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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Health Care and Colored Hair...

First of all, here is a picture of me today modeling my new grey hair! I'm thinking that I look pretty much the same as I did when it was colored, only now I have grey hair. I have to say that I'm liking it!

Levonne three months after deciding to go natural!
(taken by John 7-15-2012)
And second, all you non-Canadians especially have to take a look at our first "Health Care Insurance" bill from the British Columbia, Canada government. We just took it out of the mailbox today along with John's new "Care" card (his insurance card).

We received this in our mailbox today. Two months after returning to live in Canada, John is now
covered under the British Columbia medical services plan. Take a look at what it costs for
 a month of complete coverage.
To give you an idea of the contrast in costs between the U.S. and Canadian plans, we paid more than $1,000 for the two of us per month on COBRA (at the time of our leaving Arizona in 2009).

Since then, we have been quoted premiums as high as $60,000 per year for health care coverage in the free market system of the United States. Insurance from the U.S. became so expensive over a year ago ($16,000 for the two of us per year), that we chose to no longer purchase it. We decided to pocket the money ourselves and buy health care a la carte. Of course we prayed for the absence of major medical problems during the uninsured time.

Now, at least we don't have to worry about going bankrupt due to John having an illness. And it doesn't matter whether he works or not as health services coverage is not tied to a job. He has access to affordable health care coverage whether he has a job or not.  I'm still not covered as I have to be further along in my immigration process in order to get coverage but we're hoping that won't be too much longer. The lightness that I feel from having John covered should add to my overall health while we wait for me to be covered.

By the way, British Columbia's population size of approximately 4.5 million people is closest in population size to the 25th most populated U.S. state - Louisiana.

How does $64 per month for complete medical coverage for one person compare to what you currently pay for health insurance?

26 comments:

  1. I understand your feeling of relief! I can't even imagine what TGD's illness of last year would have meant to our family had we been in the USA. As it was, I was able to focus on him and he was able to focus on getting better without worry about what we could afford. I have to laugh when I read the fear-mongering re universal health care in the USA. I've had it both ways - here and there. When we lived in the US we had expensive private insurance and we were certainly NOT better off, didn't experience any shorter wait time for appointments or better service than we do here at home. I hope your coverage comes soon!
    Oh - and I like your hair!

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  2. Hi Levonne,

    The US's failing free market approach to health care is one of the reasons why Sherry, Saskia and I decided to immigrate to Canada (Calgary, AB). I had a good government job working for the City of Tucson and a decent health plan as far as how much we paid (~$70 month) but we were rolling the dice as that was only enough to afford the HSA (Health Savings Account) option. The City would give us $2k to cover basic items at a discounted rate every year but all it would take is something major to happen and then our share of the costs kick in.

    With our work visas we were immediately covered by the Albertan health care program. The only deduction on my pay stub is $13 a month for extended health care which I understand to be coverage while traveling abroad, unlimited ambulance rides, and some other stuff. I haven't used the coverage yet so not sure what if anything I will pay out of pocket.

    Having affordable good solid health care is great for one's piece of mind. Having the best health care (US) that no one can afford and could potentially bankrupt you is insane.

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  3. Congratulations on having that piece taken care of! I thought it was part of general income taxes - I didn't realize Canadians got a separate bill.

    You're next!

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  4. welcome to BC!..not a bad deal in comparison to what the two of you were paying!!

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  5. That's quite a bargain compared to the US. Levonne, love the hair! I wish more women would go gray - then it wouldn't seem such a tragedy. (I'm very gray now myself so I can say that). Not sure if your read my belated comment on your original post about going gray but I recommend a wonderful book about the subject).

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  6. I didn't go great, Levonne, I wet pure white! Started in my teens. My Mom was white by 30, I think. Glad you're getting some stress relief with your insurance coverage.

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  7. I definitely like the natural look; I go that way myself. Of course, it's good to know that you feel good about the healthcare situation in B.C. Not all of us have that option, so we do the best we can and try to be grateful that there are other benefits to living in the USA (which there are). I would be interested, in the health care comparisons, how seniors are treated the same/differently when facing a serious illness, i.e. are services denied based on age, recovery rates, etc.? There are different political and medical philosophies driving these systems and sometimes "comparing" doesn't add to one's serenity.

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    Replies
    1. I'm a Canadian and I can definitely assure you that seniors are not denied services bases on age, recovery rates or any of the other myths spread by opponents of Universal Health Care in the U.S.

      My Grandmother lived to be 102 here in Canada and received the same excellent health care the day she passed away as she had her entire life.

      Health Care should not be about political philosophies, it should be about people.

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    2. I am a Canadian and I ditto Rick's reply to this. All Canadians are treated the same, senior or not. Services are not denied, even though our family members were in their 90's.

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    3. And, people here are trapped in jobs they don't dare leave because of health insurance. It's an inferior system. YEAH, I SAID IT!

