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Old 04-17-2013
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Re: Medical Insurance

Not to disagree with you entirely, Med, but those same antibiotics (including Cipro for bladder problems) can be gotten for $4 at WalMart or for free at Publix (Florida supermarket chain with pharmacies) as can about 100-200 popular meds. And that same hospital that will try to charge you $2000 uninsured, will charge you $20 if they are required to accomodate uninsured unemployed according to income level, as many are if they participate in certain programs. But if you don't ASK, they won't offer, and you have to do the paperwork to qualify. I don't know if non-residents even can.

Which is part of the problem with the US medical system, some pay 100x more than others, and a 10x difference in costs is actually normal even for the same procedure as billed to insured patients. Trying to call around for a price for non-emergency care is greeted with the same astonishment as calling around to ask how or if one grooms one's pubic hair.

For a foreigner with no anticipation or clue about all this...well, even the medical insurance can be baffling. $600/head/month will buy you coverage with limits and gaps and a deductible (often $2000-5000) and for an individual not having a corporate or group rate, a fast thousand dollars a month isn't unusual for "good" coverage from a provider with a large network. And if you have less than perfect health to start with, you won't get those rates. Policies from the smaller cheaper providers will also sometimes mean a two week wait to be seen by one of their few approved doctors or clinics, a foreigner would also need to know what "in or out of network coverage" is all about.

And then of course, the threat of ObamaCare is making everyone change their terms and prices even as we speak.

What a mess.

Last edited by hellosailor; 04-17-2013 at 03:39 AM.
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