For expats with USD, any reason to get OSDE or other health insurance instead of just paying cash always?

Fiscal

Registered
Rare compliment from me on Argentina, the health care is generally 1000x better than the US. Zero bureaucracy, doctors give you their personal WhatsApp, you don't fill out millions of forms, you see actual doctors rather than PAs and nurses. It was super easy for me here to get an MRI and x-ray and go see a specialist over a lingering injury and I paid cash for both, not more than $100 in total. Actual appointments with doctors are easy to get on 24 hours notice and paying cash for the appointments is like $15.

My co-pays in the US with my "good" health insurance are still outrageous, and even with a concierge service I pay $$$ for each year, it is hard to get a doctor to see me on 24 hours notice, and 95% of the time I am just seeing some disinterested nurse or PA trying to upsell me something.

Someone I know just got advanced surgery from supposedly the only surgeon in Argentina who can do it, and it cost $200,000 pesos. In the US, even with insurance, it would be 10x that, assuming a top surgeon would even agree to do it and could fit you in.

Anyway, I was thinking of getting OSDE assuming I spend 5-6 months a year in Argentina, but since health care is so cheap, what is the advantage of OSDE?
 
Rare compliment from me on Argentina, the health care is generally 1000x better than the US. Zero bureaucracy, doctors give you their personal WhatsApp, you don't fill out millions of forms, you see actual doctors rather than PAs and nurses. It was super easy for me here to get an MRI and x-ray and go see a specialist over a lingering injury and I paid cash for both, not more than $100 in total. Actual appointments with doctors are easy to get on 24 hours notice and paying cash for the appointments is like $15.

My co-pays in the US with my "good" health insurance are still outrageous, and even with a concierge service I pay $$$ for each year, it is hard to get a doctor to see me on 24 hours notice, and 95% of the time I am just seeing some disinterested nurse or PA trying to upsell me something.

Someone I know just got advanced surgery from supposedly the only surgeon in Argentina who can do it, and it cost $200,000 pesos. In the US, even with insurance, it would be 10x that, assuming a top surgeon would even agree to do it and could fit you in.

Anyway, I was thinking of getting OSDE assuming I spend 5-6 months a year in Argentina, but since health care is so cheap, what is the advantage of OSDE?
Fiscal,

If you are well capitalized, which you seem to be, you will always do okay paying out of pocket, assuming you have no family history of serious conditions / diseases.
 

FrankPintor

Registered
My OSDE fee is deducted monthly from my local bank account, not sure if it's possible to do it another way?

Using it is very simple, just flash your OSDE card at the doctor's and amazingly for Argentina everything works, no cash involved. You can also get prescription medicine at the pharmacy with a small co-pay. The only complaint I have is the half-done paperwork of the hard-sell representative, but that's been fixed now.

I never needed to use international insurance here, but it would be much more complicated, most probably paying here in advance and then trying to recover the outlay through the insurance company.
 

antipodean

Registered
Take advantage while you can. Private health insurance might soon be a thing of the past:


This is definitely the story of the month to watch. Especially that some very influential politicians have again floated the idea and the result of fee freezes imposed by the government has already caused many private clinics/ hospitals to permanently close during this pandemic (only in Argentina...)

OSDE like most service providers here does not accept advanced payment of premiums, only monthly direct debit or credit card payment last time I checked.

If you get a higher plan (310 above... out of pocket without employer contributions etc probably around A$10k+ per month) it generally includes things like laser vision correction and with 510 or above, even cosmetic surgery for those so inclined. It includes comprehensive annual check ups and diagnostics also. If something elective could be on your horizons within two years, it would likely pay for itself. Your personal cost/benefit analysis will ultimately depend on your own circumstances.... OSDE won’t help you in the US, so always keep that in mind if you spend a lot of time there and are considering it as a supplement or a replacement.

One all too common flaw however is dental. While coverage and inclusion is good in theory many dentists recently complain the amounts they get paid by the insurers not being sufficient so they end up going cheap on their efforts and treatments and may ask you to pay out of pocket for things like cleaning or not include things like an X-ray (even though they should be included) Many I know, myself included, have ended up needing to seek out second opinions to detect and solve issues such as suspected carries. In this case for better standards either find a dentist that comes highly recommended or be prepared to flash some cash.
 
This is definitely the story of the month to watch. Especially that some very influential politicians have again floated the idea and the result of fee freezes imposed by the government has already caused many private clinics/ hospitals to permanently close during this pandemic (only in Argentina...)

OSDE like most service providers here does not accept advanced payment of premiums, only monthly direct debit or credit card payment last time I checked.

If you get a higher plan (310 above... out of pocket without employer contributions etc probably around A$10k+ per month) it generally includes things like laser vision correction and with 510 or above, even cosmetic surgery for those so inclined. It includes comprehensive annual check ups and diagnostics also. If something elective could be on your horizons within two years, it would likely pay for itself. Your personal cost/benefit analysis will ultimately depend on your own circumstances.... OSDE won’t help you in the US, so always keep that in mind if you spend a lot of time there and are considering it as a supplement or a replacement.

One all too common flaw however is dental. While coverage and inclusion is good in theory many dentists recently complain the amounts they get paid by the insurers not being sufficient so they end up going cheap on their efforts and treatments and may ask you to pay out of pocket for things like cleaning or not include things like an X-ray (even though they should be included) Many I know, myself included, have ended up needing to seek out second opinions to detect and solve issues such as suspected carries. In this case for better standards either find a dentist that comes highly recommended or be prepared to flash some cash.
You get what you pay for I am thinking.

If you want a monkey to do tricks, they want to be paid. (Bananas accepted by monkeys. Money, cash is best, by humans.) It never ceases to amaze me the power of money and how it commands people to perform. This is basic.

Heck - Certain women take their clothes off for it with out reservation. And others do more.

The power of money.
 

lunar

Registered
If you are well capitalized, which you seem to be, you will always do okay paying out of pocket ...
Well, you assume that situation is always under control. But, for example, if you call 107 for an ambulance, you will end up in a public hospital in a common line. And it is very unlikely you will be able to negotiate any preferential treatment there during the emergency situation, without any difference how much money you have.

If you call the OSDE ambulance number, this would be quite a different story.

You can rationalize and compare prices for programmed medical attention, but in any kind of a catastrophic event, if you don't have a medical insurance, you are, basically, screwed big time.
 
Well, you assume that situation is always under control. But, for example, if you call 107 for an ambulance, you will end up in a public hospital in a common line. And it is very unlikely you will be able to negotiate any preferential treatment there during the emergency situation, without any difference how much money you have.

If you call the OSDE ambulance number, this would be quite a different story.

You can rationalize and compare prices for programmed medical attention, but in any kind of a catastrophic event, if you don't have a medical insurance, you are, basically, screwed big time.
You have a point.

I want to clarify:

I based my reply on what I know and what my life experience reality has been.

Never spent a night in a hospital or had a serious accident requiring a ride in an emergency service vehicle. My parents trained me to be aware of avoiding accidents, (Not to the point of being a nut case, just to the point of being aware.) have no family history of illness or disease. Blessed to a point. I represent a tiny part of the population, but people like me just pay into the system and don't collect. I prefer it that way. I'll take good health over chronic problems any day of the week.
 

FrankPintor

Registered
Lunar raises a very good point, it's basically why I gave up my expensive expat insurance in favour of something that just works here (Cigna were increasing my monthly fee anyway without any real reason). The medical system here seems to be good enough to handle most eventualities.

I've not spent a night in a hospital since I was a teenager, nor had a serious accident ever, but who knows what the future holds...?
 
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