Tag Archives | inflation

Health Care Costs in Argentina

Sister and BrotherWhile public health care in Argentina is free, most people who can afford it choose to go with private healthcare plans. Under private insurance, there is a much wider range of doctors and specialists available and less of a wait for services.

Private health care costs vary widely based on age, family size, plan options, etc. For a single person in their twenties, you may be able to find a plan for $800 pesos per month. One popular plan, OSDE 310, is available for around $1500 pesos per month. And yes, tourists can sign up for plans as well though terms seem to be 6 month minimums.

I thought it might be interesting to graph and show what my family of four pays for medical insurance. We have a mid-tier plan with a division of Swiss Medical, which is fairly comprehensive, but does not include free plastic surgery (yes, some higher plans include this).

The charts below show our insurance costs from January 2012 through today. First, here is our monthly cost in pesos:

And the same chart in USD at the blue rate:

As you can see, there is a huge increase in our peso cost. Our healthcare plan went from $2,334 in January 2012 to $5,474 in December 2014 – a 135% increase in three years! (Note: we added my son in August 2013, so that may have added some cost.)

However, in dollar terms, we went from U$S 542 in January 2012 (official rate and blue rate the same) to U$S 408 in December 2014 – a 25% decrease!

Unfortunately, most people live their lives in pesos, so health care costs that are increasing at least as quickly as Argentina’s sky high inflation are a real source of concern. I wish I could add more commentary to this post, but I am by no means an expert on this topic. I’d love to hear from others in the comments on their own experiences.

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How Bad Is Inflation In Argentina?

Inflation in Argentina is terrible. Ever since the government allowed the peso to devalue on January 24, prices have risen dramatically. Even those who have dollars cannot keep up as the blue rate has not kept pace with inflation. Argentina is well on its way to hyperinflation.

Living here, we see price increases on a daily basis, but one of the most striking examples we have seen recently comes from our favorite sushi delivery place – Oi Sushi (really good sushi in Buenos Aires is hard to find). Take a look at their menu from February 2014:

Oi Sushi Menu February 2014

And now the menu we just got in March 2014:

Oi Sushi Menu March 2014

Yes, as expected prices are higher – from 9% to a whopping 34% more!

What’s most interesting though is that they decided not to print prices on their new menu – every price is filled in by hand. That’s a lot of extra effort, but saves on the cost of printing a new menu every month. That’s crazy!

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Time To Lock Up The Cheese

File this one under “Only in Argentina.”

Looks like with all the inflation in Buenos Aires, shredded cheese (queso rallado) has hit $70 pesos a bag and this grocery store is worried about it being stolen – bags of shredded cheese have had security tags installed on them.

Expensive Cheese in ArgentinaI’m not quite sure what’s to prevent someone from tearing these tags off though – it is just a foil bag, right?

- Hat tip to /r/argentina

 

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