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Author: zztop32 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 19380  
Subject: Health care Date: 9/16/1998 1:08 PM
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Am I the only retired person who has some concern
now that GM is allowed to charge for health care?

My company still pays for my health care but I'm
not sure how long if GM stops.? Any comments. I wouldnot mind paying a small %.
You would be more aware of how much it is worth.

Some Payment but not all.

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Author: JABoa Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3 of 19380
Subject: Re: Health care Date: 9/16/1998 1:36 PM
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I'm not retired but I work with a lot of people in their 60's. At our company, all medical coverage stops once you are eligible for Medicare. If you retire between age 55 and 65, you can stay in the plan provided you pay the full fare for people in that age group. This runs around $6000 a year for a couple in their 60's and includes prescriptions, I think. If you leave before 55, you're out of luck although you may be eligible to stay in the plan under COBRA for 18 months, again paying the full fare but at the overall group rate. For me as an ex-NY State employee a couple of years ago this was about $230 a month for a single person.

Health insurance is fierce and it's only going to get worse. Pretty much any course of action is unpalatable, as the Canadians and British have already discovered.

I see nursing home care as the next big demographic issue -- how to keep one spouse alive but infirm without leaving the other destitute.

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Author: andrew1 Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41 of 19380
Subject: Re: Health care Date: 9/22/1998 5:01 PM
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Health care is a major problem when you retire early. I don't beleive any company is legally obligated to continue coverage beyond offering COBRA. That is why many are reducing the benefits to retirees and in some cases eliminating them. I retired early but after using up my COBRA I went back to work just to be able to get back on the group plan.

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Author: foolkath Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10059 of 19380
Subject: Re: Health care Date: 9/27/2005 10:32 AM
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Health care is definately one of the biggest challenges in retirement. I shopped around. And we are still healthy. It was going to cost us 1200 a month( for 4).
That was cobra.


I found a better deal by purchasing different policies for the kids. But after two yrs, my husband went into consulting. He negotiated for health coverage. Companies, also, are having a hard time providing it.

Something needs to be done in our country to provide health care at a more affordable rate.


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Author: BrerBear Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10061 of 19380
Subject: Re: Health care Date: 9/27/2005 12:01 PM
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Something needs to be done in our country to provide health care at a more affordable rate.
===============================
To quote Shakespeare:

"First, we shoot all the lawyers."

As much as debaters during the 2004 election tried to subordinate the issue, practicing medicine in the era of John Edwards litigation drives costs up dramatically...

Not the least of which is insurance against being sued; and

Prescribing test after test after test, just to keep all the bases covered, to minimize the exposure to risk of lawsuit.

Until the litigation thing is handled appropriately, getting Hx care costs down will be like the Army Corps of Engineers trying to pump water out of N.O. while the dikes are still open to the sea.

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Author: wcfenton Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10062 of 19380
Subject: Re: Health care Date: 9/27/2005 5:02 PM
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Something needs to be done in our country to provide health care at a more affordable rate.
===============================
To quote Shakespeare:

"First, we shoot all the lawyers."

As much as debaters during the 2004 election tried to subordinate the issue, practicing medicine in the era of John Edwards litigation drives costs up dramatically...

Not the least of which is insurance against being sued; and

Prescribing test after test after test, just to keep all the bases covered, to minimize the exposure to risk of lawsuit.

Until the litigation thing is handled appropriately, getting Hx care costs down will be like the Army Corps of Engineers trying to pump water out of N.O. while the dikes are still open to the sea.

--------------

From my perspective, the American Medical Association should not be guarding the Hen House...for starters. Weed out the bad doctors quickly instead of allowing them numerous times to mess up before yanking their licenses. Who should take their place? I don't know, but you can't have an organization as large and important as the AMA policing it's own.

The licensing of doctors is another issue. Every specialty, including plastic surgeons, need to have specific licensing requirements. How many lawsuits have originated from this particular type of medical practice? Also, how many doctors have been trained in another country, but licensed here in the U.S.? Are they as capable as U.S. trained doctors - I don't know. Another question would be - how many of them have a problem with the English Language and what type of effect would that have on the quality of care they deliver to their patients?

States need to institute reasonable laws that restrict the size of awards given to the injured. The problem here is that reasonable for one is not necessarily reasonable for another. Placing a monetary figure on a loved one's life ranges between very difficult to impossible to do.

Also, maybe we should work towards reinstituting the laws governing advertisement by lawyers. The ones that you always see on TV are the personal injury lawyers going after the big class actions suits.

And of course we have the Insurance Industry...happy to take our money, but very wary about returning it for any reason.

I'm no expert, but I would bet that this pretty well sums up the major problems with the costs of healthcare today. Oh...I failed to mention the political side of things, but then that's a problem with just about everything that needs fixing in this country. Don't get me wrong...I love this country dearly, and second place isn't even something that I would consider, but we do have a lot of work to do.

Just my thoughts on this issue...

Regards,
Bill





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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10063 of 19380
Subject: Re: Health care Date: 9/27/2005 10:01 PM
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Four groups have conspired to make health care costs high.

The providers, of course. They like to enjoy a nice lifestyle to which their education and expertise entitles them.

