This report was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse
One of the primary reasons why the middle class in America is disappearing so rapidly is because of skyrocketing health care costs. Families all over the country are being absolutely crushed by extremely high health insurance premiums, ridiculously high deductibles and very large out-of-pocket expenses that were not anticipated. In fact, medical bills are the number one reason why individuals go bankrupt in the United States today. Once upon a time, the medical profession was all about helping people, but today it has become a heartless money-making operation that is dominated by health insurance corporations and pharmaceutical companies. If we do not make major changes quickly, our out of control health care system will destroy the middle class in our country all by itself.
I knew that health care costs were astronomical, but I had no idea that health care costs for an average family of four for one year had hit $28,166…
The total costs for a typical family of four insured by the most common health plan offered by employers will average $28,166 this year, according to the annual Milliman Medical Index.
The estimate includes the average cost of health insurance paid by employers and employees, as well as deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses.
That is a crazy amount of money. Once upon a time, you could buy an entire house in America for $28,000. But now that will only cover health care costs for a single year.
The largest portion of that amount goes to pay for health insurance. For those that receive health benefits at work, usually the employer pays most of that bill…
Last year, the premium for the most popular health plan offered by employers — what is known as a preferred provider organization — for family coverage was $19,481, according to the annual survey done by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust.
Employers paid $13,430 and employees paid $6,050 of the premium on average.
When you break down that total, it comes to more than $1,500 a month just for health insurance.
That is insane.
And of course those of us that are self-employed or that work for businesses that don’t provide health insurance have to pay for it all on our own.
Needless to say, that can be financially crippling. And thanks to Obamacare, it is harder than ever before. Not too long ago, I wrote about one family in Virginia that is now faced with the prospect of paying $3,000 a month for an Obamacare plan…
Could you afford to pay $3000 a month for health insurance? Previously, Ian Dixon had been paying $900 a month for health insurance for his family of four, but thanks to changes in the Charlottesville insurance market, a similar plan will now cost him more than $3,000 a month.
This is one of the biggest reasons why the percentage of Americans that are self-employed is hovering near record lows. People simply cannot afford the health insurance.
And every year it gets worse. For 2018, it was being projected that the average rate increase for Obamacare plans would be 37 percent.
If our paychecks were going up 37 percent each year, that would be fine.
But of course that just isn’t happening.
This is one of our great long-term challenges as a society. We have got to get health care costs under control if our system is going to be sustainable.
There is absolutely no reason why an appendectomy in the United States needs to be 10 times more expensive than an appendectomy in Mexico. The quality of care in Mexico is not 10 times worse than in the United States. In fact, it is actually pretty comparable to what we have here, and many Americans are now taking “medical vacations” to have procedures performed down there because our system is so badly broken.
Sadly, this figure of $28,166 for a family of four will be out of date by next month.
According to one expert quoted by USA Today, every single month the number goes up by another one hundred dollars…
“But every month, a family of four’s health care costs are going up $100 a month,” Weltz said.
The costs have been going up by that amount — on average — for more than a decade.
I have to admit that our health care system makes me angry. Today, the U.S. health care system accounts for nearly one-fifth of the U.S. economy, but back in 1960 it only accounted for about 5 percent of the overall economy.
There is no reason why we can’t start moving back toward that level. We just need to reintroduce true competition and free market principles into our health care system. Those that have been abusing their power need to be held accountable, and something desperately needs to be done about the health insurance companies and the big pharmaceutical giants. In one recent year, more than 100 billion dollars was spent on cancer drugs, and that is absolutely outrageous.
If you go all the way back to 1960, an average of $146 was spent on health care per person for the entire year.
So for a family of four, the total would have been about $600, but now it is over $28,000.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
On a per capita basis, we spend far, far more than anyone else in the world on health care.
If you can believe it, we actually spend nearly twice as much as most of the other industrialized nations in the world on a per capita basis.
The only way that we are going to have a thriving middle class is if we get health care costs under control, but unfortunately Congress is such a mess right now that nothing is likely to get done for the foreseeable future.
So our health care system is going to continue to deteriorate, and many Americans will continue to travel overseas when they need important procedures to be done.
Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.
Michael T. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Florida law school and he worked as an attorney in the heart of Washington D.C. for a number of years.Today, Michael is best known for his work as the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and The American Dream.
If you want to know what is coming and what you can do to prepare, read his latest book [amazon text=Get Prepared Now!: Why A Great Crisis Is Coming & How You Can Survive It&asin=150522599X].
