Free, Public Healthcare

Reply Fri 6 Nov, 2009 06:43 pm
Could you tell me what kind of insurance you have. I have to pay about 20% of most of my medical bills untill it gets above a certain point. I would love to save that 20%. I also pay about $600 a month for medical insurance on top ot the 20%.
Reply Sat 7 Nov, 2009 09:55 am
Well... my case is somewhat unique. I work for Cerner Corporation which is the leading provider of medical software in the world. I'm not sure which company they broker their insurance through because of the way the system is set up. We created a system called the "Healthe Exchange" and are trying to get other corporations to do it as well. My insurance card is a visa that ties to my HSA. We have our own clinic (right across from my building) on our main campus. Any care we seek there is free unless it requires something that must be sent to and outside office (like labs). There is also a pharmacy through which we can fill scripts for wholesale cost. To give you an idea, the random generic antibiotics would run you about $0.75. I think the last thing I picked up was about $5.

That all being said, we really only offer one plan which costs me about $500/mo and it's a cost share through my HSA. So if I were to need services, I would have to pay up to a certain % until I hit a certain $ amount. This part does annoy me because I can't buy a plan through them that is high-deductable, low premium. I'm pretty healthy and I very very very very rarely use any medical services.

One cool thing my company does to help with premiums... they give healthy discounts. You can opt to submit to a blood draw once a year and they run base labs (for free) and advise you on the results. You get a discount for every marker that is within normal parameters. They give a large discount for a negative cotinene (not smoking). And you can also get a discount for having regular dental exams, an eye exam, getting the flu shot (which they provide for free)... Pretty much anything you do to increase your health earns you points towards a $1000 discount. (1 point is 1 $).

I think plans like this are a great idea. This country is sick. A huge portion of our society are fat or smokers or any number of other self-induced things that ngatively affect their health. Just being overweight and a smoker increases your chance of cancer, heart disease, hypertension and a few other issues by as much as 80%! If we can find a way to get people to take better care of themselves in general, the cost of healthcare would fall like a rock. The biggest reason your premiums (and mine) are so expensive is that there are so many people who don't take care of themselves and therefore require constant medical attention. Many of them don't have insurance so the hospitals just have to eat the costs. This ends up raising the costs to those of us that can pay, so the insurance companies have to pay more... which means we have to pay more.
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