Andrew Cooke | Contents | Latest | RSS | Previous | Next


Welcome to my blog, which was once a mailing list of the same name and is still generated by mail. Please reply via the "comment" links.

Always interested in offers/projects/new ideas. Eclectic experience in fields like: numerical computing; Python web; Java enterprise; functional languages; GPGPU; SQL databases; etc. Based in Santiago, Chile; telecommute worldwide. CV; email.

Personal Projects

Choochoo Training Diary

Last 100 entries

[Computing] Okular and Postscript in OpenSuse; There's a fix!; [Computing] Fail2Ban on OpenSuse Leap 15.3 (NFTables); [Cycling, Computing] Power Calculation and Brakes; [Hardware, Computing] Amazing Pockit Computer; Bullying; How I Am - 3 Years Post Accident, 8+ Years With MS; Collaboration request; [USA Politics] In America's Uncivil War Republicans Are The Aggressors; [Programming] Selenium and Python; Better Walking Data; [Bike] How Fast Before Walking More Efficient Than Cycling?; [COVID] Coronavirus And Cycling; [Programming] Docker on OpenSuse; Cadence v Speed; [Bike] Gearing For Real Cyclists; [Programming] React plotting - visx; [Programming] React Leaflet; AliExpress Independent Sellers; Applebaum - Twilight of Democracy; [Politics] Back + US Elections; [Programming,Exercise] Simple Timer Script; [News] 2019: The year revolt went global; [Politics] The world's most-surveilled cities; [Bike] Hope Freehub; [Restaurant] Mama Chau's (Chinese, Providencia); [Politics] Brexit Podcast; [Diary] Pneumonia; [Politics] Britain's Reichstag Fire moment; install cairo; [Programming] GCC Sanitizer Flags; [GPU, Programming] Per-Thread Program Counters; My Bike Accident - Looking Back One Year; [Python] Geographic heights are incredibly easy!; [Cooking] Cookie Recipe; Efficient, Simple, Directed Maximisation of Noisy Function; And for argparse; Bash Completion in Python; [Computing] Configuring Github Jekyll Locally; [Maths, Link] The Napkin Project; You can Masquerade in Firewalld; [Bike] Servicing Budget (Spring) Forks; [Crypto] CIA Internet Comms Failure; [Python] Cute Rate Limiting API; [Causality] Judea Pearl Lecture; [Security, Computing] Chinese Hardware Hack Of Supermicro Boards; SQLAlchemy Joined Table Inheritance and Delete Cascade; [Translation] The Club; [Computing] Super Potato Bruh; [Computing] Extending Jupyter; Further HRM Details; [Computing, Bike] Activities in ch2; [Books, Link] Modern Japanese Lit; What ended up there; [Link, Book] Logic Book; Update - Garmin Express / Connect; Garmin Forerunner 35 v 230; [Link, Politics, Internet] Government Trolls; [Link, Politics] Why identity politics benefits the right more than the left; SSH Forwarding; A Specification For Repeating Events; A Fight for the Soul of Science; [Science, Book, Link] Lost In Math; OpenSuse Leap 15 Network Fixes; Update; [Book] Galileo's Middle Finger; [Bike] Chinese Carbon Rims; [Bike] Servicing Shimano XT Front Hub HB-M8010; [Bike] Aliexpress Cycling Tops; [Computing] Change to ssh handling of multiple identities?; [Bike] Endura Hummvee Lite II; [Computing] Marble Based Logic; [Link, Politics] Sanity Check For Nuclear Launch; [Link, Science] Entropy and Life; [Link, Bike] Cheap Cycling Jerseys; [Link, Music] Music To Steal 2017; [Link, Future] Simulated Brain Drives Robot; [Link, Computing] Learned Index Structures; Solo Air Equalization; Update: Higher Pressures; Psychology; [Bike] Exercise And Fuel; Continental Race King 2.2; Removing Lowers; Mnesiacs; [Maths, Link] Dividing By Zero; [Book, Review] Ray Monk - Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty Of Genius; [Link, Bike, Computing] Evolving Lacing Patterns; [Jam] Strawberry and Orange Jam; [Chile, Privacy] Biometric Check During Mail Delivery; [Link, Chile, Spanish] Article on the Chilean Drought; [Bike] Extended Gear Ratios, Shimano XT M8000 (24/36 Chainring); [Link, Politics, USA] The Future Of American Democracy; Mass Hysteria; [Review, Books, Links] Kazuo Ishiguro - Never Let Me Go; [Link, Books] David Mitchell's Favourite Japanese Fiction; [Link, Bike] Rear Suspension Geometry; [Link, Cycling, Art] Strava Artwork; [Link, Computing] Useful gcc flags; [Link] Voynich Manuscript Decoded; [Bike] Notes on Servicing Suspension Forks

© 2006-2017 Andrew Cooke (site) / post authors (content).

