it often leads to the opposite. That's why there was such a big fight over Obamacare's mandatory pre-payment for mammography, even on women where it is more likely to kill them than to "save" them (not to mention Elizabeth Edwards, who was "saved" by enduring more than five years of treatment for a cancer she might never have got if she hadn't paid for so much radiation testing). It's amazing that in some states women are actually being charged more for medical insurance than men, even though women used to have safer risk profiles; the only explanation I've seen is the rise of mammography producing more cancer, and now Obamacare will make that mandatory with no co-payment thus producing even more of it. Nobody lives forever, and maximizing spending does not always help.

  12. elliemae


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    31   7:25pm Tue 26 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (2)   Protected  

    curious2 says

    That's a myth of "preventive care."

    I've long said that you and I view preventative care as two different things. You have repeatedly stated that, to you, preventative care means MRI's.

    I, on the other hand, view preventative care as access to an MD to be seen on a regular basis. I include the ability to pay for medications for chronic conditions that indigent people often go without, and they end up with serious problems as a result.

    Treatment for Diabetes before it becomes insulin dependent. Medications for Rheumatoid Arthritis that help to stave off the disease, resulting in a better quality of life for the patient. Mild doses of blood pressure medications to keep the condition from escalating to the point that it's life-threatening.

    People need access to healtcare, rather than only to be treated when a condition becomes life-threatening or so fucking debilitating that the patient's lifestyle is threatened. MRI's and x-rays aren't ordered in every instance - often a simple change of diet can help a patient with a condition long before it becomes life-threatening.

    Without access to healthcare, these options aren't available. Please understand that I'm not negating that many tests are ordered too often - but a blood test can save a life. A physician visit can help a patient to be diagnosed before a condition is life-threatening.

    You and I will continue to disagree as to the definition of "prevatative care." I view it as access to healthcare, while you appear to view it as over-access to healthcare.

    Meanwhile, until healthcare reform kicks in, many people lack the ability to be seen by a physician, to recieve medications for conditions and to learn how to live with the hand that they're dealt.

  13. ducsingle5313


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    32   7:31pm Tue 26 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Dan8267 says

    That perfectly describes Aetna's Flexible Spending Accounts. Each year, you lose what you don't spend and you lose everything if you change jobs.

    All Flex Spending Accounts are like this. Not just Aetna's.

  14. errc


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    33   7:36pm Tue 26 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    True preventative care would be based in nutrition, as malnutrition is the basis for the majority of these "conditions" people seek healthcare for.

    Look at the crap that people put in and on their bodies, its no wonder so many people are "sick". The human body is an amazingly resourceful machine, it just needs to be treated properly. The government and its accredited mouthpieces and professionals are mostly to blame. A generation has been misled to believe that the food pyramid provides a proper macronutrient prodile, ha! 12 servings of breads and grains per day, and a bunch of fruit and some veggies, some sweets and avoid animal proteins and fats at all costs. Do the opposite of everything the government suggests in regards to nutrition, and avoid your physician at all costs, and you will likely live a long and healthy life. You can DIY that plan like a good little american,,,,

  15. epitaph


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    34   7:38pm Tue 26 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    If you are <30 probably not.

  16. ducsingle5313


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    35   7:40pm Tue 26 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    drew_eckhardt says

    I pay 28% in Federal taxes, 9.33% in state taxes, and 1.45% in Medicare which allows me to spend 63% more on employer coverage than private market for the same impact on what's left over.

    If I earned less money I'd also be paying 6.2% on Social security and 1.0% California State Disability insurance which would allow me to spend 85% more on the employer plan.

    How do you avoid paying Social Security and CA Disability by making more money?

  17. MMR


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    36   8:06pm Tue 26 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Blood tests are extremely useful; especially for checking levels of vitamins and minerals, as well as for blood counts, renal function, liver function, blood lipid levels etc. Generally speaking, this information is extremely useful for determining whether the nutrients you consume are being absorbed and assimilated by the body.

