Non-emergency yet serious medical conditions without insurance.

We’ve already had threads about non-insured Americans needing emergency care. But what about non-emergency treatment that is still seriously needed? Like, say, a knee replacement, and the person is not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, and cannot pay out-of-pocket?

If you can not talk a doctor and hospital into doing the procedure, you are fucked. Get crutches.

Seriously. A knee replacement is not life threatening condition. You will be told to take over the counter pain killers, and try to walk as little as possible.

Happened to a friend of mine who was working for an evil corporation with no medical plan for most of their employees [you can probably guess the employer…]

She got lucky and before there was too much damage hooked up with and married a guy in the navy, and ended up getting the knee replaced.

The above post is basically what you get. Jack shit! I know somebody here lost the sight in one eye because they didn’t get the care they need. I know it happens to many people. I know I didn’t get the health care I needed. I should have gone on anti rejection medicine, but without insurance I had to combat my immune reaction with antihistamines a number of years to stop swelling up like a blimp. I lost the insurance and was broke 10 months after not being able to work, and that was after three years of limited work that had allowed me to keep the insurance. I had to suppress my immune system to stop it attacking me. I can’t even talk about the cost of this stupid bailout for corps when I know people have been told so many times America can’t afford to have universal health care. I realize not everybody can get the newest procedures, but we need to be able to get the cheaper if slower procedure, and basic health care for stuff like diabetes, a broken leg or asthma.

You could do what I did… move overseas. In many places the cost of living will be MUCH cheaper than in the US and you can get health coverage. I have no way to get health insurance in the USA (self-employed with pre-existing conditions that have no cure) and at this point I may never see my own country again. The health coverage I was able to get overseas is better than any I know of in the US.

Or get treatment once you are eligible for Medicare

And how would I get a job overseas that will let me telecommute? I have a medical condition that basically restricts me to no walking and despite the requirement for handicap access our building is essentially unaccessable to a person in a chair. Last time I was in europe, it was even less handicapped friendly than the US. To move to the EU and get a job tends to mean that you have to be fluent in the local language, and last I looked medical care and job availability was for shit in the british isles. I peak some french, some spanish and a microscopic bit of german, so those countries are right out. My italian I got from gangster movies, and local kids so it is next to useless in italy. Greek? All greek to me. mrAru is sort of restricted in the theoretical sense to what other countries he can live in from being in the navy, something about nuclear subs , and mid 40 year olds are that are not selfsupporting without a job are pretty much not really wanted.

We do better off in this country. We are about 5 years or less from paying off the house, which will drop our monthly expenses by almost $1KUS a month…and even though I bitch about tricare, it is better than nothing and has a reasonable co-pay [which is negated when I add in my work insurance] I can telecommute in my present job so there is nothing keeping me here.

I seriously doubt the average walmart worker is desirable in the job market anywhere else in the world.

I am disabled and have received excellent healthcare (20+ major operations, 5 of which in the past 10 years) for the last 32 years. I also don’t have to worry about continuity of care, as even if I were homeless eating out of dustbins, I would continue to receive the same level of care, from the same doctors.

So, I would disagree with you very strongly.

It’s a bitch and a half to pay for my husband’s diabetes medication with no health insurance and my working only part time for most of the last year. He’s type II, so not getting his medicine probably won’t kill him outright, it will “merely” lead to blindness, nerve damage, possible loss of limbs…

I disagree somewhat, there are lots of jobs that you can get health insurance for part time wages.

When I worked for myself, I got a job in a hotel, worked 2 days 20 hours got insurance. Once I had been their 90 days I quit and paid COBRA.

OK YES it costs a lot. It ran me about $400/month, but I DID get the insurance, even with previous conditions, and it only last 18 months. Then I just repeated the cycle.

You can sit at a hotel and answer a PBX phone.

Again I am not saying it’s AFFORDABLE, but just because you have a pre-existing condition doesn’t mean you can’t get any. And you certainly don’t have to move overseas to get it. You may have to work two jobs to get it and still earn a living, but you can get it.

Try Starbucks they have health insurance for part time employees

Doesn’t the Navy provide some form of insurance to former sailors?

I am not handicapped, but have pre-existing conditions that prevent me from getting insurance in the US. I own a software business so am able to telecommute from anywhere. I hate how we have enough money to invade other countries, but not enough to care for our own people. Universal Health care would cost less than bombing Iraq and Afghanistan.

Good luck to you.

I am already self employed so do not want to get a different job. I make a good income (last year $250K+) and have no problem paying for insurance at normal rates… but they won’t sell it to me.

As an individual I was told “don’t bother applying” and when trying to get a group plan for my company, I was told either: we can’t insure you, you need more employees (I have 2 including me), or that the annual cost is more than the company earns.

I’d like to return to the US and have been going back and forth on my decision… if I move back I am uninsured and while I can pay out of pocket for a while, once the money runs out, I’d be screwed.

If you can afford to buy your own insurance but insurance companies won’t take you, you might do some research into whether the state you’re thinking of moving to has a high-risk pool for residents. For instance, New Mexico has a program that allows anyone who’s been turned down for health insurance to join a state-sponsored plan. The premiums are limited by the state (although they’re about what you’d pay for an individual plan if you could get one). The coverage tends to be more expensive than an employer-sponsored one would be and there’s a waiting period for pre-existing conditions if you haven’t been continuously covered, but it’s sure a lot better than nothing.

