Here is a post that I started writing about two years ago and never got around to finishing. Apparently at the time I was venting on subjects more political than Merida.
I think it still pertinent and also somewhat interesting for those of us who pay private medical insurance in Mexico in the hopes that if something goes wrong one won’t have to stand in line dripping blood at the nearest IMSS clinic along with a hundred other unfortunate beneficiarios of their magnificent service.
And it is interesting to think that if the medical insurance companies in the united states are unregulated, imagine what they are like here. In any case here is what I wrote, again, two years ago:
It’s about time I got back to writing something – anything – about life in Merida from a neurotic foreigners POV before this turns into another political blog, of which there are so many. It’s just that sometimes I can’t help myself; my neuroses are not limited to local events or situations and must be expressed, divulged and otherwise expelled from my neurotic mind, according to my therapist. You, my dear readers, suffer the consequences of my therapy.
It turns out that Yours Truly, under a lot of stress during the holidays, had a Medical Situation happen that involved a restaurant, a loss of consciousness, an ambulance, paramedics and a short stay at the Star Medica hospital here in sunny Merida.
Without going into too much detail, once I was declared alive and well, the $18,000 peso bill was paid by credit card on the 24th of December and this neurotic foreigner was let loose and went home with the understanding that the medical insurance he had been paying for the last 7 years would reimburse the costs (or a portion thereof) forthwith.
It turns out that Allianz, through it’s representative who is also my soon-to-be former insurance agent, informed me that no, they can’t pay for any of the hospital bills until further tests are done. Apparently the doctor on duty referred my case to a specialist who wrote epilepsy on the preliminary diagnosis and so, Allianz needs more tests including MRI’s and what not to determine if that is the case, in which case, they will (perhaps?) pay.
It also turns out that Allianz will pay for an emergency stay in a hospital if you are in there for 24 hours, a fact which my excellent and informed insurance representative and former friend neglected to mention to my Better Half, even though he was actually at the hospital talking to the doctors about the case. I was released from the hospital about 18 hours after arriving, and had we known, I am sure my Better Half would have knocked me on the head to keep me there for a few hours longer.
A visit to Allianz’s offices later resulted in a receptionist giving me some forms to fill out, which were exact copies of the ones I already had where the doctor had filled in his preliminary diagnosis. No help there.
Moral of the story? Nothing major happened to me in this case, nor did this incident bankrupt me. But one should be aware that the health insurance horror stories you hear about from the United States are not limited to the HMO’s in the United States; they are part of the system here too, where supposedly we have an excellent public health system which, unfortunately, leaves much to be desired and requires a backup plan.