Chilean Health Insurance (AUGE, GES, ISAPREs, etc)

From: andrew cooke <andrew@...>

Date: Sat, 17 Nov 2012 09:08:17 -0300

This is a note about Chilean helath insurance and long-term illnesses (like

If you are reasonably well-off in Chile then you probably have private health
insurance with an ISAPRE (eg Banmedica).  The cover provided is described in
your contract, and varies with company and plan (price), but is typically
intended for "unpredictable" expenses - sudden illnesses, emergencies and,
usually, pregnancy.  This may include hospitalisation, investigation (exams)
and treatment in the hospital.

But an ISAPRE plan is much less likely to cover medication taken outside of a
hospital.  This means that long-term support for illnesses like cancer,
multiple sclerosis, etc, is typically not covered by an ISAPRE.

However, there is a separate, state-enforced plan, called GES (previously
AUGE) that covers many of these cases.  You can read a good, simple
explanation of GES at
(in Spanish).

The GES provides several "canastos" (baskets), each of which has a fixed
price, and each of which can be bought monthly - effectively placing a monthly
price ceiling on the contents.

So, for example, there is a canasto for long-term medication that costs approx
$200.000 CLP a month.  Assuming you gain access to GES (which means being
diagnosed by a doctor associated with the plan) then you can access any of the
medications in that canasto (assuming you have a prescription) for a month,
for that price.

In Chilean terms this is not cheap - it's about the same as the minimum wage -
but it is significantly cheaper than paying for the medication directly (in my
case Beta Interferon costs about $800.000 CLP a month).

Other canastos cover things like emergency treatment related to the diesase.
But if you have an existing health plan then these may also be covered by that
plan.  In such cases you need to carefully consider the alternatives.  In my
case, for example, it may make more sense to use my existing health plan for
hopsitalisation since it pays for a significantly nicer (more expensive)

Disclaimer: I am no expert on this; the above is simply what I have learnt
over the last few days.  If you do not have insurance with an ISAPRE you may
have soething similar with Fonasa, which is the state-run equivalent.  They
may have different prices, I do not know.


Price Correction, More Details

From: andrew cooke <andrew@...>

Date: Thu, 22 Nov 2012 21:00:09 -0300

[This is an updated version of an earlier reply, which contained further
errors - I am learning as I go along...]

I had the prices wrong above - Betaferon is about $1.000.000 CLP a month, and
the GES charge is only $120.000 CLP.  So it's a better deal than I said.

More details on exactly how you get the drug follow.  This is for insurance
with the Banmedica ISAPRE - details are going to differ for others (for
example, I suspect the Cruz Verde pharmacy is part of the same group as
Banmedica and that is why I need to go there).

Anyway, I got a prescription from an approved doctor (at the same time as she
confirmed my diagnosis) and gave that to the ISAPRE (Banmedica).  Within 48
hours they arranged the GES and I was able to buy the Betaferon from the Cruz
Verde chain of chemists (only) where I paid the GES amount.

Not any Cruz Verde worked - it had to be a "special" one (of several).  I
don't know what they are called, or how you know which they are without
asking, but it also had a nurse in attendance (the one I used outside the
Piramide del Sol, in Providencia, opposite the Tobalaba metro entrance).

Since the drug shouldn't be above 25C you need to get it home quickly and into
the fridge in a Santiago summer (cooler and ice packs work fine, and the
chemist privded me with ice packs for free).

Also, Cruz Verde don't really have a clue how the drug is used (nor does the
nurse, although she was smart, friendly and competent enough to say so,
thankfully).  What you need to do is call Bayer (56-2-5208200 from and arrange for a nurse to visit.  I didn't do this til
the afternoon and had to wait til next day, so you might want to plan ahead.
Anyway, the nurse comes and shows you how to do everything.

The box of drugs comes with a booklet that also explains what to do and is
very clear (except that the area on the arm is at the back, which I did not
find ckear from the diagram), so you could also follow that.  BUT the nurse
brought a spring-loaded automatic injector thing that makes life easier - that
and having confirmation that you are doing everything right makes the nurse
worthwhile (especially as it is a free service!).

And the injections are easy to do and don't hurt much (didn't feel one on my
leg at all; did feel a prick and burn on my stomach).  I had flu symptoms with
the first - we'll see how I react to the second in the next few hours...


Comment on this post