Question for Canadians & UK

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I agree with everything piglet said.

I work in a pharmacy, only about 11% of patients pay for their prescriptions and if someone had more than 3 medications each month they will not have to pay more than 104 for medication over the year no matter how much they have.

I do think people should be fined for not attending NHS appointments. Also I think some things should not be allowed on NHS prescriptions (paracetamol, aspirin as a painkiller, gluten free foods, nappy rash cream) when they can be bought quite easily.
Fat does not make you fat. It's actually pretty important.
Agree w Piglet too.

There are issues with the NHS, but they are mostly organisational and I think some of them are inevitable due to the size of the thing and the constant pressure to cut costs. But the culture of the NHS means that people working there are focussed on patients, not money. When there's a real medical emergency the whole (apparently) disorganised shambles will leap into action and pull out fast, efficient, world-beating care. For free. For everyone.

Tbh I think it gives better value for money to pay a bit extra tax and have a healthcare organisation that puts the overwhelming majority of that money into actual medical care, than pay considerably more to a private company which is just another business so inevitably a big % of that money goes on swanky offices, director salaries and shareholder dividends. And some unnecessary treatments - just the mechanics of the whole insurance claim system makes that inevitable, too.
this news story from CBS Sunday Morning talks about the system in France. it sure makes their system seem ideal in comparison to the one in England.

Why The French Can Afford To Get Sick - CBS News

maybe Starmie could tell us about how it works in Australia...
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Little Mother of all the Roaches, President-for-Life of the MAC Harlots!
just wanted to chime in that my daughter who is 23 is still covered on my health insurance (thanks to obamacare/affordable care act).

however, when she went in for a routine yearly physical it cost $300!!

someone explained that they went in for their yearly physical and it was free.

i was confused.

apparently, wellness exams are free but a thorough physical is not.
one other thing...

in Canada, medical expenses that are not covered by the public system or your private insurance plan are also deductible from your income taxes. i think the expenses have to total 5% of your income - can't remember if it's gross or net - and you can save them up for a few years and use them at once (which i've done with prescriptions).

also, damsel mentioned bariatric surgery above. there aren't many surgeons or hospitals that do gastric bypass - even in the population-heavy part of the country i live in. here in London, even with a major teaching hospital, there is apparently a 2-year wait for these operations.

however, my mom saw a neurosurgeon in Toronto on Friday - after only a month-long wait - and is scheduled for surgery next month.
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http://labellatestarossa.blogspot.ca/

Little Mother of all the Roaches, President-for-Life of the MAC Harlots!
We have Medicare here in Australia which is government funded healthcare for everyone. If you need to go into hospital you don't need to pay anything but if it's not urgent you could be waiting a while.

Medicare has a schedule of fees that it ascribes to every appointment, procedure, operation, test etc that you can think of and will pay whatever that fee is to the doctor providing the service. The doctor may or may not charge higher fees so you can end up paying something to the doctor too (gap payments) There are also gap payments to be paid to some specialists to whom Medicare will only pay 85% of the schedule fee. My gp charges $50 for an appt, I get $38 back from Medicare. Some gps "bulk-bill" and claim the fee straight from Medicare on the understanding that the patient won't be charged anything, this is entirely up to the individual dr. Less and less drs do this these days.

Medicare also covers eye tests, again some opticians will bulk-bill, some won't.

There is a public dentist service but I don't know much about that other than it's very difficult to get in and I don't know how it's funded. I don't know anyone that uses it.

Children up to the age of 18 get free basic dental care and free doctors appts.

Some medications are government subsidised though I don't know how that's managed (Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme).

There's a "safety net" for people (or families) who, over the course of a year, have a lot of medical bills - once they reach a certain limit they become entitled to free care for the rest of the year.

We also have private health care schemes which are probably pretty much like anywhere else in the world, I think about 40% of the population has some sort of cover. The government would like it to be more to take the strain off Medicare but it's very expensive (well, I think it is!).

I'm not sure if that makes sense but I hope you get the gist of it!

