Skip to comments.In Need of a New Hip, but Priced Out of the U.S.
Posted on 08/08/2013 4:38:03 PM PDT by Lorianne
Michael Shopenns artificial hip was made by a company based in this remote town, a global center of joint manufacturing. But he had to fly to Europe to have it installed.
Mr. Shopenn, 67, an architectural photographer and avid snowboarder, had been in such pain from arthritis that he could not stand long enough to make coffee, let alone work. He had health insurance, but it would not cover a joint replacement because his degenerative disease was related to an old sports injury, thus considered a pre-existing condition.
Desperate to find an affordable solution, he reached out to a sailing buddy with friends at a medical device manufacturer, which arranged to provide his local hospital with an implant at what was described as the list price of $13,000, with no markup. But when the hospitals finance office estimated that the hospital charges would run another $65,000, not including the surgeons fee, he knew he had to think outside the box, and outside the country.
That was a third of my savings at the time, Mr. Shopenn said recently from the living room of his condo in Boulder, Colo. It wasnt happening.
Very leery of going to a developing country like India or Thailand, which both draw so-called medical tourists, he ultimately chose to have his hip replaced in 2007 at a private hospital outside Brussels for $13,660. That price included not only a hip joint, made by Warsaw-based Zimmer Holdings, but also all doctors fees, operating room charges, crutches, medicine, a hospital room for five days, a week in rehab and a round-trip ticket from America
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Indonesia is a lot cheaper than Thailand now for medical treatment. That would be the first country to check out.
I don’t believe this. Every ailment you get after 65 is from a “pre-existing” condition.
I just had my knee replaced. The hospital bill was $50k and with Medicare, and my supplement, I paid $1000. It’s just the low cost AARP supplement. My husband had a brain tumor removed 2 years ago — price tag $100k out of pocket %3000. The doctor said that he probably had had the tumor (slow growing, non malignent) for 30 years.
Sad: It used to be that others would travel to America for affordable healthcare.
Glad: He got affordable treatment outside the country.
The point this article misses is that this is exactly the way a free market is supposed to work!
The health insurance problem in this country could be fixed tomorrow, just like the Social Security problem. The Government doesn’t WANT to fix these problems.
If you can’t get a new hip then get a new hop, which is not to say, “get with the hip-hop”!
That’s not very nice, it’s a very painful and debilitating condition.
I don’t think people ever traveled to this country for “affordable” health care; they traveled to this country for timely health care (waiting lists for socialist health care at home) or very-good health care (for exceptionally difficult diseases).
This story is complete BULLSHIT! I play senior softball and my manager just underwent knee replacement two weeks ago, another guy on my team had a hip replacement last winter, another friend had knee replacement last summer, ..........I can name another dozen guys who had either their hips or knees replaced and they were ALL due to prior injuries they incurred during their softball careers..........
You can’t be hip any more in America!
You can’t be hip any more in America!
If an ordinary guy like me can experience *that* it can't be *that* difficult...or unusual.
I imagine different insurance companies do things differently, so that could be the problem.
At age 65 he should be on Medicare if he’s living in the USA.
That’s footing the bill for 80%, right?
I guess I may have missed something. I’m older than he is, have medicare and tricare for life which paid for my hip replacement just a few months ago. Did he not have medicare etc?
I am over 65, still working, and receiving health care insurance from my employer, not Medicare. Maybe he is in the same situation.
I read the NYT text.
This happened back in 2007 so the fellow than was only 61.
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