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ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

No. They stopped it years before that. I'll have to check with some people to see if they can give me the history, because I surely can't remember.

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Posted : September 21, 2016 12:22 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Was the loss of private health insurance related to the enactment of the ACA?

No. Other than the group insurance which was available to Chamber of Commerce members - which I recall stopped being offered maybe about 15 years ago or longer - I don't recall individual policies ever being available. If they were, they were super expensive. For my first 10 years I was covered through my employer but thereafter was without coverage. Fortunately I remained healthy and on the few occasions I needed medical assistance I paid out of pocket.

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Posted : September 21, 2016 12:39 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

From what I remember, if you were a self-employed individual, you could join the Chambet and become part of that group. But I'll check to confirm. Makes no difference now, though, since that's no longer the case.

Here is a link to the issue with ACA in territories. From what I remember, the territories chose the Medicaid option because it gave access to a larger percent of population and was more of a sure thing.

http://www.yourhealthcaresimplified.org/news/u-s-territories-obamacare/

There have been many articles on the subject, but some politicians here have misled the residents so the local government is being blamed for a federal issue.

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Posted : September 21, 2016 2:53 pm
STTsailor
(@STTsailor)
Trusted Member

Telemedicine is fine in cognitive specialities like psychiatry, rheumatology or radiology. When one needs surgery telemedicine is not helpful.

The two islands (STT, STX) with pop of 50,000 are really equivalent of small town USA. We don't need or will have a Mayo Clinic here unless we become some sort of medical Mecca for Carribian. So having airlift membership makes a lot of sense. Some medical problems deserve and need tertiary care. Trying to obtain it locally is and will be hazardous to our health.

This is the island of sick native population. Their lifespan is probably 10 years shorter than mainlanders. Has to do with genetics, poor eating habits and health illiteracy. Obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure kill a lot of people by the time they are 70 years old. No amount of resources, doctors and hospitals can turn that around without natives being health educated and their honest commitment to better nutrition and exercise.

An upcoming alternative is telemedicine. Haven't had need to use the service linked below and don't know if it will work in the VI - but might be worth a try.

FL legislature is initiating changes that should result in expanded online access to medical treatment.

https://baycare.org/BayCareAnywhere?gclid=Cj0KEQjw9vi-BRCx1_GZgN7N4voBEiQAaACKVmI_V1Tiy6pAyFvqSU3QKB2R7DA2RnqY-O3x56syU_oaAqXs8P8HAQ

Our previous congressional rep who is a medical doctor and has worked in public health and had input in ACA, was hoping that the VI and FL could partner so VI could become part of their exchange but that didn't work out, either. The current lieutenant governor has met with several insurers but still nothing has become available. It's not like the government here has been completely ignoring the issue. Individual insurance was available to Chamber members, but they ceased offering it years ago.

It is unfortunate that nothing is available.

I indicated telemedicine as an alternative for those complaining about quality of care and access to care. Not an alternative for adequate health insurance. Telemedicine is going to become viable for Caribbean residents soon come.

FL is part of the national ACA exchange. Increased Medicare funding and a FL ACA exchange were blocked by the legislature and Voldemort, FL's governor.

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Posted : September 21, 2016 2:54 pm
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

The technology developing around robotic surgery should/will someday make it possible for a specialized surgeon to operate on someone in a remote location. Obviously, the robotics technology would need to be available at both locations.

Right now in FL, businesses have booths where employees can connect themselves to medical devices for vitals and then converse with an MD with no wait.

Radiologists work remotely all the time - many from India. Cardiology has technology that allows MDs to check vitals from implanted devices on demand in big America.

That's where telemedicine is heading. If politics were not in the equation, telemedicine might be widely available now. State licensing rules get in the way.

Telemedicine is fine in cognitive specialities like psychiatry, rheumatology or radiology. When one needs surgery telemedicine is not helpful.

