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

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...?
Frank,

It's my hope to deal with little annoyances for the rest of my life, have no major issues and then drop dead without warning.

After a very long life hopefully!

I don't want to be a burden to anyone, I don't want to suffer and I don't want to blow tons of money on hope.

BTW - It seems you have the gift of great health. Congrats and may it last a long, long time.
 

FrankPintor

Registered
Frank,

It's my hope to deal with little annoyances for the rest of my life, have no major issues and then drop dead without warning.

After a very long life hopefully!

I don't want to be a burden to anyone, I don't want to suffer and I don't want to blow tons of money on hope.

BTW - It seems you have the gift of great health. Congrats and may it last a long, long time.
Thank you for your good wishes, even though I find myself feeling older and stiffer more quickly than expected, the wheels haven't come off yet. You mentioned "My parents trained me to be aware of avoiding accidents", that is a useful talent in Argentina, you must also be the kind of person who looks 3 times before crossing a one-way street :) Because sure as hell, if you don't, at the very least a delivery rider will take you out while cycling the wrong way.
 

Fiscal

Registered
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.
Thank you, never thought about that.
 

on the brink

Registered
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.
Lunar is quite right. Additionally, private hospitals won't take just any self-paying patient that walks in the door - most of the time people have to be vouched for by someone they know, like a doctor on staff. They have been burned by people not paying their bills. So, they give preference to their associates - a ton of money is not a substitute for a member's card.

Having said that, many public hospitals here are excellent. In San Isidro, there are private places like the posh Sanatorio Las Lomas, with fancy rooms and good food, but the best medical care is found at the public hospital. In CABA, the Hospital de Clinicas is top-notch, and so is the Fernandez.
 
Last edited:

rickulivi

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?
OSDE prices depend on your age. It can be pricey.
 

Bajo_cero2

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?
If you have any medical insurance on Argentina, there is no limit in the cover by law. That is the advantage.
 
Last edited:

Alby

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...?
Similar experience. I have almost always had insurance but rarely needed it. For the first two years in Buenos Aires I was under the misapprehension that it was only available to residents, so I ran the risk. Fortunately nothing happened. With the virus looming, the day before the big lockdown I become worried, and happened upon a company office nearby, thought I might as well try my luck, and was amazed that they signed me up on the spot. Since then, I have had more health problems than ever before in my life and have absolutely needed the coverage to an extent I never previously imagined. And the service has been excellent. And the premium perfectly reasonable (only increasing by about 20% over the 15 months). So reasonable in fact, that almost half the premium each month goes on the discount on a prescription which the doctor says I will need for life. They got a bad deal when they signed me up. The fact that the government is preventing them from increasing their premiums is a worry. I could afford for the premium to rise with inflation and would be happy to contribute more in order to continue to receive quality service.
 

rickulivi

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?
I totally agree with all you have written, especially the bed side manners of doctors here vs. the USA's plus access to them. If you live here permanently, buy the insurance but if you have insurance in the States, and live here part time, is having an extra local insurance worth it? Now we enter the issue of quality of machines, disinfection of locations, patient rights, and so on. Question: if you have insurance in the USA and can pay for the local surgery here or have local insurance, where would you prefer to have surgery performed or continuous care provided? In a USA hospital or in one here?
Personally, I believe I will be better off in the USA, so having extra insurance here does not make sense to me. Just pay cash for visits here and if anything serious happens, catch a plane fast to the USA. That is my current thinking, but I could be wrong. What do other think?

By the way, I am 71 and OSDE quoted me around $1,000 dollars a month for two of us.
 

Ceviche

Registered
I am a big fan of OSDE.

Used it for 10 years with 100% satisfaction.

Minor Complaint - Most top dentists do not accept any private insurance and charge in cash. So for cleaning teeth, etc, one must pay out of the pocket. Theoretically, the private health insurance will reimburse it but its quite a hassle to get that money back.

I believe Argentine private health care is probably top notch and probably the cheapest on the entire planet. ( basis my experience in hospitals in several countries)
 

Alby

Registered
I am a big fan of OSDE.

Used it for 10 years with 100% satisfaction.

Minor Complaint - Most top dentists do not accept any private insurance and charge in cash. So for cleaning teeth, etc, one must pay out of the pocket. Theoretically, the private health insurance will reimburse it but its quite a hassle to get that money back.

I believe Argentine private health care is probably top notch and probably the cheapest on the entire planet. ( basis my experience in hospitals in several countries)
Separate point, but has anybody been able to get a good teeth clean during the pandemic? My health provider tells me periodoncia is not yet approved activity in CABA, and I have knocked on a couple of doors a couple of odontologias in the street and they say the same. But I saw something in the paper months ago that suggested some were providing the service, just not through health insurance (for the cost reasons outlined in earlier posts). I'd be happy to pay, if someone good is doing it, and has the right PPE.
 
Top