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Found 19 results

  1. I hope that this is the appropriate thread to post this because I see that all of the comments here are 3 or 4 years old. I atttended the February retirement seminar and heard that ARCR is once again able to offer a group rate for CAJA medical insurance . The figure quoted for the monthly premium was, I believe, $84. I wanted to confirm that this was in fact true but also had a question regarding who qualifies. I am now leaning toward applying for residency under the rentista program even though I will be (at age 62) eligible to start drawing Social Security benefits as soon as I arrive in CR. My reasoning is that I would come out ahead by delaying the benefit for at least 2 years and instead live off savings which would increase my monthly SS benefit significantly. But does the ARCR group CAJA discount apply to both pensionados and rentistas and is the group rate the same regardless of which residency path one uses to apply? If the ARCR group CAJA discount is not available to rentistas or is a much higher figure that would obviously affect the arithmetic involved in my rentista or pensionado decision. Thanks.
  2. Hello all! As I muddle my way through this crazy residency process, I need to reach out once again for help! After having a sweet baby in San Jose in May, we applied (my husband, myself & 2 other children) for vinculo residency in November. We received the residency approval letters for both my son & my daughter... but not yet for myself or my husband. We're going to pick up the ID cards next week and the letter tells us to bring our (their parents) CCSS social security cards. Does anyone know what that is? They can't be asking for our US social security cards, are they? Any help is much appreciated! No, we haven't been working with an attorney - so I have no one else to ask.
  3. I am wondering about how it works with Obamacare vs CAJA. Once we get our CAJA and make a monthly payment to them, do we cancel our Obamacare immediately or are we allowed to have both if we want? Currently we get Obamacare free so if I can continue to do so I'll definitely do it! So are we required to give up Obamacare because we don't live in the USA any more or can we keep it AND CAJA? I am guessing we have to cancel Obamacare, no? Due to not being a U.S. resident any more?
  4. My wife and I will be renewing our Rentista Residency soon. I noticed that our CAJA Carnet lists the same expiration date as our Cedula. What is the process for renewing our Carnet for CAJA? What documents are required? Do they re-review your income/ caja payment again? Will EBAIS turn you away if your Carnet is beyond the expiration date? Redbeard
  5. Friend of mine applied for rentista, has now received resolucion. When she heard how much she would have to pay for Caja (approx. 200 usd) she was pretty upset. She is thinking now of changing her application to inversionista, because there seems to be the possibility of lower caja premiums (she is one of the persons, who will really never ever use it and has private insurance). The following questions arose and i promised that i would ask the experts here: 1) Is it possible to make a change to her application? Or will she HAVE to accept the rentista status now that she is approved? Her lawyer says no, no changes are possible and she has to accept the rentista status. But my friend does not trust her lawyer... 2) What happens, if she decides to forego residency completely? That is, never ever pick up her cedula at all? Are there sanctions? Thank you!!
  6. I have a question about Caja for anyone who might have done this. I am married to a Tica and am in the process of residency. My wife is an active participant in Caja. Can she add me to her Caja account before my residency is complete or do I have to wait on my final determination from immigration?
  7. My wife and I currently have Rentista Residency and have deposited $60K in a CD with a $2500 per month payout to satisfy income requirements. My understanding is that one does not need to guarantee a specific income when applying for Permanent Residency. Since CAJA is typically based on a percentage of stated income, how will the CAJA fee be determined when we apply for Permanent Residency?
  8. I am under the belief that my CAJA payments as someone applying for residency are payments for the healthcare system and that there is no retirement benefit. On the other hand, if I worked for an employer in Costa Rica I would have both a retirement and health benefit for CAJA, and would be charged for both. I think that my Costa Rican friend said that there are even two separate amounts but that they are done at the employer level, not the employee level. I've been asking around and I'm not sure exactly how that is done. It is important to me as I am self-employed and I want to know if I will be able to deduct my CAJA payments as healthcare on my US return. Could anyone shed some light or direct me to a source?