    Regarding type II diabetes, the best treatment is dietary modification and exercise. Most doctors tell their patients this, but very few are qualified to tell patients how to do this and I suspect that insurance makes it harder for those who are qualified to tell patients. Still, many doctors only keep other doctors in their referral network, effectively preventing patients who are at risk of developing diabetes from getting the help they might need.

    Blood sugar that is managed with diabetes meds is not the same as blood sugar that is managed with diet and exercise.

    If access to healthcare only results in a prescription for a drug and not any meaningful game plan for modifying risk factors/lifestyle changes, then effectively speaking, many dr visits are extraneous and do little to improve quality of life. In many instances, it is a revenue engine driving the overutilization trend

    Ideally visiting the dr. for real preventative care is an ideal that we all should aspire to. Unfortunately, for doctors taking insurance, the incentive to do so is extremely poor, as the reimbursement rate for 'well visits' is far lower than sick visits. Also, I'm not sure on this, but there might even be limits on how many well visits a doctor could have with the same patient, but don't quote me on that last part because I'm not sure.

    My personal experience is that, these days, the majority of doctors who truly emphasize wellness rarely take insurance. Insurance turns private practices into production lines.

    elliemae says

    lease understand that I'm not negating that many tests are ordered too often - but a blood test can save a life. A physician visit can help a patient to be diagnosed before a condition is life-threatening.

  18. curious2


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    37   8:13pm Tue 26 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    MMR says

    the majority of doctors who truly emphasize wellness rarely take insurance. Insurance turns private practices into production lines.

    Exactly. Elliemae, you know I like and respect you, but the scams that Obamacare covers aren't the preventive measures you're looking for. The reason you're required to buy Obamacare is because a rational person wouldn't buy it if offered a free choice. The industry's worst players bribed politicians to require you to buy it, because that's the only way they could sell their crap at the incredibly high prices they demand. Then, once you've spent all you can afford on that "affordable" policy, you have nothing left to buy what might really help you. And there is often little correlation between spending and results, in fact there can be an inverse correlation, especially in insuranceworld. This is the point John Mackey and others have been trying to make, that Obamacare forces everyone to prepay into the most injurious and wasteful aspects of the medical industrial complex at the expense of better solutions that actually improve health.

    Likewise employer-sponsored insurance offers all sorts of opportunities for kickbacks, fraud, and abuse, because the employee has little or no choice about what to buy. But, as I acknowledged earlier, individual mileage may vary: some people with high covered expenses, or with gold-plated policies that are basically scams to take advantage of the tax subsidy, may benefit. On the whole, Americans lose.

    Regarding arthritis, the best preventive measures are (a) don't smoke, (b) don't injure your joints, e.g. don't eat so much that you become overweight. None of these involve insurance or taking drugs. If you have arthritis, OTC ibuprofen is better than Vioxx (now withdrawn), and costs 2 cents/pill, and because it's OTC it might not be covered by insurance anyway.

    elliemae says

    You have repeatedly stated that, to you, preventative care means MRI's.

    Actually, I've hardly ever mentioned MRIs, but I do observe intensive marketing and mandatory prepayment for "preventive" radiation, including C-T scans with no benefit.

  19. CaptainShuddup


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    38   5:50am Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    elliemae says

    •Low income families with children

    •Child-only coverage

    •Pregnant women

    •Non-citizens with medical emergencies

    •Aged or disabled individuals

    You just listed 80% of the population.

  20. elliemae


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    39   7:23am Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)   Protected  

    CaptainShuddup says

    You just listed 80% of the population.

    I had the pleasure once of denying benefits to those who fell in the middle. It was horrible.

  21. CaptainShuddup


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    40   8:06am Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    elliemae says

    I'm not trying to be contrary here. It's just that you seem to have a misconception that people who are on Medicaid are happy just to be screwing the system. They're not - they're struggling to get by. If they're fortunate enough to receive the assistance mentioned above, they're pretty fucking poor.

    Ellie I never implied they are screwing the system. If you would just try to look deeper past your Liberal eye liner and mascara, you would realize that what I am actually saying and have said all along. I would rather pay higher taxes and Medicaid be expanded to everyone.

    And my point to my story was, I was prepared to quit work and become indigent, so yes, I would have qualified as a "Low income family with Children".

