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You may not have any medical conditions now, but unless you're lucky enough to die suddenly, you'll definitely start needing this or that treatment for something one of these days in the not to distant future. I'm shocked every time a medicare statement arrives and I see what various medical treatments cost.

Wait till you're a little older - - you'll see. I'm basically very healthy for a woman over 70; I take no regular medicines. No problems with heart, no diabetes, none of the other things most people my age seem to be developing, but medical expenses are high none the less.

I had a cataract removed last month. It's a 1/2 hour procedure, was done in a hospital, but as an "outpatient." The hospital bill was $5,000. Yikes! That doesn't include the surgeon's fee, the anesthesiologist's fee, and maybe some other fees (I haven't gotten all the statements yet.)

A year and a half ago, I had both knees replaced. I added up the doctors' fees, the hospital (3 days each knee), the re-hab center (10 days each knee), the visiting nurse, the physical therapy, and was shocked to determine that each knee cost about $60,000!

I am VERY happy to have Medicare and my secondary insurance.

Putnid noted that administrative fees account for 40% of medical costs. Another factor that makes medical costs so high is that we live in a litiginous society, and doctors are so afraid of being sued that they order a great many tests and procedures that are probably not necessary, just out of fear of being sued.

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