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April 24, 2007


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Do you plan in now dollars or future dollars?

I can see that its in my financial best interests to vote for the continuance of the National Health Service and healthcare thats free at the point of payment. Gotta love socialism.

I see a lot of posts about healthcare costs for retired people that may not be eligible for Medicare. My parents are both retired, in their early 60's and have insurance through an AARP affiliated carrier. The cost to them is $400 per month and my mother has a pre-existing medical condition. That is better than what I am paying, through my company, for my family.

I'm being very cautious about my savings for healthcare expenses. I have a HSA that I am saving in. Whilw using only 20% of my annual contributions, my savings will grow to around $500k by the time I am 55. I just hope this is enough to cover the costs from my wife and I. I'm being cautious as I can see health costs easily hurting my retirement planning.

-concerning fact:
The quote of $215k is based on a 65 year old couple. Such a couple is only expected to live 15 more years. I plan to retire at 55. I could well live 30 more years. That, and the fact that healthcare costs are rising faster than inflation mean that my need could be over double what the current need of a 65 year old couple is. I could well be looking at a need of $500k in TODAY's dollars... Of course that is more of a worst case scenario with insurance, etc. .... But better safe than sorry.

Danforth...I couldn't disagree with you more. If we go to a national health care system, the government will just throw more money at the financial black hole we call "health care" without solving the underlying problems with the system and we'll all end up paying higher and higher taxes to keep out dysfunctional health care system afloat.

The real way to go is Health Savings accounts combined with high deductivel insurance with government subsidies for those who can't afford them. It's also clear that we need a health care system that has true competition. Read "Who Killed Health Care?" by Regina Herzlinger for more detailed info.

A new study out this week says the average annual cost of a private room in a nursing home in the U.S. is $76,460, or $209 a day. It's scary!

In case anyone is interested:

A recent article I read in a local Belgian newspaper tried to find an explanation why US health care is so expensive (compared to other western countries). My country (Belgium, EU) is generally considered exemplary (high quality at low cost) in its health care system, compared to other western countries. That means something, because I can tell you that even here there is much room for improvement (abuse, fraud, and inefficiencies).

The analysis in the article was that US doctors will do virtually any scan/analysis technically available, mainly to protect themselves against lawsuits. Since this is overkill for most everyday medical problems, you end up with a very expensive health care system.

F --

Do you have a link to that article? I'd love to see it.

... Also, in Belgium you first go to a general (cheap) doctor who can treat most cases himself, and points you to a hospital for specialized treatment if appropriate. In the US, it seems like people go straight to the hospital and its specialists (surgeons etc.)

FMF --

I would have added a link, but I can't find back my source.
(I looked in my pile of recent newspapers, as well as online, but no luck).

I came across another interesting article about how healthcare has become big business:

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