    And had, the BEST insurance in the world.

  22. zzyzzx


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    41   8:57am Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    MMR says

    I suspect that people who are 'all about money' don't often pursue medicine,

    I'm pretty sure that the "all about money" types frequently pursue medicine.

  23. drew_eckhardt


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    42   9:24am Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    ducsingle5313 says

    How do you avoid paying Social Security and CA Disability by making more money?

    I'll still pay $7050 in Social Security ($14,100 including the employer's share) and $1009 in CA SDI this year.

    The numbers just don't change based on how much compensation I take home instead of spending on benefits due to the earnings caps which means the cost difference between taxable and not taxable insurance products is lower for me than if I earned less.

    Given a dollar in income
    - If I take it home my employer spends $1.0145 and I take home $0.61
    - If I spend it on pre-tax benefits they spend $1 and I get $1 in benefits (64% more value based on what I earn, 66% based on what they're spending)

    In the same tax brackets below the caps
    - If I took home a dollar my employer would spend $1.0765 and I'd keep $0.54
    - If I spent it on benefits they'd spend $1 and I'd get $1 in benefits (85% more value based on what I earn, 100% more based on what they spend).

    The impact of pre versus post-tax would be 33% higher below the caps based on the number on my pay check and 50% based on what my employer is spending.

  24. elliemae


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    43   8:54pm Thu 28 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)   Protected  

    curious2 says

    Regarding arthritis, the best preventive measures are (a) don't smoke, (b) don't injure your joints, e.g. don't eat so much that you become overweight. None of these involve insurance or taking drugs. If you have arthritis, OTC ibuprofen is better than Vioxx (now withdrawn), and costs 2 cents/pill, and because it's OTC it might not be covered by insurance anyway.

    1) I don't smoke, never have
    2) My joints were not more mistreated than anyone else's duing my youth.
    3) I'm not obese - a few pounds over my ideal weight, but not fat.
    3) OTC Ibu doesn't work for Rheumatoid Arthritis.

    There is no preventing RA. It's an autoimmune disease where my body reacts to everything - such as a minor infection.

    If you get a hangnail you pull it off and move one. I get a hangnail, I get an infection. I have to carefully treat it with antibiotics and attentive wound care. If I'm not careful, it becomes such an issue that I have to go to the MD to be treated. And this minor infection can cause my body to go into a flare. Ohhhhhh, boy, what a blast.

    As this disease causes my body to attack itself (the aforementioned "flare"), I experience the pleasure of my body freezing up and causing extreme pain - that's the best part. My joints freeze - sometimes my neck, my shoulders, my knees... it's unpredictable. I then take prednisone, which kills my stomach and has loads of fun side effects on its own (but stops the disease flare).

    The ongoing periperal neuropathy is incredibly painful and horribly limiting. The fatigue is often overwhelming, but I get up and go to work every day and am grateful to have a job. My patients don't know that I'm in pain, nor do my coworkers. I just make it through, then go home and wish I were dead.

    I do my best to appreciate that I don't have the extreme nodules (yet, but they're starting):

    I eat right, I rarely drink, and I take a shitload of medications that are designed to limit the progression of my disease and poison the shit outta me at the same time.

    I believe in being able to access medical care, and having the payment for these medications that enhance my life even as they limit my life.

    Without health insurance, I wouldn't have access to treatment. Physicians need to be paid, and most people can't afford concierge medicine. I'm grateful for my doctor, who is loyal to me as long as I'm able to pay her (via insurance & copays). I get that - I don't work for free either.

    So forgive me if I continue to insist that access to healthcare is important. Without the MD visits and medications, I'd either be dead or wish I were.

  25. elliemae


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    44   8:56pm Thu 28 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike (1)   Protected  

    P.S. Kinda felt like I overshared, there. But seriously, ya'll who are healthy need to appreciate how it feels to be that way. I don't remember what it feels like to feel "good."

  26. curious2


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    45   10:12pm Thu 28 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    elliemae says

    If you get a hangnail you pull it off....

