The VENT Thread

Somnambulist
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:20 pm

I've worked in insurance in a few roles for 10+ years at this point but what BA said is 100% true

Well, I suppose unless you are medicaid pending and then go back to Columbia to never pay your bill after open heart surgery, which happens. But a lot of wealthy people just pay up front.
Last edited by Somnambulist on Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tessablue
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:23 pm

To add to the point, I have a friend who regularly flies home to Russia for surgeries and dental care because even with the additional travel costs, it's about an order of magnitude cheaper.
Somnambulist
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:27 pm

Dental is awful.

I went for the first time in 2 years and my dentist asked me why I went so long without coming back. I'm like dude, I couldn't afford it if something was wrong.
I find out I need a new crown because they one they put in 3 years ago has a hole in it. Bye-bye $1400. Who has this lying around?
"Life's no piece of cake, mind you, but the recipe's my own to fool with."
stark
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:33 pm

Somnambulist wrote:Dental is awful.
Bye-bye $1400. Who has this lying around?
Theoretically, you should.
Somnambulist wrote:I've worked in insurance in a few roles for 10+ years at this point
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
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starrydreamer
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:34 pm

Somnambulist wrote:Dental is awful.

I went for the first time in 2 years and my dentist asked me why I went. I'm like dude, I couldn't afford it is something was wrong.
I find out I need a new crown because they one they put in 3 years ago has a hole in it. Bye-bye $1400. Who has this lying around?
Oh gosh, dental IS the worst. Even with dental insurance, there's a cap on how much insurance will pay. And it is not enough to cover a root canal and a crown. At least, not in NYC, which is where I was at the time.

I'm part of a FB community for my son's main medical problem, and we have members from all over the world. From what I gather, there is excellent health care in the UK, Australia, and Canada (I'm sure there are in non-English speaking countries as well, but the group is for English speakers). All three have nationalized health care.
Somnambulist
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:40 pm

stark wrote:
Somnambulist wrote:Dental is awful.
Bye-bye $1400. Who has this lying around?
Theoretically, you should.
Somnambulist wrote:I've worked in insurance in a few roles for 10+ years at this point
Baby boomer? Definitely.
"Life's no piece of cake, mind you, but the recipe's my own to fool with."
stark
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:30 pm

Somnambulist wrote: Baby boomer? Definitely.
Is that a bad thing??

Okay, so here's some personal stuff that helps form my opinions.

Once upon a time there was this really big healthcare company in California that offered as part of their benefit package, lifetime medical coverage for free once you met the mathematical retirement formula, years of service plus age had to equal 75.

Medical coverage was very important to me, not me personally but for my wife whose family had a lot of costly medical history.
After my first couple of years working there I relented to a life-long dream and that was to live on the beach in sunny Southern California.
The move took me 75 miles away from my office and on SoCal freeways (Ventura to LA/Pasadena) 150 miles each day roundtrip should have been reason enough to change employers. I had friends telling me how crazy I was, I had Doctors telling me the dangers of stress, I had car dealers amazed at how fast I could put 200,000 miles on a new car. But the fact is that the for next 30 years I had intimate knowledge of the 101, 118, 126 freeways and the red lights directly in front of me.

And through it all, I stuck with my original plan, and I'm very happy I did as my wife does indeed have the same spinal issues as her father. So, after 34 years with the same company, the dreadful staff meetings, the changes in upper management etc. etc. I accepted the early retirement package as I had endured and reaped the desired benefit.

I paid a big price but imho it was worth it. In about the 1993-94 timeframe the First Lady got involved in national healthcare and it really scared me and my decision to stick it out was even easier as I never wanted to be dependent on the government. In fact, after her round table meetings with leaders in the medical industry, she was quoted as saying that whatever the Nation comes up with as a solution, it's obvious that Kaiser Permanente (my employer) is several years ahead of us!

IMHO, Hillary, Barrack, Bernie et al almost put a fatal stake in our healthcare system, but I do believe it's salvageable and will once again be the worldwide leader despite a few one-off stories of loyalty to some individuals homelands.
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
Somnambulist
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:48 pm

I'll agree Obamacare helped to skyrocket premiums and deductibles but the alternative is very sick people and poor people not being treated. Having my own chronic medical issues I don't find that acceptable.

I do find a 3k deductible to be unaffordable though.

And we are not going to fix healthcare anytime soon. Not until we fix insurance fraud, fix the cost of it, stop America from being a litigation driven society so med mal can go down, and stop hospitals from charging an insane markup from what you can also do out of office. Tell Medicare to stop setting quotas of procedures offices have to do in order to get full Medicare payment. Because one Medicare does it the rest of the carriers follow in suit.