The two islands (STT, STX) with pop of 50,000 are really equivalent of small town USA. We don't need or will have a Mayo Clinic here unless we become some sort of medical Mecca for Carribian. So having airlift membership makes a lot of sense. Some medical problems deserve and need tertiary care. Trying to obtain it locally is and will be hazardous to our health.

This is the island of sick native population. Their lifespan is probably 10 years shorter than mainlanders. Has to do with genetics, poor eating habits and health illiteracy. Obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure kill a lot of people by the time they are 70 years old. No amount of resources, doctors and hospitals can turn that around without natives being health educated and their honest commitment to better nutrition and exercise.

An upcoming alternative is telemedicine. Haven't had need to use the service linked below and don't know if it will work in the VI - but might be worth a try.

FL legislature is initiating changes that should result in expanded online access to medical treatment.

https://baycare.org/BayCareAnywhere?gclid=Cj0KEQjw9vi-BRCx1_GZgN7N4voBEiQAaACKVmI_V1Tiy6pAyFvqSU3QKB2R7DA2RnqY-O3x56syU_oaAqXs8P8HAQ

Our previous congressional rep who is a medical doctor and has worked in public health and had input in ACA, was hoping that the VI and FL could partner so VI could become part of their exchange but that didn't work out, either. The current lieutenant governor has met with several insurers but still nothing has become available. It's not like the government here has been completely ignoring the issue. Individual insurance was available to Chamber members, but they ceased offering it years ago.

It is unfortunate that nothing is available.

I indicated telemedicine as an alternative for those complaining about quality of care and access to care. Not an alternative for adequate health insurance. Telemedicine is going to become viable for Caribbean residents soon come.

FL is part of the national ACA exchange. Increased Medicare funding and a FL ACA exchange were blocked by the legislature and Voldemort, FL's governor.

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Posted : September 21, 2016 3:30 pm
STTsailor
(@STTsailor)
Trusted Member

Perhaps in the future. Just like remotely piloted drones kill people thousands of miles away, the remotely operated robot will save someone's life on the island one day. But first, WAPA will have to be more reliable. Internet reliably deliver 300 mps and healthcare spending balloon to 40% of GDP. As for now surgery is and will be a hands on speciality delivered locally.

And while all this future sound so sexy, healthcare is very much a population based commodity. If you spend $2M to buy a robot to do brain tumor resection remotely you will also have to invest in NeuroICU, qualified nursing care, neuro intensivists. So this technology and human investment will save a couple of lives annually. The money spent could save 1000 lives by spending it on vaccines, getting rid of Aedes Egipti, better prenatal care, nutritional and health literacy or accessible and effective primary care.

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Posted : September 21, 2016 3:55 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

This is the island of sick native population. Their lifespan is probably 10 years shorter than mainlanders.

And this is totally incorrect. Lifespan US Virgin Islands in 2012 79.47 years. Lifespan US average 78.74.

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Posted : September 21, 2016 4:17 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

There are health fairs probably every month, and I guess STTsailor hasn't heard of VI Fitness Kitchen. They offer healthy cooking demonstrations and fitness classes at the Jr High before the lunch period. The latest invitation I received from them won't post in this forum.

And I think St Thomas is the only Caribbean island with an annual Vegan Food Fair.

We have the farm produce co-op and the weekly farmers' markets.

Yes, many people have diabetes and blood pressure, but it's a growing problem in US and is spreading around the world.

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Posted : September 21, 2016 4:32 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

... I guess STTsailor hasn't heard of ...

The sailor has lived here a very short time and, as many of us old-timers learned, there is much to learn and continue learning the longer you live here. It's nothing unusual - more the norm in fact - for people to move here and start making assumptions right off the bat along with coming up with all sorts of ideas about how "they" can do so much better if only "they" could learn how to do things better (like we do back home) ...

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Posted : September 21, 2016 4:41 pm
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

The sailor has lived here a very short time and, as many of us old-timers learned, there is much to learn and continue learning the longer you live here....

27 years working with overweight, diabetic and people with cardiovascular problems and watching them do nothing about improving their health, and only concerned with eating as much of an unhealthy lunch as they can leaves nothing more for me to learn.

