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Moving Back to US Due To Health Care Expenses

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Let's see how they feel about the ACA after they've joined CAJA and had to wait two years for a mammogram, or an MRI on an injured knee, and then six more months before surgery.

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To defend lindlewhammond, although the "big lie" may be a bit of an exaggeration, there are tons of people out there who believe that Obama picked up his magic wand, waved it around a little and that now health care is significantly more affordable than it was before. That may be true for some people, especially those with lower income, but ACA is not designed to reduce the cost of healthcare in the country. The intention is to increase insurance coverage, nothing more. So some people will end up paying more to help those who pay less. That may or may not be a good thing, depending on your point of view and whether you will be a net beneficiary or net contributor.

To clarify, I don't think that ACA is in and of itself deceitful; but there are a huge amounts of misinterpretations about it that are spouted off in public as being truths by those of all political stripes who have their own agendas.

Edited by TyLand

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I think the Democrats missed the boat on health care when they had both houses and the white house. They bent too much to the insurance industry, probably due to lobbyists as much as to republicans. In the end, thy got a flawed bill with many good features and intentions.

 

Health care that is denied to many can't be considered the "best system in the world." Let's hope that some improvements to the law are passed. Overturning the entire law and giving the insurance industry the right to deny care isn't the right fix.

 

The CAJA isn't perfect, but I get more from it than I get from medicare for a lot less.

 

T

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...

 

Add on top my caja payment of $50.00 per month (I got in a long time ago so pay less) which half of the premium is for a pension which will be around $ 220.00 a month when I retire at 65 and then they also wiave the caja medical fee at the point you are pensioned with them.

 

I would ask if I were applying for CAJA now that they not charge the half of the cost for a pension if you are 55 or older as you will not be able to qualify for a pension as you wont have time to make enough monthly payments to qualify. I think they will charge you the pension part but you may not be able to live long enough to qualify for it.

 

...

As others have written you are automatically not covered by the pension and don't pay for it if you affiliate when 55 or older.

 

But... if you want to affiliate into the pension you can even if you are over 55.

 

If you pay in for 15 years and opted into the pension you can stop paying as long as you are 65 or older and as you stated you'll continue to be covered under CAJA's health care system and you'll collect a pension to boot. The current minimum pension is 128k colones.

 

The pension option is a good deal if you are at the low end of the premium scale. You're going to recoup your money and then some in less than the 15 years of paying into the system.

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TC,

 

Just curious . . . For someone who decided to pay CAJA + Pension for a minimum of 15 years & then begins to collect the resultant CR pension, what would that person then expect to collect on a monthly basis?

 

I am assuming that they would be paying a minimal amount monthly over that 15 years based upon a minimum US$1K per month expat's SSA pension income.

 

Regards,

 

Paul M.

==

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TC,

 

Just curious . . . For someone who decided to pay CAJA + Pension for a minimum of 15 years & then begins to collect the resultant CR pension, what would that person then expect to collect on a monthly basis?

 

I am assuming that they would be paying a minimal amount monthly over that 15 years based upon a minimum US$1K per month expat's SSA pension income.

 

Regards,

 

Paul M.

==

What I will actually receive if anything, I'm not quite sure, but according to the CAJA people and the law, I'm supposed to get the minimum, which is currently 128K. The minimum is adjusted every 6 months. But on the other hand, according to my on line account statement, one of the notes reads, "Con 180 cotizaciones proyectadas, alternativamente, podrá obtener una pensión proporcional con un porcentaje de reducción de 40.00%."

 

The problem is that if it is reduced by 40% as noted above, then that would be below the legal minimum. So does that mean I'll get nothing? Or, does it mean I'll get the minimum as the law states? I won't know for sure till I get there.

 

I'm in a little different position than my wife who is Tica by birth. She has paid into the system much longer. And she, because of her length of payments (well over 15 years), will be eligible at age 60 to collect (in her particular case) a more than the minimum. But I started late and will not even have the 15 year minimum until age 66.

 

As a side note, my brother in law who I reported on somewhere on this forum was denied an indigent pension in the last administration. He applied again under the new administration and is now receiving the indigent pension which I believe is 75K. The indigent pension is a non contributory pension for those in extreme poverty who worked informally and who's patronos never paid into the system.

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OK thanx TC.

 

Yes that does sound like a sort of 'Catch-22', that 40% reduction on the minimum amount.

 

Could it possibly be a part the language of that new law that was recently enacted which says that an expat cannot be covered under a tico or tica spouce's CAJA account?

 

Paul M.

==

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I don't know anything about that new law you mentioned (or is that just a rumor?). Anyway I haven't been keeping up on CAJA changes this year. But last year (about this time) there was a change to the CAJA pension computation.