My sister, who has no insurance, is going for a D&C (minor female surgery).
Her $9000 procedure was cut to $5600 b/c we are paying the cash price.
The Hospital will further cut the bill by 80% b/c she is a poor working senior on Social Security.
She does NOT qualify for any type of gov assistance such as TennCare, nor is she old enough to be on MediCare.
If you don’t have insurance, bargain for the cash price (private pay as it is called) and then ask for any other type assistance that might be available through the Hospital for your situation.
Her GYN is cutting her price by 48%
I’m kinda amazed at how low we were able to get all this.
THE VAST MAJORITY OF MARTIAL ARTS AND BOXING COACHES WHO ACTUALLY TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO FIGHT AND NOT BULLSHIT DANCING KATAS ARE OPPOSED TO WEIGHTLIFTING FOR TRAINING FIGHTERS, RELYING ON CALISTHENICS AND PUNCHING THE HEAVY BAG TO BUILD LEAN WIRY MUSCLE.
ITALY CLOSED THE PORTS TODAY
If I may ask, why would a woman of senior age need a D&C? Usually after menopause there isn’t anything that needs fixing. Just curious.
there was discovered a mass in her uterus.
Obamacare is doing exactly what it was intended to do … ruin the middle class family and make everyone clamor for national health care.
Fritz, you are correct. It was by design.
At the same time, most people do AS THEY ARE TOLD not as they should! The spirit of Liberty definitely DOES NOT LIVE IN THE HEARTS OF MEN AND WOMEN…
I do NOT carry health coverage. I pay out of pocket for all my DR visits and surgeries!
Learned Hand a former federal judge said:
“What do we mean when we say that first of all we seek liberty? I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it”
“Her $9000 procedure was cut to $5600 b/c we are paying the cash price.”
They’re not doing her a big favor. Just having medial insurance and they cut the bill by that amount if not more. This certainly implies that they overcharge those W/O insurance who do not complain.
The insurance “industry” is one relatively small step from a protection racket. I know of one agent making $250K largely from selling Obama Care policy’s to small companies and not just getting a commission but a residual. Its parasitic. They’re “middle men” performing no service that an HR manager should be able to do on a computer key board picking X coverage for X price.
My wife and I don’t have health insurance. On the good side, this has really motivated me to understand health better in regards to what we eat and how it affects bodies, especially the gut microbiome.
My wife has also started putting a lot of emphasis in herbal remedies and other homemade/homegrown foods to supplement our diet such as Kamboocha (I know I spelled that wrong.) One of the books she swears by, and I as her human test subject and confirm, is this book > The Lost Ways
It is “illegal” for a doc to charge you different from what they bill the insurance companies, BUT they all will. We in the business know the insurance racket it totally corrupt, dishonest and wrong.
Just ask. Tell them you have no insurance and would really appreciate the “cash price” or “self pay”. BE NICE. You will find it reasonable. WE do this all the time since we know the Insurance companies are so disorganized, understaffed, buried in their own paper work, that they never check up on it.
All the government agencies are a total mess and don’t have time to check up. Unless the doc is billing in the millions/per year, there is no audit and we can charge whatever we want for those “self pay” knowing the gov doesn’t give a Sh*T and have NO manpower to go out and check on it. The system is collapsing.
When I had rotator cuff surgery done, I paid $6,500 for EVERYTHING. Since we had made “friends” with the billing staff (pay up front before the surgery) they showed us that the “Billing and Coding” for the SAME procedure to Medicare was $54,000.
None of the amounts you see on the “bill” are real. They are made up. They are bogus and it is because it is all a corrupt and sick game. Ignore it and pay up front, before, in “cash” and you’ll pay 20-25%.
My family premiums would be $1,600 per month with $10,000 deductable if we bought the worthless plan. We have no insurance. That means, I can set aside $29,200 before any “insurance” would pay anything. Insurance is a joke and worthless.
If we get really sick or ill, we will do EXACTLY what the illegals do, use the Emergency Room, refuse to pay, and settle for 10 cents on the dollar. That is what they do. In fact. They pay NOTHING since these “illegals” don’t even exist.
This country stinks.
I’m covered by VA for medical, although I have to co-pay, so I’ve already paid for my medical under the present laws.
My wife gets subsidized Kaiser crap coverage that we pay $4800 per year for, real cost is about $12000 yearly for her alone.
If we had no Obama care and I could do an Health Savings Account(HSA) I’d drop her coverage in a second, pay direct, and buy catastrophic care insurance.
I don’t have that option under present law, thanks to Democrats and GOPe.
I suppose it doesn’t matter as we will be on the broken Medicare system in a few years.
How to fix? Tort reform Kill all ambulance chasing lawyers and Democrat politicians.
Full disclosure; My uncle was a world class Plastic surgeon and
some of my family worked(s) in the Medical field.
If you know of some way to buy catastrophic care insurance, please tell us. As a gov contractor for years, there would be times (usually short periods) of no job. I asked various insurance agents for hospitalization only coverage in case of anything. It was all or nothing. I had to go with nothing because even before NobamaCare insurance purchased by an individual was mighty expensive. I simply stayed healthy and went out of pocket for any prescriptions–it’s way cheaper.
The only ways I know is to become a small business or vote out all the a$$ wipes.
I’m hoping the latest Trump EO will get people like the NRA to do a group health thing.
Yahooie, I have medicare part A and B. I checked on part C and found that their prescription drug schedule would have me paying more than I pay now for cash. What a filthy scam.
That is so true. You pay around $25 a month for the Drug coverage yet have a $400 a year deductable. That means you pay $700 before the “insurance” pays anything.
Also, many of the Rxs you will need are either FREE at some stores or about $4/month. Again, go to everybody who sells your Rxs and ask them the “cash price” AND volume. If you can get your MD to write out a generic Blood Pressure Rx, and make it for one full year, you get a real good deal buying all of it at one time. Never buy your Rxs one month at a time.
The Insurance companies limit you to 1 month at a time since they don’t want to buy much for you and then you DIE on them. Also, they don’t care about your time or health AND if you check, your “copay” is usually HIGHER than your “cash price”.
It is most likely cheaper and better to NEVER buy the Part D plans.
Insurance in not insurance. It is a rip-off and a scam. You can thank ALL THE POLITICIANS who are on the take from these Mega-Billions dollars “insurance” companies.
Time for a reset.
“catastrophic care insurance”
Thats the way to go. You can handle $5000. Its the $50,000 that hurts and the $500,000 that is catastrophic.
I have a number of recent medical bills. I called each of them today to let them know I can’t pay them all immediately. One of the people who answered the phone didn’t even ask who I was and immediately said I could just pay what I could and they would just keep sending me a bill until it was all paid.
The hospital wanted hundreds per month on a payment plan. I said I couldn’t do that, so they said pay what I can and they will also just keeping sending bills until I pay it off.
I think there may be a law here that says they have to take what you can pay. Anyway, that’s what I’m doing.
I just got a form from Social Security asking if I want extra help paying for medicine, even though I’m not on Medicare yet. So I filled it out and mailed it. Maybe I’ll get something or maybe I won’t. No postage required, so it didn’t cost me anything. Has anyone else gotten one of those?
My sister is a billing supervisor at a Major mid-west hospital.
They try to get what they can from people. Most people can’t afford it so the hospital increases prices to those that can. It is the insurance companies that fund most the poor.
Yes the hospital will work with you, but they have workers 24/7 they have to pay, somehow.
Medical school is free,only to the qualified.
No civil lawsuits, but criminal laws apply.
Leaving a sponge in somebody’s gut
or amputating the wrong leg is an assault.
Health care is not a right, it is a service
you pay for.
“Medical school is free,only to the qualified.”
I would make it like a Military Academy. You pay back Uncle Sam (the taxpayer) with service for the next 6 years. There is your doctors for the poor in government clinics. Cat scans, MRI and the like need to operate 24/7 not M-F. The poor have to go at 2AM. The Physicians once paying back their time can (and will) go into private practice increasing supply of “supply and demand” breaking the back of the AMA Union that control the supply side.
There is…..oops there are
Kevin and rellik, great ideas. I’ve long held the idea that medical school is a large part of why getting health care is so expensive.
The other part is the cost of prescriptions. Not everything is best done with herbals (though I prefer that route myself since it needs a higher level of heath than most are at). Some things like inhalers are at highway robbery levels; yeah, Advair discus runs $400 each or the finer mist type called HFA runs $521. Please bear in mind that for pulmonary problems this is each month. With good insurance, this comes to about $100 per month…for just that item. Medicare is good except for the famed donut hole and little is ever said about paying the initial deductible which must be met before coverage kicks in. (And don’t forget that Medicare is inexpensive but it’s far from free.)
Now it’s understandable why patients risk mail order pharmaceuticals from sketchy, undependable parts of the world.
it is a little more than that.
I slipped one night and got a gash.
