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Hi: I have been helping a small family with some Cancer medical treatments since 2004. I am wondering if the Caja could possibly cover this. Also does anyone know if the schools sell packages that include uniforms, books, etc for students in escuela and collagio? Any info sincerely appreciated. Thanks

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I have been helping a small family with some Cancer medical treatments since 2004

 

This comment gives me pause.

 

I have little use for socialized medicine and plan to Blog about the realities of it soon in my blog... but for now, I cannot imagine why they would need anything in the way of funds regarding medical care ot drugs. I have this sad feeling you are being taken as ALL those costs would be covered by CAJA.

 

Second, schools sell nothing, Parents must buy the uniforms.

 

Books are not real. Books are photocopied (for the most part) and students use those. I guess this helps teach respect for copyright law :)

 

TG

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Tico Grande:

 

I do not think that nosey1's situation is unique. I have heard of many gringos being asked to help pay for medical expenses for "mi abuela" or "mi bebe". In most cases I would presume that these requests are essentially scams. I believe that in most cases the patient would be qualified to utilize the CAJA system and would incurr no out of pocket expenses. If using private medical care, someone would have to pay. But then, why would a person who has free health care opt for private care that they cannot afford? I do realize that there are waits for some treatments in the state hospitals but I doubt that they drag their feet for those in need of urgent care.

 

I am no expert on the CAJA. I do realize that as extranjeros we expats who have residency can join and make payments for the CAJA. This will be required as part of residency under the new immigration law. Perhaps you could help to enlighten all of us a bit. I have a few questions regarding CALA coverage as it applies to CR citizens.

 

Is the CAJA universal? Do all Ticos have automatic coverage regardless whether or not they are employed and making payment into the CAJA? What about the unemployed? What about minor children? What about senior citizens?

 

I would really like to know exactly who the CAJA covers and by nosey1's post it is evident that there are others who need to know too.

 

I think that since many of us come from the US where there is not govt. provided health care that we assume that health care costs money. Not necessarily so in CR.

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Mark,

 

I think that part of the problem with the CAJA is that for certain medical conditions or tests the CAJA puts the patient(s) on a waiting list. For the tests this is often because it is not cost effective in the eyes of the govt to do a test for just one person, so they hold off until there are enough patients needing the test to make it cost effective. This does not well serve the patient who nay have some worsening problem, like certain cancers, as has been clearly described by one of our own Forums members.

 

The same can be true of certain medications not available from the CAJA, but which perhaps may be gotten from the private sector.

 

So at times expedience can be obtained by eschewing the CAJA and paying out of pocket to use a private doctor or clinic.

 

This explanation may be a bit simplistic, but I think it would be a reason for choosing other than the CAJA at times.

 

HTH

 

Paul M.

==

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Hola: Re caja

To save embarasment I will not mention the amount involved since 2004. This not a romantic connection but a replacement for an overseas childrens charity that appeared to spend too much on glitzy mailings. I was happy to see my pseudo adopted family in a reasonably nice home after being homeless. One kid graduated from collagio and the other at the top of his class. I have visited every 3 or 4 months and have developed an attachment for them, even knowing that a lot of expenses were bogus. Ie: $500 cancer treatments every month plus $50 to pay Caja. The costs for rent seemed reasonable.

The amounts for school were for uniforms, shoes, books, etc to the tune of $256 per student each school year.

I would appreciate any information on schools. When in session and hours/day and so on.

I probably have this whining and sniveling in the wrong forum. If so please adjust my compass. I love Costa Rica and the people. I just waited too long to move. Thanks.

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Hi Ernie (if I may),

 

It seems to me that you have figured out where the 'donation leakage' was and that you have corrected that. Don't feel too badly; many have done similar.

 

It is nice to see that you have finally met your adopted family in person and know (more about) them first-hand.