 

I don't claim to understand it (the change) completely, but I think I understand at least part of it.

 

They (CAJA) discovered a big gapping hole (when they cared to look) that over the many years of its existence a big disconnect grew between what independent workers were claiming and paying into their pensions and what they were collecting at the end in the way of the minimum pension.

 

It seems that they discovered that something like 99% of all independent workers affiliated with CAJA claim to make next to nothing (all somewhere in the neighborhood of under 100,000 colones per month). That includes all non employees who work. For example it includes lawyers, dentists, med docs, vets, accountants, electricians, plumers, private teachers, performers, house painters, etc. If the person works, claims an income, and is NOT an employee, then he/she is an independent worker. It's pretty simple.

 

So everyone, including, Hacienda (the equivalent of the IRS) and CAJA know that the system is being cheated big time. Not only that but it turns out that even if you only pay the minimum premium you're whole life (which used to be something like 5,000 colones and is now around 20,000 I think) you are (were) going to be eligible to collect the minimum pension at age 60 for women, and age 62 for men. Not only that but it turns out as I stated above there grew to be a disconnect between the minimum premiums and the corresponding minimum pension. It seems the people setting the minimum pension had no clue as to what it would do to the system over time. So long story shorter the minimum pension (currently 128,000 colones) is way (maybe 10 times) above the actuarial justification when you factor in the small premium over a lifetime and it was skewing the entire CAJA pension system.

 

So in conclusion what they did. They targeted the independent workers (as they are primarily the guilty party) but my understanding is that voluntaries got caught up in the law change as well. Now every year or 6 months (not sure) for the next 10 years or so the minimum premium is being raised until it catches up (actuarially speaking) with the minimum pension. A pension is supposed to be something like 52% of your income and if the minimum pension is 128,000 that means that the minimum income has to be raised somewhere to around the 250,000+ range which is what their target is. Currently the minimum income is around 210,000 I believe and climbing to the 250,000 range. Of course that goes up each year as well when the minimum pension is increased, so for example in 10 years the minimum income could be 500,000

 

That means that if you are a cheating doctor today (for example) and walk in to affiliate as an independent worker you can try to claim an income of 100,000 but now you will be set at the current minimum income of 210,000 and it will continue to clime to around 250,000 even if your income doesn't actually go up. Then when you collect your pension of 52% (about) of 250,000, which is the minimum pension of 128,000 colones it all works out actuarially.

 

Something tells me my explanation is way too long.

 

Anyway the other change they instituted back in Nov. 2013 was that if you are under age 65 and your computed pension is less that the lawful minimum then you get nothing, zip, zero. (the computed pension is based on 52% (about) of the income that the premiums were based on; formula is more complicated than that but essentially that's it).

 

But long and longer of it is that since I and others paying for only 15 years (which itself is a relatively recent change to the law) will be over 65 (by law) I don't know how exactly that will affect us.

 

All the above is based on a standard pension of a minimum of 300 quotas or 25 years minimum of paying into the system. So the shortened 180 quota (15 year deal) throws another unknown wrench into the actuarial mix that they may have to fix as well. Which is why I feel not completely confident in how the whole 15 year pension deal will shake out.

 

By the way the 15 year plan was mainly started for housewives years ago who were divorced at a late age thus getting the shaft from CAJA (and there husbands) (no healthcare, no pension). If CAJA had known the rest of us would also be taking advantage of the "housewife" deal maybe they would have thought twice.

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Although I support the concept and moral objectives of Obamacare, it is a law I am adamantly opposed to for two main reasons. First, when stripped of it's façade, it is just another Federally Mandated Tax imposed on the people. It affects everyone, young, old, rich or poor. Even seniors on fixed incomes who subscribe to Medicare Part B are taxed $147/yr. by the required deductible, and their co-pays are seeing double digit increases. It is a tax that was passed without public debate and without Congressional debate (Speaker of the House, Madam Pelosi D-Ca. "you've got to pass this bill in order to read it". It is a bill that was ramrodded through the biased House and Senate. A Tax is still a Tax regardless of what name you attach to it.

And for those of you who still hold out hope of it's repeal may I remind you " If you do not learn from history, you are damned to repeat it" By that I refer to a recent 7 yr. extension of the Farm Aid Bill passed by Congress. This original law was known as the emergency "Farm Aid Act of 1932" enacted during the "Great Depression". Eighty Nine years and it's still an Emergency. Or you may recall the "Temporary One Cent a gallon gasoline tax act of 1933". How many of you expect to see this tax repealed in your lifetime? Regrettably I do not recall the Government ever shutting down a Revenue Stream.

