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Our health insurance is completely fucked up!

A I have already mentioned I will be loosing my health insurance as of the first of next year. Come April 11 of next year I would have that insurance policy for 35 years. They didn't let me know much more than a month or two in advance. So the deadline is December 15th to get insurance. Don't get it by then you have to wait 'till the next enrollment period.

So after doing a shitload of research on which policy will fuck me over the least, I locked in a policy yesterday.

I talked to Blue Cross Blue Sheild Nebraska, and at first they told me that all I had to do is re-enroll at whatever date, but no later than another. So, I was like okay there is nothing to worry about. When enrollment was open I called again, and they now told me I couldn't get the same insurance and had to go to the marketplace to try and get insurance ( I got very confused by the legal mumbo jumbo. I ended up just talking to an insurance agent. Which in itself would be a good job. You get like 35% of the premium! For doing NO physical work that is a hell of a lot. I was told that my policy could not be renewed because "it's not an ACA approved policy (aka Obamacare)". I have a hard time believeing this has anything to do with Obama, and everything with trump trying to repeal it. For fucks sake ACA went through in what '14? Why did it take 4-5 years for my insurance to be canclled? You flat out can not afford not to have insurance. One trip to the ER can make you bankrupt. In 2013 I had two peocedures done on my back and a full blown back surgery. The surgery alone was 15K, and just from doctors visits, er visits, specilist visits, probably looking at 30K or more. I don't know exactly what the doctors themselves charge the insurance company, but my sister is a doctor, and they charge the insurance companies more than what they charge cash customers. Fucked up right?

I need another procedure done on my back. It relapsed a little over a year ago, and after the surgery, scar tissue formed, and I have arthritis in my back. I am still on a 20# weight restriction. I can lift more than that, but not all damn day. My back is getting to the point where if I get of a seat, or go to sit down most people can hear a loud pop followed by me yelling "Son of a bitch". Lots of days it feels like someone stabbed me in the hip. It's mostly my hip that hurts, but sometimes it pinches on the syatic nerve. That will drop me. It has. Sometimes the pain shoots all the way down my leg. They don't give me narcotics anymore (although they had me hopped up on that shit 24/7 for over 3 months). They gave me so much of that it wasn't funny. First Hydrocodone, then oxycodone, then Opana. Opana is like taking 20 hydrocodone at one time. Narcotics don't work that well for nerve damage, but mild nerve damage it will. Towards the end I literally wanted to kill myself. The pain was that bad. I lost 20 pounds because I couldn't get out of bed to make anything to eat. I was in bed for literally 23h 45m every day for about the last month. The only time I'd get up would be to get a glass of water, and use the bathroom. It's about 10' from my bed to my bathroom. I'd have to lay down half way on the floor. Any time I had to go anywhere I called either my mom or dad to pick me up. I couldn't drive. I'm not talking about the narcotics, I'm saying I couldn't sit to drive. I missed my 10 year HS reunion because of it. And that was before my back got REALLY bad.

Okay so now I have insurance, great huh? My insurance was something like $200/mo. I had a $50 copay for a doctors appointment. It would take care of 90% of a medical procedure. Well my x-ray for my back cost something like $700, and the specialist didn't even fucking look at it! How do I know? He fucking told me! He said that the doctor is a good surgon, and he knew he did everything right. Fucker. Not everyone has $700 for literally NOTHING! Last time I went to that jackass. The last time I was in the ER it was around 3K. However I'm not paying for it. The assaultant is. Also my rx meds would cost hundreds of dollars a month if not for insurance. So starting the 1st of the year I have this great new policy! So now my premiums are a little over $700/mo. A doctor visit costs me $160 a visit. Medical procedures they pay 50%. I can't remember what the yearly deductible is, but it is a HDLP (high deductible low protection) plan. Great. With my bad back, and limited work I can do, that is literally two weeks worth of pay! I don't know how they are going to fuck me on rx drugs. It's sad that in the "best country in the world" you can't even afford to take care of yourself. Unlike other countries we don't focus on preventive care. We do have some of the best medical in the world, but only if you can afford it.

I went from making 65K-100K plus a year down to a literally min wage job (okay a buck or 2 an hour more). There are lots of jobs I am quilified to do, but physically can't. I know a lot of people talk about moving to Canada due to this admin. I am one person that is seriously trying. If you think about the $8,400 a year just for insurance, even if you don't need it at all, I could pay a company that fast tracks Canadian citizenship the $2,500. I saw a meme on FB the other day. It said if the US is so bad, then why are so many trying to get in? I'm trying to get the fuck out! If I had a job lined up there, and got dual citizenship, and was able to leave tomorrow, I just take some bare essentials, get in my car and leave! Don't have insurance? Your ass gets fined due tax time.

