Tag Archives: medical

A sampling of our medical costs as expats in India

One of the benefits that I documented in my extensive spreadsheet when we were considering moving to India was the price and quality of the medical care.

Last weekend the whole family went to the dentist for our six-month cleaning.  It cost under $25 each for Pepper, Jordan and I, and under $12 for Jacob.  It was under 90 USD for all four of us to have our teeth cleaned.  I’m submitting the receipts to our insurance company right now.   I suspect that in the US we would have paid about $90 for each of us while in the US.

This is significant.  If we can save money from out of pocket for our medical bills — especially now that we have four of us — we’re better off.  Unfortunately, our insurance provider (Global Benefits Group or GBG) denies coverage for pre-existing conditions for one year for adopted children.  That’s been against the law in the US for many years.But in about six months, when Jacob is eligible,  I’m sure we’ll be spending a bit of money on determining if we can do anything to help Jacob with his symptoms from cerebral palsy.

Pepper has had and been ignoring pain in her shoulder and back for many months.  a week and a half ago she finally got in to see a doctor.  Four and a half hours later, with blood work, x-ray and multiple MRIs conducted, she had created a medical bill of just under $500.  In the US, that $500 might pay for half of one of the MRIs she had done.   We submitted the bill for that work to our insurance carrier and they paid all of it.  Every cent.  The prescriptions she purchased cost a total of $12.44.  It really almost isn’t worth the 20 minutes that it takes me to file a claim!

I have been pretty disillusioned with medial insurance for a long time now.  I don’t know how much my employer pays for our insurance, but I suspect that I would rather have that money in my pocket rather than paid to an insurance company even with as much as we seem to be using insurance right now.  I think it is probably better off that I not know how much they pay.  I know that for 12 years while working for the city that I came nowhere near 1/10th of the benefit out of the fees paid by the city for the insurance.  The insurance company was being paid at least two thousand dollars a month for coverage for the three of us.  The policy in Mongolia was so restrictive that nothing we had done in those two years was covered.

Would I rather be uninsured?  Honestly, probably not.  At least, not with the insurance that we have now, it does seem to cover much of the things we need covered.