Health care in California

Hello everyone,

One among the various issue that many expatriates usually raise is Health Care. So, I think it would be very interesting and helpful to start a topic about Health.

   > So, can you please list some of the private clinics & public hospitals in California?

   > What about dental care? May be some tips about the costs?

   > Some addresses of Eye care clinic, opticians will also be welcomed!

   > Some addresses of pharmacies around California will also be useful.

Do not hesitate, to add more related items to the list.

Thanks in advance for your participation!
______________________________________________
Expat.com Team

hi all. Healthcare in America is criminal. It is SO expensive and you get less AND still have to pay high premiums and deductibles and you still have to win your claim against the insurance company. It really is BAD. As for California, it's pretty much the same. America is great for ER/trauma and specialized surgeries but there is no such thing as preventive medicine/care here. General care is a juggling act between ethics/morale and greed. Sadly, greed prevails under strict guidelines doctors must obey from the American Medical Association. Plus you will notice that pharma companies advertise a lot on TV offering their new drugs that are filled with many possible side effects! The doctors get frequent visits from drug reps peddling their new crap to offer patients. The regulation of drugs is controlled not by the FDA, which is inept, but by the drug companies in unison with the insurance companies in unison with the AMA and in unison with some corrupt politicians who pass laws that favor these industries. If you are fairly healthy, choose a high deductible and only pay a premium for emergency care. For regular doctor visits, just pay out of pocket and tell them you don't have insurance. Most will do a 40% deduction from the cost because of this. It helps. For dental: same crap..it's even more expensive. I get my dental work done in Tijuana Mexico by a Peruvian doctor who does a MUCH better job than the idiots in the US and for much cheaper too. I had root canal, 6 cavities, full cleaning, full xray, and pain medicine: $500 ! In the US: root canal- $1,500, One Cavity- $500, full cleaning- $130, full xray- $100, medicine- $50-80. Add the math. The healthcare system in America need a complete overhaul! to include most of the idiots in Congress.

Hi RobertfromCalifornia!

Thanks for your contribution!

Regards
Armand

hi Armand, anytime. just ask.  robert

There are so many ways to get health care:

1) through work

A lot of employers offer health and dental insurance as part of perks offered to the employees. As for vision and life insurance, not many companies offer such benefits.

2) private insurance

A lot of self employed purchase health and dental insurance but due to rising cost, even for those who can afford, have chosen to drop the health insurance.

3) income means test

Usually less income household can take advantage of medical/medicaid.

For retirees, they have Medicare but that only applies to working residents and citizens, who contributed 10 years of premium. Many immigrants who came to US but have not work 10 years or contributed 10 years were not eligible to Medicare but eligible to Medical.

There are non-profit organizations who also help out to a lot of less income household.

Overall, the US do not have universal healthcare system. There are laws passed recently that nobody will be denied insurance for the pre-existing condition. There will be changes in 2014 too, but that remains to be seen as the republican politicians are working to repeal the law.

The bottom line is its up to the voters to fix the healthcare problem.

Hello female_expat and thank you for this sharing! :)

Regards,
Harmonie.

Some answers to the question below 

> So, can you please list some of the private clinics & public hospitals in California?

This depends on the insurance subscribed. Insurances have network of hospitals/clinics and also depends the type of insurance benefits e.g.: PPO network, HMO network, etc

List of hospitals and clinics as per network can be found on the health insurance card issued by the provider.

   > What about dental care? May be some tips about the costs?

General cleaning, with insurance is usually free from deductible once every 6 months. Again, other services such as root canal and many types of dental work varies depending on the network PPO or HMO.

For a general cleaning without insurance, depending on the zip code you live, range from $180 (including x-ray) to $800.


   > Some addresses of Eye care clinic, opticians will also be welcomed!

Without vision insurance, it can be very expensive. Optometrist service alone is usually charge $100+ per patient excluding glasses, lens etc..

Tip: get a Cosco membership and have eye exam and supplies provided by Cosco... so much cheaper.


   > Some addresses of pharmacies around California will also be useful.

Addresses are listed depending on the network of insurance PPO or HMO. Again the insurance company issues health cards which includes the list of hospitals/clinics and specialist to go to when services are needed.

female_expat :

Some answers to the question below 

> So, can you please list some of the private clinics & public hospitals in California?

