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Healthcare Where You Are.  
User currently offlinegosimeon From Ireland, joined Jan 2008, 663 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1457 times:

Hey,

I had my first experience of the German healthcare system this week. I had to see a dermotologist, and was expecting to pay through my teeth. Turned out it cost just 10 euro to see him, and then the perscription was covered too. All on the public healthcare plan - I think I pay around 15% of my wage towards the insurance and it seems to be a decent deal. I must say I was impressed. I am moving to Sweden soon and have been told they have an excellent system too.

My English friends at work all miss the NHS system, which aparently was quite good (despite the odd mess-up).

So, what do you think about the healthcare system where you are, and why? I find the whole thing fascinating, the way different countries have such different attitudes to healthcare.

36 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinetravelavnut From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 1670 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1446 times:

Great in the Netherlands, I pay a relatively high 150 euro's a month (got some dental add-ons in the insurance). But I never have to worry about a thing.

Although everyone in the Netherlands is insured, it's isn't a public health plan. My insurer is a commercial company like all insurers in the Netherlands.

The government only mandates that every insurer offers the same basic plan. There is no maximum price for this plan, the free market makes sure it is quite cheap. If you want extras, like me, you pay more. That's it. All very fair, nothing socialist about it.

In short the Dutch law governs our health care system (insurance wise) like this;

- All insurers on the Dutch market must offer the same basic plan at the bottom of their product range
- Insurers are completely free to offer more extensive packages at their own digression
- Pricing is free, however: it must be the same price for everyone, regardless of age, medical conditions, handicaps, etc. So I pay the same as a fat, 60 year old smoker.
- Nobody can be denied insurance. If you pay the list price for a certain package you are insured
- All the insurers on the Dutch market must contribute into a fund that pays for the very small group of people that are not insured. Ie; migrants, homeless, etc
- You must insured by law, most people are. If you're not there is a fund for treatment, but you're actively encouraged to take insurance. In my quite large social group I know of no one that is not insured.


All in all a very fair system where no one is left behind but 99% of the people pay monthly fees.

[Edited 2011-07-08 05:49:10]

[Edited 2011-07-08 05:50:27]

[Edited 2011-07-08 05:51:53]


Live From Amsterdam!
User currently offlineFingerLakerAv8r From United States of America, joined May 2011, 259 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1435 times:

Here in the states I don't think anyone will disagree that the system is broken and needs repair. The debate is how to repair it but thats for another thread.

I have insurance through my employer (thank god) and the last time I went to the doctor I had no co-pay after the visit but had to shell out 117 dollars for the bloodwork, 10 dollars for prescriptions and 25 dollars for the co-pay for the referral to the specialist.

So for a minor medical issue it cost me 152.00 USD. Could be better but sure as hell could have been more expensive.

And yes I am healthy now.... physically..... we still haven't touched my mental issues 


User currently offlinetravelavnut From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 1670 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1429 times:

Quoting FingerLakerAv8r (Reply 2):
So for a minor medical issue it cost me 152.00 USD. Could be better but sure as hell could have been more expensive.

Didn't your work insurance re-imburse that amount?

EDIT: Do'h, I need to learn to read  Wink But that's quite a co-pay for such simple work!

[Edited 2011-07-08 06:05:39]


Live From Amsterdam!
User currently offlineFingerLakerAv8r From United States of America, joined May 2011, 259 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1416 times:

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 3):
Didn't your work insurance re-imburse that amount?
Quoting travelavnut (Reply 3):
EDIT: Do'h, I need to learn to read But that's quite a co-pay for such simple work!

I was re-imbursed. I would have used my FSA to pay everything but since it's like a credit card it has a magnetic strip that was messed up. SO I had to wait for the new card and submit everything and in about a month I was re-imbursed.

The 117.00 bloodwork bill wasn't fully covered because it was considered "elective". Sorry but I think that making sure that all that flows through your veins is healthy shouldn't be "elective" lol. But again.... another thread for another day!


User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7966 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1412 times:

Quoting gosimeon (Thread starter):
I think I pay around 15% of my wage towards the insurance and it seems to be a decent deal.

