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Do you people get all your diabetes stuff for nothing?

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by TheBigNewt, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. helensaramay

    helensaramay Type 1 · Expert

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    No - we get none of our medication in the UK for nothing.
    It is paid for by the NHS which is funded by the tax payers and is incredibly expensive.

    I get very frustrated by people referring the British healthcare system as "free".
    I read (not necessarily on this forum) about people getting stuff "for free" on their prescription which they don't need. Or demanding something on prescription which would be cheaper across the counter ... but they don't have to pay for prescription. Or demanding vitamins from the NHS even though there is no scientific proof that they work. Or, my biggest bug bear, selling stuff which they "get for free" on prescription.

    I do not directly pay for my pump, insulin, test strips, BG meter and eye tests. But I still consider that I contribute significantly towards them through my taxes and I am exceedingly grateful to everyone else who contributes to the NHS.

    In addition, I directly fund my DexCom and any hypo treatment.

    Like many of the respondents, I feel incredibly privileged to have the NHS and to benefit from it.
    It is the world in which I have spent most of my life and, if I did not have diabetes, I would not begrudge funding others through my taxes ... but I hope they (and everyone else) realise the NHS is not free.
     
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  2. clareb1970

    clareb1970 Type 1 · Active Member

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    I disagree. For years and until his retirement, my independent ophthalmic optician gave me a full eye check for free due to me being T1. This included full sight test, retina screening and glaucoma check. I was never “advised” that I needed to get new spectacles. I actually owe a lot to this optician as due to his thorough checks, he spotted the first signs of retinopathy and I was able to be monitored by my hospital much more frequently, eventually receiving laser treatment.
     
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  3. TheBigNewt

    TheBigNewt Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Well my hat's off to the deal there then. Here I don't think ophthalmic opticians have "a high enough pay grade" to to retina screening. I know when I did my most recent ophthalmic evaluation an optometrist did my vision exam and looked for retinopathy after dilating my eyes. I needed a new prescription of course, because it had been 6-7 years since my last screening. And my insurance paid for the exam in full. But it only covered 20% of the glasses, which were $1,000. It would have covered more if I'd picked cheaper lenses and frames though.
     
    #103 TheBigNewt, Nov 27, 2017 at 7:53 PM
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
  4. Diamattic

    Diamattic Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I have not read any of the previous 6 pages - I am just answered the original post.

    I wouldn't say "I get it all for nothing/free" I can say "It is all covered through my insurance - that I pay monthly for"
    I pay less for my insurance then they pay for my diabetes stuff - so i do come out of top lol plus get all the extra stuff that come from benefits (massages, acupuncture, physio, better hospital care, etc).

    Id consider my situation a win lol
     
  5. himtoo

    himtoo Type 1 · Well-Known Member
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    @TheBigNewt
    services on the NHS are free at point of contact -- that is to say the patient receiving whatever is "needed" does not pay

    the whole system is funded from 1 of the 2 taxes we pay in our deductions from our monthly payslip
    this amounts to around 9-10% of gross pay every month ( but is capped at somewhere around £42,000 per annum )
    sorry if my figures are slightly out -- don't want an argument over exact amounts -- as this is a general idea of of how our system operates

    so everybody pays in -all people that need it get care for free

    it is clearly not totally that simple but this gives you the basic idea.
     
  6. TheBigNewt

    TheBigNewt Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    So the sum of the 2 taxes is only 10% of your pay? Plus income tax I'm sure. Here we pay 4% for Medicare which kicks in at age 65, and 6% for Social Security (pension same age). There is a cap on that. Our employer matches our contributions. But we don't get any healthcare or health insurance for that until age 65. You say your cap is 42,000/yr, at 10% a person would have to earn 420,000/yr. I'm sure hardly anyone makes that much money. How much is your VAT? Our "sales tax" is about 8% which isn't levied on food or services. I pay about $75,000/yr in taxes from my pay, plus sales tax on stuff I buy.
     
  7. db89

    db89 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't quite work like that @TheBigNewt. I'll start with VAT which is 20% and included automatically in prices shown to consumers usually (otherwise it's depicted as Exc. VAT). There are some exemptions to VAT (too many to list here) - one relevant example is for those who self fund test strips for their diabetes are able to claim the VAT back by making a declaration at point of sale with the retailer.

