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!