You are paying half of 15.5% towards the insurance. The other half is covered by your employer.

Quoting gosimeon (Thread starter):
Turned out it cost just 10 euro to see him

For each quarter of the year, yes. You have been to a dermatologist in the 3rd quarter of the year. Would you have to see a dentist in August or September, you would need a "Überweisungsschein" (letter of referral?) from your dermatologist. This way you would not not have to pay another 10 Euro to your dentist.
Would you see your dentist in November, 4th quarter, you would have to pay the 10 EUR again, no matter what.
The idea behind that is that the 10 EUR should keep you from visiting doctors to cure you from petty annoyances or see somebody to talk to because you feel bored.

Quoting gosimeon (Thread starter):
and then the perscription was covered too.

That comes as surprise as you would have to cover 10% - up to EUR 10 - of the price yourself.

The total costs for seeing doctors and for prescribed medicin must not exceed 2% of your income - 1% if you or one of your family members are chronically ill.

We have three groups here in Germany.

1) Statuory health insurance - covers by far the most people (~80%) and is mandatory to most employees as well.
You can buy an additional private health insurance on top of that, but it makes little sense in my opinion.

2) Private health insurance - top earners (49,500 EUR / year gross income and above) can be covered by private health insurance. Many, however, choose not to and pick the statuory health insurance because it does have its benefits - especially when you get older, have family or are chronically ill. Once you pick private health insurance it is difficult to go back to the statuory health insurance. This is to make it difficult for you to use private health insurance as long as you are young and healthy.

3) Voluntarily uninsured.Self-employed can stay uninsured if they want, most don't wish to. The percentage is significantly smaller than 10 percent.



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineALTF4 From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 1214 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1410 times:

I pay ~$3 per month for dental, with everything covered, including major items such as root canals, etc, and two exams per year. No copay.

I pay $5 per month for vision coverage, with a $250 allowance for frames, $300 for lenses I believe, and one new set of lenses and frames every year, and an eye exam every year. No copay.

I pay $8 per month for health insurance. Preventative care is 100% free. Prescriptions are $5 flat, no matter what. They deposit $750 a year into a "flex account", which is used to cover all deductibles (non-preventative care visits, etc) and prescriptions. After I use that $750, I pay out of pocket another $250, then they cover 100% from there on. Oh, and that $750 rolls over every year. Copays for non-preventative care is deducted from that $750 /year.

All said, I am spending less than $200 a year for any health issue. You could argue I could have a higher salary from my employer in exchange for a lesser insurance plan, but they don't offer that. They only allow you to waive coverage and then reimburse the monthly amounts above. Besides, they are paying me 25% more than I expected, so I'm not complaining.



The above post is my opinion. Don't like it? Don't read it.
User currently offlineajd1992 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1398 times:

Having experienced enough of my NHS in the last week (chest pains, numb left arm, a bit scary at 18!) I can't see much WRONG with it, however, they properly admitted me just because if they do they are granted more money by the Government, apparently, which is irritating as my girlfriend had booked (and paid for) a track day in a single seater that I had to miss.

That and I had to wait 9 hours to have 2 blood tests, 2 ECG scans and a chest x-ray, which sucked, but for the price I paid (i.e. nothing) I can't really complain.


User currently offlinegosimeon From Ireland, joined Jan 2008, 663 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1398 times:

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 5):
You are paying half of 15.5% towards the insurance. The other half is covered by your employer.

That makes more sense, thanks for explaining. I guess I should try pay more attention to my payslip!!  
Quoting NoUFO (Reply 5):
That comes as surprise as you would have to cover 10% - up to EUR 10 - of the price yourself.

I was suprised myself, but the pharmacist told me I did not have to pay. I was collecting in the evening after giving my perscription in the morning - perhaps she assumed it was paid for?

Quoting ALTF4 (Reply 6):
All said, I am spending less than $200 a year for any health issue.

Wow, you've got quite the deal there! How come it is on averga emore expensive in the US, but your deal is so good? Young and healthy I guess?!

