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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!
Old 05-20-2004, 04:59 AM   #21
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!

John,
I agree, one size doesn't fit everyone, but IMHO, folks here in the US are over medicated, no matter what their age is....how's the ad go? "Ask your doctor".

Now, about retiring at 87? who knows, but I often wonder what keeps Bill Gates motivated.

Billy
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!
Old 05-20-2004, 05:03 AM   #22
 
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!

Hi Billy! Guess I would agree about the
"overmedicated" part. I tend to watch this carefully
in my own case as everything you swallow is having some effect somewhere, and often not that whcih was
intended. I personally knew 2 people
who took lots of pills and felt just awful. They went
off cold turkey and got better immediately.

John Galt
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!
Old 05-20-2004, 05:12 AM   #23
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!

Hi John,
I think that's the point of the letter...right?

Hey if it worked for these folks...it might work for others. I doubt many doctors would agree.

And don't you just love those ads "call your doctor" like YOU could EVER get through to them...at least in the states.

Billy
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!
Old 05-20-2004, 05:42 AM   #24
 
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!

Yeah and when you have a health problem, you want
instant action, or at least I do. Don't you love it when
you call in for an appointment and the girl says the
first opening is next November? Here is a real life story.
I wanted an appointment with my ENT guy. Hadn't acually been to see him for several years, but I looked on
his business card and called the appointment desk
(this was last Friday). The person on the phone takes
some info (which they already have) and says "Our
first opening is July 21st." If I had a serious problem, I could be dead by then. Soooooooooo, I called his
office directly and talked to someone who knew me.
Bottom line; I made an appointment on Friday and got
in the following Monday (3 days).
Wealth, knowledge and all that stuff is helpful but only
being unwilling to give up is unstoppable. Most folks think I'm pushy, but I get what I want most of the time.

John Galt
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!
Old 05-20-2004, 06:19 AM   #25
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!

I agree the first line of defense is to try and stay healthy. After that, you're stuck with the system where you are at. My mother's Medicare Supplement is no longer adequate(I admit to being asleep at the switch) and the SO's(she's got a UAW auto union pension) medical coverage has eroded over the last ten years. This is a area that requires - now that I woke up - probably constant/on going attention and reminds of going back to work - like it cuts into my ER time and I don't like it.
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!
Old 05-20-2004, 06:54 AM   #26
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!

John,
Congratulations....and FYI, I do not find your "pushy" at all....ha, ha

It's all about service...how "we" let this system get to this point is beyond me. What other service industry can get away treating their customers in this manner? None, that I know of.

Can you imagine calling your car mechanic and he tells you that you cannot get in until July! You would find another...right? So why not with doctors?

I had an experience where I broke my wrist, and needed specialist care...After a month of surgery, five cast changes, xrays etc. I was due to leave the US, even though I still had a small cast on. When I told the dr this would be the last time he would see me, he went nuts, telling me the "he wasn't finished with me" ,and I could not leave. Two days later I was on the plane.

Oh, the stories we could tell.

Billy
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!
Old 05-20-2004, 07:21 AM   #27
 
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!

I see many areas in my folks financial life that need attention,
medical insurance being just one. My Dad thinks he has it all under control, but he doesn't and plus he is spending way too much money for what he gets, not only in the medical/insurance area, but elsewhere as
well. He doesn't shop around and he doesn't negotiate,
whereas I do both relentlessly. On the other hand,
unlike unclemick, there is little cutting into my ER time.
They don't ask for advice and I rarely offer any. In that
sense we are hoping Charles de Gaulle was right.

John Galt
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!
Old 05-20-2004, 08:57 AM   #28
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!

Let me "float" this idea....

We "outlaw" insurance...you go to the dr, you pay cash. They must post their prices on a menu, for visits, drugs, everything..sort of like a restaurant menu. Then if you do not like the prices at one, you can go to another.

There could be many variations of this idea, that could include medical accounts.

Any ideas as to what would happen to their prices?

Billy
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!
Old 05-20-2004, 08:36 PM   #29
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!

Hey Billy,

It's pretty much the way they do it here in Thailand. When I go to see the doc, I always ask "So, what will this cost me?" They never bat an eye and give me a remarkably close "estimate" of their services.

Man, do I love Thailand

Lance
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!
Old 05-20-2004, 09:13 PM   #30
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!

Hi Lance,
So why can this not be copied in the States? It can...

Since no one answered my question "As to what would happen to prices if we went to a cash system" I will...

Prices would fall, and service would improve.

Here's an article...I am hoping this is just the beginning.
http://www.geocities.com/ba264a/Doctors_and_Cash.htm

Billy
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!
Old 05-21-2004, 03:50 AM   #31
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!

Hey Billy,

I liked the article and I agree with you that a cash payment system would definitely be a good thing for US health care.

But…

IMHO, your way ahead of the troops on this one (troops being John Q. Public.) My take is that most Americans are jealously protective of and addicted to their $10 co-pay health insurance plans-and they won’t change readily. Sure, some thing’s gotta change but I see that taking a long, long time. Yes, there are (was 43 million the number?) uninsured US citizens, but there are a lot more who do have coverage.

