Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What do you do if you have no health insurance? We go to Mexico!

{Cabazon Shopping Outlet near Palm Springs, see the Brighton store}

Oh, Sweet Hearts...
You are, without a doubt, the dearest friends anyone could ever have!! Your comments from my botched soldering post had me smiling & laughing, feeling encouraged & supported, but mostly feeling 'Not So All Alone' in my sad attempt at this new art technique I'm trying to master. Thank You for all your sweet words, they always mean so much to me!
I loved how Teresa from Attic Rat put it... 
"I think soldering is almost like learning to write beautifully with your left hand when you are right-handed. With lots and lots of practice, you can eventually master it."
Do I hear an Amen? Amen!

Back to the subject at hand...What do You do, when you have No Health Insurance? I'm not being flippant or anything, I really am curious! You see, my family is one of the millions of Americans that are uninsured. It's not because we don't work hard, my husband & I are both self employed. My hubby is probably one of the hardest working men I know. Hard, physical, back breaking work in weather that you wouldn't even want your pets to go out into, that's what my man does everyday...it brings tears to my eyes. And yet we can not afford health insurance. Well, what we have done, is learn to make due & that's just what we did this past weekend. So, here's Robert & Susie's guideline's on how to 'Stay Alive' in America without health insurance in the Southwest. LOL {It's really not as bad as it sounds}

I'll start with eyes, since mine just seem to get worse & worse with age. Anyone who wears glasses knows, frames are outrageously priced. I mean CRAZY, right! Well, a beautiful thing has happened in America & it's called Outlet Shopping. One of my favorite Outlet Malls is CABAZON in Cali, heading South before Palm Springs. The thing that makes this mall special to me is it has a Brighton Outlet...Oh Yeah! I got two pairs of glasses there this weekend, my sunglasses were $29.99 & my regular glasses were $5.99...now can anybody say Great Deal. I have been using Brighton frames for my glasses for years now, even at full price they run between $60 & $70.  

Now with designer frames in hand, we drive to the newly built Quechan Casino & Resort located 2 miles from Yuma, Arizona & 1 mile from Los Algodones, BC, Mexico. Usually we take our Vintage Trailer down with us & camp for free on the BLM, but hubby has been working so hard since spring & we were only staying 2 nights, so we decided to treat ourselves & it was really FUN! ;) You see, we go to Mexico for most of our medical needs. FYI...an American Passport is required to return to the US. As the Border Patrol Officer told me on one of my last trips into Mexico...anybody can come in to Mexico, but not everyone can come back to the US. Well put!

Los Algodones is probably the only place I would enter Mexico right now. Kidnapping Americans is on the rise, the drug wars are out of control, our borders are locking down tighter & tighter {which is a good thing}, but Los Algodones still has the feel of a sleepy little border town, filled with white haired seniors trying to make ends meet on Medicare. It cracks me up cuz when I go down, I'm actually the Young Hot Chick. Everybody there is 20 years older then me! {maybe I should buy a condo? lol}

Everything you need for any medical purposes are within the first 3 blocks of town. My optometrist is on the second block on the left, Optica Algodones. It's a lovely little office with ac & a friendly staff. They sell designer frames there too, but I always bring my own. The eye exam is $10 or you can bring your prescription from the states & for standard glasses it costs $80 for 2 pairs. Since I wear bifocals & get one pair tinted black for the sun, it runs me $100 for both pair & with my gorgeous new Brighton frames, I'm always jazzed when I get my new glasses!

Now for medicaciĆ³n! We go to the Big Purple Pharmacy on the left hand side of the 1st block. We get ALL our medication there & have for about 8 years & we have NEVER had a problem with anything. An example would be my shoulder arthitis medication, Voltarin. It costs $35 a month here in the states & $4 there, so for a 3 month supply we pay $12 instead of $105...I'm just sayin, for us, that's a huge savings & that's just 1 medicine! It is not the same name brand as it is here in the US, it is a Mexican brand, but for the medications we take, we have never noticed a difference.