I know this is lengthy, and most Americans know about some of the laws, but I put in more detail for people that live outside the US (and I'm posting this on the Canadian, Eh? forum).

A friend of mine lives in BC, and for him and his daughter his insurance is taken directly out of his check. It was 95 CND/mo, but now his daughter is covered by the province. He's never been denied medical. Only thing he had to pay for out of pocket was meds. Him and his daughter also have dental and vision. I have neither.

Whoever fucked up health insurance should be shot.

PS morphene didn't work on me towards the end. They had to give me deladen. Oh and when my friend said he was paying 95 CND/mo that's about 75 USD at the exchange rate at the time. And when I talked to the insurance lady, she said if I give her my user name and password she could explain why one policy was a lot cheaper. I told her I am not going to give her my password. She said I am not going to help you then. I'm sorry, but I'm not giving my user name and password to someone, especially someone I never met, to a government website! Says so to not give it out!

TheGreatShadow 9 Dec 7
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I think it would be a great idea for Americans to focus on fixing their own broken system before coming to Canada and showing us how to fix ours which seems to be working quite well by comparison. It seems like a no brainer when the Americans seem to feel they have all the answers.

Who said anything about Americans "fixing your broken system"? Who if the fuck claims we have all the answers? We don't. I can sign all the petitions I want, go to vote at every election, and it just doesn't make much difference. Not much at all.

@TheGreatShadow You certainly seem to think you have Canada all figured out but then you did live here for a little bit once upon a time so that makes you an expert. Try 9 generations of being Canadian and then get back to me.
Always good for a laugh to listen to two Americans sorting out how things work in Canada from their very American perspective and with the desire to escape the very culture that gave them that perspective. Do Canada a favour, stay home and don't worry about employing us so we can make you a profit, we're doing just fine but maybe Mexico would be willing to take you in.

@Surfpirate " you did live here for a little bit once upon a time so that makes you an expert...."

You're a fucking idiot.

@TheGreatShadow The Ugly American, I love it.

@Surfpirate Know-it-all Canadian thinks I lived there. Why would you say that? Been there twice. Never lived there. Do you want a dunce hat?

@TheGreatShadow Is it really necessary to dredge up your old posts where you allude to you abundant experience with Canada? Zerofucks Given.

@Surfpirate Who said anything about my "old posts"?

@TheGreatShadow See the post above yours.

@Surfpirate "Is it really necessary to dredge up your old posts where you allude to you abundant experience with Canada? Zerofucks Given."

Yeah, read that..


Good old Insofar, fuck the little guy as long as the rich get richer.

1ROBROY2 Level 7 Dec 7, 2018

That's no shit! How about we take away all of the medical that the government employees get. They usually get it for life. Even after they retire. Pathetic.


The fine for not having insurance is not that big. Some people pay it and self-insure, as last time I checked the penalty is way less than a year's worth of premiums. If you're in the middle of an exit strategy that might or might not work for you.

If you move to Canada, be aware that it has areas that are as backwards as the US. Alberta outside of Edmonton, rural areas generally, and I believe Ontario has a longstanding conservative bent. Some people regard Quebec as conservative in the British sense but it has a more extensive welfare system than the rest of the country and has actually made the historic Catholic influence on government illegal, resulting in the RCC pretty much imploding there. You gotta love that.

Point is, it's a mixed bag and you'll have the odd "Canadian experience" barrier to employment. I ran into my own brick wall in investigating Canadian residency and perhaps citizenship, which is that their whole immigration system acts as if there's no such thing as a self-employed or independent consultant in a virtual company. So despite being of moderately high net worth, debt free, and fully / stably employed in an industry that Canada actually is interested in promoting (IT), the immigration point system sees me as an Undesirable due to my lack of a Canadian employer or sponsor, and my age (61). Yes you can effectively buy your way in by investing in a Canadian business (again, they seem to contemplate old-style brick and mortar establishments) but you have to be considerably wealthier than I am to actually pull it off and for that to be an acceptable risk.

Ironic, since my first move would actually be to HIRE a Canadian to work for me, at far above minimum wage. Their loss I guess [shrug].

mordant Level 8 Dec 7, 2018

Thanks for the reply. I think the fine is less than one month premium. But if you need a procedure done, you're fucked. One can not simply afford to not have it. Even a HDLP plan.

But I completely agree with you. Moving out of the country is not just like moving to a different state. You need to go through all the hoops (for any country really). Canada happens to be the closest. You need to do your homework (which it looks like you are doing). You need to know what you are getting yourself into. I'd keep dual citizenship. I have money coming in from the US from the farms, and I own land here.

