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How's the healthcare in STX?

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blu4u
(@blu4u)
Trusted Member

Old Tart.
Because you had no medical insurance you feel that you don't owe anything for your three night stay? If you had a customer that had no credit card no cash and he/she just ignored your bill, how long would you have been in the restaurant business?

Do try reading comprehensively and not leaping to assumptions. I did NOT say that I wouldn't have paid it but that I couldn't at the time. The point I was making is that I never received another bill. One would rather assume that after a decade has passed by, the matter is dead. I'm just happy that I'm not.

Tart, Please clarify. You state that you couldn't pay the bill "at the the time". Did you make payment arrangements? Did you eventually satisfy the debt? At some point you had the funds to purchase high end appliances and expensive collectibles (now listed for sale in classified section). Do you have adequate health insurance now? Or will the USVI, tax paying US citizens and those of us who make sacrifices to afford high premium health insurance be footing your next bill?

Unlike the UK the US does not provide socialized medicine. You can thank me (as someone who carries health insurance and pays income taxes) for paying a portion of your bill.

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Posted : February 23, 2012 11:38 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

happy face, i know i just forgot the n't in wasn't.

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Posted : February 24, 2012 12:13 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

iris, i wasn't asking for a reason. people have different reasons for not paying a bill and it is none of my business why. i know that sometimes we do not get the service we should have and i know that sometimes financial situations happen that make it impossible to pay a bill. financial situations happen to many people, people who normally have no problem paying a bill are suddenly faced with weather to eat or pay a bill.

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Posted : February 24, 2012 12:40 am
blu4u
(@blu4u)
Trusted Member

iris, i wasn't asking for a reason. people have different reasons for not paying a bill and it is none of my business why. i know that sometimes we do not get the service we should have and i know that sometimes financial situations happen that make it impossible to pay a bill. financial situations happen to many people, people who normally have no problem paying a bill are suddenly faced with weather to eat or pay a bill.

That's why most hospitals, doctors, dentist, lawyers, even a few plumbers offer payment arrangements.

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Posted : February 24, 2012 1:02 am
Alexandra
(@Alexandra)
Trusted Member

I have no interest in getting in the midst of a scrum, but on the subject of property taxes I do want to make one observation.

When someone rents a property, the funds they pay in rent are used by the landlord to pay the expenses of the property. This includes the property tax. Tenants pay property tax as a pass through tax via the landlord. It isn't a case of the landlord just eating the property tax expense on behalf of their tenant.

Anyone who pays for housing, effectively pays a portion of their rent towards property taxes. Sure, some people pay many thousands in property taxes for mansions and others pay a few hundred in property taxes for a simple apartment, but each pays proportionally to the housing they occupy.

Consequently I don't see any validity in lambasting people who rent as being deadbeats and leeches on property owners by utilizing services paid for through property taxes. If they pay for their housing, they pay towards those services.

There are clearly plenty of leeches in society who live entirely on public assistance for most/all of their lives and do not make the slightest effort to ever pay their own way for housing or any other services. Those are very different people than the ones being harangued here and who are repeatedly identified as being an attorney and a restaurant owner. The last time I checked, people working in those industries do pay various taxes, typically pay for housing and many other services, and are not living on the public dole in the housing projects.

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Posted : February 24, 2012 1:36 am
eiplanner
(@eiplanner)
Advanced Member

This thread has strayed way off base in terms of the health care in St. Croix, but I'll be damned if it's not entertaining.

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Posted : February 24, 2012 2:54 am
blu4u
(@blu4u)
Trusted Member

Frankly, I could care less whether you rent, own or sleep on your boat. God bless anyone who is workin' for living. But, for crying out loud, pay your own bills!!!!

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Posted : February 24, 2012 4:25 am
HappyFace
(@HappyFace)
Advanced Member

Alexandra.
Rental income is not a pass through tax for real estate. Income collected by small landlords are written off by depreciation of the property, built in loss vacancy factor, economic obsolescence and failure to report income. The Attorney and the Restaurant Owner both came out of the closet so to speak about not paying their respective hospital bills. Their deliberate failure not to pay their bills becomes a burden on the tax payer and the hospitals.

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Posted : February 24, 2012 5:40 am
dr
 dr
(@dr)
Active Member

35% of the hospital's services is towards uncompensated care. They expect this percentage to rise. The gov't funding in based on staff numbers employed, not based on the %age of uncompensated care. As staff numbers are reduced the gov't funding drops, so this accelerates the problem.

So how does the hospital hope to break-even, by charging more to those who can pay.

The people who do have health insurance (and presumably can afford to pay for their services), are contributing a lot to this 35% if they do not pay their 20% coinsurance and deductibles.