  9. I'd promised to post when I learned the truth about suspending CAJA payments when out of country. We will be away for an unknown period of time so I asked my friendly CAJA person how to suspend. He had the form handy. It only requires your carnet (CAJA card) number, explanation of why you'll be out of country, copy of airline ticket/itinerary, the time you'll be gone, whether you're working or retired, and a signature. The suspension form was readily available and specific to the Grecia CAJA office but each office may have their own. So yes, you can suspend when gone for long periods. I didn't ask this time but I recall it being at least 3 months.
  10. To all ARCR Members who received the email today about the expected CAJA fee increase: This was Info intended only for those ARCR members who received it and is not for public consumption at this time, please. If you wish to discuss that you may use the PM function of the Forums or private emails, off-list. If you have any QQs please email or PM me or contact ARCR directly. Thank You, Paul M. Moderator
  11. How many people enjoy Costa Rica without affiliating with the CAJA? Is CAJA a must for spending time in CR? What other plans and options are out there?
  12. Hoping new residents that have recently affliated with CAJA and existing residents that have affliated in the past or have had recent rate increases are willing to share their actual different CAJA cost ranges, per month. This should help us learn, real time, what effects the new changes in law are having on residents cost of living in Costa Rica.
  13. I read on another forum that one cannot get other insurance prior to affiliating with the CAJA, and that a cedula is required if you want to. Is this correct? If so, what is one supposed to do in between filing your residency application and affiliating with CAJA? Dana
  14. This article was featured in the Tico Times digest that I received on July 31st: Public hospitals to offer online appointment scheduling in August The first paragraph of the article says: Good news for users of Costa Rica’s public health care system: Starting in August, the Social Security System, or Caja, will have a new link on their website (www.ccss.sa.cr) for patients to schedule appointments online. Well this innovation has been a long time coming for ticos who up 'til now have needed to show up early outside the clinics or hospital to get an appointment. I have always felt this to be patently unfair, particularly for those who may be feeling very ill yet wind up being forced to go stand in a line, which may be quite long. This can't help someone who is sick feel any better, by requiring them to do that. I am also curious to learn whether with this new online system of appointments we will find that more gringo expats begin to use the CAJA's services. It will be interesting to see how that aspect will play out. We residents are now required to pay for the CAJA nowadays whether we use it or not. The article indicates that there is no set date for this online system of appointments to start up and cites José Manuel Zamora, a coordinator of the Caja’s Digital Medical Records project, as saying that they hope that the first phase of it, limited to 40 of the Caja’s 103 hospitals and community clinics, or EBAIS, throughout the country, will be operational sometime during the first two weeks of August. The remaining hospitals and clinics are expected to be brought online very soon after that. It is expected that the online system will help to reduce the excessively long lines that are frequently seen waiting outside the CAJA hospitals and clinics. There is also currently in place for a portion of the clinics and hospitals in CR a telephone system to make appointments with. It too is expected to be expanded to cover the entire system soon. And lastly, I must admit that I'm really wondering whether this online appointment system will make any of our cédula-carrying Forums members reconsider using the CAJA system rather than dismissing it and choosing other 'medical means'. We are after all paying for it as a condition of our residency. ¡Pura Vida! Paul M. ==
  15. Our Rentista Residency has been approved and we went to the local CCSS office to apply for Caja coverage (we are in Guanacaste). I completed the application for myself as the primary insured and got a receipt for our first payment. I was told that my wife could not apply for spousal coverage at CCSS but would need to go to the local EBAIS to register as a dependent. I was not given a Caja card ("carnet"?) at CCSS - will I be given a "carnet" when we visit EBAIS, as well as my wife getting a card there? We found the local EBAIS in an unmarked building in a small town near us. We walked in around 11 am to see if we could register, but we could not find anyone to talk to - just patients in a waiting room, waiting for their medical appointment. I understand that one must go to EBAIS at 7 am in order to get a medical appointment. Is that also the only time there are people available to "register" with the local EBAIS? Can the monthly Caja payment be made online through a bank website? If so, how do you obtain a receipt? I understand that you must show the most recent receipt when going in for an appointment. When medications are prescribed, can they only be obtained at the EBAIS Farmacia? There is a public farmacia two blocks from our home, which would be more convenient, but I'm not sure that they can dispense medications prescribed by the doctor at EBAIS (at no additional cost). Are all medications obtained via EBAIS provided at no additional cost? Thanks in advance for any clarifications you can provide!