We have gone to the Dentist & Dermatologist there & have been very satisfied with the outcome. We make a day of it. We eat a few tacos, have a couple of Corona's, make small talk with the vendors, buy a few trinkets to bring home & then head out threw the gateways & mazes, customs & border patrol, to get back into the US. Look, another Adventure! {but this one, not so accidental}

Would we do this if we had health care? No. Do we do this cuz we think it's fun? No. Is Mexico a safe to place to visit right now? No. Do we have any real alternatives? No. Am I suggesting anyone else should follow our lead & use this as their alternative heath care? No.
I'm just sayin, when life gives you lemons...make lemonaid or when 1 door closes, another door opens.
Again...it's all in the SEEING!
Have a Frightful Halloween Week Friends...I can't believe it's almost HERE!



Beach House Living said...

Wow, that is some story. I been with and without insurance funny it always seemed to be I needed it most when I didn't have it. I applaud that you have found a way though.

trash talk said...

I see and agree where you're coming from. I wouldn't be worried about their drugs...the FDA isn't doing that hot a job on this side of the fence (case in point, Ambien).
Sounds like a win/win to me...trip, beer, tacos and meds...Ole`!

Two Wild Roses Antiques said...

Wow you are so brave to go down there. Too scary for me now. I remember going to Tijuana every wed night before i was 21. That was even scary and dumb of us young people i would never go down there now and its so sad that i cant take Dylan there. I loved going shopping there. Great story though Glad you had fun friend.xo jamie

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Wow is all I can say. I just got the word that I was turned down for the health ins policy I applied for as my COBRA is running out. I had a mini melt down. Now I'm like, well OK, so no health ins and what do I do. I'm a bit far from Mexico but sometimes one must do what one must do.

Lucy - By the Hill said...

Wish I was there right now Susie! I'm due to see the dentist again...saved mega dollars last time round.. yes!
We have medical here in Canada, but no dental or drug ins. The cost of drugs down there is unbelievable, we know winter visitors who get their 6 month supply before heading home, savings of thousands of dollars for some!

Los Algodones is pretty safe (my opinion) and very nice compared to some other border towns we've been to. Can't beat those prices either!
Have fun!

red.neck chic said...

I had a fill fall out of one of my teeth... no dental - went to mexico... $35.00 later my teeth are good as new! whooo hoo!!!

;-D LOVE the glasses frames!!!

YOU make my heart smile!!!

Garden Antqs Vintage said...

I must say you are a brave soul. I wouldn't go to any part of Mexico right now if you paid me lots and lots of money and gave me an escort, but...I do understand. I'm going to have to get a visa really soon as my MIL is not well and will probably be buried in Mexico. Not at all looking forward to going there but I guess this is where some serious praying will come into play. Just about all of my husband's family goes to Mexico for their medical needs. See isn't it sad we live in the US and have to resort to another country for medical needs. Now that's your government hard at work for the tax payers! Sorry just makes me so mad for those that don't have insurance, work hard in this country, and can't get insurance.

Courtney Price ~ Vintage Ginger Peaches said...

Yeah, and just wait until Obama forcefully takes a chunk of your income for obamacare... then you'll be out money and STILL have all the expenses on top of that. It makes NO SENSE. Our country should be able to figure this out.

Alice said...

I'm fortunate to have health insurance and do not take it for granted, especially after my daughter's accident that cost over $70,000. It's terrible that there are some without insurance, yet we hand out money to illegals constantly. Don't get me started. Our government needs to focus on what works for everyone. I'm sure it's not an easy task though.

Good for you for taking it all with such grace.

Dianne said...

If I lived in the SW, I'd do it too... Even with health insurance, my glasses and medicines are very expensive! You go girl... and bring me back a trinket!

Suz said...

This is an American tragedy. We should all have access to medication. I have a good friend in Mexico who has a chronic brain tumor condition. He says he gets much better care in Mexico than he does here. He lives in San Miguel, which is quite fancy, but I am still impressed how reasonably he gets this good care. When he in the hospital, he actually gets great nursing care. A thing of the past here!