    You don't know me, or my health, but I will tell you one thing: nobody should ever pull off a hangnail. That's just begging for infection. Always use nail clippers.

    elliemae says

    Without health insurance, I wouldn't have access to treatment... I'm grateful for my doctor, who is loyal to me as long as I'm able to pay her (via insurance & copays).

    I sympathize with your pain, but I don't understand why you think nobody cares or understands, when what people are saying is that they oppose a system that makes it worse.

    Please tell me, what has your insurance and doctor given you that you could not buy on your own if the law allowed you? Everyone I know who has been to Mexico has found they could buy everything they needed at full retail for less than their insurance co-pay. Some of those pharmacies are open 24 hours/day, happy to sell to anyone. You extol your doctor, and even say proudly that you are grateful for the people who have made a revenue center out of your pain, and you blame the people who would rather see that money go towards research to solve the problem instead of continuing it. Stockholm Syndrome can happen to very bright people, not just mentally ill drug addicts like Homefool. Objectivity requires considering, why do you praise the people making money off your pain, and say they should get even more, even at the expense of research that might free you from it?

    Anyway, tying this back to the original topic, someone who goes frequently to American doctors and pharmacies, probably does run up a lot of medical expenses eligible for insurance coverage, and employer sponsored insurance can shift much of that cost onto co-workers. So, to people in that situation, employer sponsored insurance can seem like a good deal. Especially if you dislike your co-workers and employer, I guess. But, literally everyone I know with employer provided insurance, who has also been to Mexico or Costa Rica, has found they could buy everything they needed for less. So, employer sponsored insurance is definitely worth it for the overpaid industry in this country, and maybe for some employees who have a lot of expenses and don't like to travel, but on the whole it's a disaster.

  27. elliemae


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    46   11:21pm Thu 28 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (2)   Protected  

    curious2 says

    Please tell me, what has your insurance and doctor given you that you could not buy on your own if the law allowed you?

    I don't care about laws - I care about reality. I need medical care and am blessed to have it through my employer. Healthcare reform is about providing healthcare via insurance - a crappy plan, but it's a plan.

    curious2 says

    Everyone I know who has been to Mexico has found they could buy everything they needed at full retail for less than their insurance co-pay.

    Sure - but would they have a physician who would diagnose them, work them in and be there to prescribe new medications when the old ones aren't working? To prescribe the correct amount of medication to alleviate my symptoms?

    It's a non-issue - I drive a couple of hundred miles at most to receive my care, not hundreds of miles to Mexico. I'm talking reality, while you are talking about the ideal treatment for somene who has the ability to diagnose and treat a condition from which they suffer.

    curious2 says

    You extol your doctor, and even say proudly that you are grateful for the people who have made a revenue center out of your pain, and you blame the people who would rather see that money go towards research to solve the problem instead of continuing it.

    Obviously, I would prefer that I didn't have this disease, and I wish that someone would cure it. But today, I'd like to not hurt for awhile.

    curious2 says

    Stockholm Syndrome ...

    My doc is not holding me hostage, she's freeing me from the symptoms. The money I and my insurance are paying for my treatment don't interfere with the research currently being conducted.

    I do enjoy the chutzpah you display by diagnosing me, over the interwebs without having ever met me, with Stockholm Syndrome, which is "Feelings of trust or affection felt in many cases of kidnapping or hostage-taking by a victim toward a captor." Very creative, but so unbelieveably fucking cruel to say that when you don't live inside my body and have no clue as to the insensitivity you display in demeaning my experience with a serious disease. curious2 says

    employer sponsored insurance can seem like a good deal. Especially if you dislike your co-workers and employer, I guess.

    Funny you should mention this... I purposely contracted a serious disease (the origin of which is still not known) in order to screw my co-workers. I actually enjoy the thought that their premiums are calculated based on my health condition. Except, of course, that our premiums decreased a few dollars per year.

    curious2 says

    But, literally everyone I know with employer provided insurance, who has also been to Mexico or Costa Rica, has found they could buy everything they needed for less.

    Again, this works for people who have the ability to travel to other countries and who are able to self-prescribe. Many of my clients can't even drive across town... and would kill themselves self-prescribing.