The lawyers, who are sue-happy. They like to get paid whether they win or loose.

The insurance companies, who would rather pay off a bogus claim than fight it. They just pass the cost on to the consumer, us.

The last group is us. We act as if we hit the jackpot at Vegas if we get hurt or sick. Not that there aren't legitimate claims, but both the casualty and the automotive insurers are bombarded with claims which can only be considered shakey at best. I am sure no one on this board would do such a thing, but there are people who sue their physicians, the hospitals, and anyone who happened to be in the building at the time for anything and everything. Our collective greed drives much of it.

cliff

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Author: theHedgehog Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10064 of 19380
Subject: Re: Health care Date: 9/27/2005 10:11 PM
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The insurance companies, who would rather pay off a bogus claim than fight it. They just pass the cost on to the consumer, us.

My wife's an insurance claims investigator, so I can't let this one pass by uncommented. The insurance companies do not like to pay off bogus claims. They do a return on investment type of analysis on claims that seem to be bad. If it's going to cost a lot more to defend a claim than it would to just pay claim, then they have to pay the claim to keep the costs down. Some claims, those that would set an expensive precedent, must be defended, even at great cost. But, for the most part, if someone has a "legally credible" claim and seems willing to pursue it in court, they have no economic choice but to pay a few bucks to make it go away.

OTOH, most insurance companies do have a fraud department, which they refer these claims to. Also, they index pretty much everyone that makes a claim to see if they have a history of making similar claims.

Hedge - who is only repeating what he thinks he heard, and not stating that these are the facts and nothing but the facts

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Author: BrerBear Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10065 of 19380
Subject: Re: Health care Date: 9/28/2005 7:37 AM
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both the casualty and the automotive insurers are bombarded with claims which can only be considered shakey at best. I am sure no one on this board would do such a thing, but there are people who sue their physicians, the hospitals, and anyone who happened to be in the building at the time for anything and everything. Our collective greed drives much of it.

cliff
====================================
Concur... and I would submit that this phenom is directly tied to issue #2, the 'always happy to help' ambulance chasers... the ones who advertise on TV, trolling for class-action 'victims' to cobble together the Break the Bank CA lawsuit...

For that matter, I'd also say that the high fees charged by providers are also the result of problem #2... as I said earlier, providers have hellacious insurance premiums* [ask your own, for an eye opener], and providers also cover themselves nine ways from Sunday with tests that they wouldn't otherwise order, just so they have the CYA needed should a John Edwards come knocking on their door...

[*For an extra-points shocker: Talk to any OB/GYN about insurance. It'll make you shake your head and walk away babbling to yourself.]

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Author: BrerBear Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10066 of 19380
Subject: Re: Health care Date: 9/28/2005 10:46 AM
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PS: Has everyone noticed that we're talking to a topic / thread that was THE VERY FIRST ONE POSTED TO THIS BOARD, 8 YEARS AGO?

http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?mid=10324438&bid=112955&sort=threaded

Sigh... the more that things change, the more they remain the same...




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Author: mendomann Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10067 of 19380
Subject: Re: Health care Date: 9/28/2005 3:39 PM
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As much as debaters during the 2004 election tried to subordinate the issue, practicing medicine in the era of John Edwards litigation drives costs up dramatically...

Yes, litagation does drive up the cost of medical care, but it is not the only reason. How about the administration costs that insurance companies spend to deny claims. Medicare does a great job administering its plan, at a fraction of what the insurance companies spend.

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Author: edcosoft Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10068 of 19380
Subject: Re: Health care Date: 9/28/2005 7:20 PM
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Yes, litagation does drive up the cost of medical care, but it is not the only reason.

Consider that if the "litigator" ran into a jury that had its head screwed on there wouldn't be any gigantic awards. It's not Edwards giving the money away, it is YOU. Did you notice I didn't say ME or US. I wouldn't do such a thing, would you? ed

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Author: theHedgehog Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10069 of 19380
Subject: Re: Health care Date: 9/28/2005 7:34 PM
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Consider that if the "litigator" ran into a jury that had its head screwed on there wouldn't be any gigantic awards. It's not Edwards giving the money away, it is YOU. Did you notice I didn't say ME or US. I wouldn't do such a thing, would you? ed

It's hard not to. Let me give you an example from my life. I contracted gallbladder disease in 1990. Doctors either refused to believe my symptoms or their tests didn't bear it out until 2003 when it contracted gangrene and they had no choice but remove it. I didn't bother pursuing any sort of claim, because I didn't want to wrap my life up in anger and hate. But, if I had, and this case was before you as a juror, and if you believed me, would you be tempted to just give me $20 bucks and a pat on the back?

Hedge

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Author: edcosoft Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10070 of 19380
Subject: Re: Health care Date: 9/29/2005 8:39 AM
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hedge: I could believe you,if that's all the details, but is it worth $20 million? ed

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Author: theHedgehog Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10072 of 19380
Subject: Re: Health care Date: 9/29/2005 1:11 PM
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I don't know, Ed. What's the rest of your life, starting at age 38, worth to you?

Hedge

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Author: edcosoft Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10080 of 19380
Subject: Re: Health care Date: 9/29/2005 11:28 PM
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Don'
t get me started, please. Sorry I can't respond. ed

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