My second objection to the law is during other discussions of Obamacare ( thread -Obamacare Part II) I researched previous involvement of the Federal Government with respect to national health issues. You may recall during the early 2000s the national media Exposé "Millions of Americans crossing the Canadian Boarder to fill their prescriptions. Ten Cents on the Dollar. That's right, American Pharmaceutical Companies were charging Americans up to 10 times that being charged other countries. After a number of Congressional Hearings it was announced that a new program "Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage was being enacted. It was touted as a great benefit for the Elderly (they are drug dependent). In reality who actually benefited from this program ? Maybe the elderly did for a period of time, but with the escalating deductibles and runaway co-pay increases it remains to be seen. There is no doubt that the two industries to benefit the most from this program were the Insurance Industry and the Pharmaceutical Industry. It is written into that law that "the federal government is not permitted to negotiate prices of drugs with drug companies". That's right, the Pharmaceutical Companies can charge what ever price they choose.

During my research I came across three very pertinent facts regarding the Government's involvement in Medicare Part D which I previously published under the thread "OBAMACARE PART II" , but powers greater than me (perhaps the NSA) deemed it a unacceptable post and it was removed. Believing in FREE SPEECH and free exchange of ideas on this FORUM, I dare repeat it again.

If you Google "Medicare Part D"

 

"By design of this program, the federal government is not permitted to negotiate prices of drugs with the drug companies, as federal agencies do in other programs. The Department of Veterans Affairs, which is allowed to negotiate drug prices and establish a formulary, has been estimated to pay between 40% and 58% less for drugs, on average, than Medicare Part D."

 

"Estimating how much money could be saved if Medicare had been allowed to negotiate drug prices, economist Dean Baker gives a "most conservative high-cost scenario" of $332 billion between 2006 and 2013 (approximately $50 billion a year), and a "middle cost scenario" of $563 billion in savings "for the same budget window"

 

" Former Congressman Billy Tauzin, R-La, who steered the bill through the house, retired soon after and took a $2 million a year job as president of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the main industry lobbying group. A total of 14 congressional aides quit their jobs to work for the drug and medical lobbies immediately after the bill's passage."

 

Sorry, but I do not tust anyone in Washington DC to pass any Law solely in the best interest of me or my family. Only time will tell "THE TRUTH ABOUT ACA", but as they say, "follow the money" and you will know who really benefits from this LAW.

 

Pura Vida

Ron

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Just two comments Ron: The premium you pay for Medicare Part B has nothing to do with the ACA ("ObamaCAre"), but was part of the Medicare reform pushed thru by Republicans in Congress in prior administrations.

 

By passing the Part D provisions, forcing US citizens to purchase meds in the US, they also made it illegal to buy meds from Canada, or anyplace else.

Again, the Part D provisions pre-date ObamaCare.

 

Dana

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DanaJ

You may be correct. Although I have always carried Part B, I have never used it. (I use to be a kept man, but alas my wife retired and I no longer am covered by her insurance) My wife did use her Medicare during a recent U.S. trip and that was our first encounter of a DEDUCTABLE.

I also do not doubt the facts you offer about pre-dating Obama Care. My point is that it is the same POLITICIANS who passed Obamacare as the ones who passed Part D - an early Christmas present for the Pharmaceutical Companies and a total sc___w job to the taxpayers. There is only (I believe) 4 to 6 years separating the two laws. And I really don't care what color you call them, they are all POLITICIANS.

I DO HOPE YOU ENJOY YOUR DAY IN PARIDISE.

Ron

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So, Ron, the point of all this is really Your disdain for politicians in general, right? If yes, why not just come out and say so, although I fail to see how your hatred of them relates to moving back to the U.S. due to health care expenses.

Edited by David C. Murray

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David, David, David, What are we to do with you. I followed your exploits this past week where you did battle with the Evil Empire, THOSE people who are still living on the outer fringe of real life, still living in caves in the Arenal area, the tribe from the Nicoya Peninsula, and those people from the Southern Zone. How dare they attack your way of life. You handled yourself admirably in the way you responded in your self-righteous, arrogant manner. I was most impressed by the way you dispatched them with the condescending tone you employed. (and you wonder why Ryan hasn't returned your phone call since Sept. 2011)

But then you return only to personally attact one of your best friends in Costa Rica (ME). You Post 6,241 times, and I humbly Post once in two weeks and you attack me for "RANTING". I Know my subject matter may not be in compliance with your philosophical views, BUT to then personally attack me and my character by stating I have Hatred in my heart is very painful. As with another of my best friends, Jimmy Carter, I may have a little LUST left in my heart, but at my age I DO NOT HAVE HATRED in my heart.

I am once again concerned with your well being. Your Mood Swings and Attention Deficit Disorder ("what does that have to do with this post") I am sure there are drugs available to combat these afflictions but you will have to subscribe to Medicare Part D for coverage.

As always, One of your best friends,

Ron

Edited by ronofboston

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