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Old 07-28-2007, 05:16 PM   #161
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Unfortunately even the jobs are requiring workers to pay more and more towards their health insurance .Young people are going without because the costs are too high .Several of my former co-workers (nurses ) went without health insurance because it was too much being taken out of their pay .
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Old 07-28-2007, 05:55 PM   #162
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It's really the only subject that's of interest to me on this forum.
This is an early retirement forum for those that "dropped out" or are hoping to do so at some point.

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It drives me nuts that a group of people who desire to retire early, at someone else's expense, want to ruin a decent system that serves the masses well by going single-payor, all in a vain attempt to be able retire 10 years early instead of working 'till age 65. In the meantime, our young people will get to pay out the ying yang so that y'all can get what you want, and then, by the time they get to be 55 years old, the system will be reduced to a socialized mess with long wait times for complicated health problems and a separate, private tier, that hardly any of them will be able to afford in retirement. At the same time, hardly any money will be left for them in the social security system either. So, in the meantime, they'll have to pay additional taxes, PLUS save for the possibility of needing private care, PLUS pay into social security, PLUS save for the social security they won't get in their old ages too.
Most if not all of us that have retired early were very prudent and driven to save, plan wisely, and work our butt off to achieve our goal (ER). While others spent, talked trash, and played high-roller - we saved and kept our focus on the goal (ER).

What drives me nuts is after retiring and running the numbers in as many ways as possible - we experience the greed of employers cutting benefits that were promised at time of retirement, insurance companies that have screwed the healthcare in this country (it's all about profit), and the politicians that have allowed it to happen.

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Can the system be improved upon? YES! But why do it with a single-payor system? IMO, in the long-run, that will be nothing short of disastrous. IMO, there are better ways to make improvements to our system.
You are simply wrong. I appreciate your passion for your job but you are wrong. Healthcare is not about your feelings, my feelings, it is about the basic rights of citizens of this country that are paying the bills. It is simply a question of priorities, it is not socialism (single-payer), and it is the right thing to do. It will happen and hopefully sooner rather than later.

Until you experience some of the things that are everyday occurrences that happen to millions of people in our present system - you might not understand. I don't think anyone on this forum or most people in general are asking for healthcare welfare - just a system that is not discriminatory, and to be honest I personally wish the middleman (insurance companies) were totally out of the picture. They had their chance and they blew it.

Peace
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Old 07-28-2007, 06:35 PM   #163
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I was quoted over $10,000/year 5k deductible for my individual policy and I am only 40 years old.
Hmmmm. That just doesn't sound right to me. I have no clue why NC is so expensive. In Colorado, a 5K deductible for a 40 yr old would run about $150/mo. (you can look at the quoting engine on my website if you send me a private message to request it.) I think if we could require people all over the country to have at minimum, a catastrophic plan, rates would begin to flatten and equalize substantially. One of the main reasons, I believe, for such high inflation is cost-shifing, in part due to healthy folks dropping out of the risk pool (and CHOOSING TO BE UNINSURED) as coverage becomes less and less affordable. The other big part of the cost-shifting to privately insured people is due to Medicare and Medicaid re-imbursement rates being too low. (about 25 cents on the dollar). Cost shifting, IMO, is at the root of our inflation problems (not profit taking, and not admin costs). We've always had admin costs and we've always had profits, but things didn't really start getting out of control until the invention of employer-sponsored health insurance (when people became disassociated from the cost of their care, and when Medicare and Medicaid grew to it's current levels. The bigger Medicare and Medicaid get, the more cost-shifting. The more cost-shifting, the more people drop out of the market, the more people drop out, the more expensive health insurance gets, and so on and so on.

My preference would be that the catastrophic plans be standardized by the gov't and offered, like medicare supplements, through private insurance. I don't beleive in price capping in a free market, so no, I wouldn't do that. However, I wouldn't be opposed to gov't subsidies on a sliding scale to cover the cost of the products.