MrsPoppers - My parents are in the UK and a few years ago my dad had a back problem which was really debilitating. When they finally found out what it was he was told he could have surgery, the wait for the NHS was (I think) between 12 and 18 months. He asked how long he'd have to wait if he went private and was told they could do it the following week - same surgeon, same hospital. He raided his savings and did it. The exact same thing happened to my friends mum, so no exaggerations!
3b in South Australia.

MrsPoppers - My parents are in the UK and a few years ago my dad had a back problem which was really debilitating. When they finally found out what it was he was told he could have surgery, the wait for the NHS was (I think) between 12 and 18 months. He asked how long he'd have to wait if he went private and was told they could do it the following week - same surgeon, same hospital. He raided his savings and did it. The exact same thing happened to my friends mum, so no exaggerations!
Originally Posted by Starmie

I did the same thing for my first back surgery
Fat does not make you fat. It's actually pretty important.
an article about the British NHS:

Not Safe For Work Corporation
Starmie likes this.
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http://labellatestarossa.blogspot.ca/

Little Mother of all the Roaches, President-for-Life of the MAC Harlots!
How much do you pay in taxes in your respective countries as compared to US? I think our tax base is a lot lower than yours. What a lot of people don't take into consideration is you either pay for it up front (in higher taxes) or at the back (in higher premiums). It's not free/cheap either way.
3b/c
i think i said up above that our marginal tax rate would give Americans heart palpitations!

My blog:

http://labellatestarossa.blogspot.ca/

Little Mother of all the Roaches, President-for-Life of the MAC Harlots!
Our tax rate gives me palpitations!

of my gross income
25% goes to taxes (incl. Canada Pension and Employment Insurance)

11% goes to (work pension, union dues, Blue Cross, work life insurance)
The lowest income tax rate in the UK is 20%. I'm pretty sure the next rate is 40%.

This is what I paid this month:
Income Tax 200.40
National Insurance 127.20

I also pay into a private pension.

But I don't have to pay out the equivalent of 100s each month as health insurance. Swings and roundabouts in a way.
Fat does not make you fat. It's actually pretty important.

Last edited by curlylaura; 02-19-2013 at 01:14 PM.
So now that you are talking real tax percentages I have some questions. In the US we pay federal and state income taxes. The lowest federal rate is 15%, next is 28%. The State rates are all over the place. Oregon, the state that I reside, has a 9% tax rate. A couple of states have no state tax but those usually have higher property and sales tax. We also pay 7.65% toward Social Security and Medicare which is equally matched by your employer, unless you are self-employed and then you pay the 15.30% yourself.

Do you also pay income taxes at a local level? Is there a pension component to what you pay in taxes or do you just have private pensions? I have a friend who married someone from Norway and there is a retirement system and his parents are living quite well in retirement.
National insurance is to pay for things like pensions, healthcare, social care. It's matched by your employer.

Each month I pay council tax but that's a local tax and isn't paid out of my wage. I have to pay that myself. It pays for local services like police, fire, local roads, local government/council.

Edit: I forgot to say sales tax is 20% and is included in the price you pay. It can be claimed back in some cases ad isn't charged on some items
Fat does not make you fat. It's actually pretty important.

Last edited by curlylaura; 02-20-2013 at 12:04 PM.
In Canada we have a marginal tax rate. So the first $40, 000 of everyone's income is taxed at the lowest rate of 25% (20% federal + 5% provincial here in B.C.). Then the rates go up at every interval. The maximum rate is 43% (35% federal + provincial) for any income that exceeds $135, 000).

Canada pension plan is 5% to a max annual contribution of $2500 and is matched 1:1 by your employer. Employment insurance is 2.5% and matched 1:1.4 by your employer.

At the municipal level taxes, you would pay property tax if you are a homeowner.

Sales tax is around 12% here.

Some provinces charge health care premiums, others don't.


i though this Tweet from Michael Moore was very telling of the question munchkin asked about tax rates:

‏@MMFlint

In the US, what a person pays in health care co-pays, deductibles, & premiums PLUS our taxes far exceeds the average Canadian's entire tax bill

i'm wondering if anyone added it all up, would you be paying more than we do???
My blog:

http://labellatestarossa.blogspot.ca/

Little Mother of all the Roaches, President-for-Life of the MAC Harlots!

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