Jackie Mason | October 22, 2003
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Anna Gregoline | October 22, 2003
$2 a cycle! Dude. Under my work insurance, BCPs are $30 a cycle. So your $117 doesn't sound too bad to me. But man, I wish I could get some of that $2 stuff. I can't believe how expensive it is to be sexually active and not get pregnant. Unfair, since insurance usually covers all "having a baby" expenses.

Kris Weberg | October 23, 2003
This make sminimal sense to me as well, since one would assume that it would be cheaper for an insurer or employer to pay out for contraceptives than to defray the much greater costs of pregnancy, maternity leaves, etc. The only possible reasons I could see would be the liability potential that's sometimes brought up as an excuse for various institutions to avoid directly providing birth control, or some kind of concern about privacy but that seems easily surmountable by a simple insurer-payment option with the usual medical confidentiality.

Nadine Russell | October 23, 2003
As a Canadian (the only one here?) I just wanted to clarify something. The government does pay for health care, including doctor's visits, surgeries, etc. They do not cover medication however. If you do not have insurance you're pretty much screwed. Lucky for me I have insurance through work. My insurance covers a lot of things that the government program doesn't. 80% of medication, 80% of a hospital room (semi-private or private, the government plan pays for a ward). Of course, having free healthcare does have it's drawbacks. There are insane waiting times for routine tests such as ultrasounds. If you're sick and need a specific treatment you may be in pretty bad shape by the time you get it. A lot of Canadians are actually opting to fly to the US to get many treatments.

Jackie Mason | October 23, 2003
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Scott Hardie | October 26, 2003
Yup, the grass is always greener on the other side. :-) When I was selling Medicare supplements, I had a "Canadian pharmacy" program that I was supposed to offer to people first. If potential customers saw how much cheaper Canadian drugs were and ordered them through the mail from my company, they'd be more inclined to buy insurance from me (and have more money to do so). That's the strategy I heard in training, but when I actually got out on the street, I compared drug prices: People wouldn't save much. It would be a few cents here, or a few cents there. Many couples would lose money to switch to Canadian drugs. I signed up exactly one customer in five months, for a free program. Ridiculous.

That said, Jackie, you have two alternatives. First, don't you also work for an insurance company when you're home from school? Do they have a "Canadian pharmacy" like I described? Check the prices; it's possible they're cheaper. And the same goes for your other option, which is to insure yourself cheaply and privately. Student insurance was a waste; I never bothered. Of course, as Anna & Kris mentioned, actual pregnancy is much more expensive than birth control, so look at that $117 as financial protection for youself as well. :-)

Kris, good ideas. The only other explanation I can think of is that WIU buckled to pressure from conservative groups (alumni?) who didn't want the school making birth control cheap for students. But that's unlikely.

Nadine, yes, I think you are the only Canadian on the site. While I readily believe that Canadians are unhappy with their own health care system (they're some of the people all of the time), I'm surprised to hear that the problems are so bad that some Canadians fly here for procedures. Like Jackie said, down here we've always heard that your system is this golden paradise of inexpensive, reliable treatment. Then again, Hillary Clinton tried to socialize our health care system a decade ago and has been villified for it ever since, so we probably won't be making a change any time soon.

Denise Sawicki | October 30, 2003
I have pretty nice insurance I guess. $10 a cycle. Right at the moment though I'm wondering why they bothered to send me a bill for $0 for a particular office visit. They already sent me multiple "This is not a bill" notices stating that the total owed was $0, now they have to send actual bills for $0? What the heck? I guess I shouldn't complain.

Jackie Mason | October 31, 2003
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