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Cancer free - but it cost me $3000 to know

 
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 06:07 am
Don't get me wrong - I am grateful for all the Drs. expertise and high tech machines that let me know I don't have breast cancer. (2 mammograms, surgeon's office call, stereotactic biopspy at 3 sites, ultrasound, 2 more sets mamograms) but it costs me out of pocket since I don't have insurance. The hospital gave me 10% discount on their costs. I am not technically low income so I could not tap into any of those programs.

It just shouldn't cost so much to tell a person whether or not they have cancer.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 4,301 • Replies: 25
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Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 06:16 am
@sullyfish6,
Hi Sully, I'm part of your club too. I just spent $1,600 to find out the thing on my leg was not skin cancer. What's even better is we pay on average 25% more for a test because we don't have insurance. Labs charge the uninsured more because we don't have "group buying power". The rest of the developed world looks at our system and just shake their heads in dismay, we even have Americans threatening to kill politicians who are trying to fix the problem. Go figure.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 06:19 am
Just a little PS - you might want to join this group or get on their email list. I can't say I love every tactic they come up with, but they will keep you informed as to who's proposing what: http://www.healthcare-now.org/
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 06:22 am
@sullyfish6,
Out of curiosity, what do you think would be a more reasonable cost.

It sounds like they gave you a 10% discount on THEIR costs...I imagine that means you paid even less than it cost the hospital to administer the tests.
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 06:31 am
@maporsche,
Maporsche, Americans pay the highest rates in the world for their healthcare. My girlfriend in France pays $3,600 in taxes per year for total healthcare. She has never seen any other medical bill. Tests that cost thousands in America costs hundreds in Canada or Mexico. Did you see the recent episode on 60 minutes about medical tests and genetic patents? It explains part of this problem, especially concerning the test Sully had. Here's a link:
p://www.cbsnews.com/sections/60minutes/main3415.shtml



maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 06:35 am
@Green Witch,
No, I understand. But we pay the most for a lot of things. Our cars are more expensive. Our clothes are more expensive. Our food is more expensive.

We pay more because we are a richer country (and because we put an artificial limit on how many doctors we can employ and what they need to be know/do to earn a medical certification, from what I understand other countries are not as rigid as we are (and do not suffer because of it)).
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 06:36 am
Here's an article from AARP that looks at your exact question:
http://www.aarpmagazine.org/health/health_care_costs.html


0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 06:43 am
@maporsche,
Some of us are richer, but not all. We have far more people living in poverty, with almost zero healthcare, than countries like France, Denmark, Canada, England etc. Why does Cuba have fewer infant mortality deaths than America? Maybe because they take care of their people no matter what their income level.
Look at where the US is on this list:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_infant_mortality_rate

We may be rich, but we end up with a lot of dead babies because the rich here don't want to share. Those countries above us have one thing in common- healthcare for all, paid by all.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 06:45 am
@maporsche,
Quote:
Our food is more expensive.

This is not true. Americans pay some of the cheapest food prices in the world. We spend less of our income on our food than practically any other country. You need to get out of South Dakota(?) and travel a little. Start with Northern Europe and let me know what you think about their transportation system, healthcare and living standards. You will be embarrassed when you compare them with what we have in the US.
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 06:49 am
@Green Witch,
I'm not arguing against reform, nor the problems with our medical system. I agree very much with that AARP article you just posted. I'm just curious what people think we should be paying. I've been paying for health insurance for 10 years at roughly $5000/year (between me and my employer), and my estimates show that I've only used maybe $7000 in care. Your GF in France pays regardless of whether she uses any care. If she only went to the doctor once, she paid $3600 for a doctor visit.

Cheaper for some, but not for all.

I live in Chicago, and have been to 13 different countries, although none of them in Europe, mostly the Americas and the Philippines.
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 06:55 am
@Green Witch,
I don't know; of the 13 countries I've been too, food has been far far far cheaper than what I pay in the US...and much better generally.

I love the Phillippines, I don't think I ever paid more than $6 (American) for dinner and had some of the best food I've ever eaten.
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 06:59 am
@maporsche,
OK, but you can compare prices in western Europe directly with the US for most items. Food, cars, housing, etc. You will pay a lot more than $6 for dinner in London, Madrid or Paris, but you will still pay a lot less for healthcare.
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 07:01 am
@maporsche,
Quote:
Your GF in France pays regardless of whether she uses any care. If she only went to the doctor once, she paid $3600 for a doctor visit.


If I get a US health insurance policy I pay whether or not I use it. The difference is the insurance company can decide if I can have the test and if they want to raise my rates or drop me if I start to cost them too much. I also would pay close to $16,000 for less than my girlfriend gets from pooling her money with all the other citizens. Your employer picks up the difference in your costs, I have to pay all of mine. If you had to pay $16,000 instead of $5,000, I think you would be fighting too for national cover the way I am.

I know we sort of agree on these issues, Marporsche, but I spend a lot of time looking at the topics of food and health so I know my numbers are accurate.
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 07:14 am
@Green Witch,
No, I understand and agree. I want healthcare reform to. I prefer single payer. I'm very disapointed with this bill. I am not challenging your numbers or statistics.


Just trying to understand what people think is an appropriate fee to pay. Or if people just want it to be "free" like in other countries when you visit a doctor (but you pay through higher taxes).




If I spent the last 10 years without health insurance, I would have had to pay $7000 to cover all of my medical costs.

As it stands, since I paid for healthcare insurance, I ended up paying $50,000.

Over the last 10 years, I would have been much better off WITHOUT healthcare coverage.



So, while I understand that a $3000 bill is A LOT all at once....if this is the all that she's had to pay ALL YEAR, she came out AHEAD (at least compared to what other people with healthcare insurance have to pay).

Right?
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 07:14 am
@engineer,
No arguments here.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 07:18 am
@maporsche,
Quote:
I love the Phillippines, I don't think I ever paid more than $6 (American) for dinner and had some of the best food I've ever eaten.


What do you think the average daily salary is in the Phillipines?

Do you really think they pay less of there income as a percentage than we do in the US when it comes to food?
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 07:18 am
@Green Witch,
I'd still prefer to pay higher costs and have better quality care - now the issue would be if you paid higher and did not get the quality.
sullyfish6
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 07:19 am
I think that hospitals purchase expensive, high tech equipment that gets out of date very quickly. That cost must be handed down to the patient.

2 Mamogram: @ $185
2 radiology reading: @$85
surgeon's consultation: $165

now the procedure itself;
stereotech biopsy: $2700
hopefully, it included ultrasound and the 2 followup mammograms
and dr's. charge for procedure.
Don't know the cost of the patholgy readings.

0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 07:21 am
@parados,
No. But a pound of beef is cheaper there than it is here. Not sure why, but it is.
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 07:28 am
@maporsche,
Which sort of brings me back to my first post. We pay more for food in real dollars, because we make more real dollars. I am not sure if this applies to health care too.

As a percentage of salary, who pays more (including taxes, emoyer contribution, copays, etc) for their healthcare? I don't know the answer.
0 Replies
 
 

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