Healthcare in the US is private and funded by patients and Healthcare plans. Fortunately, I’ve managed to stay healthy and accident free since arriving, so, avoiding any visits to see a doctor until recently.
Some insurance only cover health, but doesn’t cover dental or vision. I have two separate insurance for health and dental, but none for vision. A small amount is deducted from my paycheck towards insurance each month. You tend to have an annual allowance so the rule is, stay healthy out here.
Healthcare plans are usually provided by your employer. If you don’t have health insurance, its likely it will cost you a lot of money for health services, and trust me, it’s expensive!
Healthcare plans differ of course, and each of them have a list of participating hospitals, doctors, and dentists you can visit. If you use a service listed within your healthcare plan, it’s cheaper than using one that’s outside your network. My coverage on my healthcare plan is PPO (Preferred Participating Organization). I can visit any health service listed in my healthcare plan as it will be cheaper.
I had a cold sore recently and it was taking longer to heal than usual, so I went down the chemist to see if I could find Zovirax which is common off the shelf cream found in UK chemists. I found about 20 different kinds of cold sore creams and no Zovirax or anything with the active ingredient found in Zovirax.
Little did I know, Zovirax happened to be prescription only in the US, so I had no option other than make my first visit to the doctor here.
As I entered the building, the receptionist greeted me and asked me to present my health insurance card and ID. I sat in the waiting room which was more like a living room found in a cozy house compared to waiting rooms in the UK which resemble more like waiting rooms found in train stations.
There was only one other person waiting too, and I was called up within five minutes. I was in and out in less than 15 minutes, which was brilliant. Compared to the UK, I’d probably still be sitting in the waiting room with twenty other people with coughs and flu for thirty minutes.