It's kind of weird that they wouldn't fast track you with your experience in IT. You might be able to get a job there for a company and still do your own stuff on the side? That's why I'm going for dual. Make money in Canada, and make money in the US.

As far as starting a business there, you might be able to rent a place designated for commercial? Maybe like a small apartment? If you do IT, you probably would not need anything bigger than a small apartment. Hell, my office is a room in my house! It is considered my office, and I get something like 10% of all bills deducted off of my taxes. Might be something to think about. If business takes off, you can hire more employees, and move to a bigger place. Eggs in one basket and such. Start small.

@TheGreatShadow I think they'd be more open if I were young enough that they saw me as a net positive for the economy. As it is, the score system does take into account age. I'm about to turn 62, and they assume (not without some justification, given that they don't personally know me or my situation) as running out of steam, likely to retire shortly and become a net expense due to my use of the healthcare and retirement systems. Some countries (New Zealand comes to mind) are at least open about this, they say they want people under 40. I probably should have made this move 20 years or more ago, but back in the late 1990s Trumpism was unthinkable, Banana-republic stuff.

@mordant If you are looking to get out of the country for political reasons Greenland is very easy to get into (or so I am told). They don't have universal health, but I think their taxes are fairly low. More of a liberal state.

@TheGreatShadow Personally if it were just me I would opt for Greenland or Iceland or Svalbard or someplace like that, that no one wants to conquer or dominate or very much live in. So long as I have good reliable Internet and a warm hearth, I have minimal social or outdoor needs.

But I'm married and have an adult stepchild living with us, and two dogs and a cat, and we have a couple other children and 4 grandkids in the States. So that transforms it from being a sort of odd thing that irascible old Grandpa did, to this Hobson's choice between living in peace by my own lights and giving up my marriage and other connections.

I would love to transform the nightly news from a source of loathing ("what new sucking horrors surfaced today that might turn my everyday life into a dystopian wasteland?" ) to a source of mirth ("SUCKERS!!" ). But it's far easier said than done, for most of us.

@mordant Yeah, moving across the pond I'm sure is very different. My entire family lives in the US. It'd be hard for me to fly that far every once in a blue moon to see them. However Greenland is trying to populate the country (the name is a little deceiving). lol I like you don't really care about being outdoors. Get a work from home job and some good internet, I'm good. Greenland also in an attempt to get people to move there has very lax internet laws. I saw that in a documentary or two. I wanna say it was TPB AFK or Steal This Movie. It was mostly about Anakata. Being in IT you probably know who he is.

All I or you can do is research some more.

@TheGreatShadow Yeah I'm aware of Gottfrid Svartholm aka Anakata.

Not sure what Greenland's Internet situation is. I know Svalbard has gigabit ethernet for all via undersea cable, as Norway uses it as their testbed for national tech. There's this canonical story about a guy who lives in a cabin on a rock that juts out over the fjord, some miles outside of Longyearben, who came into town demanding high speed Internet service as his right as a citizen. At that point only the town proper was wired, but they said, look, if you'll lay the cable to your village, we'll provide the signal. So he organized a half dozen of his neighbors and they dug a trench with pickaxes by hand. He now has a full-wall projection TV, a flight simulator and a bunch of other stuff, and his gigabit ethernet connection. Sounds yummy to me.

Svalbard (pop ~2500) is a dying company town associated with closed coal mines. But they don't require anything but a passport and personal economic self-sufficiency to live there. That, and a shotgun if you go outside, in case you need to shoot a polar bear. It's the northernmost settlement on the planet.

Feels about right to me, some days ...

@mordant I have not heard that story, but sounds cool! It'd be nice to get away, but the reason why they want to populate places like that is because most don't want to live there. I don't think I could deal with the cold all the time. I hate it here. I don't know about taxes, or how much it would cost to put up warm housing. That is something I don't think I'd be interested. Plus you'd probably be outside most of the time chopping firewood. That's just a guess tho. Speaking of populating places, the US does that as well. They are trying to get people to move to Alaska. I think that is why they legalized pot. Plus you have a high cost of living, but low taxes. Costs a lot to have something shipped from the lower 48, and lots of times in small villages you have to take a plane to get to another. Plus next to no women. Same goes for Utah. Ever been to Green River? There is literally NOTHING 100 miles West or East of that small town (like 5K people). They have billboards around there trying to get people to move around there. Sometimes the grass isn't as green as... well.. in Greenland.

