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kimanjome

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About kimanjome

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  1. You guys have been SO helpful. Gosh, you'd think "they" would come up with a simple plan to eliminate all this bureaucratic nonsense. Again, I appreciate your efforts in helping me understand it all.
  2. Thanks! That's what it is. Question: Are these "Medicare approved charges" set at a lower, negotiated rate? Like with my private Blue Cross health Insurance, a visit to the physician is "normally" $150, but Blue Cross negotiated a deal with my network, so all I pay is $35-, which is the "co-pay". My CBC lab work has a "rack rate" of $750, but BlueCross negotiated a deal with the lab, so all I pay is like $43.12 or some crazy number. But if my husband used his Medicare Part B to visit my doctor and have the CBC, he would pay $30 for the visit, and $150 for the CBC, correct? And, should he have to go to the hospital for some emergency that costs $80,000 "rack rate", he would have to pay 20% of that--Medicare doesn't negotiate to bring it down to a reasonable level? Why would someone want that type of plan, instead of an Advantage Plan?
  3. Prior to moving to Mexico my husband had a Medicare Advantage plan in Florida, which I believe was United Health Care, kind of like a PPO/HMO. Then we moved to Mexico and had our mail forwarded to Texas, and hubby was unenrolled in the United Health Care Plan and put on "regular" Medicare. He pays like $125? $140? a month. Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't this basic, bare bones Medicare (not sure what it's called) only pay 80% of everything? So if he needs heart surgery that costs $500,000, his share would be $100,000. If an MRI costs $6000, then my husband's share would be $1200. Are these Medicare patients charged "rack rate" or are they charged negotiated Medicare rates? I'm wondering why someone would have that type of regular Medicare plan, unless they were forced to, like my husband, because he is out of the country. We need to go back to the US for some tests for an extended time and will be living with my parents in Florida, so my husband will want coverage for whatever is most beneficial--would that be to re-join an Advantage Plan, or keep straight Medicare?
  4. Why on earth would someone build an evento? Seriously, they don't make much money....you could make as much with a cow pasture, for God's sake. And there are already places for sale that can house evento-type venues. All I can think of is some landowner decided to do something with his/her lot, to make some side cash. They would be better off building multi-family housing and renting to expats, or an ALF or something that pulls in decent income, like an RV lot. But an evento????????? I give it a year, at best.
  5. I've had 2 surgeries here in Guad. Private, top-notch hospitals that look just like the US facilities. Surgeons who trained in the US. Both with excellent results. Doctors' services were impeccable and fees were reasonable, as were lab tests, etc. Where you have to watch out is the hospital itself--some charge much, MUCH higher room and operating theatre rates than others, US prices? Learned this on my own experience and speaking to others. I was told to have on hand the names of a couple of decent, fully equipped upper-end hospitals but not the top luxe one or two. And find the best doctors. Ask around.
  6. Windscribe in the past, okay. Then ExpressVPN, but too many of their servers were being "discovered". Now using IPVanish, tolerable. I don't think any VPN is perfect, occasionally you will have to change your server, as you will get "proxy detected" notices on your device. I keep my VPN on the Dallas server, to match my Laredo billing address. Note that whatever VPN you use on each individual device, your internet speed will decrease substantially. Six months ago here in San Antonio we were having speeds of 2 Mbps down, .09 up, sitting right next to the modem. When using a VPN the speeds dropped to around 1 Mbps down. Now (for whatever reason, probably an influential Mexican neighbor) all our Telmex street cables were replaced and our internet speeds range from 45 to 51 Mbps down, and 10 to 15 up. That is a massive jump. I speed test frequently using a variety of testing services, and all are in the same range. Note that when I have my VPN active, however, my speeds drop to about 15 Mbps down and 3 or 4 Mbps up. Still perfectly good enough to watch Netflix and browse my US banking sites.
  7. Pets very easy to relocate and adjust well to new surroundings. Teenagers=not so much.
  8. New federal laws about the cohetes. Now cohetes only allowed to be sold by the churches, and set off between 8 am and 9 pm, or something like that. Of course, the law hasn't been completely enforced (no need to piss off the parishioners) yet-- and even so, what is the poor priest to do, rush around trying to find the culprits in the dark, wee hours? However, it appears Chapala is now beginning to move towards enforcing the law, poco a poco, per the insistence of the head honchos in Guad. These things can take years and years, but progressive Zapopan regs slowly trickle down to other areas, as the percentage of educated, middle-class Mexican populus grows.
  9. Just want to add my 2 cents. Internet from Guad to Tijuana, then entered the US through the other end of the building, it's called Cross Border Xpress, and a $12- fee. Incredibly nice US border agents. The flight I took both ways was Interjet, came to $68 round trip. All in all, the cost was less than $100. Once on US side of the airport terminal, you can hail a cab, Uber, or get a rental car. Weather in San Diego area always perfect. Pleasant day, cool 50s at night. No super heavy clothing needed. SAT my second choice.
  10. Mt dad was the head of the meat department in a chain of grocery stores in New England. We always had the best meat, despite my mother's terrible cooking. I remember my father bringing home big pieces of beef and letting them age in our cold-ish basement, prior to the holidays. I was always concerned about the meat going bad, but he explained to me how the ideal temperature kept it "safe" and the enzyme activity created very tender meat. Sometimes we look back and realize just how much we learned from our parents--my dad taught me a lot about handling knives and how to cut, carve, and cook meat correctly..
  11. I'm in lower San Antonio near the lake, where folks have been ecstatic when a steady speed of 2 mbps download speed was achieved. About 6 months ago we noticed speeds at about 9 mbps down and 0.5 up. I just checked and I'm showing a whopping 36.2 down and 9.99 up. These are averages from several different speed tests.
  12. Looking for a sofa and loveseat combination in decent condition. Of course I will pay $$, not asking for a freebie. Can be leather or textile. Overstuffed, contemporary. or transitional style. If textile I would prefer something that is more transitional, because I will use slipcovers to cover it, a la Pottery Barn. Thanks.
  13. Does anyone who uses Sol y Luna know if personal photos can be shipped (free) to our Laredo box? If so, is there a limit? My elderly parents want to ship about 100 photos to me to scan for their digital frame. I guess I could pay the minimum $12 USD customs fee, if necessary....for a manilla envelope filled with family pictures.
  14. I asked this question of our contractor, when our (tiled) pool was being installed 2 years ago. First: NOB we use cement/concrete/gunnite to line the pool because it is cheaper. A tiled pool NOB would be double the price of a normal pool. VERY high-end homes or spas will tile their pools. There was an article a couple of years ago in Architectural Digest which was about Mexican master pool-tilers being flown into the US to tile some 5+ million USD estates. Second: durability. As my contractor explained, pool tiles are durable and incredibly long-lasting. A Mexican builder--who turns up his nose at the way US homes are constructed, with drywall and cardboard interior doors--is of a mindset that if something is built, it should be built to last, to withstand earthquakes and various other forces of Mother Nature. True, construction in Mexico may be wonky, and crooked, because everything is built by hand. Nevertheless it is generally built with longevity in mind.
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