2012 Cuenca Perspectives Collage

2012 Cuenca Perspectives Collage


My mission in publishing this blog is first to provide a living history of my settlement and life in Cuenca, and to provide myself and the reader with a journal account delineating my reasons for why I have chosen to settle in Cuenca. Second, the posts are my way of staying in contact with family and friends back in the states, and to provide them with an understanding of a country and culture that most North Americans have little knowledge and awareness. Third, the blog is open to one and all who wish to compare and contrast the experiences of expat bloggers living in Cuenca, so that you can determine whether or not from your perspective Cuenca is an appropriate move for you. Fourth, my blog provides another example of how expats view and interpret life in Cuenca. Ecuadorians and Cuencanos who may read this blog are especially invited to post comments that may enhance all expats understanding and appreciation of Cuneca and its people, or to correct any misinterpretations in my assumptions and perceptions of Cuencano culture. Finally, I hope I can convey the feeling of love and appreciation that grows within me each passing day for this heavenly city nestled in the Andes and its very special people.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Questions About Health Insurance???

When I was in Cuenca many expats that I spoke to did not carry any health insurance. The reasoning was that medical care costs are so low in Ecuador compared with the United States, that expats chose to pay out of their pockets for any expenses. Out-of-pocket expenses were viewed as more desirable than spending $9,000.00 to $12,000.00 annually for single or family plans in the U.S.A. I know from my conversations with expats in Cuenca that there have been surgeries which have cost $4,000.00 to $5,000.00--a fraction of what the expense would have been in the the United States. Yet, what if someone has a really serious accident or is diagnosed with cancer, where either incident might involve long-term care or rehabilitation? I would think that a $100,000 claim in the United States, for example, could still run $20,000.00 to $30,000.00 in Ecuador--not exactly a small piece of change.

Therefore, I am seeking a policy with a high deductible which not only covers me while in Ecuador, but also when I visit the United States until I am eligible for medicare. It is my understanding that when I am eligible for Medicare, that Medicare will not cover expenses outside the United States, unless one is a volunteer(however that is defined)in another country. However, Medicare would cover me while I am visiting in the states.

Connie Pombo recently had a post where she procured health insurance through Humana, but she mainly spoke of the insurance in its use for prescription drugs. Otherwise little detail was provided. Connie, if you are reading this, I would appreciate more information as your health insurance relates to hospitalization, out-patient, pre-existing conditions, etc. I attempted to email you, but then your email disappeared on me, and I couldn't find it again on wherever I initially saw it. When I tried to contact you by Facebook, your name would snap off every time I typed it into the message form. (Sorry Connie, I truly believe that somewhere out there among the constellations is a negative vibe between me and technology.) I also googled Humana in Ecuador, (which was the company mentioned by Connie). Currently I am waiting for some price estimates from some international insurance companies. I will share what I learn as I procure this information.

For those of you who are expats, I find the question of health insurance is rarely addressed in the blogs. I have received post comments and emails seeking information over this topic, so I know there is a great deal of interest out there over health insurance coverage in Ecuador. If anyone has a policy with a company you believe is trustworthy, we sure would appreciate some feedback either on your blog posts or via email to me. I have read accounts that Ecuadorian health insurance companies often will not pay on large claims. I have no idea how accurate that claim is. However, it is one reason of concern why I am looking at international insurance companies.

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