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If They Billed Like Medicare Pays, I Wouldn't Need It

Monday, September 19, 2011

The mail brought a few Summary Notices today, because I recently had a bunch of tests done. They prove to me once more that we wouldn’t need insurance if the medical providers billed the same as the insurance pays. I have Medicare, and Mail Handlers to back it up, and still get to pay for plenty of stuff every year anyhow. The billing went like this:

Ultrasound of the abdomen (looking for cancer spread from kidney) $865 billed, $90.86 paid from both insurers.

CAT scan of neck with contrast - $3796.97 billed, $319.48 paid by two insurers.

CAT scan of neck and chest (two scans with dye) - $5103.61 billed, $593.23 paid by insurance.

Angiogram of carotid artery - $17,380.13 billed, $3146.45 paid by insurance.

That totals $27,145.71 billed, and $4,150.02 paid by Medicare and the copayment. That is a combined payout of 15.29 per cent of the bill, or looked at another way, billing that is 6.54 times what they are willing to do it for.

You can buy Medicare Insurance if you’re are not eligible for it, and if I pretend that neither my wife nor I had Medicare and we bought and paid for both it and Mail handler’s, we would be paying almost $30,000 every year. That translates into $196,000 worth of health care. On the other hand, the $30,000 would cost about $4587 per year, which is a lot less than I pay out of pocket now, let alone the total insurance cost. When I had a bypass operation, the total bills came to about $113,000, and the total payments were about $13,000. That’s an even larger ratio, and the visits to an internist are paid at a much higher ratio of the billed amount. In fact, my neurologist used to bill just what Medicare would pay. Once again, if I could get the rates Medicare gets I wouldn’t need insurance.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THINRONNA 9/20/2011 3:28AM

    I live in that world...the one where we don't need insurance that VVKIMBO07 wrote about. (Actually it is a National Insurance Plan that we all pay into with our taxes.) All kids healthcare including prescriptions and dental is free until they are 18, prenatal is free, and the rest is minimal...kind of like a co pay. (well "free" maybe isn't the right word...because again we do pay for it each month in our taxes) It works well, we don't wait for any kind of healthcare and there is even more benefits that I did not mention here.I know that Norway is a much smaller country than the US and our taxes are high...but honestly not that much higher than the US. I may be on a slippery slope saying this but I am not really sure why so many US citizens are against a National Insurance Plan.

Comment edited on: 9/20/2011 3:29:47 AM

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REXTINE1 9/19/2011 10:05PM

    I have Medicare and Mailhandlers. My out of pocket expenses for insurance are $523.47 for Mailhandlers (secondary) and $230.80 per month for two Medicare part B. The Part B might be more than you pay because I don't receive any Social Security. That amounts to$6281.64 plus $2969.60 that we pay out of pocket for insurance, or a total of $9250.24 per year. We also spent $1,412.42 for doctor bills and $2041.89 for medicines (co-payments and OTC) so far this year, which is only about $3,450 "out of pocket". Because I am a retired civil servant, I only pay 30 per cent of the cost for Mailhandlers. If I divide $6,281 by 0.3, I get $20,938.80 as the total annual cost, paid by me and the Navy. I get Medicare part A free because I paid the tax all the time I was working, a good many years. I looked up the cost right now, because I thought it was around $300/month, but found that, if you are not eligible, the cost is $443 per month for each person. You must be over 65, a citizen, and not eligible or disabled, employed so you are not eligible if you are under 65.

$443 for two people is $886 per month that it would cost the government to provide classic Medicare for two people. The other programs cost the government more.

Now we are at $20,938.80 for Mailhandlers and 10,632 for Part A, and 2,969.60 for part B. That is a total (for both us and the government) of $34,340.40.

I actually spent "$3,454.32 of my own money for "medical care" in the past year, but if I add in the national cost of $34,340.40 the total is $37,794.72. This is a year when we didn't really have any special, severe problems. That total is getting pretty near the median household income of the poorer states. For Florida it's around 51,000, and that means half the households have less that that much income.

I used to be a conservative, but I think we need to change something or the whole system is going to collapse.

If the National Debt is $13 trillion and the population is about 300 million, we owe $43,333 per person, or $86,666 for a couple. With kids it gets worse. I have also read that the private debt is double the National debt, so the country as a whole owes about $260,000 for each couple, or pair of people. We don't owe anyone for anything, but the medical costs are much higher than they were when I retired, and they only go up. That is the worst problem the country has. Social security would be fairly easy to fix, but not the medical expenses.

