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View Diary: Medical bills cause 62 percent of bankruptcies (58 comments)

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  •  Universal Health Care (2+ / 0-)
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    Val, james321

    This is a repeat of a recently posted comment in which I show how different the situation can be with the benefit of universal healh care.  US citizens should note :

    Quebec health coverage

    Two years ago, since I did not have a regular GP, I went to a walk-in clinic with a pain in the lower abdomen that got me worried about possible acute appendicitis (classic McBurney’s point pain). The doctor wrote a short prescription and instructed me to present it at the ER of the hospital of my choice,

    A 5 minute cab ride later, I was in the ER waiting room of the Montreal Hotel-Dieu hospital where I waited for all of 15 minutes for triage and another 15 minutes or so after triage at which point the system took me in.

    Within one hour, I had had an abdominal Xray and a thoracic scan, followed by a diagnosis of a large abdominal abscess located on the psoas muscle from the groin area to the top of the kidney.

    Next day, after a precision scan to determine the insertion angles, a drain was installed by percutaneous insertion (through the skin – no cutting).

    Then, because of the unusual content of the abscess, there began a thorough investigation by the entire microbiology department of the University hospital:

    It involved the following procedures:

    Over many weeks, I received seven or more intravenous antibiotics and anti fungal medications, several of which are unavailable in the US.      
    One full body MRI;
    One colonoscopy;
    Two ultrasound scans;
    Two nuclear two phase exams;
    Two or three EKGs
    Five more follow-up scans;
    A second drain insertion guided this time by ultrasound scanner;
    Because of its size, the abscess took 2 ½ months to fully drain;
    At least 70 blood tests;
    Installation of a PIC IV line (peripherally inserted central catheter)

    I was seen and examined by doctors and residents of the following departments:
    Microbiology (5 doctors, 3 residents);
    Internal Medicine (2 Doctors, 1 resident);

    I remained in the hospital for 2 ½ months in a spacious private room for which my private insurer paid approximately 6 000$.

    Upon my release from the hospital, I was admitted to a rehab centre for physical rehab and recovery therapy; 15 days in a private room, at no charge to me or my insurer.

    Total cost out of pocket for those three months in hospital: 0.00$ except for rental of a TV set.

    Because I was diagnosed with diabetes, I currently take 2 glucose control tablets per day and one new drug per day (cost = $3.00 per pill).  Since Quebec govt insurance covers drugs, I actually pay a fraction of the actual costs.

    My annual health coverage costs:

    Govt health coverage:    $  310
    Govt drugs coverage:    $  563
    Employer retiree  plan:    $  611       the last two amounts are         included in calculation of federal  and provincial income tax credits;   
    Employer  contribution:    $1,900     added to taxable income for     provincial income tax only; amount     is included in calculation of         provincial income tax credit;

    Monthly co-pay on drugs:
    $16+ 32%    , monthly max $80.25
     (my 2011 actual drug cost: $255) included in calculations of federal and provincial income tax credits                         
    My annual total health cost was under $1,750 in a year where my actual costs would have been anybody’s guess in the US whether insured or not………QED... (LOL)                   

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