PS you gotta be either nuts or one bad SOB to shoot a polar bear with a shotgun. You're just gonna piss him off. If I had to I'd take a 300 winchester. 30-06 minimum.

@TheGreatShadow Cost of living in Svalbard is high, and yeah, the sun goes away for 6 months out of the year (and won't go away the other 6). There are no trees so no chopping of firewood. Presently their power comes from geothermal energy and "clean coal" technology. They are thinking about installing extensive solar for summertime and then importing hydrogen fuel from the mainland in winter so they can get rid of the coal fired plant. I am surprised they don't seem to use wind power, but maybe the maintenance costs are too high in that harsh environment.

You don't build houses there, you rent. One of the few buildings where you could purchase condo space, sank into the permafrost and was condemned a couple of years back. Some other buildings were destroyed around that same time in an atypical avalanche that made it into town. Global warming is affecting them, too; the fiords don't completely freeze over in winter anymore. In fact global warming effects the arctic disproportionately. Maybe in 10 year's time it will be more temperate!

It's fun to imagine living in places like this but you're right, it would probably have some pretty big downsides and become rather monotonous after awhile. I'm not quite eccentric enough to pull it off, I suspect.

What I would love to do if I didn't have various things tying me down is to just become a digital nomad and try out a number of locations for a few weeks or months at a time to see what they're really like. It would be a lot of fun and educational even if I ultimately decided not to move out of country.

@mordant Yeah it is fun to dream about living in an exotic place. At least it'd be cool to say you lived there. You and I don't seem like the outdoresy type. I couldn't stand it. If you want to live that primitive, I'd move to Antarctica. I heard that there is one establishment (whatever you call it) there. It is so remote, and there are no laws of any type. No government. Like -100 or better. No thanks. Plus you mentioned cost.

I understand what you mean about being a nomad. I myself was kind of one. Lived all over the US. I've talked to a few people that lived in Hawaii. Lots of people think it'd be cool to live there, but every one said that it's only cool to live in for 1-2 years. Cost of stuff is so high. Hell they can't even get decent meat for the most part! Down there it's Spam everything. My kid sis went there with my brother in law. Brought back Spam flavored macadamia nuts. Not joking.

They say the grass is always greener on the other side. Oh well.

@TheGreatShadow Yeah Hawaii is pricey and good luck eating out if you want ethnic food other than Asian or pacific rim fusion and seafood. Also too hot and humid all the time if you ask me. Nice place to visit (especially Kauai) but doubt I'd want to live there, particularly with the increasing frequency with which hurricanes make it there of late.

@mordant That's the only state I have not been to. Be cool, and I had the chance, but meh.

Greenland?? Wow, that would really be an act of desperation.

@callmedubious Have you heard of our current president? I rest my case...

@callmedubious It would be for some. Since my work is "portable", requiring only an Internet connection and reasonable access to commercial airlines for business trips (typically once a year), I could in theory live anywhere. Yeah it's cold in Greenland, but there are worse things than cold, like fascism. And they have free health care for all, and lots of natural beauty. I would probably choose to live in Nuuk, the capital (pop 15,000). There are worse fates. But don't worry ... inertia will doubtless keep me here.


It sure seems like such a mess in the U.S..

I live in Ontario and I don't pay any monthly premium for health insurance.

snikkers Level 5 Dec 7, 2018

We Canadians do not fully appreciate how poor the American profit driven health care system is.

Yeah my friend said that the health care is different from province to province.

@Science-guy Nixon is the one that messed that up. We were on the verge of having some sort of NHS, and people that I know live in these countries can't comprehend how this system works. There was an episode on BBC's Panorama called "Trust us we're a NHS hospital". They were calling out their own health care. They have set fees for rx drugs. I think during the time of airing it was 8.5 pounds. They don't sell gum or candy or stupid crap at their pharmacies. If you watch the documentary Sicko, they literally kicked a gal to a curb leaving her homeless because she couldn't pay for medical. 😟

@TheGreatShadow I read (on FB...) that some insurance companies were suggesting people raise funds via GoFundMe to meet the deductible or copay.

@snikkers If so that is sad that the companies themselves are suggesting that! I have a friend of mine I went to hs with that did that. He has a weird form of gangreen in his leg. He got next to no money out of it. He is a fucking vet, and the government will do next to shit. Sure he goes to a VA hospital, and they give him 190 hydrocodone a month, but he just wants his leg amputated so he doesn't die. Yes, he leg is really bad. FB blocked some of the photos because they were too graphic. These aren't random photos. I worked for him for a while, and stayed at his house. Nasty.

@TheGreatShadow yes. Some federal funds but administration is provincial

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