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MS.ELENI 9/19/2011 7:15PM

    I have medicare and a secondary and I have never paid large amounts like you are talking. I can never understand the papers that come from medicare. I just know I am paying much less out of pocket now

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VVKIMBO07 9/19/2011 5:26PM

    What a wonderful world it would be if none of us needed insurance!

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Mammoth Cave Park

Friday, September 16, 2011

1/14/93 Thursday

Picked up the trailer ($505) and headed south with a dry snow drifting across I-65, looking like white sand in a stiff breeze in the desert. Really glad to be going. At first rest area lug nuts still hot. Four hours later Stout's people told me "Don’t sweat it - just go!" Mileage on Tuesday 7.5 mpg. On Thursday - 8 mpg. Got to Mammoth Cave Park HQ and had supper there. We were so late (7PM) that it was dark and we missed CR USA Resorts the first time. I got to the right place but the BW talked me into backing trailer out into highway and continuing. She also kept saying "STOP!" when I had the rear of trailer going correct way. I finally ignored her. Then she suggested I call the campground when we were considering a boon dock night in the hotel's parking lot. With electricity and showers, it was well worth the $2 to find the campground.

Also on Wednesday I got reservations for 2/22/93 to 3/1/93 in Ocean Park RV Resort (on the beach in Panama City) and 3/3/93 to 3/10/93 in Destin RV Resort. Both should be on the Gulf of Mexico.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

S3XYDIVASMOM 9/17/2011 6:48PM

    Is that the first time you ignored your wife? Just kidding.

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MS.ELENI 9/16/2011 10:25PM

    Sounds like quite an adventure

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

1/13/93 – Wednesday – slept in and collected more stuff to take along. Stout’s called with a story about the magnets – and a bill for $505 - $100 to pack four wheel bearings and $10 for 2 seals. Ace went to dinner with Julia and I went to the Windsor Village Deli Bar. Larry Marcrum came over and gave me a salt water rod, reel, and line. It’s a spinning outfit – big and husky.

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MS.ELENI 9/15/2011 5:26PM


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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

1/12/93 Left home - got as far as the first rest stop on I65. Don Rivers warned me that one wheel wasn’t turning when it was on the snow in our driveway, but we continued. We finally got started about 11:00 AM – tires were steaming (in the rain) and lug nuts were too hot to touch. Took the trailer to Sears in Columbus (Indiana). They sent me to Goodyear. Then to A1 Tire, who works only on semi’s. They sent me to A1 Auto, but no one was home. Finally got to Stout’s RV.

Went with the BW to visit with Julia Tuesday evening.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

S3XYDIVASMOM 9/15/2011 8:11PM

    Ah for the good ole' days. LOL

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KNIT1PURL2LOSE3 9/15/2011 4:51PM

    Hey Rex! You spent a frustrating day in a town I know and love--Columbus, Indiana!!!!! MISS that place!!!!

Now if only your trailer would've been a CUmmins rig, you'd a had an entire town filled with Cummins engineers who could've set things right in no time! ;-D

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MS.ELENI 9/14/2011 7:36PM

    memories. emoticon

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From Shortly After Retirement

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

This was from some notes in a book that I wrote just after my retirement, and just before and after we left on the first trip with a 26 foot travel trailer and a 2/3 ton conversion van.

1/11/93 Moved clothes to trailer. Bought antifreeze for van, cross-lug-wrench. Inflated van tires from 26 psi to 42 and trailer from 40 to 45. Put car-top carrier on van and filled with camping stuff (ground cloths, air mattresses, tent, sleeping bag, foot pump and hair dryer, and screens for the van!) Bought a longer (5 foot) step ladder, sent ring to Roger and Wendy, bought melting salt and spread where van will be tomorrow. Said good-bye to Julia and to Dick and Lois. Late call from Emily – new job not having a definite starting date and manager of school instead of director. She wants classified ads – doesn’t want to raise kids in Kentucky. I have Sunday’s ads in envelope and will mail tomorrow before we leave.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THINRONNA 9/14/2011 6:00AM

    How awesome1 The begining of a new life! I love it!

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MS.ELENI 9/13/2011 4:50PM

    You were a busy bee back then too

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