Innoculated and Insured

Definitely Not

Definitely Not

Tonight I am feeling nigh invincible.  Well, not really, but there are certainly fewer bugs that worry me.  We are all Hep-A-, Hep-B-, Typhoid-, and Tetanus-proof.  We also have scripts for anti-malarial pills that make us more susceptible to sunburn (if you can imagine!) and spare antibiotics for the often-prophesied trots.

We spent some time recently at Travel Health of Williamsburg.  I whole-heartedly recommend this clinic, as where else will you get not only your travel vaccinations, but over 2 hours of destination-specific guidance, Q&A, and a 50 page report guaranteed to make you re-think your desire to see foreign lands?  Nurse Hooper was helpful, a straight and steady hand, and even fielded our requests for paperless versions of all documents so we could carry them with us electronically.

Changing the subject and coming down from that high, we have also just rounded up our medical insurance plans.  What a mess!  Cobra is basically extortion of the highest order, so we decided to call up President Obama – as I was sure he would be staffing the ACA lines, ready to answer our questions.  He was unavailable, so we dealt with several layers of often conflicting guidance from the Healthcare.gov staff.  In the end, here is our plan:

  • Pay for ACA coverage for the month of August while we are still in the US.  Cost: $605/month. Deductible: $13000.  Go ahead, read that again.  This is clearly the “I can’t otherwise afford insurance, but I’ve got $13k in reserves…just in case…plan.”
  • Leave the US (and it’s high-cost insurance) Aug 31 and rely on our coverage from Allianz, supplemented with a plan from IMG.
    • We chose the Classic Plan with Trip+ from Allianz, which covers everything from loss of luggage and cancelled flights, to $50k emergency medical/dental and $1M emergency medical transport/evacuation for $654 total.
    • The IMG supplement is a world-wide program that includes the US and China, but does not meet ACA mandatory requirements (no maternity, for example).  The setup is basically the same as the ACA, but with a lower deductible ($10k) and a price equivalent to around $125/month.
  • From somewhere in the Himalayas, register for the ACA during the next open enrollment period, since returning from 7 months overseas to a new, self-employed job with no benefits and no real income yet is not a qualifying event for new coverage.  Try to only pay for 1 unneeded month (March) before we get back.  Again, $605.

This whole ordeal is a huge mess, but I think we have to be insured.  I guess I am more risk-averse than you would expect of someone whose plans include spending 3-4 months in places where few people will speak our language, and where sit-down toilets (with paper) are apparently yet to be discovered.  – ALaff – 7/29/15


Shots: $796 since the kids were basically fully armored already.  Note, however, that none below were covered by the exorbitant amount we already pay for insurance…

  • Typhoid – $75 each x 4 ppl
  • Hepatitis A – $90 x 2 adults
  • Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis – $65 x 2 adults
  • Hepatitis B – $60/round, 2 rounds each to cover the trip x K only 🙂
  • Administering costs – $66 total

Pills: $210

  • Antimalarial (Doxycycline Monohydrate): $140 for 90 pills x 4ppl
  • Antibiotic (Azithromycin): $70 for 10 rounds of 6 (10 Z-pak equivalents)

Insurance for 8 months (Aug-Mar): $3485 or ~$435/month

  • ACA August ’15 – $605
  • Allianz – $654
  • IMG – $1621
  • ACA March ’16 – $605


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