Is that like a retainer for an attorney? Interesting arrangement. But an expense you should not have to pay just because you or a loved one has a serious disease. So that supports curlypearl's original point (which I didn't mean to guano - quite sorry) about doctors refusing to accept Medicare.
You bring up several excellent points. First of all, the insurance premiums are only part of the equation, since there's a minimum you have to hit before insurance kicks in, and even then there's still co-payments for everything from doctor's visits and exams to prescriptions.
But at least you don't have to postpone medical care because you can't afford a) the cost of care and b) to miss work, since you don't have legally mandated sick leave. As a result, many people don't see a doctor until they're seriously sick, at which point the cost of treatment is much higher than it would have been early on, and many other people have been exposed to illness.
BTW, administrative costs are far higher for private insurers compared to Medicare (12% versus 2%). In addition, people on Medicare and Veterans Administration health care, both of which are government-run, are much more satisfied with their quality of care than people on private insurance,
Yes, taxes are considerably higher in countries with universal health care. On average, the French pay 47% in income and payroll taxes (!). But that covers college education, job training, child and elder care etc. in addition to health care. So if you start adding that stuff up, I'd bet most Americans are paying more than their Canadian, European and Australian counterparts.
And they don't have the stress of wading through paperwork and bills when you're dealing with the emotional trauma of a serious illness.
How do you get money back? Is that for survivor benefits?