This depends on the insurance subscribed. Insurances have network of hospitals/clinics and also depends the type of insurance benefits e.g.: PPO network, HMO network, etc

List of hospitals and clinics as per network can be found on the health insurance card issued by the provider.

   > What about dental care? May be some tips about the costs?

General cleaning, with insurance is usually free from deductible once every 6 months. Again, other services such as root canal and many types of dental work varies depending on the network PPO or HMO.

For a general cleaning without insurance, depending on the zip code you live, range from $180 (including x-ray) to $800.


   > Some addresses of Eye care clinic, opticians will also be welcomed!

Without vision insurance, it can be very expensive. Optometrist service alone is usually charge $100+ per patient excluding glasses, lens etc..

Tip: get a Cosco membership and have eye exam and supplies provided by Cosco... so much cheaper.


   > Some addresses of pharmacies around California will also be useful.

Addresses are listed depending on the network of insurance PPO or HMO. Again the insurance company issues health cards which includes the list of hospitals/clinics and specialist to go to when services are needed.

female_expat is right.

There are lots of hospitals in California.  I used to live in San Francisco. In SF, there's SF General and several branches of UCSF, California Pacific, and Kaiser, just to name a few more recognized hospitals. But wherever you are in California, the hospital to which one you go is dictated by your insurance company's coverage.

Health insurance is expensive, but it would even be more expensive if you get sick or injured without insurance. There's PPO and HMO.  There are pros and cons to each one.  You can look these up and see which plan best suits you and your wallet. 

Once you sign up with an insurance company, either through your employer or for personal coverage, usually the insurance company would ask for a medical group.  (My relatives and all my former employers told me to go with Brown and Toland.) Then you sign up for a primary care physician who is within the same medical group, who will then refer you to a specialist, from OB/Gynes to orthopedists, who is also from the same medical group.

Hello Expat users,

Our family consisting of me, my wife and two 6-10 year old kids are considering moving to Greater Bay Area on California. My company is considering opening a small side office to Silicon Valley. We currently live on Finland which has pretty good healthcare, it basically costs nothing and covers everything you could imagine, it all comes out from taxpayers pockets. I and my wife are mid-thirties and everyone on our family is on good health.

My question is that what kind of costs per year should I expect for a good all-inclusive health insurance for two adults and two children. Our plan is not to have more babies at the moment :) I assume it's cheaper taxwise to let my company pay this insurance and lower my expat contract costs similar amount.

Thank you for all the wonderful information on expat-blog.

This might be useful for others, I've found healthinsurance.org]www.healthinsurance.org an interesting link to find out some costs.

I would recommend checking out Mantra Health. They have a variety of affordable, flexible plans to choose from. Some starting under $100

(Moderated)

Yah they’re great, a friend of mine is actually considering trying their plans (it’s as if they’ve got it all); they have their online support that can be contacted.

[Moderated: Please register into California Business directory]

I’m a native Californian and I find myself in complete agreement with everything RobertfromCalifornia said. Unfortunately, it seems, the American medical profession would much rather manage the symptoms of their patients, and make more money, than actually cure them.

However, I am very lucky to have a very reputable dentist and an excellent dental hygienist here in the Bay Area.

Thankx for sharing such wonderful information @female_expat.
It will be useful for me in the future.

I would suggest you get in touch with mydochub healthcare, they will help you find assistance for your healthcare challenges. Whether you need patients advocates, patient navigators, case managers, elder care advocates, home health, medical billing advocates, legal and other forms of patient assistants. In short they will help you or your loved ones manage all health care challenges.

My friend really had a good experience with them when he took their help for home health care for her grandmother.

I hope it helps you and answer your question :)

Hello mominwasi

Useful infos are always most welcome! :top:

Regards
Kenjee
Expat.com Team

Its really great and exciting to be on forums and answers users questions. Its like helping needy people with the right information..I don't say that I have all the information but I try to help them as much as I can.

Most of the times I research before answering them so I can provide information with reference for what they are looking for such as website or contact info.

I am enjoying being on this forum from the time I have signup.

I just love #expatblog its simple and easy to use :)

Robert nailed it. US healthcare system is a mess and an expensive one.

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