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Health Insurance Costs By Year Question & Answers

2013 November 12
by Sarah Fields

Nancy asks…

If a country has universal health care, does that mean you don’t need health insurance?

I have Type 1 diabetes.
My life pretty much revolves around art, the problem with this is when you don’t work for an actual company there aren’t any benefits…

I’m planning on moving to Costa Rica with a friend, they have universal health care.
So what exactly is the difference.

I know right now because my parents have health insurance, it costs about 600 dollars a year for all of my diabetic supplies and it would be a lot more if we didn’t have insurance.

So, what exactly does universal heath care entail? Thanks.

Sarah Fields answers:

Nope, that’s not what it means.

Every country that has “universal health care”, also allows people to buy private insurance to cover the things NOT covered under the “universal health care”. According to a friend of mine in the Netherlands, everyone who CAN afford a private doctor, uses the private doctor, not the public healthcare.

Effectively, it means there are two levels of health care – the “lower level”, that’s free, for everyone, and the “good” level – which is preferred by anyone who can afford the extra expense.

And honey, $600 dollars a year, isn’t very much, in the grand scheme of things.

You can get AWESOME, fast medical treatment in Costa Rica – IF you pay for it. But just like with universal health care everywhere, the lines for the treatment are very long, and the quality of the doctor – or med student – treating you, is questionable.

Sandy asks…

Why do democrats not support tax credits for health insurance?

Universal Healthcare is on the agenda for this next election. However for several years republican and democrats have been trying to come up with a way to pay for healthcare.

At one point it was proposed that all health insurance costs could be written off on your income tax. Thus making it a tax deduction. Hillary Clinton, Obama, and a majority of democrats are against this method?

However they are all for tax deductions for buying a hybrid car. Isn’t this a better alternative than trying to implement a system that is not the best method for healthcare?

Sarah Fields answers:

Can’t see why they’d not want to have health insurance costs to be tax deductible. As for rectifying the problem of healthcare access in this country, it seems like a step in the right direction. If people could deduct the cost of health insurance from their taxes it would make shopping around for the best and most affordable insurance a good option, and have the effect of creating a more competitive environment in the industry. As it is, the only way to have that benefit is to take whatever healthcare provider your employer does business with.

Chris asks…

How can I get health insurance to cover the cost of quitting smoking?

Someone who has been smoking for 7 years and wants to quit- and has access to fairly good health insurance- does anyone have experience getting health insurance to cover cost of medications, etc for quitting smoking? I know this depneds entirely on the plan- but I am curious about the procedure?
– did you have to get medication prescribed, etc

Sarah Fields answers:

I have worked in the health industry for 25 years
almost all insurance companies will not cover meds to help you stop smoking..even if they are prescribed by a dr
they will offer you smoking cessation classes but that is about it

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