Personally, I think most folks are pretty risk adverse. Case in point: ever buy a $500 television and the sales guy hits you up to but the “Extended Warranty” coverage, for a cool $59.95? OK, I’m making these numbers up but hopefully you’ll consider my point that the coverage was over priced-and probably not necessary. But many people opt for security to avoid the “big repair bill.”

The ER community seems to be supportive of accepting changes in health care, but, gosh, maybe it’s because we pay our own way…


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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!
Old 05-21-2004, 03:56 AM   #32
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!

Sorry for the weird stuff in these two posts; I do not know what I did wrong.



Hey Billy,

I liked the article and I agree with you that a cash payment system would definitely be a good thing for US health care.

But,

IMHO, your way ahead of the troops on this one (troops being John Q. Public) My take is that most Americans are jealously protective of and addicted to their $10 co-pay health insurance plans-and they will not change readily. Sure, some thing has gotta change but I see that taking a long, long time. Yes, there are (was 43 million the number) uninsured US citizens, but there are a lot more who do have coverage.

Personally, I think most folks are pretty risk adverse. Case in point: ever buy a $500 television and the sales guy hits you up to but the Extended Warranty coverage, for a cool $59.95? OK, I am making these numbers up but hopefully you will consider my point that the coverage was over priced-and probably not necessary. But many people opt for security to avoid the big repair bill.

The ER community seems to be supportive of accepting changes in health care, but, gosh, maybe it is because we pay our own way.
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!
Old 05-21-2004, 11:56 AM   #33
 
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!

Re. those "extended warranties", I made a small
mistake recently when we bought our condo in Texas.
As usual, the sellers signed the form to verify that
everything was in working order. Plus the realtor suggested I write the offer so that the sellers paid for
a long term warranty on all built in appliances. I
thought with that much going for me I did not even have
to see if the place had running water. Guess what??
So far I have fixed the water heater, garbage disposal
and the dish washer, none of which worked when I bought it. Obviously I can't go back to the seller.
Plus, I pay a $50.00 deductible fee for each separate
problem and the repairs are good for 30 days only.
Then I am on the hook for another $50.00. If it seems
too good to be true, it probably is.

John Galt
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!
Old 05-21-2004, 05:37 PM   #34
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!

Hey John, I can understand your taking the coverage when the seller paid the premiums. I hope that you have better luck with the appliances in your property.

But I'm sure you bought the place right and you WILL recoup -and then some- on sale day

All the best,

Lance
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!
Old 05-22-2004, 04:56 AM   #35
 
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!

Hi Lance. Yes, we will make out just fine on the condo.
But, if I had been more attentive, I might have used
the information to squeeze more money out of the
sellers. Always looking for an edge..............

John Galt
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!
Old 05-23-2004, 09:50 AM   #36
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!

TH:

Regarding car warranties.
They are very similar to small company health policies that were peddled years ago.

They covered everything but skin and contents.
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!
Old 05-23-2004, 10:04 AM   #37
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!

I guess the existential question is: would that be better coverage if you're thin skinned or thick skinned?

Or as the buddhist told the hot dog vendor "make me one with everything" :P
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!
Old 05-23-2004, 10:27 AM   #38
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!

More on Doctors and Cash

This from NBC
Doctors launch cash-only practices
Under new system, physicians are 'charging less and making more'

By Anne Thompson
Correspondent
NBC News
Updated: 8:23 p.m. ET May 19, 2004
In one Seattle doctor’s office, cash is king. There are no insurance cards, little paperwork and, ultimately, better medicine, says Dr. Vern Cherewatenko.

advertisement

“I really only have one person that I’m responsible for now, and that’s the patient that’s in front of me, and it allows that patient to get all the care that they want from me," he adds.

Six years ago, Cherewatenko was drowning in paperwork and red ink, accepting more than 300 different insurance plans with 7,500 different medical codes.

“We were losing $80,000 a month. We were inundated with paperwork. What we found is the more patients we saw, the more money we lost, and it was devastating,” he says.

'Charging less and making more'
Unable to survive, Cherewatenko discovered what he says is a better way — a cash-only practice that’s grown into a national network of 1,600 doctors.

“We have lowered our fees anywhere from 30 percent to 50 percent on some of our services which is incredible,” he says. “And it’s really charging less and making more.”

Steve Nord used to belong to an HMO, but he’s traded it in for a cheaper policy that only covers catastrophic illness, opting to save on premiums and pay for his own routine medical care. “It just made sense because there was no hassle,” says Nord. “I just figured I could save more money that way and pay as you go.”

Cash is simple, but is it a real solution to the nation’s health care crisis? Analysts say it’s only an answer for those who are very healthy or very wealthy.

Dr. Bob Blendon, professor of health policy at Harvard University, estimates that only 5 percent to 10 percent of Americans can benefit from such a system.

“It’s not really an answer for people who get sick, have large medical bills, need X-rays and drugs. Somebody has to pay for that, and those people are really going to need insurance coverage,” Blendon says.

Billy
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!
Old 05-23-2004, 10:47 AM   #39
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!

I posted on this a while ago. Theres actually a doctor network thats been formed and there are several doctors working in it down here in northern cal.
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!
Old 05-23-2004, 10:47 AM   #40
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Re: Medical Insurance - Another Bigger Problem!!

Here is is...
http://www.simplecare.com/index.htm
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