Save $11,055 on Obamacare

January 14, 2015

By: Bobby Casey, Managing Director at

save thousands on obamacareOver the holidays, I was in the U.S. visiting family and friends. One of my stops was a close friend that lives in Washington, DC (a.k.a. “Belly of the Beast”).  While in DC and discussing healthcare costs with my buddy, I had an epiphany. Living outside the US saves me enough in healthcare costs to afford a round trip plane ticket from Europe to the US every month.

Costs have really gotten out of control. Everyone I talk to seems to have really gotten the shaft from the “Affordable Care Act” – unaffectionately known as Obamacare. I have yet to hear a story from anyone claiming to have either saved money on healthcare costs or improved the quality of their plan.

Contrast that with my personal example:

Just a couple of weeks ago, I renewed my health insurance for another 12 months.  In Latvia, you must have health insurance that covers major catastrophes in order to become a resident. Considering the low cost of healthcare here, I went with a high deductible plan that only pays once you meet your deductible. There are no co-pays, no 70/30 or 80/20 rules, no pre-existing condition requirements, and no provider network restrictions. My deductible is a flat 10,000 euros (about $12,000) per year. I pay it all up to that point. After that, I provide the insurance company data and they pay the rest from there. Simple.

My annual premium is a whopping 38 euros (about $45). Yes, you read that correct. My ANNUAL premium.

“How is the quality, cost, and timeliness of healthcare in Latvia?” you may ask. It is quite good. Every doctor, dentist or hospital I have visited has been very clean, professional and has the latest equipment. Doctors and nurses are well-educated and very efficient.

In fact, a few months ago, I had an excruciating tooth ache. It started out bad and after a couple of days it felt like Thor, son of Odin, was banging on my tooth with his hammer. At midnight on a Sunday I decide that enough was enough. I called a taxi and told the driver the address of the emergency dental clinic. Once I arrived, the receptionist gave me a form to complete. After about 15 minutes I was called into the dentist’s chair.

Emergency root canal.

For someone who has never had a cavity, this sounded about as pleasant as having an emergency castration. I won’t sugarcoat it. The root canal was unpleasant, to say the least. I’m pretty sure the dentist touched my soul with his needle. However it was relatively quick – about 20-25 minutes. When finished, I was presented with the bill. 50 euros. Yes, I paid 50 euros (about $60) for an emergency root canal at midnight on a Sunday.

It will take a long, long time to reach my 10,000 euro deductible at that rate. My best guess is that in the US, you would pay around $1500 for the same procedure.  After running through the Obamacare website, it looks like I would pay about $1000 per month for health insurance in the US. That is an annual cost of $12,000. Considering I pay about $45 per year now for health insurance, that leaves me with a lot of money to buy plane tickets. Of course, the cost of insurance is just one factor. Even with a $12,000 annual premium, I would still have a $5000 deductible, plus the cost of all the copays.

In case you are wondering, if you are a non-US resident, you do not have an obligation to meet the Obamacare requirements. You do not need to provide proof of health insurance in the US or suffer the consequences of fines. You are free to choose your own $45 per year plan… and save 10’s of thousands per year in healthcare costs.  Reason # 1,683 I don’t live in the US.

10 thoughts on “Save $11,055 on Obamacare”

  1. Bobby: This is Brian, former host with ORN. I am hoping to get you on my current radio talk show to discuss this health care article. I am “Live” M-F, 10am-Noon, [EST]. Reach me through email and we can follow-up that way.
    [email protected]

    Thank you in advance.

    Brian T.

  2. Great article, good points. But those with no medical/dental knowledge should stick to the health insurance discussion. Bobby, don’t fret the cancer. A dead tooth is just that – inert.

