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Comment : Re: Hang in there!
Posted by Luis on Wed 8:29am 3 October 2001


I'm glad you're enjoying my writing. I also find very interesting to see what is like the medical system in USA. I've read very different situations here. Sometimes people have been treated very fast, but I remember one case where the accidented person was sent to surgery 2 weeks after the accident, because of problems with the insurance company!!!!
I find this quite incredible. Now it's been 18 days since my accident and surgery, and I can't imagine what could it be to stay waiting 2 weeks with the broken leg....My surgery ended 5 hours after I had the accident. Quite fast.
Here things are better if you have money....or your think you can get it later!! :)
When I entered the private hospital (the best in Santiago), I was asked for a "blank check" as a guaranteee the hospital will get the payment later.
Checks here are always honored. I've always found very strange that in USA they're not very popular. It also seems to be that checks take a lot to get clear (for what I've seen buying through internet, at Ebay or online stores).
Here checks clear after 24 or 48 hours, depending on the city where they are issued and the city where they are paid.
If someone pays with a check and it's found later it doesn't have enough funds, then the person is almost immediately put in a national database called "DICOM". If you're in that database, you won't get credit cards, any credit, won't be able to open bank accounts....nothing...your're just finantialy (spelling?) quite dead. Paying with checks without funds is also a crime, but people are more worried about this database.

Well, after I left the hospital I was given the total cost for the operation and given the special treatment of paying with a check dated 40 days later. This practice is also very popular. You can pay now with a check that has as date 1 month past, or any date. The date doesn't matter legally, people can trade them at the bank the very same day the receive them, but no one does it. It's a matter of trust. So I paid with a check dated november 10th, and I have to get the money by then.
Now I'm waiting to get paid by the insurance company(not health insurance). This is because, in order to be allowed to drive any vehicle, we have to get an insurance. It's the law.
After I get this payment (it won't cover all medical expenses though), I'll have to go to the health insurance company, they will pay some other part (acoording to my medical plan), and then I'll go to my company's medical insurance, to get some other part. Then I'll see what is left to pay and that will be my final cost :)

Well, I think I wrote quite a lot today about the system here in Chile ::)

Best regards,


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 Wed 8:29am 3 October 2001
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