It took 3 years and thousands of dollars in tests and unncessary medication for me to find out I have a congenial muscle problem. No doctor would think of this despitey asking. Specialist tunnel vision is real and costly.

No party is going to do this. No one in Washington cares about any of us.
"Life's no piece of cake, mind you, but the recipe's my own to fool with."
Tessablue
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:01 pm

stark wrote: IMHO, Hillary, Barrack, Bernie et al almost put a fatal stake in our healthcare system, but I do believe it's salvageable and will once again be the worldwide leader despite a few one-off stories of loyalty to some individuals homelands.
Yeah it was really terrible how two of my family members got insurance for the first time in their lives and then didn't die when they had serious medical issues. I also don't see any difference in being dependent on your employer vs. the government, and I have no desire to contort my life around one aspect of an employer.
Somnambulist wrote: It took 3 years and thousands of dollars in tests and unncessary medication for me to find out I have a congenial muscle problem. No doctor would think of this despitey asking. Specialist tunnel vision is real and costly.
Ugh, isn't that the truth. I have really good coverage now for the first time, so I know I should be gearing up for another round, but it's just so draining and depressing. Glad you eventually got an answer, and I'm always interested to hear suggestions for changing the system from people "on the inside," so to speak. My suggestions all revolve around restructuring med schools. The current system favors people who do not have the emotional constitution to be good doctors, and I worry that it's only going to get worse from here as economic inequality continues to grow.
stark
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:34 pm

Tessablue wrote: Yeah it was really terrible how two of my family members got insurance for the first time in their lives and then didn't die when they had serious medical issues. I also don't see any difference in being dependent on your employer vs. the government, and I have no desire to contort my life around one aspect of an employer.
I didn't mean to imply that there was only one employer aspect of contorting my life, obviously sticking with one company for 34 years has other attributes as the path to management becomes easier, the salary goes from entry level to $100,000+ and the benefit package is overly rewarding when it seems like you have too much vacation time accrued on the books. The other choice of changing employers every couple of years just never seems worth it in the long run to me.

Always curious about first time insured like your family members.....
Can they afford it?
Are they happy with their selection of Doctors etc.?
Do they think Dr's salary should be capped at $100/hr to help reduce costs, lol

What did they do in prior years without insurance if they fell on the stoop and broke their leg?
thanks, just curious.
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
Tessablue
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:00 pm

I'm really not interested in interviewing them to appease someone on the internet who has no actual interest in the answers. Both are highly independent people who are self-employed, and both would be unambiguously dead right now. That's it, that's the story.
stark
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:19 pm

Tessablue wrote:I'm really not interested in interviewing them
Obviously excuse me, I thought you might know right off the top of your head.
Tessablue wrote:to appease someone on the internet who has no actual interest in the answers.
wrong again.
Tessablue wrote: Both are highly independent people who are self-employed, and both would be unambiguously dead right now. That's it, that's the story
Gosh, well since you brought them up, and they're not dead, maybe you can share the reason(s) why they never had insurance in prior years without violating any HIPAA laws?
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
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starrydreamer
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:22 pm

stark wrote:
I didn't mean to imply that there was only one employer aspect of contorting my life, obviously sticking with one company for 34 years has other attributes as the path to management becomes easier, the salary goes from entry level to $100,000+ and the benefit package is overly rewarding when it seems like you have too much vacation time accrued on the books. The other choice of changing employers every couple of years just never seems worth it in the long run to me.
This is a big difference between the reality for young professionals now vs how it was for baby boomers - many young people don't have the choice to stay with a company for 30+ years. Job stability isn't what it was.

Companies are getting stingier with vacation time and other benefits, too. For example, at the company I've been with for 3 years now (not including the time I spent as an independent contractor working for them), I acrrue vacation at a decent rate but none of it carries over to the next year. The company stopped doing that about 5 years ago. With decreased benefits, there isn't as much company loyalty if the company doesn't actively try to retain their workers (my employer actually does a good job of that, especially in my department, which was bought out some years ago by this larger corporation but retains a bit of that smaller company feel). Add to that how much easier it is to advertise and recruit. My husband is an engineer with a phD and is contacted by recruiters regularly. He has his pick of jobs and it shows as he has moved around a bit more than I have. I actually want to stay with my employer for as long as possible.
Somnambulist
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:46 pm

This is laughable..