 

Here is some information I found on The Real Costa Rica, put together by Tim:

 

"Public, Catholic, and some of the private European schools operate on the Costa Rican schedule which runs mid February to the end of November. Schools following the United States curriculum operate on a United States calendar starting the middle of August and finishing in June with a month off for Christmas in December and January." -Angela Passman

 

More on the schools can be found at:

 

http://www.therealcostarica.com/health_education_costa_rica/private_schools_costa_rica.html

 

I hope this answers some of your questions.

 

Cheers!

 

Paul M.

==

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Hi Ernie (if I may),

 

It seems to me that you have figured out where the 'donation leakage' was and that you have corrected that. Don't feel too badly; many have done similar.

 

It is nice to see that you have finally met your adopted family in person and know (more about) them first-hand.

 

Here is some information I found on The Real Costa Rica, put together by Tim:

 

"Public, Catholic, and some of the private European schools operate on the Costa Rican schedule which runs mid February to the end of November. Schools following the United States curriculum operate on a United States calendar starting the middle of August and finishing in June with a month off for Christmas in December and January." -Angela Passman

 

More on the schools can be found at:

 

http://www.therealcostarica.com/health_education_costa_rica/private_schools_costa_rica.html

 

I hope this answers some of your questions.

 

Cheers!

 

Paul M.

==

 

Thanks Paul:

Ernie is fine. Thanks for info. Grandkids call me Ern or Pops. As for the adoptees, I have not pulled the rug out yet. Have a great weekend.

Edited by Epicatt2
REMINDER TO MEMBERS: Use 'Reply' button to reply, not 'Edit'. Thanx!

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Geez... I don't login for a day or so and I have to reply to more than just one person.

 

Mark

 

I have actually started a post (but not completed it) on the Real Costa Rica Blog discussing CAJA as lately I have been getting many queries from people moving here. Now alos from a fair number from people asking how socialized medicine works here as it appears your current administration in the USA is going to put it to you once again :)

 

Preview answer? It works badly for all except for the very poor. For them it works OK. This is not much of a preview though as anyone with a brain knows socialized medicine does not work anywhere (England, Sweden, Canada, etc).

 

I hope to have it finished this week.

 

and as for:

 

...the amounts for school were for uniforms, shoes, books, etc to the tune of $256 per student each school year.

 

This seems out of line. I am guessing $100.00 per year for all, but I will make a few queries. I guess it also depends on how many uniforms. Most families I know (and that is NOT many) buy 2 for each kid and the shoes are those plastic jobbies.

 

$50.00 to CAJA each month. this sounds CORRECT if and only if neither the father or mother are employed. If they are employed, their employer pays their CAJA and they pay a %-age (like social security).

 

As for the cancer meds... that gets complex. If a child has cancer here, he would almost assuredly be treated at Children's Hospital though possible at a CAJA hospital. It IS conceivable that they might have to pay in addition to CAJA OR the may have to if the drugs given my CAJA do not work! I am presuming that you have seen the medical reports from the hospital and signed by the attending...

 

But, as you say and I appreciate... it has given you a level of satisfaction and you do not appear to be feeling "taken" too badly or resentful.... You have met the family and kn ow they exist. It appears you can afford it... so what the hell :). I am not too sure if and when arriving at San Pedro's gate any of us has too much in the plus column. I do not.

 

TG

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Grandpop,

Having worked as a volunteer in relatively isolated villages, I have seen that where chronic care is needed, transportation becomes a major obstacle. Your family probably doesn't have a car, taxies, although seemingly cheap for us Gringos, are beyond the reach of many laboourers. I have seen mothers with seriously ill children on local busses in order to get to the nearest clinic, where treatment is indeed free. From mountain villages, or those off the main roads, the trip can often be several hours long - not the best scenario for an ill person or the other passengers. Consequently, although doctor's treatment and medication are covered by CAJA, transportation is not. Moreover, should a child be hospitalized, a parent would need to be close by. What if the parent lives in Guanacaste and the child is hospitalised in San Jose?

 

A single school uniform incl. plastic shoes costs about $60.00 for an elementary(gr.1-6) student and somewhat more for secondary(gr 7&8) and collegiate student. A student ought to have 2, as one is being washed and ironed while the other is worn.

