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Everything posted by MikeB

  1. Have you used it in the phils and did they do direct billing to insurance or did you have to pay upfront and file claims? That would be the downside to using a foreign company. The insurance company will often say a hospital can direct bill them but it's up to the hospital, not them.
  2. OP - if you're still looking...I had Blue Cross Philippines which is now Pacific Cross. From memory my last year in the phils I was your age and paid $1200 or $1400 yearly for in-patient coverage. This was one of the top plans, there are many. It goes up quite a bit when you hit 66. It was a so-called "dollar plan", the premiums are calculated in US dollars, don't know why. I was in a bad accident in 2011 and they paid virtually everything. Child had an illness that required brief hospitalization and that was completely covered. Both times insurance rep came to hospital and got billing straight. I believe the pre-existing stuff basically goes away after a year but you would have to read the fine print. Imo, you would be wise to keep the Medigap coverage until you have a local plan.
  3. OP is going the other way, from phils to us. Whole different scenario.
  4. Here is the procedure I wrote up in 2016 that covers a lot of what you need. The 2 links are still good. The Philippines is considered "high risk" for both rabies and screwworm so you need to have the shot record for rabies and a statement from your vet that the dog is free of screwworm "within 5 days of entering the US". That last bit proved to be a pain, I think we had the vet pre-date the letter. I'm not sure they even enforce the screwworm requirement but I would have it. Take proof of current rabies inoculation and a statement from your vet that certifies the animal has been inspected and verified free of screwworm (within 5 days of departure) to the Bureau Of Animal Industry and they will issue an Export Permit which gets the dog on the plane. The airline might also require a statement from the vet that the animal has been inspected and found to be in good general health. These documents should also get it through US Customs (according to the CDC website). There are no microchip or Titer blood test requirements for the US (as there are for many EU countries) and no quarantine provided you have the docs and the animal appears healthy. http://www.cdc.gov/importation/bringing-an-animal-into-the-united-states/index.html http://www.pettravel.com/immigration/unitedstates.cfm
  5. OP - I believe it cost maybe $250-$300 total in 2016 to get our dog to our destination and that includes the cage we bought at SM, the vet paperwork and the export permit. The "Export Processing Permit" they are charging $100 was less than P1000. I don't remember the exact amount but it wasn't more. Granted that was 4 years ago. You can easily find out that by calling the Bureau of Animal Control at the airport. You can definitely get an airline-approved cage for a lot less than $140. The cargo area where the pets fly is climate-controlled. At the time Korean had an excellent reputation for handling pets based on many reviews I read. We supplied water and food with the cage and they gave them to the dog. Our options were limited because we flew out of Cebu and Korean was the main one going to the US at that time. Bottom line, you can save a lot by doing this yourself but you have to do your homework. Do some googling and get some more recent experiences if you can.
  6. Not allowed and the cage has to fit under the seat and be big enough so it can move around some. Put him/her in cargo in a large cage. From memory Korean charged $200 to transport the dog from phils to US. American was going to charge an additional $125 to let us carry her on the domestic but the DFW ticket agent got the supervisor to waive that since we had already paid Korean. I'm sure it's more expensive now. I checked into a couple of the companies that transport pets for a fee but it was too expensive and less hassle to do it ourselves. Good that you're taking your pet with you!
  7. We brought our Shih Tzu, which is a snub nose, from Cebu to the US in 2016. You have to check the carrier, we flew Korean Air to DFW and American Air to Tampa. There was a weight restriction for in cabin on both airlines as I recall. The dog flew in cargo from Cebu to US with a stopover in Inchon. Korean is restricting snub nose dogs from the cabin now but it looks like they can still travel in cargo. American was the opposite, they restricted it in cargo but you could carry in cabin which is what we did. We got it through customs and just walked it on the domestic flight, no one even knew we had a dog. It wasn't bad really just make sure your shot records are up to date and have all paperwork. You need an "export permit" from the agency at the Philippine airport to get it on the plane, no big deal. Wife went back 6 months later by herself and brought back the cat. Homeland security gave her a hard time but could be because she wasn't yet a US citizen. Swabbed the inside of the cage, the whole bit.
  8. I've found Filipinos to be generally observant and talkative. I lived in a fairly small town ~70k population. I kept a low profile. I didn't take trikes much but when I did before I could tell the driver where I was going he would usually say, "Oh I know where you live already". Armed with a few personal details I think it would be relatively easy to find a foreigner, especially those who use their real first names on social media.
