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      The Boquete Feria de Las Flores y del Café   01/12/2017

      The Boquete Feria de Las Flores y del Café begins Thursday, January 12th and runs until Sunday, January 22nd. For those who have not yet seen -- and experienced -- this magnificent fair, you are in for a treat, and some inconveniences. Most importantly, you must see all of the flowers and the tiendas at and around the Fair Grounds here in Boquete.  During these eleven days you also need to be extremely careful, especially while driving and in planning your activities. In recent years there have been well in excess of 100,000 visitors to Boquete. Last year that number was closer to 200,000, and some predictions for 2017's Fair are closer to 300,000 people coming to our area to see the Fair. Traffic congestion will be the norm. Getting seats in restaurants will be difficult at times. Parking spaces will essentially be nonexistent. Buying groceries may be difficult and time consuming. Busses will be parked on the side streets, making driving difficult. There will be lots (as in LOTS) of people walking, standing around the bridge and the Feria and the many tiendas (small shops and stands [kiosks]) while taking pictures, talking, viewing the scenery, etc. Please be extremely attentive while driving, and drive slowly. Some streets will be blocked and require passes to use them. Other streets will simply be blocked based on congestion. Please be careful of your personal items, such as purses and wallets. Having so many people in one area creates a prime target for pickpockets and other maliantes to do their thing. To repeat, most importantly, you must see all of the flowers and the tiendas at and around the Fair Grounds here in Boquete.  Three closing thoughts. First: enjoy. Second: be safe. Third: you might wish to post your pictures, comments, reviews, etc., here on CL (start a topic or reply to an existing topic in http://www.chiriqui.life/forum/118-boquete-feria-de-las-flores-y-del-café/).   To provide general feedback or ask for help regarding Chiriqui.Life, please leave a posting in Problems, Feedback and Suggestions or email support@chiriqui.life or private message to @Admin_01.
Keith Woolford

AAC Medical Discount Plan? or Health Insurance?

26 posts in this topic

BCP is advertising that AAC will be presenting a new Health Insurance plan on Tuesday. 

Quote

Tuesday Talks -- Last minute program change -- Alto al Crimen has a health insurance plan

Is it Health Insurance? or a Medical Discount Plan? There is a big difference, so perhaps someone can clarify.

(by the way, I'm well aware that I can show up in person on Tuesday to find out)

Edited by Keith Woolford
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In light of the fact that Rodney Direct promoted a health Insurance plan that was "supposed" be announced at the BCP on November 8th Keith brings up legitimate questions.

I went to that, and left after they finally said that, "due to Panamanian Insurance Laws," they could not offer health insurance!!!! That was very misleading and a waste of time. It was more of a recruitment drive to get more folks signed up. I am already a member.  If their goal was to fill the BCP up, they sure as heck did, as it was standing room only.   http://bcpeventscenter.org/?ecwd_event=group-health-insurance-for-rodney-direct-members

They said they are working with MS Panama with the "possibility" that "some doctors will offer a bit more discount to RD members that are with MS Panama. Surely all this could of been announced here and on other sites rather than giving the false impression they were about to offer Health Insurance? I have nothing against Rodney Direct but if you are going to state it is about a health insurance plan then that's what it should of been.

 

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Lest there be any confusion, please note that the announcement states that "Alto al Crimen will present a new, very low cost medical discount plan for AAC Hotline subscribers."  The headline for the post on .ning mentions "insurance" by mistake.

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I wrote the title line for the Rodny Direct talk and will take the blame for it being misleading. I wrote it during the time that Rodny Direct had been promised the ability to sell an insurance plan with discounted premiums. Things changed but the headline for the talk didn't change. Mea culpa.

The interesting thing about the AAC discount plan is that it's with a brand new hospital that most of you have never heard of and learning about that is worth the $1 admission fee.

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Penny,  Thank you for the explanation on the RD meeting .  Many like TwoSailors felt is was a purposeful deception which it was not.

As  a Rodny Direct supporter I was unhappy with how that had turned out when the Rodny Direct team has been (and is) doing it's best to provide excellence in service for RD members. .  The Health Advocacy service Irma offers ( that was discussed at that meeting) at discount for RD members is something that has enormous value.  Irma has a career in dealing with insurance and doctors.  She knows her stuff.  She is now an independent advocate that can sort through the morass of medical confusion and save a person a ton of grief in a medical pinch if her services are utilized.  As a nurse I can say that I would be first in line for her service if ever I was in a bad medical situation here. I would not be able to sort it out myself safely.