Costs can be mitigated without capping doctors' salaries. Why does a sonogram cost my insurance company $5k in an ER but $300 in an office? Do you even look at your EOBs to see that insane difference in costs?
How can an office owned by a hospital be considered a satellite location and therefore charge a percentage more?

God, I wish I was born 70 years ago and be so far out of touch with reality as it is now. It's such a shame companies don't pay a liveable wage now.

Can't argue with Trump supporters though!
"Life's no piece of cake, mind you, but the recipe's my own to fool with."
stark
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:07 pm

Somnambulist wrote: God, I wish I was born 70 years ago and be so far out of touch with reality as it is now.
I think the average age in the Senate is in their early 60's, that might be part of your problem.
Somnambulist wrote:It's such a shame companies don't pay a liveable wage now.
Just curious, going back as far as WWII.....what era did companies pay a liveable wage based on your standards of living?
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
stark
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:22 pm

starrydreamer wrote: I acrrue vacation at a decent rate but none of it carries over to the next year. The company stopped doing that about 5 years ago. With decreased benefits......

Time out, gotta stop right there and make sure I understand.....a company that wants you to take your vacation the same year it's accrued, whether its for mental health reasons or the fact that you'll be making more in future years and paying you off costs them more, or their accountant said it's a liability we don't want to show on the books, whatever....do you really consider that to be a decrease in benefits?

Just fyi, everything I've read, most HR professionals have the opinion that taking vacation days is of extreme benefit as compared to saving them for next year, so go and enjoy!
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
stark
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:30 pm

starrydreamer wrote: My husband is an engineer with a phD and is contacted by recruiters regularly. He has his pick of jobs and it shows as he has moved around a bit more than I have. I actually want to stay with my employer for as long as possible.
Obviously I have no idea what he does for a living but congrats on the education.
I'm guessing he moves so that his next paycheck will be higher?
Sometimes you'll see professional athletes do this too. Afterwards I've heard them lament their decision as they missed out on the growth of the prior team and watching them making it to the championship game.
Maybe some of the reward for your husband would be to have "skin in the game" and stay with a company while he sees a multi-year project to completion, got to be a lot of satisfaction in that. And if he's as valuable as you deserve, then I've got some faith in the employer that he'll be rewarded on an eventual payday.
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
Somnambulist
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:30 pm

Aren't baby boomers the reason everything is awful right now?

Or your entitled parents were the reason everything is awful.. it's hard to remember..
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BaroqueAgain1
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:43 pm

Don't look at me, a bona fide baby boomer. I worked for nearly four decades, paying my taxes, voting and generally trying to be a decent citizen. Now I watch my Social Security grow smaller, relative to cost of living, while sh!tholes in the government threaten to reduce my "entitlement."
Yeah, you know why I'm "entitled" to that money? Because I paid and paid and paid into SS. I'd have to live past 100 before I start getting money that isn't actually, you know, MINE. :evil:
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starrydreamer
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:52 pm

stark wrote:
starrydreamer wrote: I acrrue vacation at a decent rate but none of it carries over to the next year. The company stopped doing that about 5 years ago. With decreased benefits......

Time out, gotta stop right there and make sure I understand.....a company that wants you to take your vacation the same year it's accrued, whether its for mental health reasons or the fact that you'll be making more in future years and paying you off costs them more, or their accountant said it's a liability we don't want to show on the books, whatever....do you really consider that to be a decrease in benefits?

Just fyi, everything I've read, most HR professionals have the opinion that taking vacation days is of extreme benefit as compared to saving them for next year, so go and enjoy!
Yes, it is a decrease in benefits. My son gets sick and has to stay home enough that most of my vacation days go towards that (we get 5 paid sick days a year but that's not nearly enough for anyone with kids). That means I can't go on, for example, a two week trip to Japan to visit relatives because I don't have the option of stockpiling my days.

It costs a company more to recruit and hire new talent than it does to retain employees by doing things like allowing vacation time to be rolled over every two or theee years. I know most boomers feel that my generation thinks we're entitled to things, but this isn't that. I work hard to provide them with a quality product that I know they sell at a premium. Frankly, I could simply leave and go into practice (I'm a licensed attorney). My manager knows that, and so does upper management, and they do what they can to retain employees. The no vacation time carry over wasn't their decision.

As for my husband, he was at his last company for 3 years and worked his way up to supervisor, with a manager job lined up for him. He's making more now as a senior engineer without supervisor duties. He took a new job and we moved to a new state for a number of reasons that I don't need to share with you. Even people who change jobs every two years likely have a number of reasons for it. Again, the job environment just isn't what it was 50 or even 30 years ago.
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