I would also forbid employers from selling health insurance benefits, but I would encourage them, through tax incentives to open health reimbursement accounts (as a benefit for employees) that people could use to spend freely on health expenses as they wish - including health insurance premiums and deductibles.
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Old 07-28-2007, 06:43 PM   #164
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Hmmmm. That just doesn't sound right to me. I have no clue why NC is so expensive.
Didn't sound "right" to me either, but there it was. I had 2 pretty major surgeries in 2005 and no other insurance company would touch me at any cost. BCBS HAS to offer insurance to NC residents but they can charge whatever they want. THIS is what they offer folks like me. If I had no pre-existing conditions perhaps the rates would be more reasonable, but I do.
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Old 07-28-2007, 07:27 PM   #165
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This is an early retirement forum for those that "dropped out" or are hoping to do so at some point.

Most if not all of us that have retired early were very prudent and driven to save, plan wisely, and work our butt off to achieve our goal (ER). While others spent, talked trash, and played high-roller - we saved and kept our focus on the goal (ER).

What drives me nuts is after retiring and running the numbers in as many ways as possible - we experience the greed of employers cutting benefits that were promised at time of retirement, insurance companies that have screwed the healthcare in this country (it's all about profit), and the politicians that have allowed it to happen.

You are simply wrong. I appreciate your passion for your job but you are wrong. Healthcare is not about your feelings, my feelings, it is about the basic rights of citizens of this country that are paying the bills. It is simply a question of priorities, it is not socialism (single-payer), and it is the right thing to do. It will happen and hopefully sooner rather than later.

Until you experience some of the things that are everyday occurrences that happen to millions of people in our present system - you might not understand. I don't think anyone on this forum or most people in general are asking for healthcare welfare - just a system that is not discriminatory, and to be honest I personally wish the middleman (insurance companies) were totally out of the picture. They had their chance and they blew it.

Peace
I happen to think that was a fantastic post. Hey, why don't you post more often ?
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Old 07-28-2007, 07:41 PM   #166
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Didn't sound "right" to me either, but there it was. I had 2 pretty major surgeries in 2005 and no other insurance company would touch me at any cost. BCBS HAS to offer insurance to NC residents but they can charge whatever they want. THIS is what they offer folks like me. If I had no pre-existing conditions perhaps the rates would be more reasonable, but I do.
Oh, now I see....Yes, guaranteed issue plans are expensive to compensate for the additional risk. They have to be. People generally don't sign up for them until they need them, so there isn't any wiggle worm for insurance companies to compensate for the additional risk, unless they charge higher premiums. Medically underwritten plans are much less expensive, because people buy them before they get sick, so the prices don't need to be as high...... See, that's why I'm in favor of mandated catastrophic coverage. That would eliminate the problem of differences in cost between underwritten and guaranteed issue plans right there...because there would no longer be any concern for adverse selection. Everyone would be participating.
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Old 07-28-2007, 07:45 PM   #167
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As I said in a previous post, lots of this is really over my head. I did TRY to get health insurance from other companies, they wouldn't cover me... at any cost. So, you are saying that mandated catastrophic coverage would be different? Every company would have to offer me/everyone insurance at a "reasonable" price? If not, what would be the difference from now? Help me understand please.
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Old 07-28-2007, 07:48 PM   #168
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You are simply wrong. I appreciate your passion for your job but you are wrong. Healthcare is not about your feelings, my feelings, it is about the basic rights of citizens of this country that are paying the bills. It is simply a question of priorities, it is not socialism (single-payer), and it is the right thing to do. It will happen and hopefully sooner rather than later.

Peace
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Old 07-28-2007, 08:05 PM   #169
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sorry, double post, wasn't me, was the 1.5 yr old - she wanted to chime in...
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Old 07-28-2007, 08:06 PM   #170
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Mike - I have to say I am in agreement with you on this question. The main reason why Kaiser, in particular, gets heat over making too much profit is because Kaiser is a HUGE proponent of single-payor systems. Why? Because Kaiser is trying to position themselves as THE single-payor....and they're doing a pretty good job at it. It would be hypocritical of them to take too much profit. (I can't stand hypocricsy). In all likelihood...if we ever get to the point where we go single-payor, Kaiser will be the system that the gov't will contract with to administrate it.....and that's exactly what they want. Don't be fooled folks...Kaiser is no different than any other evil, profit-taking corporation...they are preparing for a single-payor system and they know that they will be one of the only health administration systems that survives and profits off of it!
perhaps you don't understand the nature of "NOT- FOR - PROFIT" they would lose their tax status if they made a profit or profit that wasn't reinvested - and kaiser does a lot of great studies, research that benefits the general public, aside from their selfish desire to better serve their patients and reduce their costs by educating them...those sneaky devils. why don't you give them a call and tell them to stop airing all those selfish, manipulative, "eat more broccoli" commercials...