Backpack, notebooks, pencils, pens, photocopying fees, gym outfit and sometimes fees for extra protein (eggs, chicken, fish) in the free lunches can easily add up to another $100.00.

Moreover, transportation to centrally located secondarios and collegiates is also often paid by the parent.

Consequently, BLESS YOU, I don't think you are being abused, and I wish more of us would follow your example.

Mormor, Abuela.

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Thanks AP

I have no idea if this will appear as a reply. You would think that when you hit reply the first thing would be a box to type in same. Anyway, thanks. It looks like the only real beating I am taking is with the "treatments" 48 months times $500 might have changed the '98 car I am driving. You have helped me reconcile the school costs. The oldest graduates in October and today I received an email invite. My CO ff miles allowed me a free ticket. After the graduation I will have a long talk with them on the subject of ripping off old geezers. LOL. Thanks again. Pura Vida

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I do not think that nosey1's situation is unique. I have heard of many gringos being asked to help pay for medical expenses for "mi abuela" or "mi bebe". In most cases I would presume that these requests are essentially scams.

 

Is the CAJA universal? Do all Ticos have automatic coverage regardless whether or not they are employed and making payment into the CAJA? What about the unemployed? What about minor children? What about senior citizens?

 

I would really like to know exactly who the CAJA covers

 

This post seems adequately answered, but yes, the Caja is universal, a Tico unemployed or a child or old gets it, and in fact illegals (mostly Nicaraguan) get it. The issues would be the waits, what the Caja may not have (certain medicines or tests), and things like travel expenses. It is possible that a certain regime of cancer treatments would not be available, although odds are that it would mostly be available with some gaps.

 

Also, yes, one of the oldest lines in the book is needing "medicine for my mother." It's rarely true.

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This post seems adequately answered, but yes, the Caja is universal, a Tico unemployed or a child or old gets it, and in fact illegals (mostly Nicaraguan) get it. The issues would be the waits, what the Caja may not have (certain medicines or tests), and things like travel expenses. It is possible that a certain regime of cancer treatments would not be available, although odds are that it would mostly be available with some gaps.

 

Also, yes, one of the oldest lines in the book is needing "medicine for my mother." It's rarely true.

Thanks kenn,

 

I've spent some time recently trying to scour the CAJA website with very little satisfaction. About the only health care info there is for "voluntary" coverage for those who have to pay for the CAJA themselves. That includes the self employed and many like us who join and pay ourselves. They also spell out the percentages that are witheld from pay for insurance and pension for workers. Aside from that, it states that the poor can obtain coverage for free. I suppose that these three categories cover almost all of the citizens of CR as far a basic coverage goes but I just didn't see any detail about what, if anything, CAJA would not pay for.

 

One thing I did notice is that, as stated on their website, one must present a cedula or passport as identification when applying for coverage. This may explain why some extranjeros have been accepted for coverage without residency!

 

Que Tico! :D

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I've spent some time recently trying to scour the CAJA website with very little satisfaction.

 

One thing I did notice is that, as stated on their website, one must present a cedula or passport as identification when applying for coverage. This may explain why some extranjeros have been accepted for coverage without residency!

 

There was a series of articles in the Tico Times in part about the Caja these last few weeks that you might want to look at. Basically, there are rules and then there is the way it works. I am not yet a member of the Caja, although the local healthcare worker from the Caja has come around 3-4 times and they have a file on me. Yes, they actually have a door-to-door guy in my neighborhood. It doesn't seem to bother him that I am not enrolled, and he wanted me to come by for a free tetanus booster shot regardless. I am also well-acquainted with an illegal Nicaraguan who even got a CAT scan via the Caja. I have heard and read about tourist gringos being treated for free. It's just a different mentality. They actually believe in giving health care to people for free, and the government kicked in $17 million last year to cover the shortfall, mostly for the unemployed and ineligible. Granted, they make people wait, give others the runaround, and so forth. It's inefficient. But every Tico is for a fact covered, legal residents can be, and illegals tend to get it in a pinch.

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