I just got a notice from my health insurer in Argentina informing me that as of August there will be a 4% increase. At the end of last year the fee increased 25%. I guess inflation is so severe that they couldn't wait a few months. How much more in a few months?
sergio, hi. Funny that you posted this today because I was just preparing to start a thread on it. I know three people with different insurance coverages and it is across the board I am sure. The percentage cost hike is as low as 4% to 18% (and as you said 25% last year) and that is effective next month. Not sure what the cap is (if there is one) on annual rate increase for these things.
Others who have a family of four - WOW! - increase at this rate (only in July 08) we are not sure how many will be left without coverage by the end of the year. People come for good deals and they are tough to come by now. But it is what it is.
I have an Aetna policy back in the States and they have raised my premiums about 20% a year too. That policy is a major medical policy with a $10,000 deductible.
Here in Argentina I am paying half the price of the Aetna policy and have zero deductibles and no copays with Medicus. The application was also one page, compared to about 25 with the Aetna policy (and let's not even get into the fact that BlueCross denied me coverage over and over despite the fact that I'm 26, 100% healthy and run marathons). Do you not see the value and convenience in Argentine health insurance?
I am happy with my health insurance however the price has increased 3x since the devaluation. I used to pay about 250 pesos; now over 750 not including the 4% increase. My peso earnings are not 3 x greater than they were 5 or so years ago. Maybe you are paid in dollars or have income from the US. For those of us dependent on the local economy, the increases are a big problem. TRY to think outside your privileged box a bit!
I can totally agree that a 20%+ increase is substantial and even devastating, esp. for people earning pesos. However, the same thing is happening in the U.S. You'd be just as stuck if not worse off if you lived in the U.S. and didn't get a insurance through an employer.. so all I'm saying is that this is not a phenomenon I'm unused to or surprised by. These are tough times for many all over the world.
CABJ + Richardrocks, I don't know if health insurance is increasing over 20% a year in the US. I did check to see what health insurance rates are in the US if I had to pay out of pocket. I found that I could get an HMO for around $400. That's not all that far from what I am paying in Argentina (around $750 pesos at the moment, due to go up 4% in August). A better plan was more like $700 dollars. That's a lot of money but salaries are also a lot more, so I think the rate would be manageable with a decent job. Consider that to pay 750 pesos a month you have to have a good income in Argentina. Few people can pay that much in this country. As for your comment that the solution is to return to the US, I think you have missed the point. Returning might be the solution for some people but not for others. Some people like it here, some have Argentine spouses who can't or don't want to leave the country, others are Argentine nationals who can't get visas to work in the US - and maybe don't want to leave anyway. What about all these people? it's a bit cavalier to tell them to go, a bit like saying "eat cake". It really is not important what the price of health insurance in the US is, the point is that if we live here we have to deal with the local economy and I was just pointing out that health insurance is becoming an issue here for some of us.