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View Diary: Help! I am going to my first town hall meeting! (57 comments)

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  •  This never fails to amazes me (1+ / 0-)
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    high uintas

    I will ask your question provided I get the chance because I think it is a great one.

    And I was thinking what Mike Lee could answer and how overall companies in America see and treat their employee's.
    So I have to tell you a little bit out of my own experience what advantages a company and a employee could get out of a "Healthy" health care system.

    As you all know by now, I am one of the Germans here on the block. I worked 25 years of my life in Germany before I came here.
    I started my working life on a very rainy day in Duesseldorf. Funny how you don't forget these kind of things. But I also did not forget that this most irritated looking women from human resources (with the most unusual hair cut you can imagine) handed me my papers which I had to return within 3 days. One part of that paperwork was a spread sheet with a list of insurances I could pick from. Like BEK, AOK, KKH .....
    One of the columns  showed what it would cost monthly. another one showed the part of the employer and another one my part to be paid. So I picked the insurance company my parents have been in as long as I did remember. I still was with this insurance company when I left for Germany.
    I don't remember what I paid when I started working life. But I do remember what I paid before I left because I still have my last payslip. 324 Deutsche Mark with the BEK Barmer Ersatz Kasse (The change over to Euro was later) that was my part PER MONTH - the same amount had to be paid by my employer per month.

    I had no co-pays, no visit fees, no additions to medications. This was my total amount for everything from dental over vision and new glasses at least once a year or as often as I needed to every hospital visit to every doctor or surgery I needed.
    I know that my family always looks at me with big eyes what I all have to pay on top to having to pay for insurance.
    And I know how funny I look when I hear that and read in the German news that every German gets money back this year 2013 because insurance companies have been over paid.
    For example the TKK health insurance paid every insured person up to 120 Euro back.
    A few more things changed in my 14 years of leaving Germany.
    For example: My retired mother pays now  once every three month a co-pay of 25 Euro - for this amount she can visit her doctor and every other doctor as often as she needs. This includes her medication co-pay.   But now comes the beauty. Because insurance companies made to much money on this co-pay in the last two years - THEY WAIVED this co-pay for this year and plans are developing to take it into 2014.

    I don't know of a German (or for that matter all other European countries) being sick without getting treatment and paying for the rest of their life's.

    I don't know of a German with bad teeth because of not being able to pay for it.

    I stayed with my company I worked for all my working life in Germany. I stayed with them because I was able to pay for a great insurance. Although as a young person I was not thinking along these terms. I was secure and that was it. For me it was more important to have 32 paid vacation days. No sick day would have been deducted from this.
    I had 12 paid holidays per year.
    And I worked for this company very hard on every working day. And if I got ill I had the chance to get fast healthy - to get into free prevention programs  - to be fit and able to give it all - to be the best.

    The bottom line is - Germany is leading the world market in the top levels of production - export etc.. They have vested employee's and that is their biggest capital.
    Germany tries to insures that companies have to keep it that way. That they don't become to big to fail.
    I guess one of these days when I feel brave again I should write a diary about Walmart in Germany. How Walmart packed their things and left.

    A German in America - often confused but still trying to understand and happy to share the European point of view with a smile to everybody who is willing to listen

    by agermanfullofhope on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 08:54:43 AM PDT

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