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 1):
Great in the Netherlands, I pay a relatively high 150 euro's a month (got some dental add-ons in the insurance). But I never have to worry about a thing.

I like the Dutch system. Everybody gets care, nobody gets ripped off. I hope my home country Ireland can introduce a similar system, I know it's in the plans for the new government there.

[Edited 2011-07-08 06:42:18]

User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8298 posts, RR: 26
Reply 9, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1386 times:

I use the NHS system in Japan, which is of course mandatory. The only people not enrolled are either foreigners whose employers are screwing them or foreigners who are idiots and don't enroll voluntarily.

Our premiums run about $275 for a family of four, and my employer kicks in roughly 50% of that amount. Self-employed people get a substantial discount.

For doctor visits we can see anyone we like, and all prescriptions, tests, and treatments are covered at the standard rate. For full-time employees like myself, an annual health check covering physical, ECG, blood work w/lipid panel, and chest/pelvic ultrasounds is mandatory. Co-pays for any type of visit except the annual health check are 30% of the bill and the government picks up 70%. This is paid when you arrive at the clinic/hospital as they already have what you'll have done in the system. My employer has supplemental private insurance that will pick up the 30% we pay out of pocket if I submit a claim form.

Some clinics and hospitals here are still using paper records but the place we regularly use is a university hospital and they have an impeccable digital records system. Physicians simply pull up your file on the screen and its got everything on there - your history, past scans, ultrasounds, anything are all right there on screen for them to review at a glance. Pretty damn cool.



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlineflipdewaf From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2006, 1578 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1386 times:
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I pay nothing (other than my taxes) and I get whatever care I need for free, NHS is great, I have never had any real problems (other than having to wait 4 hrs once but the boy who fell out of the train was important than me in that case).

I like the NHS because I'm free to ride my mountain bike as fast as I like withuot having to worry about the potential costs.

Fred


User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7966 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1374 times:

Quoting gosimeon (Reply 8):
Quoting NoUFO (Reply 5):
That comes as surprise as you would have to cover 10% - up to EUR 10 - of the price yourself.

I was suprised myself, but the pharmacist told me I did not have to pay. I was collecting in the evening after giving my perscription in the morning - perhaps she assumed it was paid for?

Unlikely. We call that "Rezeptgebühr", literally prescription fee, so I don't think the pharmacist erred. Perhaps some drugs are excempted from said fee.



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineBraniff747SP From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 3016 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1373 times:

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 1):

150 Euros with dental and never pay anything more? My mother has to pay $900 (Granted, she is over 50) and still has a high co-pay rate.... and dental is something different. Insurance in Europe is so much cheaper for so much more.... Our system in the US is broken.

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 9):
ur premiums run about $275

My father pays for himself, me, and my 2 half-sisters... it's over a grand a month, still with crazy co-pay rates...



The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7966 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1371 times:

Quoting flipdewaf (Reply 10):
I like the NHS because I'm free to ride my mountain bike as fast as I like withuot having to worry about the potential costs.

That's actually a bad thing.
Here in Germany we think of excluding such costs from coverage. You would then need a special insurance to cover accidents. I am all for it. It is your problem when you skiing and break your leg because you think you're Superman.



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlinetravelavnut From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 1670 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1364 times:

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 12):
150 Euros with dental and never pay anything more?

Well not exactly, the basic cheap package (which runs around 60-110 euro's a month IIRC depending on the insurer) also includes normal dental (check-ups, filling cavaties, etc). But I needed quite extensive work, with that ~90 euro premium I can have my teeth shaped in any shape I want I guess  Until now no co-pays whatsoever.



Live From Amsterdam!
User currently offlineajd1992 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1359 times:

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 13):
That's actually a bad thing.
Here in Germany we think of excluding such costs from coverage. You would then need a special insurance to cover accidents. I am all for it. It is your problem when you skiing and break your leg because you think you're Superman.

The only way you would need to pay in the UK is if you wanted private healthcare (which you are completely entitled to do, if you want to pay for it and not just use the NHS).

