I am a retired US federal employee and I have medical insurance as part of my retirement package where I can select from several plans and then must
pay a monthly fee for the insurance, the amount of that fee depending upon which plan I select. I must continue in the healthcare plan and not let it
lapse or I am not able to opt back in once I opt out. For this coming year all plans' fees made a large jump, the largest I have ever seen in the
several decades I have been part of the plan either as an employee or retired. I suspect that has something to do with the new US healthcare system
meant to bring affordable healthcare to all its citizens - those who have always paid will now pay more, and hopefully for those as yourself who
cannot pay it will be provided.
I no longer live in the US and pay my healthcare expenses out-of-pocket as the costs as so little they are always less than my insurance deductibles.
I am a healthy person so my medical costs are routine, not only less than my deductibles but my entire year's costs are less than I pay for one month
of my insurance plan. Some day I may need the insurance, or if I move back to the US (very unlikely) I understand I will be required to have medical
Many countries that were previously open to American retirees no longer permit them to live there, Canada is one example. The reason for this,
ostensibly, is due to healthcare costs and the fact that there is no reciprocal agreement in the two countries that would cover Canadians in the US.
As many countries now have some national healthcare system their doors are closed or are closing to Americans for any reason other than tourism.
I now live in Mexico which has some national healthcare systems for their residents to subscribe to at very low and reasonable cost, and as a Mexican
resident those plans are open to me as well, though I have health insurance that will pay for perhaps more comfortable private hospital services if or
when I may need them.
In Mexico there are many large generic pharmacy chains and most have doctors on-duty for consultations and examinations whose price runs around $2 -
$3 US dollars per visit. They are plentiful and I have seldom ever had to wait to see the doctor and was able to walk right in. Despite the very low
cost I am always amazed at the very personal care I receive there and the direct time I get to spend with the physician and the thoroughness of their
examinations. Often I am given a prescription for two or three medications and the bill for both the medications and visit cost under $10. The one
time I needed emergency service, I was attacked by a dog and severely bitten on the arm, my fee to the ER was around $4 which included examination,
cleaning of the wounds, stitches and so on. The medicines I was prescribed, which included those used in the ER, cost under $10. Other Americans I
have spoken to that required hospitalization and surgery have all remarked about outstanding care, comfortable hospital provisions, and very
reasonable costs - some having no insurance and paid out-of-pocket for the service.
Latin-American physicians are by no means wealthy but being professionals they do enjoy a higher standard of living and salary than many
non-professionals here. They become doctors because it is the profession they have chosen because of a desire to provide care and aid and not for
financial gain or prestige as their motivator.
There is definately something wrong with the US healthcare system. The costs are superficially high and the OP tells how arbitrary those costs can be.
If you believe US medical costs are the highest in the world because the US offers the best care in the world, think again. That belief is plain
edit on 29-12-2010 by Erongaricuaro because: typo
edit on 29-12-2010 by Erongaricuaro because: (no reason
edit on 29-12-2010 by Erongaricuaro because: (no reason given)