As for the cheap glasses.....probably a nice option, if your vision is not very bad at all. I can't imagine that they would be making my glasses for $8. It is apparent from their website that everything necessary on my glasses is not available. I could not get contacts from them as the brands they sell are not available in my size or prescription.
"Me, cutie/chicken, the egg cup, I am the hammer of my spoon!"--Jen_Faith translation
My experience with healthcare insurance:
Thankfully, when my husband was laid-off it was during the time of unemployment healthcare coverage act, that some refer to as Obamacare. We were able to get COBRA under the special consideration of employee cost insurance for 12 months as the employer laid him off. Then we were able to continue COBRA with full costs for an additional 6 months.
Because I had a pre-existing condition, we needed to get coverage as soon as the COBRA coverage ended. Like that month. So I spent time considering and getting turned down through a private insurance plan. Being refused for a pre-existing condition and one that fit the definitions of being eligible for CHIP (comprensive heath insurance program) administered by the state (I believe each state has a program). This was a monthly cost, but because of the pre-existing conditions and my age it was not something we could risk not having. Of course, we were able to pay the $700+ insurance premium. And that was only for me and just healthcare, not vision or dental care. For my husband and in his age group WITHOUT any pre-existing conditions he could be in a private insurance plan that was approximately $250.00 a month, again no vision or dental insurance plans.
When he did get hired at a company with an insurance plan, because I had had continuous coverage, I was able to be enrolled in the program with no riders on the preexisting condition. (I believe that this again was part of the ObamaCare that some people think is awful). Had I not had continuous coverage, they legally could have and would have, put a preexisting rider for 9 or 12 months (I can't remember which it was). The enrolling insurance company was restricted in knowing my medical history as they were to enroll anyone with continuous coverage without question. Part of HIPPA act.
However, because the company is less than 150 employees, they could and did ask for any participant in the current policy, medical history when seeking new contracts for insurance companies. And you had to provide the information or not be eligible for healthcare insurance. Read carefully all the statements you are signing - they can and will seek information from any provider, pharmacies, etc. If they chose another healthcare insurance provider, the new provider could legally demand a higher premium for me if they were charging others with a like condition a higher premium. Vision and dental insurance plans are separate and vary in what they will or will not pay for.
Depending upon which insurance company your employer selects, they can determine if they will pay for procedures, medications, or even which physician you can use.
No one should be without catastrophic healthcare insurance. Because if you do elect to not have insurance, any preexisting condition will have riders on them if and when you become eligible for group insurance.
I am fortunate to have and always had ins. In reference to it being via the employer... This did not affect me but it did affect coworkers when this happen...
I started a job many years ago Mar 2 and had immediate ins. Company was sold 3 months later effective July 1. So ins changed on July 1 to the new companies policy. Then, the new owner had almost double the employees, the following Jan 1' they changed the ins. I was younger n had no issues, so o real impact. But coworkers had to change doctors back n forth. It was very disruptive to some with chronic issues. Yes ins in the us is ???
I'm low income and I don't have insurance. I qualify for a program in my state called CareNet which is sliding scale. For procedures, like the mammogram I had today, I don't pay anything out of pocket and for doctor visits I only pay $20.00. However, since it isn't actually insurance, I'm pretty certain it won't pay for something like surgery. So I'm hoping I don't need one anytime soon. I had a surgery two years to remove benign cysts from my breasts but fortunately, I had insurance at the time so most of the surgery was covered. I still had a deductible of over $500.00 though, which is definitely a hardship on me.
Being without insurance though is tough. I just pray to God that my health stays relatively good (I only have hypertension but I take cheap generic meds and exercise to help keep it under control).
"If people are looking for guarantees, they should buy appliances at Sears and stay away from human relationships."~Prancer
I have insurance, but my Doctor offers people who have none the same rates as what the average insurance will pay-If the rate is $50.00, he will charge the patient that, instead of the $200.00 and up most providers here will charge for a 15 min office visit. There are some Hospitals and ancillary providers who will work with you, too. Always ask.
A huge part of the problem is the obscene amount of fraud-I do workers comp in California, and am disgusted by the overwhelming volume of padded bills, repeat duplicate bills and fake procedures some providers try to pass off. They are allowed to dispense meds, and I don't think I've ever seen a simple carpal tunnel claim that didn't prompt the dispensing of copious amounts of heavy duty pain meds. I had orthopedic surgery and couldn't get more than a very limited amount and low dose of percocet for bone pain, and here the program in Cali is handing oxy, roxy, and hydrocodone to name a few out like candy each and every month for carpal tunnel.
There are plans called mini meds and limited benefit plans that are affordable-Not traditional insurance, but they can keep a healthy person away from financial disaster. Be aware that many of the companies offering them are nothing more than boiler rooms that will charge a $100.00 enrollment fee.
