Getting Health Insurance in Uruguay – update from a major study

US National Institutes of Health - Online Library LogoWe’ll have a new post in our ongoing series, Getting Health Insurance in Uruguay, later this week. I’ve just been reading over a number of definitive sources, including a major analysis published by Mexico’s Public Health agency. They’ve been doing a series of reports on the health systems of other Latin American countries. The Uruguay study was published in 2011, from data in 2009, after Uruguay’s Health Care Reform law came into effect. It gives much more detail about the three tiered system of Uruguayan health care I mentioned our Part 1 and Part 2 posts.

The formal report, Sistema de Salud en Uruguay, is in Spanish. I’ve been reading it in both the original and in two alternate machine translations. Will have links, and our perspective here at Uruguay Expat Life / Uruguay For Me, coming up this week.  Meanwhile for an overview, here is the abstract, in English, at the US National Institutes of Health website. If you’d like to read the original, it’s here for free at SciElo.

As a sampler, did you know that over 50% of the population here (including me and Lisa Marie Mercer) choose the cooperative, “mutualista” system of paid by social security payroll tax, or voluntary buy-in (for all of about $85 US monthly per person), and 37% are in the fully-subsidized Public Health tier? Only 2% go for the Private system. The rest are covered either by the military, or some other organizational-specific system.

If you read the typical “Institutional Expat” blogs, forums, websites, Facebook groups, you may get the impression that only the Private system is any good. Or worse, that the only thing worth having is some kind of special “Expat Cover”. Baloney! (and malarkey too). Continue reading Getting Health Insurance in Uruguay – update from a major study

Tio Pepe’s Diary – Note to self: Don’t get named “Best President in World” again. Approval plummeted to 39%

Ruh-roh! Our “Tio Pepe” may have just been named “Best President in the World”, but back in Uruguay his ratings have plunged. Oops.

(Poster’s note: we’re committed to bringing you the good and the bad, the truth and the facts about Uruguay – not just all chivitos, mate, and rainbows. Plus it’s Political Silly Season in the country of our citizenship, USA. So here’s some Uruguayan politics.)

Apparently in part because he wants to legalize weed, and also perhaps due to letting our national airline, miserable little Pluna, fail entirely rather than dropping money into a bailout of an unsustainable company. At least that’s the view of the MercoPress article I linked.

However he’s still in good electoral shape, or more importantly, the Frente Amplio (Broad Front) ruling coalition made up fo at least 11 different smaller parties is still far ahead of the century-plus-old traditional 2-party-system competition:

“…if national elections had been held last Sunday, the ruling coalition would garner 42% of the vote followed by the National party with 22% (up two points) and the Colorado party with 14%, down two points.”

For those who don’t follow Uruguay politics (which means just about all of you in the world!), Continue reading Tio Pepe’s Diary – Note to self: Don’t get named “Best President in World” again. Approval plummeted to 39%

Cost of Living Uruguay vs USA

I wasn’t going to get dragged into another Uruguay costs social network discussion again, but some Facebook Uruguay Expats group members pulled me back in.

I’ll say this: There are at least three to five types of “Uruguay Expatriation” with very different costs:

Type 1 Expat. Live in a North American/English/Oceania-oriented Expat Compound (e.g. something like the Sugarloaf Development pushed by International Living). Everything you need is there, the world is gated off, and they discourage going to town. “Everything is here in The Village, why are you being unmutual?” Meanwhile missing out on the true Uruguayan life in the beautiful and affordable resort city of Piriápolis which they show on their website. In which town I could rent a 2-bedroom sea-view raised apartment for under $800 USD. Or simpler, away from the beach properties, cheaper. But the Type 1 Expat would not consider such integration.

Montevideo 35% cheaper than Boston
Comparing Montevideo Uruguay and Boston, MA, USA cost of living

Type 2 Expat. Live in a Major City or Major Resort Area, in upscale US-upper-middle-class-equivalent with a full North American lifestyle (anything based on the Expatistan cost of living calculator that factors in buying 42″TV, new VW Golf TDI, regular meals out, regular pub drinks out at “an expat bar”, regular paid entertainment – read the assumptions on it.) Continue reading Cost of Living Uruguay vs USA