As a side note, presumably the doctors (who work in the hospital and provide services) are also 35% uncompensated.

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Posted : February 24, 2012 5:53 am
Iris Tramm
(@Iris_Tramm)
Trusted Member

iris, i wasn't asking for a reason. people have different reasons for not paying a bill and it is none of my business why. i know that sometimes we do not get the service we should have and i know that sometimes financial situations happen that make it impossible to pay a bill. financial situations happen to many people, people who normally have no problem paying a bill are suddenly faced with weather to eat or pay a bill.

Hey, speee1dy. My desire to reimburse JFL for their "services" has nothing to do with the ability to pay or not (because that's no one's biz), but about the grossly incompetent services rendered. Would you pay for a hamburger that gave you food poisoning?

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Posted : February 24, 2012 11:06 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

iris, i was going to mention bad food as a reason to not pay for a good or service people get too. as i stated, there are many reasons why one might not pay there bill. i agree with you on this.

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Posted : February 24, 2012 11:13 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Old Tart.
Because you had no medical insurance you feel that you don't owe anything for your three night stay? If you had a customer that had no credit card no cash and he/she just ignored your bill, how long would you have been in the restaurant business?

Do try reading comprehensively and not leaping to assumptions. I did NOT say that I wouldn't have paid it but that I couldn't at the time. The point I was making is that I never received another bill. One would rather assume that after a decade has passed by, the matter is dead. I'm just happy that I'm not.

Tart, Please clarify. You state that you couldn't pay the bill "at the the time". Did you make payment arrangements? Did you eventually satisfy the debt? At some point you had the funds to purchase high end appliances and expensive collectibles (now listed for sale in classified section). Do you have adequate health insurance now? Or will the USVI, tax paying US citizens and those of us who make sacrifices to afford high premium health insurance be footing your next bill?

Unlike the UK the US does not provide socialized medicine. You can thank me (as someone who carries health insurance and pays income taxes) for paying a portion of your bill.

As much as I‘m disgusted by blu4u’s outrageous personal attack which goes far beyond any comment about not paying a hospital bill ten years ago, I’ll address his besmirching.

I’ve already said that apart from the hospital bill which was given to me amongst other papers when I left the hospital, I never received a further bill. The hospital had all the information required to bill me, including my SS#, my mailing and physical address, etc. No attempt whatsoever was made to collect the “debt” in any way, shape or form. I could speculate until the cows come home as to the reason but, unlike blu4u, I comment on what I know. Had the bill been followed up on then of course I would have arranged a payment plan.

Up until 1995 I had full medical coverage and had never been without it in the then 34 years I had been working, 27 of those years in the US and 11 of those 27 in the USVI. When I opened my business in 1996 I was unable to afford individual coverage.

I have paid all income taxes and SS contributions to the US since 1968, 27 of those years in the USVI. Since January this year I have been collecting SS retirement benefits and am covered for hospitalization by Medicare. I have never in my life collected unemployment compensation nor any kind of “welfare” assistance.

I’ve had those collectibles which blu4u refers to for 20-40 years and am most regretfully selling them in order to keep the howling wolf from the door. Those “high end appliances” he euphemistically refers to are those which remained unsold when I closed my business last July.

Blu4u, I’ve no doubt that not one word of this will discourage you from continuing to attack me but have at it if that‘s what makes your world. I will go to my grave knowing that I’ve worked hard all my life to support myself and have never been a leech on either this or any other community but have contributed substantially to all. I wish the same for you.

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Posted : February 24, 2012 12:58 pm
HappyFace
(@HappyFace)
Advanced Member

Old Tart,
You opened the door! No Bismirching! Fact is you received a bill and because no follow up bill came you decided not to pay it.Your statement.

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Posted : February 24, 2012 2:55 pm
trainwreck82
(@trainwreck82)
Advanced Member

Old Tart,
You opened the door! No Bismirching! Fact is you received a bill and because no follow up bill came you decided not to pay it.Your statement.

Do you really have nothing better to do than harass random strangers online about their hospital bills? The hospital doesn't even harass people about their hospital bills??

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Posted : February 24, 2012 3:19 pm
HappyFace
(@HappyFace)
Advanced Member

Trainwreck82,
Don't read it, or do you have a lot of time on your hands. Do you know as a fact that the hospitals don't try to collect monies owed.

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Posted : February 24, 2012 3:41 pm
vihealth
(@vihealth)
Advanced Member

Just an FYI.
I was in the ER in St. Croix a few years for what I thought was a fractured elbow. Luckily it was not broken. I received excellant attention and was in and out in a couple of hours, which I thought was great.
I had health insurance at the time but for some reason it did not get submitted / paid correctly. I NEVER received a bill from the hospital myself. Last year I checked my credit report only to find that I was in collections here in STX for an unpaid hospital bill. Luckily I was able to straighten it out with my insurance company and get the bill paid correctly and had it removed from credit report. But I never would have known anything about otherwise.

