Thursday, 26 September 2013

Private health Insurance

With a new born and a step son I have had to think more carefully about the whats and ifs for the whole of the family. As with the cost of most things rising health care is one thing I am always worried about. After the birth of Jeremy, the scare in month 4 and some other hospital visits, the one thing more alarming than the service and standard of health care is the cost of the care provided and the fact that deposits and guarantees have to be put down first before care is provided.
10 million for a case of dengue, 20+  for the birth and care of Jeremy and Yovita and the money has to come from somewhere and well, the savings are not bottomless. So lessons learnt and fingers burnt, I set out to find a way to help sort out any concerns in the future.

We paid a visit to the man from the Pru
At the end of the day, this is not England where healthcare is free and given and the worry is removed until you need to buy the prescription or medicine. Here everything costs. My major concern has been the fact that what will happen if someone is sick and I don't have enough up front to pay straight away so I have been looking for a company and a policy which allows me to show a card or a piece of paper and everything gets taken care of. And finally through a good friend and a recommendation I now have just that.

I will mention Prudential once or twice as I have opened an account with them for all and this means that each month I pay them money and should the kids get sick then I am assured and insured enough to know that they will cover the bill.
The scheme is a long term saving/health cover scheme or in simple terms life insurance and this allows me to save for the boys futures as well over the years.
The payouts are after 15 or more years and the sums will help them with their futures which is another useful thing.

The monthly amount paid is split into savings and health cover with the majority in the health cover. The health cover then allows for a more 'generous' if thats the right word, amount of cover and care. Shared room, doctors visits, operations, medication etc are now all covered and for as long as it is needed. However this being insurance there is a ceiling on cost. So, for example if we choose to mover Jeremy to a private room, then I have to pay the difference between the shared and the new one. This is OK for me. There is also a daily hospital allowance which can reimbursed which again is plus.
VIP room in an Indonesian hospital; bed, shower, TV, Fridge, hot and cold nurses and machine that goes ping
What is not covered is the trips to the doctor for minor ailments and medicine, which I am sure I could have had if I had spent even more money, but we are OK with that. Jeremy is currently costing a million a month for his inoculations and they will soon slow down and finally stop....

So it all sounds shiny and rosy. I actually hope I never ever have to find out if this actually happens. Peace of mind is the most important thing.

Back to the process. Through the agent we discussed the costs and implications, looked at the projected figures and health coverage. So we signed up and waited for the coverage to start. For my step son, Belvan he has to wait 90 days to be 100% covered due to the restrictions in the policy and pay the full amount. We received his health card 3 weeks after we paid for it, which was a little annoying but what can we do. The agent was not the quickest with this but it meant we have just over 2 more months to wait for him to be fully covered.
For Jeremy, because he is a new born, Prudential won't insure him for anything until he is six months old ( November ) and so for now they will through reimbursement cover the cost of the hospital bed only. With just over 5 weeks to go to him being 6 months old that is nothing to worry about. At 6 months he gets his health card.
Jeremy's hospital, YPK Mandiri Theresa in Menteng is great but not cheap
To make matters more complicated, and hey aren't they always, I am the named parent for Jeremy only and Yovita is for Belvan. I could not be for both due to the rules and regulations. This means 2 separate policies and clause and costs. Yovita had to provide supporting documents which could only be emailed to the insurer and then they spelt her name wrong, despite it being written in triplicate because they took her name from her ID card which was a scanned copy. That policy document is being rewritten.

Mine, well. Being western makes life more hard. I have had to provide, passport details, visa details, photos, Police book details, employer guarantee letters, all in various forms of copy (mainly photo or pdf). But eventually everything was approved.

Quite a long saga. But it is over. I have peace of mind (hopefully) with the main point of this being that I really hope I never have to use the insurance and the boys continue to grow up healthy and happy.

Health insurance in Indonesia is a developing and new choice but I think overall I chosen correctly and I have been looking for a long time. There is not a lot of helpful information out there to help choose, especially if you are expatriate or clueless like me.

If you are looking for insurance for belongings then that is an even more of a challenge to find and sort out. Luckily for me, Yovita works in insurance and so she sorted that out quickly and very easily. The health insurance is not something that her company deals with.

So the next things to insure? probably, me and the bike.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

5 years later

Its a minor celebration for me this week as my blog; Jakarta News celebrates its fifth year of existence and it is still going strong. How many personal bloggers can say that?

5 years on, 270 posts, visited by people in over 170 countries with over 64,000 page loads, it is work in progress. With the arrival of Jeremy, my time and priorities have changed and so I am currently writing less which does irk as I find writing my ramblings most enjoyable but Jeremy is the only thing that truly matters;
Still I wont be giving up just yet. 
The small party I had to celebrate taken with an Edwardian Filter. Amazing results
The rest of this year will bring more posts and I am sure that there will be plenty to talk about. I am as ever happy to share my thoughts and feelings and photos about most things and if there are any willing guest bloggers do let me know as I am always happy to have some new content and perspectives on here.

So thank you dear readers for stopping to have a look at my blog, I would be honoured as ever if you could or would comment on what you see. 

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Recently in Jakarta

As usual I have not been up to much recently concentrating mainly on Jeremy at the weekends and working morning to night through the week so I have been, am and will continue to be rather tired.