    I'm talking about reality - mine. You are talking about the ideal, where everyone is healthy and can pay for medical tourism. That is the problem with healthcare reform - we need universal healthcare for all and private insurance companies need to go away. We need to stop throwing money at the problem and start talking real solutions.

    curious2 says

    nobody should ever pull off a hangnail. That's just begging for infection. Always use nail clippers.

    If I had said "clip" a hangnail, you surely would have chastised me for not mentioning sterilizing it first.

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    47   7:28am Fri 1 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)   Protected  

    MMR:

    Ellie didn't say that bullshit about people being able to go to Mexico or Costa Rica for care - that belongs to another poster. I live in reality, where people can't afford, and aren't able to, take a pretty trip to get cheaper medications.

    Please correct.

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    48   8:11am Fri 1 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    I eat right, I rarely drink, and I take a shitload of medications that are designed to limit th progression of my disease and poison the shit outta me at the same time.

    Ellie, how do you define "eating right"?

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    49   8:30am Fri 1 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Ellie while I can certain appreciate your condition, and have a new found sympathy for you. You're like many ironically afflicted people in America with Insurance.
    You like many people I know with things like Diabetes and Heart Disease, defend the Insurance companies and Doctor's racket, like people are criticizing them to do away with healthcare all together in this country.

    There is no excuse for all of the Greed, Profiteering and Monetizing of the American public health. None it's just pure greed. I feel like the only sane person on Earth when news runs industry editorial propaganda fluff pieces, telling everyone that the Healthcare industry is this growth industry, and tout every medical related job as the high paying job of the future. And investors tout investing in the research, insurance, pharmaceutical, and Hospital facilities.
    Who in the hell is going to pay for all of the BLOAT of unnecessary leaches riding on the coat tails of the Healthcare industry? We can still have high paid medical professionals in this country, and support staff that earn a fair wage, comparative to the duties they perform in regards to Healthcare. But there are a good 60% or more of over burden and fluff that contribute absolutely NOTHING to the quality of care in our Healthcare system.

    I can have such disregard for the industry as a whole, the way is structured now, while still respecting those professionals that actually contribute to the healthcare. Other than those that only have a job, because our healthcare system is a labyrinth of convoluted systems, and administrative red tape designed to justify their existence.

    Also when I imply that we should start reversing much of the way it is now, like doing away with Ameirca depending on Employer healthcare insurance, I'm not suggesting NOT implement a better way immediately, like just drop the way it is now and just hope it all works out.

    The US government Spends trillions in R&D for medial and pharmaceutical research. There's no damn reason why the government can't searcher most of work them selves, (since our tax dollars are already paying for it), then license the formulas to not just one drug maker but many. Why should one company have a patent on something our tax dollars already paid for?
    More over, why should Raulph and Sarah Q Employee get rich then lose it all investing in those companies who's product's research were already subsidized by tax dollars?

    Day traders, investors, and 401K contributors are the ones that need to find another way to make money. People like you got it wrong, the American people in this country are the ones that deserve the right to affordable health care in this country, not the investors that have the right to get rich off the Health care of the American public. Health care in this country should organically be the price it levels to, with out the hundreds of out side and artificial means that inflates Healthcare costs in this country, just because so many unnecessary people in this country want's to get their Beak wet at the expense of the sick and infirmed and hundreds of millions that are trying not to get that way.

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    50   8:58am Fri 1 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike (1)   Protected  

    CaptainShuddup says

    People like you got it wrong, the American people in this country are the ones that deserve the right to affordable health care in this country, not the investors that have the right to get rich off the Health care of the American public. Health care in this country should organically be the price it levels to, with out the hundreds of out side and artificial means that inflates Healthcare costs in this country, just because so many unnecessary people in this country want's to get their Beak wet at the expense of the sick and infirmed and hundreds of millions that are trying not to get that way.

    Everyone, please mark your calendar. I agree with TPB today. Guys, it's not that I think insurance is awesome or that healthcare reform is tits on a ritz. But I work with people who had no access to healthcare and end up dying as a result of their lack of treatment.

