Medicine in the USA: Costs, Insurance, Doctors

The United States is the only one of all developed countries in which there is no guaranteed right to medical services for the entire population of the country.

Despite the beginning of the health care reform in 2010, today approximately 28 million people in the United States do not have health insurance. If the Republicans succeed in repealing Obamacare, the number of uninsured will increase significantly.

As professor of medicine Steffie Woolhandler of Harvard Medical School said: “In their historical development, all developed countries have achieved the implementation of universal health care systems through the development of various non-profitable forms of health insurance. US) to do so means that Americans pay a lot of money for medical services and 45,000 of them pay with their lives.”

Medicine in the USA is very expensive

Approximate costs for medical services in the USA:

The inability to pay medical bills is one of the main causes of bankruptcy for millions of families every year. In 2021, 36 % of Americans spent more money on medical treatment. According to the new study results, 22% of them had to take out loans to afford expensive medication. Minnesota payday loans were the most popular financial product in 2021. If accepted for such a loan, you will get the funds credited to your bank account in a few hours or right away.

To get accepted for a payday loan, you only need to comply with a few basic criteria: to be a legal US citizen or permanent resident, have a valid bank account, a source of a steady income, and some kind of identity verification.

The application process only takes 10-15 minutes from the comfort of your home or office. The money can be used for whatever needs, including buying medication.

There are very expensive medicines in the USA. In order to buy them, you must first visit a doctor. Only over-the-counter medicines are relatively inexpensive.

Medical insurance

There are many private insurance companies operating in the market. In addition, there are two large state programs Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare provides health care coverage for people over 65 and people with disabilities, and Medicaid for people with low incomes.

If you are an employee in a large company, then you have no particular problems with insurance. Large companies are required by law to insure their employees. In this case, the employee of the company does not pay for insurance or pays a small amount.

However, if you visit a doctor, then you must pay a certain amount for each visit. It could be $20, or maybe 20% of the cost of the visit, depending on the specific insurance.

In many large companies, employees can add family members to this insurance for an additional fee. If you need any services that are not included in the standard list, then before you get them, you will need to pay a deductible. This may already be a fairly decent amount of several thousand dollars per year.

If you work for yourself or in a small company, then you buy insurance yourself, it can be $100, or maybe $1,200 a month. It depends on the plan. The whole system is very confusing and prices can vary several times depending on the network, state, etc.

Choosing a doctor

In addition to choosing an insurance plan, it is very important to choose a good doctor who accepts your insurance.

Most physicians are businessmen at the same time and manage their activities, just like any business manager. That is, they consider their patients, first of all, as a source of money.

Be sure to use the Internet and read reviews about your prospective doctor. Be careful, the most advanced doctors use the services of PR specialists and post positive reviews on behalf of non-existent patients.

Often new immigrants look for a doctor who speaks their native language, thinking that this way they will get the best treatment.

Since medicine in the United States is a business, you need to be able to bargain with private doctors. Many of them can give good prices when paying in cash.

You must be able to defend your rights in conflict situations with doctors. Some doctors are quite arrogant and too enterprising. If they see that the patient is too polite or not too versed in the doctor-patient relationship system, then they may be negligent to his duties.

It is useful to know that doctors, like other licensed professionals, are most afraid of losing their licenses or having problems with regulatory authorities.

Therefore, if you are sure that you are being deceived or treated negligently, immediately write complaints or demand that the doctor return the money. Some doctors undertake to carry out treatment for which they are unqualified in order to earn more.

If you find yourself in this situation, you’d better contact a lawyer. You will be given a quick, and often free, analysis of a possible case. If the lawyer finds it winning, then he will conclude an agreement with you, according to which you will have to pay the lawyer a certain percentage (contingent fee) only after winning the case.

After each visit, be sure to ask the doctor for a written conclusion on the results of the visit: what is prescribed, what is recommended. If your doctor has given you a prescription, you will need to buy it from your pharmacy.

If you get sick or have a non-life-threatening injury and you do not have insurance, then you’d better contact a walk-in clinic (a medical facility that accepts patients on a walk-in basis and with no appointment required.) than a hospital because prices in hospitals are even higher than those of private practitioners.

If you have a life-threatening situation, call 911 right away. An ambulance will arrive very quickly and will do everything to keep you alive. According to the law, hospitals have no right to refuse admission and treatment, even if people do not have money and health insurance.

We believe that it is possible to adapt to medicine in the USA and the system has many advantages. You just need to understand how it works. And of course, you need to take care of your health, play sports and follow a balanced diet.

Category: General Information

Tags: finance, medicine, treatment