Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Health Care

Listening to John McCain's health care plan you have to wonder What is He Thinking? He clearly has been receiving government sponsored health care his entire life. I know I read this somewhere, but can't remember at the moment.

But the reason I'm mentioning it now is thinking about my own issues with health care. Up until 2003, my employer paid for my health care. I had an individual managed care plan that, until I turned 55, cost about $425 a month. The month I turned 55, the coverage jumped to over $800. If my employer hadn't covered me, I would never have been able to maintain coverage.

Within nine months we moved to Greece and had to provide our own coverage. We found a great carrier that provided expatriate health care at the low premium rate of $450 a month for both of us, our doctors in Seattle were in the "network," but, as usual, my pre-existing conditions were not covered. Oh, yeah - we also signed on for a $1,000/year deductible (we pay the first $1,000).

As the years went by and we grew older, the premiums went up to $550 per month. Last year I turned 60 and Michael turned 65 and our premiums went up to $1,000 per month. We looked everywhere for a plan with lower premiums without success. When we renew our coverage this summer we expect our premiums to go up once again.

If McCain thinks a tax break would help, he's more out of touch than I imagined. As to his claim of competition and lower rates, he obviously hasn't had to deal Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO). HMOs were supposed to lower prices, instead they lowered coverage and added more bureaucracy to the chore of trying to stay healthy.

When I lived in the US, I had a co-pay of $20 for each prescription and every year I was forced to go to my doctor and get my prescription for my thyroid condition renewed. Here in Greece, I pay less than 4 euros (about $5.66) for a two months' supply. I am never asked to renew this prescription (after all this is a maintenance program, not something that's going to make me happy!) so I save money by not having to go to the doctor as well.

One more reason to vote for a Democrat, but neither of the last two standing had as good a plan as John Edwards.

No comments: