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How Much Do Americans Have to Pay for Health Insurance?

Coming from the UK I sort of find it hard to imagine having to pay out for your own health care . . . but how much does the average American in reasonable health have to pay for insurance, and what happens if you don’t have it?

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9 Responses to “How Much Do Americans Have to Pay for Health Insurance?”

  1. katehughes2706 said :

    Because we pay National Insurance which pays for the NHS, but they dont have that, so they have to have HealthCare Insurance or they’ll be lumbered with a big hospital bill if the end up with in hospital.

  2. US_DR_JD said :

    Health care insurance rates in the US are very complicated.

    you can be part of a Health Maintainence Organization, the rates for this insurance are the cheapest but the levels of care can be lower. You have to see your designated primary care clinic before you can go to a specialist. The main goal of this form of insurance is to keep health care cost low while maintaining health.

    Then there are PPOs that means the insurance company has a list of preferred providers for each specialty and you can choose who to see off the list. This is more expensive than an HMO but not as expensive as traditional US health insurance. There is more choice but also more cost.

    Finally, there is traditional health insurance where you pay the highest premiums but you pick whoever you want to see and go to them. Unlimited choice highest cost.

    Usually the employer has one or more health care insurance plans available for the employees and makes a contribution to the insurance. The amount of employer contribution is sometimes set by company policy but other times is a negotiable benefit.

    There are plans for the poor, unemployed, disabled and retired. These are Medicaid for the indigent and Medicare for the disabled and retired population. The government pays for medicaid out of taxes, and everyone working pays a payroll deduction towards medicare.

    There are also many persons who are employed, making above the indigent level, but not enough to cover health insurance or they are part time and not eligible for company benefits. This is the problem area for US healthcare. This part of the population often ends up losing their prperty etc in order to pay medical bills.

    Additionally, as most health insurance only pays for 80% of “allowable” claims there are many health care cost not covered.

    I am taking a medication which is given IV over a period of 8 hours. At first I took it daily, then weeekly and now I am taking it once a month. It cost $5,000.00 US dollars per day for the treatment. Medicare my primary insurance does not allow for any of the expense. My secondary insurance will cover 80% and after I pay $3000.00 per year it picks up 100%.

    I am lucky! I am covered by Medicare due to a permanent disability which prevents me from going to work, as well as I am covered by insurance through the US military as I am retired from the Army and a disabled veteran. I am supposed to get free healthcare at the military hospitals, but they are overtasked with the injured soldiers returning from Iraq etc.

    To give you a hint, the average family of 4 will pay over $400.00 per month on thop of the employer contribution for a PPO insurance plan.

  3. Terminator said :

    I heard around 300 to 400 per month!!!!

  4. firstkiss said :

    for a single person coverage, basic – depending what part of the country your from , u could be paying anywhre frm 200- 800usd per month out of pocket..

  5. BangkokBob said :

    When I lived in NYC, 1 1/2 years ago, my last premium for a single person was $560/mo. It was with Oxford which is very big in NY, NJ and Florida. It was the cheapest of all the insurance companies. I had left work, so my employer was not paying anymore and I was not 65 years old yet when the elderly insurance plan, medicare, pays most of your costs, so I had to pay for it myself. Now you know why I moved to Bangkok. My insurance here cost me $2,100 for the entire year.

  6. Joya said :

    It’s not cheap. my mom pays like $400 and that’s with her job paying part. I’ve been wanting to watch the documentary sicko. none of the theaters in my area are showing it though so I’ll have to wait till it comes out on DVD. anyways you said it was hard for you to imagine having to pay for your own healthcare… I found it hard to believe the government in the UK pays for healthcare. If we need to go to the doctor it’s a fee of $30 per visit. the emergency room costs $70 plus whatever they charge for treatments that the insurance doesn’t cover. When my brother had a biking accident and his collarbone snapped and came out of his skin it was horribly expensive because he had to have ambulance to the hospital, morphine, ambulance to childrens hospital in st louis (70 miles), treatment there. My mom says it cost close to $2000. the hospitals have payment plans though.

  7. chabathehutt said :

    I pay $310.00 a month for medical and dental insurance for a family of four (approx 153.00 GBP) in a PPO – please see description above. This allows us to see a primary care physician that is in our healthcare provider network; so far this is the same as an HMO.

    However, in an HMO, if we need to see a specialist, say an Ear, Nose & Throat or a Podiatrist, etc., I would need the primary care physician to refer us to the specialist, and have the HMO approve it – many times they deny the referral stating they don’t think the proceedure is necessary. At that time, you need to go to the primary again, and see if they will submit the referral (again) only differently worded, and hope it will get approved.
    With a PPO, I can go directly to the specialist without the authorization – as long as they accept the insurance plan I am under.
    With both plans, you need to pay a fee at the doctor’s office before service is done, what that is will varry on what plan you have – for me it’s another $10 per person (it used to be $20 before I switched jobs). On top of that, if I need a prescription filled, I pay $10 for generic medication, and a percentage for brand name medication (% depends on the medication).
    Easy, right?

  8. mwdesigncreate said :

    When you’re hired at any establishment for work, 9 out of 10 times you have the option of getting health insurance. The money is deducted from your paycheck.
    I denied health coverage because it is to expensive for me.
    (about $220 per month). Some employers pay for part of your insurance and some dont. So rates are always different.

    Since I have no insurance, I must pay cash, check, or credit anytime I see a doctor or dentist. Most doctors will send you a bill every month if you can’t afford to pay up front, which is nice. You can also contact insurance companies directly to get health insurance, but it will be costly.

    If you are in good health, and don’t need to see a doctor on a regular basis, then it’s wiser to just pay the cash when you need to see them. It ends up being cheaper that way.
    If you are in good health, don’t worry about getting any insurance, unless you feel more comfortable doing that way in case something were to happen.

  9. sandra k said :

    way more that anyone should have to pay… unless you have insurance with your employer/group plan it is expensive.

    The cost varies.. each policy is different.


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