I got a message on voicemail from my doctor the other day. It was a recorded message, like a direct mail, telemarketer style thing. The kind someone sends you when they’re trying to get you to buy some “great deal.” And this was no different.
Non-Americans may have trouble believing this part, but I swear it’s true.
My doctor, who doesn’t take insurance, (meaning you pay $475 for a consultation, not including any tests and before you get in to see her of course,) has decided she has too many patients. She wants to give more and better, more complete attention to each patient so she’s joined a group called “MD VIP.” As you might expect, MDVIP doesn’t say how much they charge for their “enhanced” service but it seems to be $1500 annually per doctor and per patient.
So for a yearly fee of only $1500, (per doctor), you get all kinds of “enhanced services.” You can actually talk to the doctor! You can make an appointment for the day you want, or the next day! Your physician will spend “more” time with you! S/he will help you create a personalized “wellness plan” just for you! So many things will be available if you sign up for this boutique health care.
Please note--the $1500 does not go towards any doctors visits, it’s just for the ability to make an appointment when you need it, and get this enhanced level of service, which will be charged as usual, even with insurance, and secondary insurance. Like paying baksheesh to get to the head of the line.
In other words, to receive what a normal person might expect to be a normal level of “health care” now means that you shell out a hefty annual bribe, like a protection racket. And the words they use to describe it!! It’s all that horrible new double-think, ugly-speak, con-artist talk the corporations use. If you want to be sick to your stomach, check out their website. Link at the bottom of the page.
So my doctor joined this organization and the point of her pre-recorded phone call was to let her patients know that only the first few who jumped at the opportunity would be able to continue under her excellent care and what a great chance we were being offered! She wanted to be fair, to let us all know at the same time! The rest of us? Sorry, better look elsewhere. Find another doctor if you won’t pay the extra.
This is the situation in the United States. And the people there don’t even realize how badly they are getting screwed.
Look on MD VIPs facebook page. All kinds of comments from allegedly happy and satisfied people spewing such gems as “if you want a steak dinner, it'll cost more than McDonalds; if you want a Mercedes it'll cost more than a VW;.” As if health care was comparable.
I don’t know if those people are shills but I imagine they must be.
The prevailing ethos seems to be “You get what you pay for.” Can’t afford the doctor’s retainer? Tough shit. Fight it out in the crab pit.
I try not to harp on stuff like this cause I don’t think people are that interested. Americans know there’s a problem, but don’t seem to care enough as a whole to change it. We fight it out in cliches and nonsense. But sometimes I need to vent.
I just bought health insurance here in Oman, though a company based in UAE. It’s the absolute top of the line, and works even in the US. That means that it’s world wide coverage including the United States. It covers everything. Doctors visits, tests, medicine, someone to accompany me to the hospital if I have to go abroad. It covers dental, eye, acupuncture, homeopathy, chiropractic, osteopathy, vaccination of children, and there is no co-pay.
Also, pre-existing conditions are covered after nine months in the network. Meaning that, if you have had something before, and maybe in New York or California you can’t get any coverage at all, or you may pay a fortune, like I did, through a terrible company called GHI and get no coverage at all, except for pharmaceuticals. With this new insurance company, there was no difference in the fee charged, no difference in my coverage. Pre-existing? No problem.
What I’ve got is the best and most complete policy available. The cost? just over half of my crappo policy in the US, which was also the best available that I could afford. And which didn’t even cover doctors visits or lab tests.
All this talk about socialized medicine is utter balderdash. There is no reason Americans shouldn’t have decent healthcare. If AXA Gulf can do it, then why can’t those US companies? Methinks it’s greed, and greed only.
And, let me also point out that my healthcare is special for expatriates. Omanis don’t need it. Health care here is free, like it is in Italy and France. They can get something extra if they want it, sure, but health care is included in the perks of being Omani. I know the US can’t afford such fripperies, too busy spending money on more important things, like the “war on terror.” What a con.
But if anyone reading this is wondering if they are really getting screwed, the answer is yes.
MD VIP website
AXA Gulf insurance