    We should wipe out our current model and start up socialized medicine in the same manner as other countries have. But for now, I am thrilled that I have access to healthcare and that other people do too. That things like pre-existing conditions won't preclude people from receiving care. I work on the front lines, where I see hospital executives who receive huge fat fucking bonuses tell us that the patient must discharge - and they don't care where - as soon as possible, even if the person is still sick as hell.

    I work where people are seen in the ER after waiting 10 hours or so, only to be told to follow up with their primary doctor because their condition isn't emergent. These people usually don't have a primary doctor, and therefore can't even get a script for medication that would treat their condition. So, when a minor problem becomes a major condition, they come back, are admitted, then dumped back out for the county or state to force through their demeaning system, then deny them care.

    I'm a fortunate one - I have insurance. I have treatment. I have the ability to sit here and say this shit on the interwebs because my hands work and I'm not in a fog of pain.

    errc says

    Ellie, how do you define "eating right"?

    I carefully place the food that's on my plate onto a fork, and successfully shovel it into my mouth. lol

    Seriously, have cut out much of the red meat, eat more fish & chicken or vegetables. Salads and/or steamed veggies, little or no dressing. Restaurant food is limited to healthier fare if at all possible.

    I prepare everything possible on my own, buy little processed foods. I eschew anything that has aspertame or other sugar substitutes. After about 6 months, I noticed that I hurt less and my joints aren't as swollen.

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    51   9:47am Fri 1 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Ellie let's not forget, that just because someone has insurance, doesn't mean they will be able to afford treatment for a major or catastrophic event.
    The copay/coins/deductibles can be cost prohibitive for many people even on a modest middle class salary.

    I just reduced our ins plan from the Cadillac $1500 a month plan to the almost $400 dollar plan. We will be saving $1000 a month. How ever if any of us, were to get a busted appendix, it could put in them in $20,000 debt. Even though they are insured. If I'm reading it right. The info on what the plan covers and how they pay is a bit tricky.

    50/50 for Coins/ $2000 deductible/ $25 copay.
    $20K max out of pocket

    From what I understand, if I were to need a $40,000 operation.

    The insurance would pay only$ 20K of it. Now of course if I needed another $100,000 operation a month later then that one would be fully covered.
    And many outpatient hospitals, would require that you pay your share $20K upfront before they did anything. Who has that kind of cash laying around?

    Insurance is a false sense of security, it's a scam. It's paying on top of what health care should be anyway with out it. I mean if there wasn't any insurance what we end up paying out of pocket anyway. Is what health services should be going for anyway. So in a big sense, they are totally unnecessary. For 90% of the public. It's because they cover so much for people with chronic ailments and conditions. They champion insurance and are the mouth piece for everyone on the subject. They aren't getting fucked at the expense of everyone else. So therefore Health insurance is great... "FOR THEM!".

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    52   9:54am Fri 1 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    elliemae says

    Please correct.

    i would say for families that keeps a nice rainy day nest egg of about 40K or so.
    Medical vacations would not only be cheaper, but from what I've seen in the last 4 months of our supposedly great health care system. Probably just as good if not better. In Peru many operations and procedures cost like $300 those same procedures here in the states start at $30,000 just from the hospital's portion of the bill, with out the Doctors bill. In Peru that $300 covers everything.
    And I've been there and seen it, and I've seen how sorry our Doctors and staff can be, quality isn't an issue, here it's strickly price.

    Now like you said, this isn't an option for everyone. But for those who have enough money to fly to another country, find cheap accommodations, seek treatment and fly home, It could all be done for less than a few thousand. Or cheaper than some copays for the same procedure done here in the states on an insurance plan.

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    53   10:51am Sun 3 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (2)   Protected  

    errc says

    Ellie, how do you define "eating right"?

    I kicked myself all f'ing day, the easiest and best answer was:

    "I'm right handed."

    Can I please take a mulligan on this one?

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    54   9:12am Mon 4 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike   Protected  

    Patrick says

    1. For non-essential care, all prices must be presented in advance of treatment. Every medical provider must have a publicly available price list! Yes, even if this means people make treatment decisions based on prices, which is what doctors say should never be allowed to happen.