  16. Hello Everyone, Apologies if this is a redondent question, but I cannot find straight answers. I heard that the Caja is going up to over $400 a month so after reasearching it a bit I found out that it will go up to $442 http://www.usexpatcostarica.com/arcr-rate-hike-for-caja-plan/ My friend went to the Caja in San Isidro, yesterday and she was told that the monthly rate for rentista is $83. She didn't ask if it's per person or whole family. Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Any good sites with reliable information would greatly help us. All the best, Ildi
  17. Jimmymickeyd

    CAJA Increase?

    Okay, so I spent all day yesterday at the CAJA as I had to pay my Aseguro Voluntario for Jan. Normally I pay online but everything was down yesterday, so off I trotted. Anyway after spending the best part of 3 hours in the line, I was informed that my bill had gone UP by almost 17% from 42 mil to 49 mil! Has anyone else seen this and can I renegotiate this? There was a poster ( which I saw after the fact) that said that AV fees were raising in Jan, but by something like 4%. Not 17%. Any advice here at all? Thanks in advance.
  18. This is just my input as to the reason for the CAJA rate increase and there are Im sure other factors which are not included here. Just today I received an email from CCSS IVM pensions. There has been as you know a CAJA rate increase and a change in policy regarding the IVM pensions. I was also sent as an attachment, a bulletin of the new IVM CAJA pension policy. The new policy was also announced and explained (somewhat) in a La Nacion article dated 19 November 2013 for anyone who wants to read it, but it was somewhat incomplete. As a side note there is also an article in La Nacion today about how CAJA is digging (and has been doing so more and more over the last few years) into the IVM pension reserves to cover current CAJA health care side of the house expenses. The two items are not directly related but, in a nutshell the new policy of the IVM pensions is due to a short fall in the CAJA IVM pension side of the house and the most current scandal of CAJA digging into the pension reserves is due to a short fall of the health care side of the CAJA house. Neither side of the CAJA financial house apparently is healthy. To provide a little more detail as to why our CAJA rates have gone up on us all, the reason as I understand it by reading the above referenced article from November and another which I cant find now and reading between the lines in the new policy bulletin sent to me is, in part, as follows. Independent Workers are cheating the system at a very high rate such that nearly all of them are paying the minimum CAJA amount. I cant remember the exact number, but it is something like 90% are earning significantly more, but reporting only a minimum income. Independent workers as you may know include doctors, lawyers, and other professionals and non-professionals that are working for them-selves who are not employees. While Independent Workers were the main problem, or culprits, others such as voluntaries (who have non-earned income or income from foreign sources and wish to affiliate) and everyone else were also included in the new policy change either because in particular voluntarios are somewhat to blame although not to the same degree as Independent workers or just because they are an easy group to go after, or both (Im not sure of the reasoning but the decision was made to just increase rates for all basically across the board). The looming time bomb: CAJA discovered that the overwhelming majority, including nearly all of the Independent workers would (if the policy werent changed) receive pensions in an amount unsustainable due to the low contributions over the course of 15 to 25 years. In other words Independent Workers would be qualifying for pensions they had not adequately contributed to and the whole pension system before the policy change was unsustainable as a result. As I said, probably voluntarios to some degree are also to blame but they were not singled out. Anyway, the solution was an across the board rate increase for all. The extra-large rate increase to fix the problem will be phased in over the next few years. So expect more of the same next year and the year after etcetera. To complicate the IVM CAJA pension short fall, the health care side of the house is in crisis also and has been increasingly digging into the pension reserves. Hence, another justification for the across the board rate increase for all on both sides of the CAJA house (health and pension).
  19. CAJA is a mandatory payment for residents to support socialized healthcare for all, PURA VIDA!

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