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Do you go without health care coverage (US)?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by BaileyCatts, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member


    Wow- I didn't know eye coverage could get worse than what I had. Sorry to hear your condition doesn't qualify for medical. Mine required bacteria trying to eat me blind...

    Our system is clearly broken.
    PDilemma and (deleted member) like this.
  2. Cachoo

    Cachoo Well-Known Member

    Well I never thought I had some large pre-existing condition ( swimmers ear when I was a kid!!!:p) so I ignored this tidbit from "Money" magazine but now I will check:

    "If private insurance is a no-go, you have two government-based options. Anyone can get coverage via his/her state's high-rish insurance pool--you'll pay about 150% of the cost of an individual policy (see healthcare.gov) or a similar backstop.
    Thanks to health reform, those who have been uninsured for the prior six months will qualify for their state's Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (pcip.gov). The program, intended to bridge the gap until options are introduced in 2014, will cover you for rates similar to those that healthy people pay in your state (a 50-year-old in Minnesota, for example, would pay $220.00 a month.)

    I don't think this applies to me but perhaps does to others posting here. I do need to find out exactly why I was turned down on the reasonably priced plans.
  3. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    It has been diagnosed by a specialist but the "minor" symptoms of retinal thinning and excessive floaters and extreme nearsightedness and early presbyopia (reading glasses before 40--ack!) that it has caused are not considered symptoms. The problem--hereditary retinal degeneration-- is too unknown here--less than 1% of people who are nearsighted in the U.S (rates are higher in Japan where most research is being done). My mother had an evaluation at the University of Iowa--the premier ophthalmologic center in the U.S--and was told she is the most extreme case they have seen there. Fortunately, my eyes are better than hers were at the same age, but I have an 80% chance of being legally blind by age 60.

    When I was looking at switching to an optometrist closer to home (mine is an hour and a half away--as is the best retinal specialist in the area who I see every three years right now), one I talked with told me this condition does not actually exist and I am probably "imagining" my floaters.

    (On the upside...it may not be considered a pre-existing condition at this point since insurance doesn't think it is a condition!)
  4. Holley Calmes

    Holley Calmes Well-Known Member

    I went to my state's page on the pcip.gov site. Oh great. $663 a month for what I would need. Like I can afford that!
  5. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    My vision plan is so lame that it would only be worth it if I got new glasses every year. I just changed my glasses last year, but before then, I'd gotten the previous pair BEFORE college. :shuffle: I had the optometrist do the calculations and I would save more money just going without the vision plan. :p

    I do have a very strong prescription, but at least it hasn't changed much since high school. :lol: When I hit 35 I'll probably be paying more attention to these things...
  6. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple

    I canceled my vision insurance. It didn't work at the place I like, and I didn't like any of the glasses at the places it did work. :drama:
  7. allezfred

    allezfred Master/Mistress of Sneer Staff Member

    Your eyesight might improve. Like mine did. :shuffle:
  8. BaileyCatts

    BaileyCatts Well-Known Member

    If I called and talked to a place today, and they are currently I guess "reviewing" my application, can I call them back tomorrow and just say I withdraw my application without any issues happening (officially being "denied" by them?). Then I don't have to say I have been "denied" if it never officially went thru the process?
  9. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    Ooh, don't get me started on vision & dental coverage. After reading this thread I feel very, very fortunate to be Canadian and to have the public health care that I do. However it still only covers "basic medical." That's nothing to sneeze at, but it does not cover outside-of-hospital prescriptions, dental, or eyecare. Not that long ago it did cover eye exams (once every 2 years), but not glasses; now not even the eye exam is covered. Dental has never been part of basic medical (in BC -- different rules in different provinces), but it should -- how are rotting gums and teeth not a health issue? And how is poor eyesight to the degree that it affects your safety not a health issue?

    You can of course get optional extended medical packages that cover various degrees of prescription, eyecare, and dental, but it's never been cost-effective for me. I've done the math, and for me it would cost more to pay for insurance than what I pay for eye exams, glasses, and dental work directly. And, thank goodness, I don't take any prescriptions. But all that may change as I age.
  10. PRlady

    PRlady flipflack

    My dental insurance maxes out at $1500 a year. And I basically need crowns/caps on about 10 teeth. I'm looking at more than 10K in bills when I have it done, and am determined to do so before it gets even worse.