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Posted : September 21, 2016 4:53 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

The sailor has lived here a very short time and, as many of us old-timers learned, there is much to learn and continue learning the longer you live here....

27 years working with overweight, diabetic and people with cardiovascular problems and watching them do nothing about improving their health, and only concerned with eating as much of an unhealthy lunch as they can leaves nothing more for me to learn.

Which still doesn't make the comment about statistically shortened longevity correct. That unhealthy population is just as rampant stateside as it is here.

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Posted : September 21, 2016 5:08 pm
Spartygrad95
(@Spartygrad95)
Trusted Member

Are anecdotes evidence now? I forget. This post is about health insurance. "You get nothing. You lose. Good day sir" is the answer to that question. You can roll the dice and if it comes up snake eyes, don't worry, the rest of us will bail you out by our increased hospital rates. Nothing will ever change as long as for profit insurance companies are in charge of healthcare. If you can't stand the "single payer commie" idea, then perhaps Singapore has a model we can follow. For profit insurers and education institutions are bankrupting this country nearly as much as the idiots in government spending money.

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Posted : September 21, 2016 5:16 pm
islandjoan
(@islandjoan)
Trusted Member

There are many countries in the world where lifespans are shorter, and where they are longer. The fact remains that we (many of us posting here) live in the US Virgin Islands, so that is what we are discussing.

There is no point in constantly saying that things are better or worse in the US when the topic of discussion is about problems HERE.

Which still doesn't make the comment about statistically shortened longevity correct. That unhealthy population is just as rampant stateside as it is here.

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Posted : September 21, 2016 5:35 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

There is no point in constantly saying that things are better or worse in the US when the topic of discussion is about problems HERE.

I was addressing this statement: "This is the island of sick native population. Their lifespan is probably 10 years shorter than mainlanders. "

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Posted : September 21, 2016 5:42 pm
Spartygrad95
(@Spartygrad95)
Trusted Member

HERE the lifespan seems to be higher than THERE. HERE there is no option for individual healthcare policies. THERE, there are. HERE people are using anecdotes as evidence. THERE, well do that THERE too. I can't imagine how a government run healthcare system would work here with so many examples of their complete ineptitude I type as my WAPA finally returns..

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Posted : September 21, 2016 5:43 pm
daveb722
(@daveb722)
Trusted Member

Are anecdotes evidence now? I forget. This post is about health insurance. "You get nothing. You lose. Good day sir" is the answer to that question. You can roll the dice and if it comes up snake eyes, don't worry, the rest of us will bail you out by our increased hospital rates. Nothing will ever change as long as for profit insurance companies are in charge of healthcare. If you can't stand the "single payer commie" idea, then perhaps Singapore has a model we can follow. For profit insurers and education institutions are bankrupting this country nearly as much as the idiots in government spending money.

I have to agree with you on this one sparty.

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Posted : September 21, 2016 6:42 pm
MayaN
(@MayaN)
Advanced Member

Big thanks to all of you who chimed in on this complex problem of health insurance being unavailable to mainland transplants, unless they take work with a company that provides it. Now we must weigh and consider. I've spoken with people currently working in my field in the VI (2 in STT, 1 in STX), and they tell me it's not hard to gain employment as a therapist on those islands, either with a counseling agency or the government. So if I took a job offering health insurance (or if my husband did), that would be a good temporary solution for us. We'd want to give ourselves a while to acclimate to island living and do some networking there before attempting to launch private practices there anyway... so who knows, maybe by that time individual insurance will be available or some other solution will have emerged. Not that I want to bury my head in the sand and pretend this isn't a problem, but on the same hand we're trying not to totally over-react to the bad news either.

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Topic starter Posted : September 21, 2016 6:49 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

and this i see every day. people who are diabetic eating crap they know isnt good for them

The sailor has lived here a very short time and, as many of us old-timers learned, there is much to learn and continue learning the longer you live here....

27 years working with overweight, diabetic and people with cardiovascular problems and watching them do nothing about improving their health, and only concerned with eating as much of an unhealthy lunch as they can leaves nothing more for me to learn.