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    4. thanks for your clarifying responses

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  8. I think you look awesome with gray hair! It's my favorite color.
    Congrats on the new healthcare. We pay many times that amount each month. Hoping things improve here :(

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  9. Hey Levonneycutie....I LIKE your hair the length it is now. Is it true blonds have more fun? Teehee

    I'm lovin' your health care news. I agree, you probably will be healthier knowing John's covered and you are in process for it.
    I just got cancelled by the CON/UAL out of my coverage from Earl's benefits. After 32 years with Kaiser, I'm out...Lots of crummy new rules since Continental took over United...none of them good for retirees or their eligibles.
    I'm grateful for the time I had but what a nightmare now.
    Loves,
    Lanettey

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  10. And so ,any people are so totally against Universal Health care! I just don't understand the Republicans. I'm afrid Health Care will bankrupt us one way or another.

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  11. Good post, Levonne. I think it will take a lot of Americans to actually experience Universal Health Care in Canada before many believe what we in Canada have come to know and expect - excellent health care with no financial worries - ever.

    There are just too many lies and misconceptions that are spread by self-interest groups in the U.S. For instance, I had never heard the term "Death Panels" until some American politicians started mentioning it - it's an American thing, I guess, because we in Canada have never heard it.

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  12. Oh Levonne I am totally jealous! I could actually afford to live here in Sebastopol if I had such coverage.

    Truly great news. Congrats to the both of you.

    Carol

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  13. Glad to hear John's health insurance came through, hope it's not too long a wait for your coverage. Such a difference in cost from the US.

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  14. Hi Levonne, Interesting blog update. Makes me feel so lucky that I live in the UK and don't have to pay a cent towards my health care, (waiting lists are long though). Canada seems affording to me (For me I mean) but I struggle to imagine how people who cannot afford the premiums, say in the U.S. can cope with their illnesses as they get older.
    Have a good week!
    p.s. Gray looks ok to me....

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  15. Love your gray hair, I just did the same thing and am now a great shade of salt and pepper--it is liberating. My husband and I are considering moving to Canada for health care among other reasons!! We will be watching your blog with great interest!

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    Replies
    1. C'mon up, although Health Care up here is far from free it is affordable, in fact in Alberta there are no premiums at the present time. We pay a little more income tax and the taxes on tobacco and booze are higher but the fact that we don't have to worry about health costs is worth it.

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  16. Just found your blog and read all the way back through June. Vancouver Island is so gorgeous. Congratulations on your move.

    Have you discovered Nanaimo Bars yet?

    When we lived in Oregon and Washington, we made many forays up into B.C., especially Vancouver Island, to hike to waterfalls, sightsee and enjoy Canadian hospitality.

    I look forward to keeping up with you.

    Susan
    http://travelbug-susan.blogspot.com

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  17. P.S. I found you through Rick & Paulette's RV Travels blog.

    Susan

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  18. yeahhh on the health care...we dont' receive an invoice here on the east coast...our medicare covers everything...except our drugs and a few other things..such as dental and glasses..we carry a small blue cross plan for that which is very economical..40/mo or something like that...but for dr visits and hospital visits and surgery we are covered by our NB medicare..seniors receive the 'same' care as anyone...and our nursing homes are gov't subsidized... hope your coverage comes thru soon....glad your loving it here in Canada

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  19. I pay $255.00 a month for self employed Blue Cross. As far as people saying the Republicans don't want the health care bill that is not true...we just don't WANT the bill that was passed...it does really nothing to help anyone except the insurance companies make more money. Yes, they say they can't cancel you...yes, they say they cover any one under 26 on parental coverage but what they forget to say if that you pay BIG time for that. Also, it really hurts the poor...medicaid is practically non-existant anymore and in Arizona ACCESS is frozen. The poor and a little poor have been left with nothing since this all started...I want a health care bill that truly gives help to everyone....I would be interested in the tax rate there on things...maybe you could do a post on that please.

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    Replies
    1. I'll agree whole-heartedly with what you say. Passing a law that forces people to buy insurance they can't afford doesn't solve anything. I,for one, will be breaking the law come 2014 because there's nothing affordable for me now and there won't be then. I've figured up what the annual penalty will be and it's less than a month's insurance premium. Besides, as I understand it there's no enforcement clause in the law so why would I even pay the penalty? It's not like we get a refund on our taxes or anything. DH will be on Medicare by then. Even so, with the part B premium, supplemental insurance and probably part D, he will be paying considerably more than he is now through his employer. What I would like explained to me is how we are supposed to pay more while making less.

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  20. Not surprisingly, the health care issue struck a lot of different notes with people, depending on their circumstances although I detect some common ground around the overall cost of healthcare once the employer portion is gone (i.e. retirement life chapter begins). Personally, I would like to see a universal and affordable system but the reality that this issue (like many others) is tied up with U.S. politics doesn't offer much hope that U.S. health care will have similar-to-Canada outcomes for people any time soon.

    On the other topic, it seems that there is US and Canadian agreement of your natural look, Levonne, so keep the gray-white. It works for Helen Mirren, too (although I suspect she has a stylist who makes it shine).

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I always love to hear your thoughts.