  3. Excellent article Bobby, but shhhhhh, we don’t want everyone coming over here. Estonia is exactly the same. Smart, fair, and high quality. Look, I was paying about 15k a year for health insurance for a family of 4, that came with a $5000 deductible before any coverage started, lots of co pays, etc. It sucked. Not to mention that office visits in general cost 1000x more there then Estonia. Quality of care? I imagine most people think of a goat stall in Borat’s backyard, that’s the ignorance we as American’s and Western Europeans have been spoon fed. I have had the “pleasure” of taping into the health are system in the US, UK, and Estonia, and hands down the best is Estonia. London hospitals are sub par, 3rd Worlds truly. The system is so broken it’s not funny. It cannot last. America is holding on by a thread, and the care is mediocre often or non existent, and always carry’s insane fees. So like you, as a non-citizen I am required to purchase insurance there, major medical, never have I used it but my premium is still only about $600 per year, that’s for the cadillac of insurance. You’re right, I could cut that way down to like $45 and now that you have reminded me, I will. The fact of the matter is the few times I have been to a Dr. there, I paid out of pocket, and the cost was negligible in comparison with the US. I didn’t have to sell one of my children to pay for it. It’s like night and day, and real savings, not pennies on the dollar. Quality of care is excellent, even the government run hospitals. It shows that something that can work in a country that has it’s shit together, more or less, like Estonia or Latvia, can actually make a national health care system work, and keep costs down in general, while providing good care. Go figure. Great article, thanks. KK

  4. Bobby,
    Looks like a good plan. How does one sign up for this plan if they don’t live in US? I pay 1288 euros per year.

  5. Dear Bobby, despite the low price, a root canal is probably one of the worst procedures you can have done. It is toxic. What has essentially happened is that you now have a dead tooth in your head, harboring bacteria that will be pouring toxins into your body for as long as you allow, often leading to cancer. Root canals are roundly condemned as toxic and damaging by all the non mainstream health practitioners. Might consider reading up on this. Point your search engine to “root canal, alternative health” and expect to be at your computer for many hours. Good luck, you’ll need it.

      1. Dear Bobby, I know what the point of the article was and it is a good point as far as it goes. Another way to beat Obummercare is to stay healthy, wherever you are in the world. Following holistic health practices will save you huge amounts of money in the long run, usually in the short run, too. This is not to criticize you. The dental/medical professions love to keep everyone in the dark about how unhealthful and expensive their barbaric cut/poison/burn baloney is. In your case, I wonder if there weren’t herbs (clove oil) that would have cut the pain enough for you so that you would not have been begging for a dentist to do something, anything. It’s tough when you’re in pain, I know. But I can assure you that avoiding a root canal would save your health in the long run and therefore money.

        Let me give you an example. A friend said she had painful, swollen gums at a moller. She went to the dentist who said she would need gum surgery. I had one word for her: f’getaboutit. Told her to go get a waterpik, found in every drug store in the US. Put a few drops of Dr. Schulze Tooth and Gum in the water, turn up the pressure as high as it goes and use the waterpik every night for 3 months and you will never need gum surgery. The first time she used the waterpik, out from between her tooth and painful gum came a popcorn hull that has been lodged there for months. It was the irritation that had lead to an infection. She has used the waterpik every night since and never went back to that quack of a dentist.

        I suspect that you could have saved your tooth by, at the first hint of pain, completely avoiding all sugar and breads, taking cod liver oil and vegetable juicing. How many dentists would tell you that? It’s your diet that caused your cavity that lead to the pain and then root canal.

        I know I’m straying off your topic, and I don’t expect you to post this since it isn’t in keeping with your mission, but just wanted to let you know. Good luck.

        1. Mary,
          I’ve never had a cavity in my life. The tooth was actually broken at the top and an became infected that way.

          I tried several natural remedies before going to the dentist. I was in pain for many days before going to emergency dentist. The last day was the final straw.

          And I don’t censor any replies unless they are directly offensive or spam.

    1. Good point @Mary, I recently found a local holistic dentist that will not even do root canals. From what I as a lay man understand, the problem is that you clean out the bacteria/infection then fill it was something else, now if the infection comes back, it doesn’t drain out your gums, instead can go right into your circulation/body and you don’t know why you’re not feeling so hot or that this is happening, it’s beyond your dentists reach since he’s not going to do a jaw canal.

      Lots of people have them and go on living so just something to be watchful for and I’m not an expert, so you’ll want to research this with a holistic or biological dentist who doesn’t do root canals to find out why.

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