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Community Guru
Lyam B Member Since: Nov 3, 2014
1 of 9

I'm currently writing content for an independent insurance broker. We've spoken for over 5 hours. He explained the American insurance system. 


If everything he's told me is true - I'm shocked. I'll never take the British NHS for granted.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 9


Oh my goodness. Don't even get me started.

Just how bad the American insurance health system is, and how much I despise it, is one of my favorite topics.


I have to be very careful to not get started talking about this. I'm not going to discuss it here, except to say that I have studied this for many, many years and what your broker client told you only scratches the surface.


You were shocked when you only knew part of the story.

Community Guru
Lyam B Member Since: Nov 3, 2014
3 of 9

Preston, I didn't want to insult anyone but since you share my views. I find it completely corrupt, sickening and inhumane. It doesn't seem regulated whatsoever by the government. It seems like people are employed to find discrepancies to avoid paying out claims, and if they aren't doing that: they're sure hiding exclusions in the hundred page policy documents. 


I'll be learning more and more as I continue to write for the website. 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
4 of 9


Yes, those are some of the problems.


It is the worst health funding system in the world. This is not an exageration. Imagine your most messed-up, poverty-stricken, corrupt country in the world. Somalia. ISIS-controlled territories. Sierra Leone... Those countries have BETTER health-funding systems than the United States. Because although the health insurance systems aren't very good, they're efficient commiserate with their level of funding, which is almost nothing. It's not so bad to receive little or nothing if you're not paying for it.


But in the United States, we pay far more than anybody, and have worse outcomes. And it's NOT just because of "American culture" (diet, exercise, etc.) The poor outcomes from our health insurance system are due to how the system is structured. It is a system designed to prevent the delivery of health services.


The U.S. has the best medical research and medical technology in the world. But it has the worst health care funding system. And this is unnecessary. There are a couple hundred countries that have better health funding systems than the U.S. If we simply copied any one of them, we would be better off. Or what if we simply copied the best and scaled it up?


What if we were only half as successful as the best countries? That would be wonderful!


We're like the corporate office that uses typewriters and human couriers instead of computers and email because that's what we've always used, and the typewriter salesman is secretly married to the office manager.


But this is very much "off-topic" (not about Upwork). Like I said, don't get me started.


I would literally prefer to have Upwork Customer Service run the American health care system rather thatn what we have now.

Community Guru
Jean S Member Since: Oct 22, 2007
5 of 9

Agreed. We are on OHIP, Canadian Ontario Healh Insurance. The US programs scare the heck out of me.

Community Guru
Santiago G Member Since: Mar 10, 2015
6 of 9



You're only finding out about this recently??!! I know there's at least one movie made about it. I forget the title but I know it's there. It's a documentary.


I haven't been back to the US in almost 20 years now and even I could have told you, if you're not seriously rich, don't expect much. If you are seriously rich, you better question things first.


There are hospitals in this country that most people wouldn't send their dying pet rock to. And yet, said hospitals are still offering better stuff compared to what you get from insurance companies there in the US. The other half of the story is that there are some pretty decent and really good hospitals here too. They'll get you fixed.


Here in this country, if you have the money to pay for it, YOU GET medical services!! Insurance or not. Even still, they can be "relaxed" about it sometimes too. They'll let people pay in installments!!


I have 2 medical insurace policies here that ended up working together fairly decent. So when I got stuck in the hospital for 3+ days, I still had to pay a certain amount for it. But the insurances I have did kick in to reduce the prices to "ok levels" and make the paperwork a bit less sucky too.


The insurance company KNOWS not to nag me. They just send me a letter once a year which is the typical bill telling me to pay for the service. That's it. I can go to any of their clinics anywhere in this country and I won't have a problem as long as the insurance is paid for. Basically, how it's SUPPOSED TO work.


Similar stories came from friends of mine. One of which took his pregnant wife to the hospital. They had multiple medical insurances going at that time. So they ended up paying an WHOOPING $20+ ..... for a 3-5 day stay in the hospital for her. I'm not kidding in any way, shape, or form. Nice air con room with everything they needed, meals for him + her + their first kid,  and everything was taken care of. No fuss, no muss.

Community Guru
Jean S Member Since: Oct 22, 2007
7 of 9

It was the same in Mexico. The Universal Health care was dreadful but there for Mexicans and expats who could not afford the $250 a month for health insurance. 


But...if you had health insurance the service you got at the most modern hospitals I've ever seen was amazing. Private rooms, family could sleep over in the room, top notch surgeons etc. They didn't rush you out the door as soon as they could and prices if paying on your own were 10% of US prices.


I'll never forget driving back to Canada going through Arizona and suddenly had a migraine headache. All I needed was a prescription for Imitrex. 1 pill would have done it. I went to Emergency in Winslow Arizona, saw a doctor who refused the prescription and instead gave me a shot. Thats all that was done. 1 shot. Price = $600


How do Americans do it and how can they be against Obamacare? 

Community Guru
Lyam B Member Since: Nov 3, 2014
8 of 9

I've always known the American health system lacked...ethic...but I didn't know to what extent. I shan't continue this thread, but thanks for everyone's imput!


I hope it changes for you all one day.

Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
9 of 9

Hello All,


While we appreciate the variety of topics that are discussed in the Community, we would like to avoid politicized conversations. Therefore, we decided to lock this thread for further comments.


Thank you for understanding.

~ Valeria