Monday, September 12, 2011

Health Insurance - Coopera

                  Health Insurance – Part III
Medical care in Cuenca is excellent.  Sue and I have enjoyed friendly professional care from specialists, dentists, opticians, labs, and pharmacies. A trip to the doctor also no longer requires a degree in medical billing and coding to understand insurance coverage. And all at a fraction of costs in the US.    But, we are always looking for new ideas and further savings.
Our Coopera membership gave us excellent fresh organic fruits and veggies as described in our December blog. They also function as a credit union and now offer a health plan. So, in June we signed up for the health plan for $2.62 monthly drawn from our account. No handouts or colorful brochures were available, so we’ll figure it out later. We have three month waiting periods for many services, so when the student is ready…an English speaking guide will appear.
Gringo grape vine tells us about Cuenca Referral Network (dot com), so we sign up as associate members. Thanks, Brian. Their site provides a link to Coopera’s. Can this be true?
Office visits for routine medical are two bucks.    Ditto dental. Reimbursement of medical costs (up to $400), lab and drugs is at 80%. Yes, even hospital care…after four  monthly payments of the grand sum of $2.62. There is only one way to know if this is true and functional...
 So, off we go to the tiny town of San Joaquin, located half a mile east of the largest Coopera market. The road is under total reconstruction, so a short walk from the highway is required.    TA DA!      Hidden away off the dirt path is a modern beautifully landscaped traditional white building with tile roof. Financial offices are in front; medical offices are behind the rear courtyard. Juan speaks excellent English and  helped me with a 10.5% CD.  Dr Pena provided my exam also in English. And Veronica cleaned my teeth. Total cost was four dollars for pleasant and efficient care!  We really enjoyed these friendly Cuencanos.
Oh yes, my cuerpo Jubliado  required lab tests and a medication for about $25 each. I chose Monte Sinai three blocks from our apartment off Avenida Solano. Did you know a 10% discount appears if you display a SuperMaxi or Monte Sinai discount card (Chamber of Commerce members)?  And our 80% reimbursement will be posted to our Coopera account next month.
     Life is tough… then you move to Cuenca!         Rejoicing,  Gary