Holy cow, we all have health insurance!

All three of us – my husband, my 1 year-old son, and myself – now have health insurance in Colombia. Even with top-of-the-line full coverage, our monthly payment will be less than half of what insurance for my husband and son alone (not including me) cost in the States. We are self-employed, and so insurance in the U.S. has always cost us a lot. It’ll be interesting to see how well this insurance works, but the coverage and available doctors and facilities seem excellent and the immediate savings are a huge weight lifted from our shoulders.

11 responses to “Holy cow, we all have health insurance!

  1. I love your new blog! I feel like I am on an adventure with you guys 🙂


  2. Thank you, Susie! More soon! Hope all’s well at SM.


  3. Really am interested on how your insurance performs. Is it private or social medicine? In Costa Rica it frequently said that you can have a heart transplant done at the government hospital for free! The question is. would you want to??? If the wait does not kill you the operation/doctors might…. I have private insurance that covers me world wide, and I have used it in the private hospitals here. Been to a private hospital twice here. First time great (passed kidney stone on morphine), Second was and emergency Gaul bladder operation. All went well. Even though it was an emergency i managed within several hours to check out the surgeons credential. They were very good and so was he. Then when they were wheeling me into the OR I got a look at the anesthesiologist! A mere kid! Woke up with a successful operation and a partially collapse left lung form the kid… be sure to check out the anesthesiologist!!!!!!!!!!!!


  4. Hey Courtenay, this website is so awesome and keeping in touch with us like this ( while moving and taking care of a baby, HOW DO YOU DO THIS???) is super nice.
    I learnt yesterday my job is finally closing! I have two more months there and after that, … I’m not quite sure. I’m eager for adventure, if pre-existing condition is not a problem to get coverage in Colombia,let me know, I might show up in your neighborhood 🙂 ( I’ll babysit for free:)

    Besito. Q


    • Thank you for the compliments, Kitty! Hope your job transition will lead you to something even better. As for health insurance here, I _think_ the POS covers all pre-existing conditions, but the “pre-pagado” covers none. (Don’t take my word on any of this… I’m still very confused about it all!) The main issue, though, is that to access this or just about anything else here, you need a Colombian ID card, the cedula. Even if you are a foreigner, you need the “foreigner Colombian ID card”. I was able to get in without one only because I am married to Gio, who has a temporary card. But even then, for almost everything else, I have to get a “marital visa” that will allow me to get the ID card. I hope I can get a work visa down here, which is something you might also be able to get, which would also let me get the ID (I think). Although I agreed with efforts in the US to oppose a national ID card there, I never fully grasped the implications of having a society that is based on that. It is definitely very different in that sense. Regardless, I hope you will DEFINITELY come visit us and check it all out for yourself!!!!


  5. Diego, thanks for adding your comments. As best I understand it – and I definitely don’t yet understand it all – the insurance my family has here in Colombia is private insurance (an EPS), but it incorporates the government program (the POS). We get a slight discount for including the government program as part of our pre-paid (“pre-pagado,” as it is referred to) plan. Right now, I think – and I may very well be wrong about this – everyone under 18 and over 60 is automatically eligible for the state program, the POS. I read a 2011 press release saying that Colombia was in the process of expanding that universal coverage to anyone between those ages, but I don’t know where that stands. I’ve also read that the EPSs have complained of rising costs, etc. due to the finances of the expanding compulsory system, but then some of them have also been caught in embezzlement scandals apparently. Anyway, health coverage seems to be a complex and evolving issue in Colombia right now. As for our own situation, I am not yet entirely clear as to when we will have to use the POS and when the “pre-pagado”. It’s clear, though, that an advantage of the “pre-pagado” – when the pre-pagado covers what you need – is that you get to pick your own doctor and schedule your own appointments, versus being told who you will see for what and when. I’ll let you know how it works out for us in practice! And I’ll also keep an eye on those anesthesiologists! Thanks for the good advice! – Courtenay


  6. Gook lucky with the Hospitals in Colombia.


  7. Courtenay, Yes, thanks to the internet, and bloggers like you, we are now seeing the realities of living in Colombia versus USA. At least, you are not going bankruptcy in Colombia if something is wrong with your health (like in the USA). The only problem is that the POS only covers 86% of typical Colombian diseases, but still is much better than the USA System. Good luck!


  8. Courtnay let me start by saying you have a good sense of humor, which come handy with all this helath insurance nonsense. I will be moving there myself and reading your blog was very helpful. Can you sent me the name of your health insurance company or others. I want to start researching before I get there in a couple of week. Thanks and God blessed.


    • Hi there, and thank you for reading! Regarding our health insurance, we started out with Colmédica. We had no problem with them – the network was huge and you could go see just about anyone. We switched to Allianz, though, mainly because Allianz has better international coverage. With Allianz, we don’t feel the need to buy supplemental insurance if we are going to be in the US or another country for an extended period. The network is somewhat smaller, but growing. Experiences with both have been good.


  9. thanks a million Courtenay I will be researching both and see which fit my needs better. God blessed. Mara


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