Alison

Edited by Brundageba
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I can not attend, will thre be a summary posted for us to read

 

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It is a discount plan at Hospital Cooperativa in David. The cost is $150 per year (and $125 for other members of the same household).

This morning Rodny Direct members received notice that a similar discount plan has been negotiated for RD members at Hospital Mae Lewis. It is included in the $80 cost of annual RD membership.

I hope both AAC and RD will publish more detailed information about each plan. For starters, people need to know the cost of the procedures that are being discounted as well as the discount itself. Twenty percent discount on what? Thirty percent on what? What is and is not covered?

 

 

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On 12/12/2016 at 8:12 AM, Brundageba said:

 

 

I googled Hospital Cooperativa and not much info. It is not listed on CL medical resources. Does anyone have first hand experience with this place?

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6 minutes ago, TwoSailors said:

I googled Hospital Cooperativa and not much info. It is not listed on CL medical resources. Does anyone have first hand experience with this place?

The health care resource listing here on CL is maintained by Mary Lynah. She may be contacted by email at MHLynah@gmail.com.  I will accept and post relevant information from others, but would prefer to have Mary's sage advice.

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The Hospital Cooperativa is located three blocks in front of Hospital Chiriqui. It is not a new hospital; Bob indicated that it has been around for 30 years, and the building appears to be about that age. I have been there several times with my husband to see Dr. DeGracia, the only infectious disease doctor in Chiriqui. His office is there, but he also tended my husband in Hospital Chiriqui. No one speaks English, but the medical director who spoke at yesterday's meeting said he will hire a secretary/receptionist who does. We were told yesterday that it has 11 hospital beds and an emergency room. Cases that cannot be handled there are referred to Hospital Chiriqui. I would urge anyone considering this plan to visit the hospital and take a tour. I'm sure Bob can provide more information.

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Wow, Bonnie. This is falling somewhat short of a glowing endorsement. I believe we will do a personal review of the facility prior to making any decisions.

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Bonnie, can you be more specific on the directions?  What does "3 blocks in front of Hosp Chiriqui" mean?

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You can take the street that runs in the front of the emergency room or the street on the other side of the hospital and follow either street east for three blocks. Hospital Cooperativa sits between the two streets, just like Hospital Chiriqui does.

Edited by Bonnie
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6 hours ago, Bud said:

Wow, Bonnie. This is falling somewhat short of a glowing endorsement. I believe we will do a personal review of the facility prior to making any decisions.

It's a small hospital, Bud. But it is the various outpatient procedures that are discounted, if I understand correctly. As its name suggests, it's a cooperative whereby people get together, pay an annual fee, and receive discounted services in return. But doctors who have their offices there see private clients as well, like my husband and me. The four or five times my husband and I were there we were the only gringos in the big, common waiting room. It was filled with Panamanians, however.  I'm only suggesting that it is different from what you may be used to, not that it is bad. It is not nearly the size or Hospital Chiriqui or Hospital Mae Lewis and, accordingly, cannot offer the same range of medical services. This is not to say that one couldn't save money on many routine medical procedures as a plan member. And I want to emphasize that I have NOT used any services provided by the hospital other than visiting a doctor in his office there. I hope AAC will provide a complete rundown in writing soon.

Edited by Bonnie
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To the best of my knowledge, all medical services and medicines in Panama are eligible for Jubilado discounts which many people here are already qualified to receive.

Edited by Keith Woolford
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That's correct, Keith. And I don't believe you can claim both the jubilado discount and the medical plan discount. This is another comparison in percentages that people should make before shelling out money. If the jubilado discount and the medical plan discount is 20%, for example, nothing is gained. If you do not have pensionado/jubilado status, on the other hand, the full plan discounts would apply.

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Not all of the pensionado discounts for health care are 20%.  Here is the list I have:

15% for services of hospitals and clinics

10% for pharmacies

20% for consultation with general medicine doctors and medical and surgical specialists

15% for dental services

15% for optometry

20% for prosthetic devices

So it appears that the Rodny Direct flat discount of 20% is better than the pensionado discount overall.

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Sign-up opportunity for AAC Medical Discount Plan on Thursday, 29 December
 
A good number of people have signed up for the Hospital Cooperativo medical discount plan (PLAN SOLIDARIO), but Tuesday is not the best day for some folks, particularly the vendors at the Tuesday Market. We have arranged to be at the Boquete Library on the third floor this Thursday, December 29 from 1:00 PM until 3:00 PM.
 