    How does someone raising children or with other serious health problems afford something like that? They don't.

    And reading this thread I'm struck again by how bizarre it is that American's health coverage is pegged to their employment. Especially since some people have to stop being employed because of health issues, which might not qualify them for disability. Talk about Catch-22.

    (On vision, I have good news for you all. If you're near-sighted in your twenties-forties and need glasses to drive or go to the movies, your distance vision will improve in your fifties. Then you will need reading glasses.)
  11. FiveRinger

    FiveRinger Well-Known Member

    I feel your pain. My plan maxes at $1500, also. I have had 2 root canals over the last 3 months and I paid $200 out of pocket for each.....the crowns, which aren't covered by my plan, are going to cost me $1200 each! I had to take out a supplemental dental plan to pay for the crowns and whatever other work I'm going to have to have done. My dentist put in temps until I can get it together to pay for the crowns. I have to wait 6 months, but with the premiums being $35 per month (I can't remember the exact amount, it debits from my bank account), that sure beats the cost of 2 crowns!

    I need new glasses, but I have decided that I'll just change the lenses. The thought of trying to find frames makes my head hurt.
  12. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    It really varies by employer. I've mostly worked places where coverage started the day you did. That's pretty standard in my industry. It used to last until the end of the month you left the company but now it's changing in some places to the day you leave. I hope that doesn't become an industry standard!

    I had wonderful vision though. It was through VSP so it covered almost every place I could go and I was able to get 1 pair of regular glasses and 1 pair of computer glasses covered every year!

    Of course, I haven't got it now. :shuffle:
  13. FiveRinger

    FiveRinger Well-Known Member

    Isn't that determined when you get hired? So, if you have a job that terms your insurance on the last day of the month that you left the company, that wouldn't change for you, only for those newly hired, if they change the policy?
  14. Prancer

    Prancer Slave to none, master to all Staff Member

    My distance vision started improving when I hit 36 or so, leveled out at 40 and has gotten worse the last two years :shuffle:.

    I still don't need reading glasses, though. :D

    My son and I just got our eyes examined. He got new glasses; I got contacts for the year. The optician ran our bill through insurance and it turned out the bill was more than it would be with a sale the store was having. Eye exams, contacts for a year, and new glasses (with relatively cheap frames) came to more than $800. My daughter got new glasses a few months ago and it was the same deal--the sale took more off the bill than our insurance would.

    We've done fairly well on dental insurance, but only because we've switched coverage several times and so had half of the kids' multiple orthodontic procedures and most if not all of my surgeries covered. If we had been with one company all aong, that would not have been the case.

    We paid more than that a month at one time through my husband's job--but we had a family plan, which is probably more than you need.

    My husband's insurance coverage has started day one of every job he's had for many years, so it definitely must be possible.
  15. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    Oh, how I wish. My brother, who did not inherit any of the plethora of genetic eye issues, is having that experience already, before 50. But I got to have reading glasses over contacts before 40.

    I'm just lucky it is nothing worse yet, though.
  16. LilJen

    LilJen Reaching out with my hand sensitively

    There are a LOT of online places that do glasses for cheap. You just have to give them your prescription and make some measurements and bam! $15 later you have your glasses.

    Can't recall who dh used but I'll ask him. He got himself some fab orange frames, lenses and all, for like $6. :)
  17. KCC

    KCC Well-Known Member

    I never understood why one's teeth, eyes, and mind (for mental illnesses, as they were generally capped lower than physical issues) were not considered to be part of one's body, and thus covered under medical insurance.

    We also dropped our vision and dental insurances because they covered very little. And the dentist we use gives us a significant discount for paying in cash or with a credit card (no insurance). We use the discount eye places because I wear contacts and don't generally need fashionable frames for backup purposes. There are also lots of eyeglass places on the internet if you can stand to order your frames that way and get adjustments from a friendly optician (in my case, that is my brother).
  18. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    Usually that is only possible for very low prescriptions.

