“No health insurance?” A shake of the head.

The pedant in me wanted to point out that we had chosen to self-insure rather than buy the health insurance policy offered to us. However, I felt it best to nod.

Alien Registration

In order to live in Cyprus, it’s a legal requirement to obtain a Certificate of Registration, and to get one of those, one needs, amongst other requirements, health insurance.

We were asked to undergo a medical examination, where we both discovered that our heart rates were low. A surprise, since we had both been having regular medicals in the UK, and I wear an Apple Watch and therefore have a lot of heart data to hand. We had been sent to a specific Doctor by the insurance company, and it was clear to me that his role was to generate exclusions – improving the risk profile. He did a great job, excluding multiple conditions, and a weighting factor was going to be applied to the price. The Premium for the two of us was going to be, shall we say, “x”. We are in Year 2, so would have paid “2x” to date. We did not take the policy, rather taking the “immigrant policy” which only covers emergency treatment.

Back Troubles

Margaret is being treated for a problematic back. As I type, she is in bed, recovering from a complicated four hour operation on her spine, at a private hospital. The operation was a success, and fingers crossed, her recovery will, in 6 weeks or so, be complete. The total cost is expected to be “4x”. As per the picture, she is being nursed by Spice.

Of course, this is an over-simplification. The insurance premiums would have increased one year to the next. Certain treatments or tests may have been excluded. Mags had experience mild back pain in the past, so who knows what the underwriter would have made of that.

However, in broad terms, if Mags and I do not require any further private treatment over the next two years, then we will have broken even or be marginally better off than had we taken out the insurance.

Does this mean that self-insurance is better value than commercial insurance? Not necessarily. None of us has a crystal ball. I don’t rule out us taking out a policy in future. However, self-insured, we had no excess and no exclusions. Obviously – we only spent money when we needed to, rather than annually.

Almost heretical to say so – but some times it makes sense to self-insure. If funds are available, then self-insuring is a realistic option.

Whatever the choice, it’s always a gamble.