You can review information about the plan on Chiriqui.Life or on Boquete.ning.com. On .ning the original plan announcement will be somewhere close to the top in the Forum section. It has an English translation of the plan contract. Though it is not easy to find, there is a .pdf copy of our PowerPoint presentation linked on Chiriqui.life
 
If you would like to have a copy of the presentation sent to you, send a request to rhgusn@yandex.com not later than 6:00 PM Wednesday.  Please use "PRESENTATION REQUEST" as the subject line.
 
Cost for the medical discount plan is $150 per year ($125 for other members of the same family).  An annual AAC contribuion is included.  Costs for services at Hospital Cooperativo and the doctors there are already low, and the plan discounts make them lower.
 
Please bring cash or your checkbook and a copy of the cedula, pensionado card or passport for each person. The copy machine at the library is not working.  We'll try to bring a copier along, but the process works faster if you bring copies with you.
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1 hour ago, Bob G said:

...Though it is not easy to find, there is a .pdf copy of our PowerPoint presentation linked on Chiriqui.life....

Bob,

It would seem more supportive of your potential subscribers for you to provide a link to the PDF document rather than publicize your inability to navigate CL. If you need help, just ask.

For those who might be interested, the PDF document is located at http://www.chiriqui.life/topic/4359-alto-al-crimen-medical-discount-plan-announcement/?do=findComment&comment=12309.

To download that document you will need to be a registered member of CL and logged in. There is no cost involved in having or using an account on CL.

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Bob!

 I've sent two email inquiries to the AAC address (the first on December 8) around Membership and the new Medical plan.  As of today, neither has been responded to.  I remember reading on one of the extranjero forums a while ago that people were complaining about lack of responsiveness on the part of AAC.  Now I understand why.  Lack of or slow response time = lack of organization and/or overall ineffectiveness.  If you can't get simple stuff together, how you gonna serve me when I need timely assistance?  

 

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"it would seem more supportive of your potential subscribers for you to provide a link to the PDF document rather than publicize your inability to navigate CL. If you need help, just ask "

I  plead  guilty to having an inability to navigate Chiriqui Life.  I was a programmer as early as 1963, have worked with PC's since 1982 and spend many hours every week navigating on the internet.  But Chiriqui Life is, in my opinion, very difficult to navigate.  The reason I didn't provide the link in my post was that I could not find it, even though I knew it was there and had even seen it once before.

 

For Pederhaney:  In our announcements I specifically included my personal email address for inquiries about the medical discount plan so that any inquiries would come directly to me.  It worked for a lot of people, because I answered a lot of emails.  I'm not sure why your messages on the web site were not forwarded to me but will look into it.  Most people use the web site to register for AAC Hotline service, and the database manager deals with that area.  The "Contact Us" link is usually used for providing changes and updates for the database.  Though your messages should have been passed on, messages of that kind are not "rapid response" matters.  The AAC Hotline has two different phone numbers that are monitored around the clock for emergency calls, and it is separate and distinct from administrative matters.  I doubt that you would send us a message if you had an emergency.

 

 

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For Bob G.

The messages were primarily about membership (after filling out the form and submitting it) with an additional inquiry around the medical service.  I believe this was before you sent out your personal email.  Apparently I should not have mixed the two topics in one email.  Nevertheless, 22 days later I have yet to receive a response from anyone. Efficiency Credibility rating in the tank, Bob. And you're correct: were I to have an emergency, I would not send a message.  My momma didn't raise no dummy!  

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Posted (edited)

Alto al Crimen will have a table at the Tuesday Market on tomorrow, January 3 for people to sign up for the AAC--Hospital Cooperativo medical discount plan. If you have not yet read the original announcement sent via Boquete.ning.com, you can find it  on this site and read it.
 
This low cost plan is great for people who have no other medical coverage and a great supplement for people with high deductible insurance coverage.  A .pdf version of the PowerPoint presentation made on December 13 can be found at this link: http://www.chiriqui.life/topic/4359-alto-al-crimen-medical-discount-plan-announcement/?do=findComment&comment=12309
 
The yearly fee for the plan is $150 (or $125 for additional members of the same household). This includes a donation for the AAC emergency call Hotline.
 
To sign up, come to our table on Tuesday.  Bring cash or your checkbook and, if possible, a copy of the cedula, Pensionado card or passport for each applicant. If for some reason you can't bring a copy, we'll figure out how to make a copy of your document.
 
This will be the last sign-up day except for the final sign-up deadline on Tuesday, January 17 after the Alto al Crimen presentation about our organization and its services. We plan to have renewals and open season sign-ups for the medical discount plan once a year in late December--early January.
Edited by Admin_01
to repair a faulty URL
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