Jeremy turned 4 months and he is now able to turnover, crawl a little, grab and hold on for dear life, produce the most exotic smells with green poo, recognise and smile at those he sees daily. He can scream at ear splitting volume not because he is hungry or grumpy, this is when he is happy. He enjoys babbling and burbling along and playing with his toys and dribbling over everything and is fun to be with.
The latest check up at the doctor was good and he is doing well if not a little over weight, but no one is concerned about that yet.
He likes being on his front now so he can crawl more
He does not like crowds but then who does but he never cries much in taxis or out and about in malls or anywhere else. He is out growing things he has and has moved to M in nappies with perhaps into L next month. Being allergic to some things which we are not entirely sure of what, he is on Hypo Allergenic milk which of course is not the cheapest and they only do small tins so tha'ts that. Hopefully after 6 months that will change.

Getting to work has been a lot easier at the moment, as I am having to be there by 6am so I can then get to the teachers house by 6.30am, change and leave for school where I teach. This means my journey in the morning is cut by 10 minutes due to the traffic at 5.30am being lighter.
After 4 years the bikes battery finally died and so for a tenner it was replaced and everything is good with the old dream machine again. A service is due soon but I should wash it first but I think the service is more likely.

The rain has been holding off apart the odd small shower and so the days are dry and dusty and humid. Nice when there is a breeze. Often there is no breeze. The city's plants are starting too look a little dead and the roads whilst dry have even more cracks and holes in them. There does not seem to be anyone fixing them. The holes are getting bigger and the drains are getting blocked by the dust. As soon as it rains for an hour here the city is going to grind to a spectacular halt, like it does every time. The river near EF is now very low which means the mud is above the water line and drying out, so the smell is something to truly behold. Some engineers cleared out a load of debris and built up soil to make the river run clearer but the debris is back and flowing ever slowly to the ocean.

The price of food and fuel does seem to be getting more expensive. Fruit and Veg in the supermarkets as most is imported into the country is over priced and the local stuff outside is cheap but not too good. Mango season is not yet here but it will be happy days when it is. The local store across the house sells almost everything I need for my weekly shop in one form or another. The old man down the road kills chickens and butchers some animal in the morning should I get brave enough to buy from him (I won't) and eggs are 19,000 a kilo or just over a pound. A kilo of eggs this week is 16 eggs. Great. Oil, rice and sugar are cheap as well so I do wonder why we need to go to a supermarket. I guess it just feels better.
The local store is down there behind the red cover honest.
And then I was given a gift. A camera. Not just some normal camera but a top of the range, need to sit and read the manual for this one, 20 megapixel state of the art, best pictures ever camera which is all singing and dancing. We are very happy. My old Sony camera has had a relapse and needs to be repaired. It lasted 7 long years and endured, glaciers, the sea, sand dunes, freezing weather, boiling weather, boat rides, motorbike rides and constant use. I hope this Sony lasts as long. Now I just need to get out and about and use it, that will be soon.

This camera is awesome.

So, just recently busy not busy. I leave you with my last tale of a busway journey. I took the bus home on Friday night much to my colleagues and the wifes surprise as I was in a building at Slipi and at 7.45 did not want the driver to take me home as it would take too long. I was going to take a taxi but I saw a TransJakarta bus go by empty so I hot footed it to the nearest  busway shelter and then took the bus to Pancoran. That cost me 3,500 rupiah and 30 minutes. In this empty bus an old man sat next to me and started to sleep and snore. When the bus stopped he woke and picked his nose and then went back to sleep until I got up to get off the bus. 30 minutes of memories never to be forgotten....

Friday night traffic heading east out of the city

Sunday, 8 September 2013

St Ursula School, Jakarta

Working as a teacher in the city has its moments, some good some bad, some pleasant and some not so pleasant. However luckily for me I can say that the majority of experiences I have encountered through English First and teaching there for the past 6 years have all been positive ones.

I have recently been working in a Catholic School in the middle of the city called St Ursula. It is  a Catholic school and is next to the Cathedral and it is run by nuns although the teachers themselves are not. The school has 3 levels, elementary, junior high and senior high. Elementary classes are mixed while all Junior and Senior High school glasses are girls only. That means sometimes you are faced with a class of very excited and very opinionated girls who need to know constantly what is better, boys bands or K-pop!

But enough of the that, what  is really impressive are buildings and the environment that the place has. The school is at least 140 years old and the majority of the buildings are Dutch Colonial buildings with high ceilings and big doors and beautiful grounds. With the Cathedral spires as a back drop and the minarets of the Istiqlal mosque as well it is a great place to be a student and a teacher.

The outside and car park

 Inside the Elementary School and grounds with the Nunnery Building and Cathedral forming part of the courtyard walls.


The entrance to the school from the car park with its with its covered walk ways and well tendered gardens

A stained glass window from 1912

Luckily these are private grounds which means they can't be used for pre wedding photos or open to tourists and visitors. However that is a shame as well because the interior of the school is beautiful and so well looked after. I have a feeling there are more of these places hidden from view in the city. Juanda, Harmoni, Jl. Veteran all contain lots of old colonial buildings, its a real shame that they are not opened up once in a while for all to see.