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Posted : September 21, 2016 7:05 pm
islandjoan
(@islandjoan)
Trusted Member

Ah yes okay now I see
Well diabetes is rampant here for sure, along with mega consumption of johnny cake, kfc and mcdonalds.

I was addressing this statement: "This is the island of sick native population. Their lifespan is probably 10 years shorter than mainlanders. "

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Posted : September 21, 2016 7:12 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Big thanks to all of you who chimed in on this complex problem of health insurance being unavailable to mainland transplants ... .

Individual health insurance coverage isn't available to anyone, whether you're a mainland transplant or were born here and have lived here your whole life. It's been that way for donkey's years but the subject's only gained attention since the passing of the AHCA.

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Posted : September 21, 2016 7:20 pm
MayaN
(@MayaN)
Advanced Member

Individual health insurance coverage isn't available to anyone, whether you're a mainland transplant or were born here and have lived here your whole life.

Oh yes, I do realize the problem is systemic. I just specified mainland transplants because I figure there aren't very many uninsured natives or locals looking for a health insurance "solution" on this forum... I'm sure they're all too well acquainted with the problem and with the sad fact that there simply isn't a good solution for the self employed, unless one is rich enough foot their own hospitalization costs, poor enough for Medicaid, old enough for Medicare, or nuts enough to take the risk. We are not rich or poor or old, but we just might be nuts, so there's that. 😉

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Topic starter Posted : September 21, 2016 10:02 pm
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

Individual health insurance coverage isn't available to anyone, whether you're a mainland transplant or were born here and have lived here your whole life.

Oh yes, I do realize the problem is systemic. I just specified mainland transplants because I figure there aren't very many uninsured natives or locals looking for a health insurance "solution" on this forum... I'm sure they're all too well acquainted with the problem and with the sad fact that there simply isn't a good solution for the self employed, unless one is rich enough foot their own hospitalization costs, poor enough for Medicaid, old enough for Medicare, or nuts enough to take the risk. We are not rich or poor or old, but we just might be nuts, so there's that. 😉

A small business with 2 full-time employees will qualify for a group plan in the VI. Employees can be husband and wife.

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Posted : September 22, 2016 11:06 am
STTsailor
(@STTsailor)
Trusted Member

This is the island of sick native population. Their lifespan is probably 10 years shorter than mainlanders.

And this is totally incorrect. Lifespan US Virgin Islands in 2012 79.47 years. Lifespan US average 78.74.

OT is right. I must have red too many obituaries in Daily News.

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Posted : September 22, 2016 1:37 pm
MayaN
(@MayaN)
Advanced Member

Individual health insurance coverage isn't available to anyone, whether you're a mainland transplant or were born here and have lived here your whole life.

Oh yes, I do realize the problem is systemic. I just specified mainland transplants because I figure there aren't very many uninsured natives or locals looking for a health insurance "solution" on this forum... I'm sure they're all too well acquainted with the problem and with the sad fact that there simply isn't a good solution for the self employed, unless one is rich enough foot their own hospitalization costs, poor enough for Medicaid, old enough for Medicare, or nuts enough to take the risk. We are not rich or poor or old, but we just might be nuts, so there's that. 😉

A small business with 2 full-time employees will qualify for a group plan in the VI. Employees can be husband and wife.

Wow! Hey now, THAT would be a solution for us! My husband is sleeping right now and I almost wanna wake him up just to tell him this, ha ha. THANK YOU!!!!

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Topic starter Posted : September 23, 2016 5:42 am
quirion
(@quirion)
Advanced Member

This was almost not true.
BCBS was offering it and then pulled out.
Luckily ELAN that is taking over is keeping the option.
However, they do have a change to existing policies. Its Puerto Rico/VI only.
No option to go to the states for procedures.

This is a change to your existing policy.
Also noone else will do the 2 person business thing if you are married.
At least as far as I have been able to determine.

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Posted : September 23, 2016 10:30 am
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