Why Obamacare Is Just One More Reason To Diversify
California has released information on the cost of Obamacare coverage for those who don’t have health insurance otherwise. The average premium cost for the silver plan (they have bronze, silver, gold, and platinum plans) will be US$321 monthly. The annual deductible for this level of coverage is US$2,000. The primary care physician co-pay is US$45.
I pay US$30 to see an English-speaking doctor without an appointment (in what amounts to a walk-in clinic) here in Panama City. A nice guy who my family and I have been seeing for a few years. He seems competent to me. Anyway, we’ve been very happy with the care we’ve received from him.
The last time I had to go to a walk-in clinic in the United States, I waited more than an hour and paid US$150 for the privilege. The doctor was pleasant enough and I got what I needed (which was simply a prescription for antibiotics), but the experience certainly wasn’t five times as valuable as those I’ve had in Panama City.
Plus, get this: At the clinic in Panama City where my doctor works, any follow-up visits for the same illness come at zero cost. If you have to return after a few days for another exam or because your problem persists, it’s free.
I’d say that the general cost of living in Panama is maybe 50% of that of California. However, the cost of health care here is literally a fraction the cost of health care up there. The difference cannot be explained by a difference in equipment or facilities. My clinic has an onsite lab, onsite X-ray machine, and most anything else needed to diagnose and treat patients without having to send them elsewhere for tests, lab work, etc.
Making health insurance available to everyone is one thing, but forcing those who don’t have it to sign up for it or be penalized (a minimum of US$95, or 1% of your family income) is overreaching.
Thinking More Practically, It's Expensive
The United States is the most expensive place in the world to seek medical care. And Americans are figuring that out. That’s why more and more of them are seeking treatment elsewhere, from Costa Rica to Colombia and Thailand. At last month’s Live and Invest in Colombia Conference in Medellin, a local English-speaking dentist presented to the group. His offices, his equipment, his staff, his training, his credentials, and his standards of care all qualify as first class. His pricing is 50% less (at least) than that of comparable care in the States, this based on prices for recent dental care in the States (teeth cleanings, veneers, crowns, etc.) volunteered by attendees at the event.
Now Obamacare (Left-wingers, please don’t write in to call me an Obama -hater. I don’t hate Obama specifically. I hate politicians. Obama’s just the senior U.S. politician of the moment.) is forcing you to insure against the super-high cost of U.S. care.
Why in the world wouldn’t you opt out of this costly mess altogether if you could?
And, of course, you can.
A 62-year-old couple living in Panama can pay as little as US$300 a month for health insurance through an international insurance agency for a policy that includes care in the United States if you choose.
Or that couple could pay US$100 a month for a local health insurance policy.
No, not everyone in the United States can or should move to another country to escape Obamacare. But I’d suggest, if you’re reading this letter, that might well be something you might want to think about doing.
Remembering that local health insurance companies in most countries won’t accept you into their systems after age 60 or 65. On the other hand, international health insurance companies will take you on as a new policy-holder up to the day before your 74th birthday.