Blood all over the place.
even my Israeli IDF bandages
could only slow it.
The ER nurse refused to sew me up and called
in a doctor, he did the stitches.
My point is he could sew very good
when I needed it and the NP was afraid to do
the same, although I’m sure he could have done
just as well.
I would have sutured it if I could have reached it.
I had a big boil and a doctor refused to lance it because insurance calls it “surgery”. I did get some antibionics, went home, positioned two mirrors, got some hydrogen peroxide (better than alcohol), and an old time razor blade and lanced it myself. This was three decades ago and I think its got worse.
Most of the ingredients in your brand name medicines are made overseas…the same as generics. In fact, you can’t tell where they are made because it is not listed on the bottle or box. The brand names source their ingredients from foreign companies also.
I use a Canadian pharmacy because the medications are less paying cash than than copay for my insurance is.
I looked up Advair Diskus in my catalog and it lists the 250/50mcg at $75, the 500/50 at $85, and the 100/50 at $65. Generics of course.
I’ve been dealing with this pharmacy for several years. I get three months at a time. I just have to wait three or four weeks for delivery since I mail a check that needs to clear. Just my preference. I suppose a credit card would be faster.
A number of hospitals do this now. One of the doc’s I work for had his student loans paid off by working at a small hospital in the middle of no where for a number of years. Most patients were from a local Indian reservation.
Doctors make good money but it’s the VP’s, CEO’s and Presidents that are raking in the big dollars. WAY more than doc’s. And it’s amazing how many VP’s it takes to run a small hospital. The corporate hospitals, usually not for profit, are a large reason healthcare is so expensive. Private practice doctors are a dying bread because of the nightmare the government has turned medicine in to. Now they are mostly corporate employees and we all know how that works.
Check and make sure it was really from medicare. Supplemental insurance companies will make their ads look official sometimes to fool you into responding to their offers.
I don’t understand the concept of paying for healthcare (aside from the odd chiropractic adjustment when my lower back locks up), but then again, I live in Canada. The one year I did have coverage, I never used it – heck, I could’ve gone to the dentist for free! But I didn’t, since I don’t need to.
If you are selective in what you put into your body, stay physically fit and know what herbs/foods and “grandma’s treatments” to use if/when you do fall ill or severely injure yourself, you will never need a doctor anyway, so why bother paying for one in advance? Even if you need glasses, the $400 or so dollars it costs for a new pair every few years is still cheaper than paying thousands in insurance to get them “for free”!
I have done away with doctors; the last two times I saw mine, she just gave me prescriptions for chemicals that I told her I could not take. The only time I see one now is when my driver’s license comes up for renewal and I need a doc to sign off on my medical, but the fire department pays for that.
Pre health care in 1900 the US life expectancy was 45 years old for a male. They got plenty of exercise, ate natural food, and were for the most part not exposed to many chemicals.
Only 3 things changed life expectancy, and it was not Doctors:
1) Cleaner food
2) Cleaner Environment
That alone took us to around 75 healthy years, BUT since then, our food is “garbage”, at best, or Candy, at worse. The pills we take from this damage to our bodies (Diabetes, Heart Problem, Blood Pressure, Kidney and Liver disease) can not, and will not, “cure” any of these self-inflicted diet caused degenerations.
If, today, we go back to REAL FOOD and do some exercise, we can live long and happy. Just STOP eating the crap, and you know what it is. Doctors can not, will not, and are not allowed to “cure” these non-food based diseases. The goal is to keep you alive and medicated so the HealthCare (Sickness Care) Industry can “farm” you.
Well trained nurses can do everything we think we need “Doctors” for, such as birthing babies, handing out antibiotics, fixing broken bones. Doctors are trained for 12-16 years to do “surgery” to keep your Diabetes going so you can buy more drugs to keep you Diabetic……..Prevent the Diabetes and you won’t need all this useless surgery.
It is a racket.
I see a doctor if I get shot in a bank robbery or run over by a truck. Otherwise I won’t. I’m at least ten or twenty years older than I look. I plan to outlive my enemies. Most of the people who did me wrong are already dead. So I’m doing alright. Thank you, very much.
B from CA
Like to keep you here on planet earth. I had several friends/acquaintances that waited too long catching whatever killed them too late. Good luck with your health strategy but its risky as you get older.