if their mission is to grow and serve more people, then they are/will achieve their mission...to your horror...

we've had kaiser for a while and have been well served. 2 babies, son got an MRI and physical therapy for a knee injury - got an appointment (don't shudder, we had to wait a week for the appt and one week for the mri) and immediate PT once they figured out what was up w/ his knee. kids go in the day of if they are sick, the next day if not that bad. love the advice nurses and always get next day appt if need be...

when i had a ppo i had to search all the doctors on my own, deal w/ each individual bureaucracy - drive somewhere else to get my friggin blood drawn, drive somewhere else for the prescription, drive somewhere else.. you get the picture...and i paid more!
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Old 07-28-2007, 08:43 PM   #171
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I think I'm pretty set on the pre-existing conditions, thanks.
Just cant stop pushing that "view post" button, can ya?

Its like watching a train wreck.
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Old 07-28-2007, 09:27 PM   #172
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As I said in a previous post, lots of this is really over my head. I did TRY to get health insurance from other companies, they wouldn't cover me... at any cost. So, you are saying that mandated catastrophic coverage would be different? Every company would have to offer me/everyone insurance at a "reasonable" price? If not, what would be the difference from now? Help me understand please.
Government is free to regulate insurance companies. Either the state or the federal government could mandate that insurance companies cover everyone.

I recommend reading this booklet that talks about private insurance: http://www.healthinsuranceinfo.net/n..._Insurance.pdf

Elsewhere on the same site you can look at consumer guides for your state that tells you what your rights are: Health Insurance Consumer Guides.

Unfortunately, North Carolina is pretty tough on those with pre-existing conditions that are unable to buy on the open market. The cost is very high and IIRC, the lifetime maximums may be somewhat low. Some other states offer better benefits for people in your position.
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Old 07-28-2007, 09:56 PM   #173
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Just cant stop pushing that "view post" button, can ya?
I wish you hadn't said that! I was blissfully ignorant of its existence until you made me curious enough to go looking for it. Still haven't pushed one yet.

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Its like watching a train wreck.
Actually this thread is doing just fine by seeing the reactions of the other posters. It's like H0cus-- you don't have to read his posts to know what he's saying (or, to be precise, not saying). You can still learn a lot about the subject by reading the other poster's responses with the added bonus of not being distracted by all the crap.

I still can't tell if MKLD is a H0cus-level world-class troll sent here to torment Rich_in_Tampa & Martha, or an extraordinarily obsessed poster. Somewhere there must be a discussion board devoted to healthcare & insurance issues that would no longer make it necessary for MKLD to hang out here insulting the posters who've worked/are working so hard to ER.
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Old 07-28-2007, 10:10 PM   #174
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I think MKLD reflects the point of view of the health insurance industry. As much as I disagree with him, it is interesting to read his arguments because they reflect those who will make every effort to maintain the status quo.
Yes, agreed. It is thankfully a viewpoint that is fast going the way of the dinosaurs.
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Old 07-28-2007, 10:13 PM   #175
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Just cant stop pushing that "view post" button, can ya?

Its like watching a train wreck.
Well, to be fair, I didn't block them until this thread and I didn't hit the view post link until you quoted some absurdity. I can't stop now, no.

I'll try, though.

