Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Price Rise

WARNING, I have my complaints hat on today.

Today i recieved a letter from my private health provider, informing me of the impending rise in private health cover costs as of April 1st. I admit, i was half expecting my provider to raise its prices as it has been widely publicised.
Six years ago the Aust government reformed (tried to) private health cover. Our public hospitals do a great job, but are short on beds, nurses, doctors and MONEY.
Hence, if you need a hernia removed, tonsils out, gall bladder operation etc you can expect to be on a waiting list for at least 2 years. Yes, the hospital will do everything they can to keep you pain free in that time, but you still must wait.
Now, if you have private health coverage as i do, if you need any of the above operations and more, you can expect to be operated on tomorrow!!
Now, i believe that if you are a high income earner you should be forced to take out private helath cover..A, because you can afford it, and B you free up the public health system, letting those on welfare and the poor have the medical attention they need. It don't work that way here. although the govt did do its best to make it happen.
I currently pay $100 AU ($80AMerican ) a month for top private hospital cover for the family. This covers us for a private room in a private hospital, theatre fees, drugs...everything...no out of pocket expenses. Now, i researched for 2 months to find the cheapest provider, and reputable one. Others in Australia pay 3 times that amount and if they have extras ie dental...optical...physio etc...they could pay up to $400 a month for a family.
I guess my complaint is that my new rate as of April 1st will be $130AU ( $110 American dollars) a month. $30 is a huge amount for them to add on. I don't mind paying an additional amount.....but over 12 months....$360 is insane. Geez, the interest rate on my bloody home hasn't even gone up that much!


Blogger if_i_had_a_hammer said...

that doesn't sound like a bad idea (i.e. having those with higher income pay for private and letting those with lower income get the public stuff). private medicine's fine; it has its advantages and disadvantages; so does public health care. i just wish we had the choice over here. my health insurance costs me 70 bucks a month, and all i get is a $35 co-pay on office visits and perscriptions. i can only get generic drugs through my plan, which i'm sure are just as good as name brand ones. i still have to pay out of pocket no matter what, but at least its not as much as it used to be.

two years would be a long time to wait to get tonsils out, but if i had to get such a procedure done before my job provided health insurance, i'd never get the operation done, because there would be no way for me to afford it. and good luck finding a hospital that will admit you without insurance.

7:28 PM  
Blogger Green-Eyed Lady(GEL) said...

I feel for you, because an increase proportionally that steep a month is very hard to do for most of us.

On a different angle, but you want expensive, be prepared: WE have something here in the USA that enables health insurance to continue if one loses his/her job. It's called COBRA. (It's expensive as crap, but needed or one could be wiped out and sued.)

So, the first time my husband lost his job 11 yrs ago, it was only $800/month (family of 4) PLUS dr visit cost to have health insurance coverage.

He then lost his job when the company dissolved 3 yrs ago: look at this: $1100/month that rose to $1400/month also plus dr visits, RX, etc,dental payments, eyeglasses, braces etc. need I say WE are not rich; we were on food bank, etc. Oh and his unemployment was SO low, so freaking low compared to his former pay, it was laughable. Then our government also TAXES unemployment, so we had to pay the IRS back ....grrrrrr WE're still paying.... Good luck.

12:15 AM  
Blogger Green-Eyed Lady(GEL) said...

OOps pushed publish too soon: needless to say, we went without needed operations, dental stuff, and a whole lot- I'm very upset w/ our health care system.

Our normal out of pocket expenses when he was employed would blow your mind away. I wrote letters to our drs, some of whom (used to be) our friends, trying to set up lower payment schedules. I can't go on. Too horrid.

12:21 AM  
Blogger Jack the blogger said...

Holy Shit, I was so surprized that the comments page came up I forgot what I wanted to say. I guess Michelle is a sexy little peach is always appropriate.

1:58 AM  
Blogger No_Newz said...

I'm sorry those blood suckers are after you! Amazing what the cost of good health is! A shame really.
Lois Lane

3:33 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

WOW....How guilty you all make me feel.
I knew the cost for health cover in the States was out of control before i posted my "woes" as it's widely advertised here. I just had no idea of the actual amount involved in monetary terms.
I still think that private cover needs to be means tested. If you earn a huge wage then you should be forced into using the private health sytem. This free's up the public one for those who are unable to afford it...usually the really ill, elderly and young kids.
Middle income earners need to contribute as i do now, but if you don't make a claim...don't get ill, i think the govt should give you a percentage back OR have some contribute into the next year.
In Oz now, everyone pays 1% of their wage into the public system, some 2%.
To me, it's something that's easily solved.
GEL....my god...i can't imagine paying those premiums...my mind boggles. COBRA...sounds like a real snake in the grass!

Jack ~ awww ya always know the right things to say ya big suck up!

6:03 PM  
Blogger Green-Eyed Lady(GEL) said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:18 PM  
Blogger Green-Eyed Lady(GEL) said...

Actually, COBRA is a good thing, but too damn expensive. It allows for up to 2 years of health insurance coverage when you have been laid off. (although why do you think i still work THREE jobs?)...

Without it, we would have been open to lawsuits and not afforded other even more expensive needed surgeries, nor necessary healthcare for us all. (We need more than run of the mill dr visits... I wont' disclose here.) Don't ask HOW we came up with the $, b/c we HAD to or it would have been worse, is the bottomline.

We now have health insurance at "reasonable" rates now that he is employed. However, "reasonable" rates are over $500/month PLUs, plus plus RX, dental, eye, and numerous not covered.

My post was not to make you feel guilty, hon! It hit home, and I wrote. I should have saved it for my blog. Sorry I hogged your comment space, but your writing can fire me up. You're a terrific writer! :)

6:21 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

GEL~ never apologise! I luv to read your comments. Without commets i don't get to learn anything. i am so fascinated that our two countries are so alike in many ways yet so different in others.
$500 a month...that's just so cruel :(

9:27 PM  
Blogger Green-Eyed Lady(GEL) said...

Thx, hon. It's techincally more than $500/month, but I rounded down. Yes, it is cruel. We just received the notification today for how much, no make, that *how LITTLE*, government loans we qualify for, for my oldest daughter's upcoming college tuition. Let's just say that even w/ a good scholarship (that we're waiting to here the amount of), that we'll be lucky if 1/4 of her yearly costs are covered, NOT counting everyday expenses. Somehow, we'll do it; she works, etc. but ouchhie. We should have considered college in Australia, like your gr8 article earlier talked about.

5:04 PM  

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