I found a couple of sites with information about different states’ plans:

You probably could incorporate in California. The state requires insurance companies to offer group coverage to all companies with 2 or more employees. They’re not allowed to charge more than 10% above the standard rates regardless of condition.

I helped set the plan up for a 2 person start-up. My boss had a son with hemophilia. He could not purchase private insurance at any price for his son, but we got surprisingly affordable group rates, and they were required to cover the kid. (I was told when I was hired that the company would pay for 100% of my insurance so I would join the plan, as it wasn’t a group without me)

I wold rather stay overseas than live in or have any dealings with California, but New Mexico might be an option. Nevada has no high-risk pool, but all my family is there and I spent 30 years there so not very interested in elsewhere.

They’re fucked. A coworker I’m close with needs her shoulder replaced. L&I has paid most of her therapy so far. The specialist says she needs surgery but that L&I would likely require she consult their doctor who would certainly deny the procedure.

She was given a pamphlet regarding the procedure and was basically told “Let me know when you find $25,000.” :mad:

IF you can get the jobs!

I’m having trouble hanging on to just ONE job, much less two!

I did - they aren’t hiring in my area.

That’s the problem - too many people looking for work, not enough jobs.

Frankly, I’m getting exhausted sending in apps and going to interviews. THAT’s a full time job in and of itself.

Having someone like you show up and essentially say “well, you don’t have it because you aren’t trying hard enough - work two jobs, get a job doing X or Y or Z” when I have been trying to get a job for nearly a year now and the only folks who HAVE hired me don’t offer insurance to their workers is a rather unwelcome slap in the face. I am a pretty smart cookie, I have over 25 years work experience, a college degree and I can not find full time employment in my area. I’m sorry if you refuse to believe is a problem of job availability rather than, I dunno, laziness or something on my part.

Why do I take jobs that don’t offer insurance? Because they offer money, which I need in order to pay my rent and put food on the table and, oh yes, pay for my husband’s medications. Sure, I’m still looking for something else, but what do you expect me to do? Sit on my ass making nothing because the jobs I can find aren’t “good enough”? At least at this point we CAN pay for what he needs right now - the problem is if either one of us gets seriously ill or injured we’re SOL.

Military medical is called tricare, because you generally try to get cared for …

If it is the absolutely only thing availible, it is better than nothing. By the way, it also costs us even though mrAru slaved for 20 years ad an excessively badly compensated job. One memorable navy doc tried to give me pennicillin, despite the screaming pink folder with Pennicillin Allergy in 2 inch letters. It took me my medical records and almost 10 years of arguing to get into the diabetic maintenance program. I was told that I had to endure and shut up about my PCOS and the charming habit my body had of bleeding an ounce an hour and going into labor once a month and they would not give me that lovely pill that shuts down the cycle totally. We just wont go into the untreated osteoarthritis in my knees, nor the 15 years I tried to get my thyroid/parathyroid issue diagnosed [which a civillian doctor ran one test, hooked me up with an endocrinologist, who sent me to the head of surgical endocrinology at Yale who yoinked out part of them and fixed me.]

aruvqan, I’m sorry about your medical troubles. :frowning:

FWIW, I don’t believe that mrAru is restricted in any meaningful sense from where he can live, with the exception of countries like North Korea, Cuba, etc., and other countries where you wouldn’t want to live anyway.

I’m surprised to hear that Navy medical care has gone downhill so much. We caught the tail end of Tricare before I got out.

Tricare may suck, and it may cost $, but you might be surprised how screwed up the non-military health plans are out there. It’s been a rude awakening since I left the Navy, and since I didn’t retire, we’re no longer eligible for Tricare.

You might also look into VA health care, but I think it will only cover your husband, and it’s kind of a crapshoot, too.

If you can telecommute from abroad, note that in Spain you’d be eligible for the same care as anybody else. Yep, that’s without paying Spanish SS. I don’t think this means you should move, but it’s something that some telecommuters from other countries are taking advantage of; couples where one is retired and the other one telecommutes, for example, or who have a tele-business back in the home country.

When I was a graduate student in the USA, my coverage from back home, paid by my local government as part of my fellowship, had a coverage defined in a single paragraph similar to this:
“This policy covers any treatment for illness or accident, as well as gynecological care. In the case of conditions which require long hospital stays, the patient will, if medically possible, be transported back to Spain. This transportation is covered. The transportation of one relative to stay with the patient during a hospital stay abroad, as well as the stay of said relative, are covered.”
This was considered “inadequate coverage” by my Uni, curiously enough…

First of all, why can’t a person pay out of pocket? Not to say you have the money now but save up for a good deposit for the doctor and the out patient surgery center and make payments.

Most doctors will offer self pay discounts since the insurance contracts make them take deep cuts in their fees anyway. If one says no, find another. Orthopedic surgeons are a dime a dozen in most areas. If the patient already has the MRI, they need to be prepared with a few hundred to pay the first consultation, have two or three thousand saved up. Offer half to the doc, half to the center and make payments for the rest. The surgery scheduler or billing department will set this up.

Should healthcare be free to all Americans? People can argue this point right into the ground but the bottom line is elective surgery (which a knee replacement is) costs money. Maybe the fee can’t be saved in six month or even a year but if you are in pain, you’d be willing to give up certain things to put in a knee fund and make it happen. Get it done, pay off the balance a bit a month and get on with life.