Not all my blogs posts will be about sex or kink or traveling. Today is one of those days.
Living in Cyprus and traveling around Europe has made me more aware than ever about what we are lacking in the United States (this has nothing to do with Trump, btw, this predates him). One of the things that I’ve noticed is the access to health care and the costs.
This blog post was prompted by a conversation I had with a friend about maternity leave here in Cyprus and also a post by another friend (currently living in Europe and back visiting the states) about the cost of health care.
Government Subsidize Maternity Leave is universal with the exception of just a few countries. Guess what the only “first world” country to not have maternity leave is? Yup, the good old USA.
My friend was actually stunned when I told her that we didn’t have maternity leave in the US and that most employers didn’t offer much, if anything. She had been complaining about how little the maternity leave in Cyprus was (four months) and that where she was from in Slovakia it was more like 6 months. After doing some research it varies a lot from country to country AND it’s way more than we get in the US.
Here’s an interesting article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/02/05/the-worlds-richest-countries-guarantee-mothers-more-than-a-year-of-paid-maternity-leave-the-u-s-guarantees-them-nothing/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.65a72af23d9a
General Health Care: States VS Europe
Before I retired, I had really good insurance (paid for by the Center) even before the “Affordable” Care Act. Sadly, because of the pushback by the Republicans, Obama had to compromise on his health plan and the result was, that for many of us, the cost of insurance increased. It isn’t really that affordable, even with the tax credit (that the IRS could require you to reimburse partly when you file taxes).
Before the ACA my very comprehensive insurance was a little over $300 a month. After the ACA it slowly rose to almost $800 a month (all be it a bit better insurance) and even with my tax credit it was over $400 a month. My co-pays were low and it covered most everything (except dental…my pre ACA insurance covered dental). Although, going through cancer I did have a few large expenses, such is extra costs for my MRI for the most part I didn’t have to pay out too much over my insurance. If my work had paid for my insurance I probably would have had to get the cheapest available which would have meant lousy coverage.
My insurance in Cyprus is 180 Euros ($210 US) A YEAR and covers up to 4000 Euros a year(it’s a very cheap and low coverage plan and it’s way better than anything I’ve had in the states)
Without insurance the average cost of a doctor visit in the US is $120; in Cyprus I paid 50 Euros ($58 US). The average cost of a D&C with biopsy is around $4000 and that probably doesn’t cover all the hospital costs. My total cost was 850 Euros ($995 US) and I’ve been told that is expensive because I went to a private hospital. The average US cost of PAP and ultrasound $700, I paid 120 Euros ($140US)
Other things to note. When I go to the doctor I usually get there early and I usually see the doctor early. If I go see the doctor to find out results of tests, there is no charge. When I asked my regular doctor for a referral to a gynecologist, he got on the phone, chatted a few minutes and personally escorted me to the gynecologist, who immediately gave me a PAP and did an ultrasound and my regular doctor didn’t charge me for my consult. In the states they would not be done in the same office or by the doctor and probably not on the same day. Way more civilized.
I’m currently on Social Security and currently make a little over $1000 a month. I went on Social Security a year early when I retired, so I took small dip in how much I get a month. When I turned 65 Social Security signed me up without asking for Medicare Part B and immediately started deducting more than $130 a month. WITHOUT MY PERMISSION. I don’t need the plan and yet, in order to remove it I have to have a in person interview and it will cost me a surcharge to reenroll at a later date. Our messed up plan has made it even harder for me to afford to live in the US.
This is just some of many reasons I’m hesitant to move back to the states.
My next post will be more fun, I promise. In the meantime, do what you can to change the health laws. Big Pharma and the insurance companies do not have to control our health.