A lot of broken bones and the like are through stupidity so eventually you'd have to make everybody pay for their injury. Where would you draw the line?


User currently offlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1358 posts, RR: 14
Reply 16, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1354 times:

Israel has a mandatory health insurance low, every Israeli must have an health insurance in one of 5 companies competing each other known as 'health funds' . Payment is done according to one's salary - the more you earn the more you pay, and the other way around. The insurance include what most people need, yet the funds can sell you additional aspects to the insurance if a patient thinks he needs one. I only have the basic one, it covers pretty much everything, my doctor is great, by the way.

Israel's health system is considered to be one of the best in the world, and the life expectancy of the Israelis is among the highest in the world. It is common that patients from other parts of the world come to be treated in Israeli hospitals, mainly from Eastern Europe.



"In Israel, on order to be a realist, one's must believe in miracles" - David Ben Gurion.
User currently offlineflipdewaf From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2006, 1578 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1324 times:
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Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 15):
Where would you draw the line?

FAT PEOPLE!!!!!! I cant be dealing with them, unless you are found to have a specific problem then there are no excuses! EAT LESS, EXERCISE MORE!!!! they should also be allowed less luggage on flights but that isnt for this thread.

Fred


User currently offlineALTF4 From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 1214 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1321 times:

Quoting gosimeon (Reply 8):
Wow, you've got quite the deal there! How come it is on averga emore expensive in the US, but your deal is so good? Young and healthy I guess?!

Young and healthy for one, so I don't have to pay much in the way of copays, etc.

Also, the company I work for has some incredible benefits, so I'm hardly paying anything. They are, I'm sure, paying quite a bit though.



The above post is my opinion. Don't like it? Don't read it.
User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7966 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1302 times:

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 15):
A lot of broken bones and the like are through stupidity so eventually you'd have to make everybody pay for their injury. Where would you draw the line?

Accidents are accidents and naturally differ from sickness and illness. You would have to pay into an accident insurance which probably would like to know about your lifestyle to calculate the risk. If you go skiing and 'forget' to tell them that you do, you'd have to cover parts of the costs.



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineMoltenRock From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1258 times:

The US healthcare insurance system is so ridiculously bad it's hard to fathom until you've had the displeasure of being in it, and actually needing it. I was in an auto accident a number of years ago and spent a few weeks in the hospital. Trying to simply figure out what is charged by the hospital, what is written off, what is paid by insurance, and who gets what is a Sisyphean task. When a surgery is needed, no one can even tell you how much it will cost in total, or what your share will be. Not even a good faith estimate, like you would get when buying a home using a mortgage.

I have also lived in Prague, and now Singapore. I must say the way Singapore handles its healthcare system is pretty admirable, efficient, and clearly defined of what everything will cost. From what I understand China has adopted a similar system to Singapore for their new healthcare initiative.


User currently offlineAesma From Reunion, joined Nov 2009, 6962 posts, RR: 12
Reply 21, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1210 times:

I experienced the NHS once, I was visiting family on the Isle of Wight and had some stitches on the head to remove, it was a good experience, not much waiting and nothing to pay.

Here in France the system is good overall but is not improving (Sarkozy added some things to pay that weren't there before, like one euro for each drug box, and each doctor's visit). At the moment I'm healthy so I don't pay too much attention. The financing is by a tax on salaries, around 7,50 %. In fact it's a tax on money you earn so it is also applicable to financial and games gains. That tax also pays for some other stuff, like a minimum pension for old people who didn't work enough, money for parents (poor and rich alike), money to help those on the minimum wage and students to pay for rent, etc. Everybody gets health coverage with this, and people with no money are taken care of (if they really have nothing, they don't pay the 1€ I talked about, but people with as little as 800€/month and possibly big medical conditions have to pay). Now, if you don't want the cheapest dental work or glasses, you can take a private insurance, that will cover those, and things like contraception, better amenities if you end up at the hospital, etc. It's relatively cheap, my current plan is 30€/month and I can buy 300€ in glasses alone so I wonder how they make money (actually, I don't bother to buy new glasses every year so that's probably how). People with no job can also get that private insurance for free, so most people have it. Also, I said private insurance but they usually are owned by the customers so they actually don't need to make money for shareholders.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineajd1992 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1183 times:

Quoting flipdewaf (Reply 17):
FAT PEOPLE!!!!!! I cant be dealing with them, unless you are found to have a specific problem then there are no excuses! EAT LESS, EXERCISE MORE!!!! they should also be allowed less luggage on flights but that isnt for this thread.