  9. Jeez, I remember you tasked that to me, spent days working on that thing. But that was almost 10 years ago, I doubt any of it would be relevant now. There definitely wasn't a covid section. Oh well, dust to dust....
  10. The article is based on a study by Columbia University scientists, partially funded by the National Institute of Health and the National Science Foundation. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.15.20103655v1.full.pdf
  11. Sorry to hear. I never met him but I read a lot of his posts and blogs through the years. And videos, he posted so many. I don’t think he was very old but he was one of the real “old timers” in Philippine forums and blogs. Was around from the beginning or damn close. Was a member here, probably still is. RIP Big Jim.
  12. A couple years ago I had the same, wouldn't connect or would take forever. Sometimes changing server helped. Finally called support and after checking firewall, etc they said I probably had old vpn connections in network connections. Sure enough there were a couple old tap connections from previous installs. Disabled and removed them and all was fine.
  13. I don't blame him a bit. MYOB! You'll live longer.
  14. I'm not sure what you're referring to, I'm not aware of any program that moves people to govt payroll unless it's unemployment benefits. I read the UK has something like that. You can be "furloughed" by a private company and kept on payroll but there is no obligation to continue benefits. Loss of job and income is bad enough but losing your employer-based health insurance on top is devastating. You are usually covered until the end of month so millions of those laid off workers lost health insurance on April 1, May 1, etc.
  15. Ah, my old friend and fav SML. At $32 - $38 USD per 24, prohibitively expensive on this side of the world. At least for me - and a long drive to an asian store in Tampa to boot. It's a little early here but Cheers, JGF! And same to all previously-deprived and thirsty expats!
  16. I just watched a 2 min video preceding the part I had seen before when the cop first shows up and tries to reason with him. A drunken, obnoxious a_h. So yeah, he deserved it.
  17. Well, I wouldn’t call any place that institutes an alcohol ban “paradise”. And come on DH, don’t the police in Canada throw foreigners on the ground and arrest them for having the audacity to question their authority when they storm their private property because the maid and gardener aren’t wearing their masks? I know, it’s THEIR country, I get it. Besides I ALWAYS gave the Philippine politicians and pulis exactly the respect they deserved. “Because the cops don’t need you and, man, they expect the same” is a concept I lived by long before it was written down. But it might be time to relax that alcohol ban.
  18. "The ITIN program was created by the IRS in July 1996 so that foreign nationals and other individuals who are not eligible for a Social Security number (SSN) can pay the taxes they are legally required to pay." - https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/facts-about-individual-tax-identification-number-itin And by doing what they are legally required to do their entire family is excluded from the stimulus benefit. I've read a number of articles about this but I haven't seen anything that attempts to provide a reason or rationale for excluding the benefit to an entire family because one member had an ITIN. If they did somehow admit it was a mistake (not something government agencies usually do) I would think it would need to be made retroactive to at least the 2008 stimulus checks which also excluded so-called "mixed status" families. Millions of dollars (+ interest?) would have to be repaid, in many cases to estates. It would be a logistical nightmare at the worst time. I hope I'm wrong but I don't think it's likely to happen.
  19. Yea, I agree. Makes no sense whatsoever. We were in the same situation when we lived there so I empathize. There is precedence though, the 2008 stimulus checks had the same exclusion so this is not new. I signed the petition, hope it helps. Regards.
  20. Well, I just got an update on what the Cignal billing problem was (still is) and thought I would come back one last time to share it. My wife messaged the local Cignal people in Argao through Facebook and they responded. They said to disregard the bills (as if I wasn't already). The people who moved into the house we were renting got Cignal as well and the account name and information has not yet been changed in "the system" yet. That was over a year ago. I was right (for once). I could have called and emailed for years but good ole FB came through. Gotta love it. Au revoir, everyone!
  21. I don't believe they're cross-checking with the US embassy and I never said that all the US was interested in is financial security. They required the NBI clearance and some other stuff, really can't remember. I consider the line of questioning about going out at night to be highly inappropriate. Let's leave it at that. .
  22. If it's an honest open question why wasn't it asked in the common language of English, which we all understood and how we started off, instead of Cebuano slang between the kabayans? If you bring your spouse to Aus do they ask you if she screws around and drinks before deciding to grant him/her residency? Maybe so, I know nothing about Aus immigration. They don't for the US visa, I've been through that one. It's almost 100% financial requirements. Anyway it wasn't just that it was a lot of things. And since I left, like most others do (eventually), it was a waste of time and money. The point is that it's not a one-size-fits-all, whatever suits your situation.
  23. 62 years 5 months and twenty-odd days. Not being a smarta$$, that's really how long it took.
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