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Posted : February 24, 2012 3:48 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Old Tart,
You opened the door! No Bismirching! Fact is you received a bill and because no follow up bill came you decided not to pay it.Your statement.

Do you really have nothing better to do than harass random strangers online about their hospital bills? The hospital doesn't even harass people about their hospital bills??

I've never been harassed by the hospital for bills but in the past (and since that episode ten years ago) I've absolutely been mailed follow-up bills. When I had medical insurance, they were duly passed on to the company I worked for and in turn submitted to and paid by the insurance carrier. On the later occasion which was an ER visit I was likewise billed by mail and promptly paid the amount due. Obviously no red flag went up then indicating I had an unpaid balance and my credit report has never reflected any hospital debt.

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Posted : February 24, 2012 3:53 pm
blu4u
(@blu4u)
Trusted Member

Ladies and Gentleman. Allow me to explain the moral and legal difference between 1) disputing questionable charges and fess, 2) negotiating costs, 3) skippin' a bill. The first two represent efficient business practice. The third may result in criminal charges (running a check at bar, shoplifting, providing false identity/contact information to a creditor) or civil action like collections or judgements. Not sure of the criminal / civil statue of limitations.

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Posted : February 24, 2012 5:34 pm
Iris Tramm
(@Iris_Tramm)
Trusted Member

Ladies and Gentleman. Allow me to explain the moral and legal difference between 1) disputing questionable charges and fess, 2) negotiating costs, 3) skippin' a bill. The first two represent efficient business practice. The third may result in criminal charges (running a check at bar, shoplifting, providing false identity/contact information to a creditor) or civil action like collections or judgements. Not sure of the criminal / civil statue of limitations.

Like I said, when/if I get a bill, we'll have a conversation with my lawyer present.

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Posted : February 24, 2012 6:52 pm
blu4u
(@blu4u)
Trusted Member

35% of the hospital's services is towards uncompensated care. They expect this percentage to rise. The gov't funding in based on staff numbers employed, not based on the %age of uncompensated care. As staff numbers are reduced the gov't funding drops, so this accelerates the problem.

So how does the hospital hope to break-even, by charging more to those who can pay.

The people who do have health insurance (and presumably can afford to pay for their services), are contributing a lot to this 35% if they do not pay their 20% coinsurance and deductibles.

As a side note, presumably the doctors (who work in the hospital and provide services) are also 35% uncompensated.

I have heard the 35%++ figure as well. Assuming a family of 4 pays 8K per year for health premiums and out of pocket medical expenses. 5K covers the family's cost and 3k covers some stranger's unpaid medical care.

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Posted : February 24, 2012 11:17 pm
onthespot
(@onthespot)
Advanced Member

I have been skipping this place lately because it had been dull. Look what I MISSED!!!! :@)

Carry on. Sharpen your sabers, your tongues, and your wits if you must. This is some good %$(#*!

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Posted : February 25, 2012 2:56 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

onthespot, it had been dull. but again, many reasons why someone does not pay their bills and it is not for us to judge.

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Posted : February 25, 2012 10:56 am
onthespot
(@onthespot)
Advanced Member

Oh, I am not judging at all. I don't have a dog in the fight, and I myself know quite a bit about the curves life can throw... and how it can throw your whole plans off. A year ago I was all primed to make my move to STX, and got three mega curves thrown my way instead. So, Im still here, repairing my life, and have three equally appealing options facing me, STX, MT, or stay in CA... Three totally different lives to choose... Did you know I looked at AA website and can take a round trip right now for <$340 airfare? That's just NUTS!!! But, I started a new job this week, not a good time to take off work. I did tell them at orientation that sometime in the next few months I WILL be taking some time off to go travel though.

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Posted : February 25, 2012 2:48 pm
SydSol
(@SydSol)
Advanced Member

I think we should get Hovensa to pay off the hospital debt and fund an asthma clinic for all those affected by its years of pollution and destroying people's health. Goes for all the rum factories too. Charge them 10% people's wellness fee to fund the hospital and care for the people they exploit. When I get the bill for my daughter's respiratory attack that sent her to the ER a few weeks ago, I plan on taking Hovensa to small claims court to pay for it and all her inhaler meds, follow up doc appointments. I had reported the chemical smell earlier in the day to the EPA.

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Posted : February 25, 2012 5:03 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

sydsol, i am with you there.
onthespot-mt don't they get a lot of snow??

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Posted : February 25, 2012 5:55 pm
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