Fred

Let me ask you this - are you perfect weight for your height down to the ounce?

I certainly am not (16st 7, 5'10, should be around 12st 6), and I dare say the majority of people you deal with day to day are not, so cut the crap about fat people. Ever consider people might just like to eat? I'm guilty of that, as I'm sure you're guilty of gorging on a tub of ice cream or a packet of chocolate digestives to yourself after a hard day at work every so often. If you tell me you've never done that, then I'm afraid I will have to bring out the bullshit flag.

Fat people are not the biggest drain on NHS money by far - smokers are. If you are going to pick a fight with a group of people who do things "by choice", pick them. Nobody chooses to be fat, they might end up fat through laziness, but 99% of people will not do it deliberately (as in "lets see how much weight I can gain before this or that happens to me). Smokers smoke through choice, yet they do not pay for their smoking related health problems. I certainly don't do more harm than a guy who's been smoking for 40 years and has assorted problems such as cancer and respiratory problems.

So, tell me again, who is the bigger problem here? Pun NOT intended.  

(I realise this may come across as rude, but I cannot stand people who pick on bigger people because they're on the large size. Pisses me right off.)


User currently offlinethomfly757 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2010, 27 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 1159 times:

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 22):

Great way to put it, completely agree with you   



Yes I Can.
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8483 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 1152 times:

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 7):
That and I had to wait 9 hours to have 2 blood tests, 2 ECG scans and a chest x-ray, which sucked, but for the price I paid (i.e. nothing) I can't really complain.

We have been through that more than a few times when my wife was being treated for leukemia. The ERs are packed and it takes hours waiting in the ER room before being seen - and that is when we were paying over $1,200 for private insurance a month. It is also when my wife was at risk of catching every bad bug in the waiting rooms.

Until we have a system where people can go to the doctor, or minor emergency clinics, that are today not affordable we will continue to have the unnecessary waits.


25 imiakhtar : Everybody's different. There is no perfect weight. Generally however, it is advisable to keep your bmi lower than 25. Anyone with a bmi greater than
26 sccutler : Dear friend of mine is a native Canadian; tells me that he misses the Canadian system not one whit, because each time he really needed care (as he put
27 bananaboy : Not to further derail the thread, but the large amount of tax on the price of cigarettes could be considered a contribution towards healthcare - 10 a
28 janmnastami : According to the World Health Organization, in 2000 Italy had the second best world's health system, after France. I don't know if that ranking was co
29 vaporlock : I am a Canadian living in Toronto, Ontario and our healthcare is fantastic. We sometimes have a bit of a wait in emergency rooms but there is not to m
30 jcs17 : I pay close to $300 a month with my company for health/dental in New York, which is ridiculous. It's absolutely amazing, I could pay $250 a month as a
31 Aaron747 : Absolutely no different over here under triple payer. My mother in law had heart palpitations and SOB one Saturday morning three years ago and we too
32 ajd1992 : I know it's a little bit more than what it should be - I am trying to get it down to around 25 by eating better and doing some more exercise. If you
33 Post contains links MoltenRock : For the company I work for, our US operations pays about $1,220 for individuals ($1,000 by company, $220 by employee), $1,650 for couples, and nearly
34 squared : Frankly, your friend sounds rather dramatic. If he really was so close to death, he would have received treatment. There are Canadians that do head S
35 sccutler : There is no question that he was being dramatic; I am confident that, had he presented with a life-threatening condition, he would have been tended-t
36 777ER : In New Zealand, public hospital treatment is free including operations, birth etc. doctor visits is part payed for by the Government. Accident injury
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