    I won't even traumatize you all with what lenses alone cost for me.
  19. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    I read these stories and am extremely grateful for our universal health coverage in Australia.
  20. Cachoo

    Cachoo Well-Known Member

    That is ridiculous. I am beginning to think that former Congress member from Florida was right: 1. Don't Get Sick
    2. If Sickness Occurs: Die.

    I know he worded it differently but his meaning was clear. What scares me is the prices are skyrocketing every year. Next year that figure may be $800 a month-who knows? If they will have me I'm going to roll the dice with Starbucks and hope Mom is going to have a good year.
  21. KikiSashaFan

    KikiSashaFan Well-Known Member

    I was just going to say next time I hear someone complaining about the system here in Canada I'm going to smack them...and if they need a Dr because of it, it'll be free :lol:
  22. iamawake2

    iamawake2 Member

    I work for an doc and I have no healthcare coverage. I am his only employe. i am self-supporting. My boss offered $100 towards catastrophic insurance. It had a $10,000 deductible. I suggested a small increase in the amount he was offering for a better plan but he chose not to go for that. I have 6 days vacation per year. Nothing else. It's depressing. I've decided to look for another job. A job without healthcare just doesn't cut it.
  23. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    Try me. :p I think each lens cost more than my frames, and I didn't go for cheapo frames.
  24. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    Nope. Unless you are in a union or otherwise sign a contract when you start the job that spells these things out, companies can and do change their benefits policies all the time.
  25. BittyBug

    BittyBug Dispirited

    ^This. It is just so wrong and completely at odds with how just about every other developed nation approaches the situation.
  26. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

    I just shelled out $2,800.00 dollars last month for two hearing aids. I have otosclorosis in both ears (my right is almost completely deaf.) My husband is retired military, so we have Tricare insurance. They wouldn't pay even a dime towards my hearing aids.:mad:

    Oh sure, they will pay for Viagra so some guy out there can have his "quality of life," but I guess being able to hear dosen't fall under the quality of life catagory... :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:

    Tricare won't pay for hearing aids even if the person is active duty. That's just not right.
  27. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

    And that's not true. Here is Tricare's policy. Unfortunately, it still doesn't help you since your husband is no longer active duty.

  28. FiveRinger

    FiveRinger Well-Known Member

    ^^Medicare won't pay for it either unless it is being taken for some other reason than sexual dysfunction. It is commonly prescribed for certain heart conditions. Then again, after using the little blue pill you might develop a heart condition, if you know what I mean. ;)
  29. AxelAnnie

    AxelAnnie Well-Known Member

    Well, as a small business owner, and one who is committed to (and does) provide full health care coverage to all employees (even part time), I just wanted to say that I don't know what "companies" you are referring to? Employers or insurance companies.

    We have never made any changes in our employees coverages. Anthem and Kaiser (whom we use.....and employees get a choice) change stuff all the time. Costs have gone up (18% on my Kaiser last year) and benefits get cut.

    Personally I wish we had real competitive coverage....where I could shop in other states, and buy a package that I want and that is appropriate. I pay just south of $1100.00 per employee in insurance costs. There is no portion paid by my employees.

    I live in the wine country, and the hospitals and clinics here are maxed with undocumented workers. I wish everyone would simply get a grip.

    1. Employers pay everyone an above board living wage (That message is for you Mr. Grape Picker wine maker
    2. Employers provide health insurance for their workers and their families.
    (I know my wine just got more expensive)
    3. Save a fund so you are not squished with a co-pay.

    Just those three things would in my humble opinion greatly reasonable healthcare coverage for all American..

    As to undocumented workers.......GEESH....this is not rocket science! Get them a worker's visa,pay they a decent wage and provide health care and education. My friend Sandra and I could bet this up and ready by fall.

    I am being tongue in cheek.......but not that much
  30. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member


    My husband was the one who talked to Tricare a few months ago, and told me that active duty wasn't covered either. He must have misunderterstood them.

    It's always so much fun being corrected. Thank you. :slinkaway