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Letter: There are alternatives to the Affordable Care Act tax penalties

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Posted: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 12:00 am

This letter is intended for people of Lodi and the surrounding area who can no longer afford health insurance and seek alternatives to Obamacare’s consequences. This is just one of various options.

Unfortunately, everyone is forced to pay tax penalties if they do not buy insurance for their own reasons. There are some exceptions.

I have in the last six years spent three to four months each year traveling throughout Thailand to become familiar with the customs, culture, laws and to discover if it was safe to travel here. I also wanted to determine the quality of health care so if any medical concerns came to be, I could get quality treatments by professional providers of care.

One of the exceptions in Obamacare, to avoid the tax penalties of having no health insurance, is granted when one lives out of country for six or more months per year. I have explored this possibility in Thailand and here are the results:

One age 50 and older can buy a comfortable condo, have 24-hour maid service, pay for food, clothing, utilities and basic costs of living, and buy an international policy covering your health care in Thailand and for accidents in USA all for less monthly cost than the premiums you would pay for the platinum plan in Obamacare.

Imagine living in a tropical paradise near world-famous beaches for six months, and back to USA for the remainder of the year — even if you only have $2,000 of retirement income.

But what about the health care?

Recently, I was hospitalized in Thailand for 48 hours for severe pain. I had a series of tests, including but not limited to ECG, blood panel, X-rays and urinalysis. I was visited by a physician on eight occasions, had round-the-clock nurses and received six prescribed drugs to treat what I was diagnosed with. Results were outstanding. After discharge, I noticed a dental center there in which I had a crown installed by a quality, gentle dentist. Final bill was $598.88 for dental and medical services.

Thinking outside the box can bear fruit. Many countries are suitable. Pick one and investigate the possibility.

Darrell Baumbach

Acampo

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