Tuesday, May 20, 2014
A Swift Kick in the Seat of the Pants!
Somehow since I retired and in the last few years, I've become a "manana" person. Now there is nothing wrong with that except that in matters such as these, procrastinating can be disastrous and a big pain in the rear for those left behind.
When I was in the hospital in Houston for that eight hour spell in February, it seemed that at least five or six people asked if I had a medical directive. I didn't. I have now printed one out and will complete it and put it in the "death and medical file" along with sending copies of all of this to my grown adult children.
Then there is the matter of the 24 Hour Association. An organization started in the 1930's for those who needed some way to negotiate the perils of the Mexican laws and requirements upon death. It used to be that you had to be buried within 24 hours. Back then the bodies had to go to Celaya for embalming and then to Mexico City for everything else! Can you imagine how complicated that would be? A very competent and good intentioned expat started this association to handle all that is required from death to burial on behalf of the deceased.
When I moved here it cost $350 for all the documentation and cremation or burial. Now it is $900, which is refundable if you move away and don't need the services. If you DON'T have this in advance, it is a nightmare, which the daughter of a friend went through last month. Hence, the kick in the seat of the pants on this issue.
In addition, while laying on the bed in January when passing the gallstone and thinking I was having a heart attack or some horrible form of death, I realized that I wanted an efficient way to get myself back to the states if need be. There are three med evac programs that are internationally available here in San Miguel!
I've talked to all three today. For heaven's sakes the total cost to be medevaced to Houston with this service is a mere $260USD per year as a fee and they guarantee that the fee will not increase annually! A mere pittance to what the actual cost is for a private medevac service. Needless to say, this is a no brainer and has now been taken care of, today. I'm so blessed that I haven't had a reason to have wanted this service. Not that I think I am in the future going to need it, but it sure will give me peace of mind to know I have this available. And yes, I know several people who have been medevaced and were pleasantly surprised at the professionalism and efficiency.
The only thing I haven't done today is contact the Met Life agent or the AXA agent here in San Miguel to find out what health insurance would cost if I had something so bad that I couldn't be transferred back to the USA. My next door neighbor pays a little over $100 a month for coverage with a $2000 deductible. When he fell down the stairs and had two bad breaks, the bills were about $18,000 USD here in San Miguel! AXA paid all but $2,000 of the bills. It took a few months to get reimbursed, but at least he had the insurance and yes he was reimbursed. Mexican doctors and hospitals, that I know of, do NOT file any kind of insurance papers on your behalf. You must pay and then get reimbursed personally by your insurance!
That's it for today. What I have put off for fourteen years is now being taken care of. It is more then a shame that I had to get a swift kick in the seat of the pants to take care of these matters.
(On another note, the photo above of the orange trees in a friend's garden is, besides being lovely, a story of the amount of oranges that used to be the major crop here. It is unusual to see that many oranges in a garden but this is a house on Hernandez Macias that I imagine is a couple of hundred years old. It is wonderful to see the mature trees and plants. AND grass, which is highly unusual since we live in an area where water is precious!)