    2. For essential care, the government must set prices. There is no free market when you are not free to walk away, so prices go to infinity, and beyond.

    Word.

    There is no reason, other than what you have just stated, for a typical MRI in Tampa to cost $2000 when in Tokyo, one of the most expensive cities on Earth, it only costs $250 cash and comes with tea and a 15-minute massage.CaptainShuddup says

    i would say for families that keeps a nice rainy day nest egg of about 40K or so.

    Medical vacations would not only be cheaper, but from what I've seen in the last 4 months of our supposedly great health care system. Probably just as good if not better. In Peru many operations and procedures cost like $300 those same procedures here in the states start at $30,000 just from the hospital's portion of the bill, with out the Doctors bill. In Peru that $300 covers everything.

    Yep, it's time to start applying "Free Trade" to US Medical Costs. My wife went to the emergency room when she twisted her hip real bad. Cost $40 for ambulance, admittance, x-ray, and consultation. I would have been out at least $250, and probably more like $500 in the US under most insurance schemes, just for the co-pay for the E-R.

    I also had a complete check up and cleaning including teeth x-ray for $15 a few months ago at the Dentist's. I didn't wait more than 5 minutes to be seen, either.

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    55   11:28am Mon 4 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Yes I said if you have 40K in a nest egg, but I didn't mean you would need all of it.
    You wouldn't want to be traveling anywhere in the world, without additional resources in the bank, for any problem you may encounter while traveling abroad.

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    56   11:53am Mon 4 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    Unfortunately the greed of western medicine is catching on in many thrid world rapidly developing countries, where doctors order unneceseray exams and make you go through stupid tests. In the end it is just massive human greed-against which we have nothing to fight against-unless you have medical knowledge too. Obamacare now just makes you pay a fine if you don't play.

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    57   11:04pm Mon 4 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)   Protected  

    CaptainShuddup says

    Yes I said if you have 40K in a nest egg, but I didn't mean you would need all of it.

    You wouldn't want to be traveling anywhere in the world, without additional resources in the bank, for any problem you may encounter while traveling abroad.

    Travel insurance, my friend. I've helped to arrange for several patients' transportation home after a stroke or other condition; without travel insurance it's nearly impossible. A medivac across the country can be $40k or more.

    And it's back to fucking insurance, huh?

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    58   7:53am Tue 5 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    thunderlips11 says

    There is no reason, other than what you have just stated, for a typical MRI in Tampa to cost $2000 when in Tokyo, one of the most expensive cities on Earth, it only costs $250 cash and comes with tea and a 15-minute massage

    An Asian massage with each MRI? Does it come with a happy ending?

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    59   6:38pm Wed 6 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    zzyzzx says

    MMR says

    I suspect that people who are 'all about money' don't often pursue medicine, since there are far easier ways to make money, like getting an MBA at a top 5 school.

    I'm pretty sure that the "all about money" types frequently pursue medicine.

    MMR and others ... easy money from top B-schools has a lot to do with one's parachute than educational achievement.

    Here's an anecdote to chew on ... an engineer with a high undergrad GPA, did post-sales engineering work for 3-4 years and then got his MBA from Wharton. He was recruited by neither banking nor management consulting firms. And he applied to all the MC firms. Simply put, his parachute was wrong. He needed to have "equity" analyst or "junior consultant" from a M&S or a Booz-Allen, to be on the list for those industries, prior to applying. Instead, he'd worked in telecom and eventually, became an alleged director to a CTO group for something like $150K, not a bad salary but still, not what you'd expect from a place like Wharton.

    Instead, if he'd scored let's say a 32-33 on his MCAT, he'd most likely be accepted to a medical school (granted not the top 25 [or even top 50] but still, a US AMA school) and later, he could become an anesthesiologist, earning $400K/yr, or if he doesn't like the OR scene, a pathologist for $250K/yr. Thus, for a person who's a good exam taker, if one is not *made* for investment banking or MC, then it's still better to become a doctor. And believe me, a lot of those folks have connections in those industries through friends and families.

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