I don't know a mental health provider in this town who takes insurance. What the insurance company will pay them is so low relative to the cost of having to have someone on staff (and most shrinks are solo practitioners) to handle it. Don't get me started on what I went through for three years to get my poor shrink paid; CareFirst Blue Cross paid every medical bill I had, including a whopper for foot surgery, without question or complaint but every single shrink bill submission was an argument and a mess. I'm about to call our insurance broker for the fifth time to get them to pay for the last three months I saw her.
And of all the health professionals I've seen in the last four years - I'm healthy, but I'm in my fifties, and that means plenty of routine tests and physicals -- there's no question but that the one I needed the most, and who did the most good, was the psychologist. The one I couldn't get the insurance company to pay. Where's the fairness in that?
"Youth and vigor is no match for age and deceit." -- Prancer
If you have filled out any application for healthcare insurance, even if you withdraw the application within a month, you most likely signed a form that allows them to contact any and all providers. I believe that it is given to all potential healthcare plans to get the lowest bid. If you have done, the insurance companies can pull any records because you signed a universal form. Which is why I said you should thoroughly read anything that you are signing.
Louis - I believe that it is customary for you to have insurance through the end of the month when you leave (either by choice or otherwise). If you are in a plan that you pay premiums a month in advance, you are generally refunded that premium.
Like I said before--everything is licensed and certified by the state. If you think they can "get away" with something because they are in a store, well, that's your problem. Me--I've been going there for years, and I enjoy the $45 exam and the care I've received.
"Me, cutie/chicken, the egg cup, I am the hammer of my spoon!"--Jen_Faith translation
I'm Canadian and I don't go without travel health care insurance, even when I cross the border to buy cheap socks. I am in the process of renewing and it looks I will pay $54 for one year multi-trip travel insurance (US only). I can stay up to 10 days, which is fine for me this year (I have a family reunion in the summer and I'll be attending Skate America unless the city has no airport). But with how often I cross the border (and with my newly minted Nexus card--OMG, how did I live my life without it?!?!?), I think it's better safe than sorry.
I'm Australian and covered by Medicare, but I'm living overseas without insurance. I can not get covered for anything actually important due to pre-existing conditions. My last coverage (simple travel insurance) didn't cover anything to do with the blood or brain, and nerves. Basically nothing from the cardiovascular or nervous systems. I basically asked them what would be covered if I were in a car accident and broke my leg. The answer: nothing. Because I would be bleeding. Even though the problem is a broken bone. I haven't been covered since, though I did look into it again a few years ago because my "10 years" were up and I thought I wouldn't have to declare things that happened 10 years ago - but then the insurance company changed their forms to, "Have you ever....?" rather than "In the past 10 years...."
I get all my major things done on Medicare when I go home at Christmas, and I don't like not being covered, especially since just a visit to an international standard hospital here costs almost $100, but I am not willing to fork over the money to not actually have anything covered.
As for the comment about comparing a co-pay to the charge for an office exam -- I think a more appropriate comparison is the cost of annual premiums plus co-pays vs. the cost of the exam and lenses. For me, the difference is less than $20, in favor of no insurance. My eye doc discounted the exam for paying cash, which is the same as my last two dentists. It would probably be a different story if my eyes were really bad or if I had an infection of some sort.
I used to be a contact lens optician. Federal law requires that eye care providers give patients copies of their prescriptions whether the patients ask or not. If you want contacts, you get a contact lens exam. If you can wear contacts, you can order them from anywhere. Costco has independent doctors of optometry to do eye exams, which means that even if Costco itself doesn't carry your contacts, the doctors can order them or tell you where to get them. I believe that the law also requires that doctors of optometry must be independent of lens sales, so that should be true any place like that--Lenscrafters and Sam's Club are the same way, for example.
I wear contacts in a power that is made by only one contact lens company, so I know what you mean about them being in stock, but it's really not a problem, at least for me. Mine have to be special ordered. It takes about five days, which is fine; I get a year's worth and get an exam at the beginning of my last month. When I first started wearing contacts, no one ever had mine in stock, and they had to be ordered then, too. It wasn't a big deal.
I also know what you mean about requiring tricky lenses; I still remember the office I worked for wrestling with one woman's high cylinder lenses for months and still not getting them right. If you have that kind of problem, I definitely wouldn't order $8 glasses from China; I'd pay whoever I trusted to do a good job.
They're, their, and there. Get it right your in college.
I realise that this might just be very naive of me but if the hospitals and doctors discount their bills by 50% for self paying people, then aren't the real culprits crashing the insurance system the crooked hospitals and doctors that charge double when its an insurance company paying out?
The cost for services should surely be what they are, if there are different rates depending on who pays, then that just seems like corruption throughout the whole system and the people being blamed are the ones who need medical help