Man, it's like chocolate for the soul.
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Old 07-28-2007, 10:56 PM   #176
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perhaps you don't understand the nature of "NOT- FOR - PROFIT"
You're right. I mean, I understand the words, not-for-profit....I just wasn't thinking about them in that way, because their premiums are no better/lower than any other carriers in the Colorado Springs market right now, and that's the area where I work. Their motivation is probably more of job security for the employees and CEO etc. Strange, but in Colorado Springs, Kaiser insurance is running at a higher premium on average than most of the other carriers right now. How can that be, if the other carrier's are raking customers over the coals with profits?

PPOs do have their place in the market. Some people LIKE having the freedom to leave the network if they want to and still have benefits. It's all really up to the individual. Some prefer HMOs and some prefer PPOs.
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Old 07-28-2007, 11:00 PM   #177
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Maybe because Kaiser charges community based rates...
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Old 07-29-2007, 12:43 AM   #178
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Huh...in northern cal kaisers rates are half of any other PPO or HMO option I could find. And thats before factoring in that they dont charge for labs or tests, no deductibles, and nothing other than a small office visit/co-pay.

But I think that benefit is easy to figure out. No scum sucking insurance agents eating up my premium dollars with bureaucracy, and a big entity that can negotiate good drugs rates and doesnt have to pay a separate pharmacy business's profit margins either.

Just like Canada!
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Old 07-29-2007, 08:05 AM   #179
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Huh...in northern cal kaisers rates are half of any other PPO or HMO option I could find. And thats before factoring in that they dont charge for labs or tests, no deductibles, and nothing other than a small office visit/co-pay.

But I think that benefit is easy to figure out. No scum sucking insurance agents eating up my premium dollars with bureaucracy, and a big entity that can negotiate good drugs rates and doesnt have to pay a separate pharmacy business's profit margins either.

Just like Canada!
One thing is that in Colorado Springs, Kaiser doesn't have any of their own facilities like they do in Denver and California, so maybe that's why their prices aren't any lower down here. In CS, they just have doctors that network with them, and people HAVE to use those doctors. If people leave the network, there's no coverage, but the premiums for the Kaiser insurance are actually HIGHER than other carriers in our city. It has nothing to do with community rating. In CS, all the carriers use age banding for small groups and community rating for groups of 10 or more.

In Denver, however, Kaiser has their own facilities and doctors that work for them, so the premiums are lower. People who buy Kaiser products in Denver MUST use the facilities in Denver. Also, if they live in Denver area, but want to user a Kaiser networked doctor in Colorado Springs, they CAN'T! They are required to use ONLY doctors in their servicing area. That's probably how Kaiser keeps their rates down in Denver - because they have a pretty tight handle over their network and provider costs there. So...if someone in the Kaiser network wants to use Dr. Stedman, the famous knee surgeon in Vail, CO...too bad! They have to use the Kaiser orthopedic surgeon, even if he/she doesn't have the same expertise as Dr. Stedman. It is a form of care rationing, albeit...not as bad as it would be in a single-payor system.

We actually SELL Kaiser in Colo. Spgs AND Denver, and we earn commission on our sales....so there's still a middle man for Kaiser in Colorado. We even have a large Kaiser group in CA as a client, and we earn commision on that group too. In Colorado, Kaiser makes up for the low copays and deductibles by charging high per admission hospitalization fees. So, if someone needs to be hospitalized more than once in a year, they are looking at a $500, $1000 or more PER ADMISSION fee each time they get admitted. Whereas, with the PPO plans, hospitalization applies to the Cal year deductible, and when that's met, you don't have to worry about it anymore until the next calendar year.

Cute! I think you've hit the nail on the head! My husband and I have talked about this before, but talking about it has brought the idea back to me. What if....what if the gov't opened up something like Kaiser facilities for everyone who needs subsidized care. People would be required to at minimum, purchase a plan within their servicing area which gave acces to ONLY the gov't owned Kaiser facility. These people would ONLY be allowed to use the Kaiser facilities in their servicing area. The doctors would work for the gov't. For anyone who wants private care, we can keep a private system in place as it is now.
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Old 07-29-2007, 08:08 AM   #180
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Since I am new here, perhaps someone can give me a little bit of advice??!!?? Am I feeding a troll with my posts? If so, I'll stop. I really want to know.......
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