Monday, January 11, 2010

The High Cost of Healthcare

Remember in November when The Spouse spent a week in the posh Russian hospital that caters to expats?

He spent seven nights there and was treated for pulmonary thrombosis.

He had lung scans.

He had MRIs.

He had IVs practically around the clock.

He had a private room.

He had four meals a day.

We were convinced that when the bill came, our part would be at least $10,000.

Today the bill came.

Wanna know what the total was?

The total bill, for everything, was 7,510 Euro or $10,900.

Of that, we owe 1,838 Euro or $2,670.

Not the greatest news right after Christmas, of course. But a hell of a lot less than I was braced for.


Tina in CT said...

Not great to have to shell out almost $3,000 and especiallly in January but the total bill could have been higher. One just cannot survive without good coverage. That's why I am still working and not counting the days until I retire.

- English man in Moscow - said...

That's "rip off Russia" because you have private health care you are an easy target and they take you for everything and push up the price for private health care for all expats !!stards !!!

The Expatresse said...

We were pleasantly surprised. The Spouse had a run to the ER in Miami about ten years ago (same issue, but they didn't catch it) that cost as much as an out-patient as this whole week in-patient.

Really, we were expecting a MUCH bigger bill.

Chris in Massachusetts said...

One can tell the nationality of your readers by their comments. Those of us from the "Land of the Free" are pleasantly surprised by your LOW costs while most of the world is shocked! "It would be $0 in France" says my spouse. :) but I, like you, remember the emergency room bill for a scan and some painkillers.

katbat said...

looks about right to me! Actually makes me feel better that, in the even of a medical emergency (knock on wood) the cost will not be too out of control. So far we have been pretty pleased, our teeth cleaning was free, kids have had immunizations, drs appointments, etc here and they havent been too bad, after meeting the deductible, of course! Other nice thing is we have international insurance so I can use in the US too. I guess expectations are all relative.

- English man in Moscow - said...

Its good it was cheaper than you expected but I think we will all agree that they do take us foreigners for a ride. For them, Health insurance and foreigners = BIG money. We pay our own health insurance and then claim it back after.

However, if you are ill in Moscow you have no choice but to go to a private clinic. At least your husband is now OK and was treated with care and professionally so no money in the world would be too much to help him.

I may self may need an ear Opp but I have no idea if I should or can do it here?? easily or safely?

The Expatresse said...

Englishman: since you are closer to home than we are, I'd have it done at home.

I do agree that, in general, we pay a premium here for medical services in English. That does tick me off. I use the French clinic since it is across the street, and more and more I find they don't have English speakers at the front desk. I can muddle through in french, but it isn't pretty.

mepsipax said...

Grrrr.... healthcare.... evil... hiss.... Good thing it wasn't too high. Some of us are like you and have been fucked with high bills before. Sucks

- English man in Moscow - said...

Expatress, I may for my sins be Britsh, but I am not based in the UK anymore but France and have French health cover. We pay up front get a form signed and stamped by the Doc and post it off to them. I can't have any opp done in the UK. I paid 7,000 r last week for a check up and tooth clean and two small white composits!!!

I am not having a go at expats who have their HC paid for (and I am not jealous!... honest!)but the greedy providers here are charging us all a premium because they can and do get away with it. We have no choice but to use them as the state hospital system is off limits to us.

They milk us all for every dime, penny , dollar and euro !! grrrr !!

I come from a country where HC is "free" and paid for directly at tax source from your pay. It aint perfect but it does most things if you don't mind waiting!

The Expatresse said...

I would love to have the NHS. That is, if I can't have the French system (which is supposed to be the best in the world).

- English man in Moscow - said...

I worked in the NHS in the UK for 8 years!! it was good 30 years ago but has been neglected for the last 20 years and is grossly under funded. Health treatment expect dentistry is free but there is a long wait for most things.

As we are abroad we must pay through the nose for any treatment here in RU.... but on the good side we don't wait!! ...two steps forwards three steps back!