Keep up that soldering and don't burn your solder package, like I did in my last class!!! The funniest thing was...no one noticed!

When I get my act together, I will talk to you about my fonts, etc. I am so frustrated with them and need your help, girl!!


Jane said...

My husband and I haven't had health insurance since the end of December last year, when he lost his job. Since we relocated and he started a new job, we are still waiting for our insurance to kick in - but that won't be until December! It's been terrifying! We had a real "cadillac" plan before - I didn't hesitate to go to the doctor for anything! I even went to the chiropractor for weekly adjustments, but that all stopped abruptly. I'm putting off buying new glasses because the cost is so exorbitant. It's truly a dilemma. If we lived closer to the border, I might attempt to do what you have done, but it's not really an option for us. So, we're just toughing it out until December.

BenP said...

Are there any good dental assistant Brighton positions available??

Pretty Things said...

My inlaws have minimal insurance and we order their medications online from overseas. We're careful about where (to make sure they're really GETTING the medicine and not sugar) and actually their doctors have helped us, too. Have you seen if any of the drug companies can offer you drugs for free? I've seen that some of them will do that, but not sure what the criteria is.

Anita said...

The sad part for me is- I ended up going back to work, instead of selling antiques full-time, BECAUSE I needed the insurance. The pay is less, but the insurance makes up for it. And I needed a retirement savings plan too....What a sad state of affairs in this country...

April @ HomeHinges.com said...

That was an amazing story and so brave of you, but you have to do what you have to do. Luckily my husband's job has a wonderful insurance plan, but all growing up as a kid my family never had insurance. Fortunately my uncle is a doctor, so if we got sick we'd just go to his house. After I got married I had to learn how to set a doctor's appointment and traverse the insurance world. I didn't even know what to do when I went for the first few times. Strange thing to have to learn in your twenties. Lets hope it lasts, if not now I know there's Mexico. Best wishes.

Angela Weimer said...

Health care is so expensive in the states. I have been here in England for just over a year now and medicines alone are so much cheaper. My daughters allergy meds are over 25$ in the states and 70P here(or about 1$) for the same amount. The drug companies must be making a furtune on it. Kudos to you for making Lemonade! Have a good one. Angela

Charlene said...

Hey Susie Pearl!!!!!!!!! Oh MY! GIRL BE CAREFUL!!!!!!!!!!! YIKES! But, I hear ya! Between Hubby & I we pay $1,600.00 a month & have a $2,500.00 deductible. And that is after I was able to drop my premium to only $660 a month (it was $1,200 for just me). And him... do you think after this open heart surgery his $1,100.00 a MONTH premium will EVER GO DOWM? I don't think so....... But, we have a CHANGE (God forbid) & all will magically be taken care of. Right? What? That's what he said. :0
HUGS! Charlene

That Girl Ang said...

NO one is mad at the big business insurance companies???? Hmmmmmm...... I am the only member of my family who doesn't have dental and it's extremely costly. I will be bald mouth before I could ever cover it all. This has been a problem in this country for years... Obama DIDN'T start it. He's making lemonade out of lemons.

Anywho... I applaud you. You are brave but indeed very smart. I wish you the best... and hopefully it will eventually get better.

Thanks for finding me... I will favorite your page as well.


the gypsy chick said...

ugh girl don't even get me going about health care... even with health insurance that we pay a fortunate for though my husbands work, some time with all three kids & co-pays the can totally eat out lunch.

oh and i totally love outlet malls... there is a great one right out side of San Antonio that we do all of our major shopping at... it is a great way to save a little extra $$$$.



~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

I just had to comment on the terrible state of things here concerning health care.
I must say that we have not been to a doctor in many years. I market Natural health alternative products and when we have an issue that is not a life or death issue we treat it with my products. Just a little time to learn about them is all that's required. I share readly with anyone who wants more information.
~ ~Ahrisha~ ~