B, good strategy which I also follow. I quit smoking back in the mid-2000s; only vice I had. I also try to eat healthy and I’m always active. I’ve got coverage through my company but if my premiums take a big jump I’ll drop it. I’m not on any medications for anything. I don’t know if any of the people who did me wrong are still living and don’t care just as long as they avoid me. I do my very, very best to avoid getting sick or injured any type of way. One serious injury or serious illness can bankrupt a person these days. At 61 I feel good. I don’t even go to a doctor for a checkup because I’m afraid of the bastard getting those $ signs in his eyes and fabricating some diagnosis. My life and my decision. Life is such a chance.
I prescribe to the same theory. I want to outlive my siblings and a whole lot of other sorry relatives and folks I don’t like. I don’t give it countinual free rent but its a thrill to read their Obituary!
The federal government is giving proctology exams for free.
The ling finger of the law.
$28000 to cover a family of four? A lot of average workers don’t even make $28000 a year even with a second job. That’s somewhere below the federal poverty line.
Why would one want to use the health care system in the US except for trauma cases or things like appendicitis? The health care system is not designed to cure most diseases, but it is designed to make people sicker. What I mean by that is they treat for a condition. The treatment has side effects, they have to treat for those as well. Very few things get cured. Most things are masked by pills.
And yet, it you just showed up here & do not have a job or speak English, you get free health care. Anyone paying for insurance is also paying for those who just walked into the country. I have several “open borders for all” friends, try to explain that the working guy is paying for all of it. They just give you the blank stare.
If there was a way my hubby could drop our insurance, he would do it in a heartbeat, with my blessing. It’s $1000 a month, on a fixed income! It’s only for me, he’s on Medicare. I appreciate that he’s willing to pay that much. I try to stay healthy, am pretty active, and my only downfall is I weigh too much. I’ve only seen a doc when it was needed, such as my kidney stone 5 years ago, and the blood clots a couple years ago. But I don’t do regular visits, to save money. I will only go if needed. Yes, it may cost my life one day. That’s the way the cookie crumbles. I’m prepared.
He’s running for governor in California.
You will be healthy until you get sick. Your genetics dictate 90% of your state of health. You will live until you die. Having health insurance and visiting doctors with waiting rooms full of sick folks does nothing to change the 3 facts I mentioned. Im 67 and haven’t been to a doctor in over 5 years. Only went then to get the required Medical card because I was Driving Semi Truck.
Until the government secures the borders, we will pay increasingly higher prices for medical coverage. We import nearly 3 million poor people per year. Every year. Then they have kids at our expense. Screw the US Chamber of Commerce for keeping the borders open.
You know, I have really come to the conclusion that anymore the United States is about finding ways to take literally EVERY dollar out of each citizen’s pocket, until the pocket is bone dry, Empty, but wait it does not stop there. Many Americans are now Forced to use the vile poison known as credit cards to make ends meet. We all know how this story is going to end: Dead BROKE and or in Bankruptcy Court. Corporate America has been so damn sly and devious and has been screwing us “average” workers for the past what 30+ years now or so. And then the Gov’t has their filthy, greedy paws in your face wanting their cut. And literally at the end of the day, week, month and year you are left with Jack! Guys, it is no wonder the average person has next to nothing for retirement – pensions only Gov’t clowns get those anymore. This country and well more than 50%+ of the current population will be in absolute DIRE STRAITS when they retire and or can no longer slave away. Think about it for a few minutes…connect all the dots and ponder that one. . .
healthcare is not really as most see it on the surface. They government is full of communists that are trying to use healthcare as a way to further break society and use healthcare as a control mechanism
It’s all right out of saul alinskys rules for radicals
They do not want you to have affordable good healthcare they want you sick and weak and under their control
then, there is the agenda 21 plan for a smaller population
I remember reading that if you look at the total amount of money that is spent on healthcare in a person’s lifetime, that 50% is spent in the last six months of the person’s life. That’s an incentive to simply euthanize someone who is diagnosed as terminal within six months. That would seriously reduce the national cost of healthcare. I’m against doing it (especially on me!) but the incentive exists.
The more that the overall cost of healthcare is paid for by the Government, the more incentive the Government has to impose a healthy lifestyle and diet on Americans. That incentive exists as well.
Brian All that is necessary is for those who are beyond hope. They and their loved ones need to face reality and simply refuse treatments that exist just for the sake of prolonging a life as long as possible no matter how much it cost. However I seen folks spent money at a Vet to keep a pet alive that’s obviously at the end of its days. And them pay the vet to euthanize that pet. When a 22 at the base of the skull will do the same job is humane and cost almost nothing. Old saying if ya cant shoe your own horse or shoot yer own dog ya don’t need either one.