Originally Posted by Chronic Chrissy
I am so shocked! especially with how much is paid towards insurance every month. Here my DH brings home about $2000 a month after he pays about $500 off his checks for taxes, which include income tax and public health care, and the government never asks for more money come income tax time. When we go into the hospital we pay for a ambulance only if we call it ourselves, if a neighbor or stranger calls it's free. We pay extra for a private room, and pay for our tv and phone. But because of the poor hospital service when I went in I got that all free. The drugs while you are in the hospital are completely free, you only pay for scripts you fill after you leave if they don't send free stuff home for you. They also send you home with hospital panties, and pads. Breast pumps are free to use in the hospital and you can arrange to loan one free from the hospital if it is truely needed. Oh and midwives are free here too. they even send nurses to you home after for check ups, and you can even become part of free programs where a public health nurse comes buy once a week and teaches you how to play and interact with your baby as he hits milestones, and they show you tons of neat things to do. I think you all need to move to Canada. Or you can accidently have your kids here so they can get dual citizenship and just bring them up here for all the free healthcare they need. Not to mention all your specialists, and operations and proceedures are covered too. If I am worried about anything from a fever to vaginal bleeding I can walk into my emergency room any time for reassurance and walk right out after and never get charged. I'm so sorry but it seems like you are all getting screwed on your healthcare.
Ehhhh.... it depends. You pay about $6000 year in taxes. My dh pays half that and gets over a thousand back at tax time. With my corporate insurance, my employer paid the first $500 and I paid the second $500 pretax (so that the money was taken out before my taxes were calculated and therefore reduced my taxes since it looked like I was making less money). I then had another $1000 to pay out of pocket which I put in a flexible spending account so that it also came out pre-tax and reduced my final tax assessment. The most I would have paid out of pocket was about $3500 (a "catastrophic cap" preventing us from going bankrupt due to illness or emergencies) which is about the amount that your dh pays in taxes more than we do. My premiums covered ambulance (whether or not I called it), private rooms, dental and prescriptions. I got all that free stuff like panties, pads, diapers, etc (well, I'm sure insurance paid for it somewhere but I didn't see it!). They don't charge for breastpumps in the hospital and some insurances will pay for them to use out of the hospital, especially if you have a medical necessity for it.
I've had this conversation with Canadians before who want to faint when they hear what we pay
but I am actually quite satisfied with my health care overall. My dh is military and we now use his insurance and we pay very little out of pocket (I won't pay more than $1000 and my taxes haven't changed; I also pay no premiums).
While the American system has definite drawbacks (healthcare is not guaranteed), it *does* breed competitiveness and competition. I have a friend (an old coworker) who is a dual citizen (born in Canada while his family lived in Maine) who moved his American family to Canada. They love it there and don't plan to return. But when he was diagnosed with cancer, they felt they were best off seeing specialists in the US (in Philadelphia).
My non-pregnant Canadian coworkers in Ontario were complaining that they had to go to clinic for their annuals because the only decent obs weren't accepting patients. That's a rarity around here.
So there are pluses and minuses either way.