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Good treatment at shockingly high prices

Health Insurance. There is no compulsory health insurance in the US. The result: approx. 15% of all Americans have no health insurance at all; that’s about 40 million people!

So it is up to you whether you take out health insurance or not. However, there are company health insurance funds such as the “Health Maintenance Organizations” (HMO for short), which can be compared with the German health insurance companies. They also work in a similar way, ie you pay a fixed monthly amount and are then supported or supported by the “solidarity community” carries this with you.

The costs for the company health insurance are of course incumbent on the respective company; although not all companies have a company health insurance fund (especially not in the low-wage sector).

The HMO attach great importance to preventive examinations of their insured persons, which are carried out by a doctor affiliated with the respective organization. The aim is to keep costs low and to prevent hospital stays. At HMOs there is no free choice of doctor, a doctor from the organization must always carry out the examination if the amount is to be paid.

Medicaid

In addition, you pay a small portion of your wages for “Medicare”, the health insurance for retirees and disabled people who cannot participate in working life.

Social welfare recipients receive state insurance, the “Medicaid”. Benefits vary from state to state, with a total of nearly $ 200 billion spent on Medicaid in 2000. This was the largest item in the US welfare program.

It should be emphasized that Medicaid only pays for what is absolutely necessary for a person’s survival, so it is not a real alternative to good (and thus expensive) health insurance. A small example from practice …

When I recently had to see a doctor, I was told on the phone that they only accept private patients. When I then identified myself as a “self-player”, I was treated.

Divided sickness

As a self-payer, you often get a high discount on the doctor’s bill if you pay the amount immediately. I was able to save $ 500 on my $ 1,500 bill because I paid the bill by check straight away.

This little example should make it clear that the sick system in America is also divided into two parts. Not all doctors accept insured persons or even Medicaid patients. The really good doctors mainly treat private patients.

Costs for a doctor’s visit

The cost of a visit to a doctor in America is legendary, because no doctor will treat you without a thorough general examination. The reason is the high percentage of lawsuits doctors face. That is why almost every doctor takes out sinfully expensive “liability insurance”, an insurance against recourse claims by patients. Since the costs of the recourse claims are in my opinion completely out of line, the costs for liability insurance are extremely high. There are sums of contributions of 100,000 US dollars per year in circulation.

Now a small example from practice on the subject of medical expenses in the USA:

I had to go to hospital in November 2006 for a back operation. After the doctor acknowledged the need for the operation and set the length of stay in the clinic at one day, I was sent to the hospital administration to get a rough estimate of the cost. It was around $ 35,000. Two days later, I received the written estimate of $ 67,000!

I then went to the hospital administration again. After I kindly pointed out that I was neither Bill Gates nor Rockefeller, about half an hour later I was given the sum of about 27,000 US dollars. Still a horrific sum for a one-day hospital stay, but the saving of around 40,000 US dollars for half an hour of unctuous words is not to be despised! So the motto should be: act like in an oriental bazaar! Because of the enormous costs, more and more Americans are also being treated abroad, for example in Europe or India.

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