    Tax and national insurance are paid once your salary is above £11500 per year. So that first £11500 isn't taxed in a year. There are 3 main tax bands on a tiered system - every £1 after the first £11500 up to £33500 currently is taxed at 20%. Then every £1 after that up to £150000 is taxed at 40%. Finally, every £1 earned after £150001 is taxed at 45%. National Insurance is 12% after the personal allowance of £11500. There's a good calculator here which will let you play around with figures to get an idea of breakdown if you'd like to visualise it better.
     
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  8. TheBigNewt

    TheBigNewt Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    OUCH! I'd pay 60% more in total taxes (44%) than I do here (28%). Plus 2.5 times as much in your VAT vs our sales tax. Yes, I'd get healthcare, I know. But we currently get employer supported insurance that only costs me $200/month with a $750 deductible. If I retired today I'd get about $33,000/year in Social Security (the max amount). So we have to put aside our own retirement funds, which are not taxed until we start spending them. I can save up to $36,000/year for that. How much are your pensions?
     
  9. ringi

    ringi Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    The top earners are clearly better off in the USA, but at what cost to everyone else.......
     
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  10. himtoo

    himtoo Type 1 · Well-Known Member
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    thanks @db89
    a great explanation of our tax system
     
  11. TheBigNewt

    TheBigNewt Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I hear ya. For every $100 I earned I could spend $45 there, $66 here. But here people who make lower wages don't pay any income tax, just the "payroll tax" of 10% for SS and Medicare. The top earners here still pay the bulk of the taxes. The gubment spends more than they collect and borrows the rest. Right?
     
  12. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse · Well-Known Member

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    You also might like to look at this site which compares the cost of living in USA versus UK:- https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-livi...ountry1=United+States&country2=United+Kingdom
     
  13. TheBigNewt

    TheBigNewt Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, that's interesting. The most glaring difference is the average monthly salary AFTER TAXES which is 25% lower in the UK. I bet the gross salary before taxes is about the same. Most of the other stuff is not terribly different overall with the exception of gasoline and "smoky treats" because they tax the beejesus out of them right? And the cars cost way more because of the VAT.
     
  14. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse · Well-Known Member

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    I didn't see any reference to monthly salaries on that site. If you compare New York to London, for example, you would only need to spend 5,983.06$ to have the same standard of living that would cost 7,400.00$ in New York. In other words, it is cheaper to live in London than New York (based on certain assumptions). In which case you could take home 20% less in London but still have the same standard of living as in New York.

    Obviously, it's difficult to make accurate comparisons and different cities will give different results.
     
  15. TheBigNewt

    TheBigNewt Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It's right at the end/bottom:
    Salaries And Financing [ Edit ] [ Edit ]
    Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) US:$3,216.35 (2,412.83 £) UK: $2,379.53 (1,785.06 £) -26.02 %
    You guys over there need The Donald to fix your tax situation. Right? Seriously I don't think he's going to save me much money at all (if any) and I make quite a bit. Not Top 1% mind you, but more than probably 95% of Americans.
     
  16. becca59

    becca59 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Just to throw something else in to that mix. How many weeks paid holiday do you get a year?
     
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  17. TheBigNewt

    TheBigNewt Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    26 days annual leave which is 6.5 weeks. And 10 holidays. I work 4 days/week, 10 hrs/day.
     
  18. JoeT1

    JoeT1 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Am I right in thinking the omnipod is not funded by the NHS? £250 a month?
     
  19. catapillar

    catapillar Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    No, you're not right in thinking this. Although as set out above, not everyone qualifies for NHS funding for a pump. If you do qualify for funding for a pump you don't get to choose from all of the pumps availiable: it would have to be a pump that your diabetic clinic supports, all the pumps are different and the DSN and the consultant setting you up to use the pump will need to be trained on how to use the pump, they won't be trained on all of them, just a select few. Funding for a pump comes from your CCG, some CCGs seem to be a bit funny about funding omnipods because there is a higher ongoing cost compared to tubed pumps. But in reality, the annual cost of an omnipod is pretty much the same as the annual cost of a tubed pump. It's just with a tubed pump most of the money is paid upfront and then it is under warranty to last 4 years, whereas with an omnipod there is a comparatively low upfront cost (for the PDM) and high cost of consumables for the pods. So if your consultant says you qualify for pump funding and recommends omnipod to suit your specific needs it's unlikely the CCG will deny funding.
     
  20. JoeT1

    JoeT1 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the clarification.
     
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