Local ExPat Needs Help

Brazilian expat wishes real hard that she had health insurance
BY: ANITA BREAK

Cristina Silva Smeiska, a woman pushing hard up against 50, has been working at Click-On mailbox and computer store for almost 10 years. But for all those years she was not paying into Mexico’s tax system because, the owner of the store says, she is a citizen of Brazil. And because she was not participating in the payroll deduction system, she is not eligible for Mexico’s national health insurance program. All fine until she slipped and fell, breaking her leg into smitherines.

Cristina remains cheerful in spite of her badly broken leg.She will probably be out of work and out of income for at least three months. If she had been paying taxes, she would be eligible for disability payments from the government, but it is her misfortune to not get that, either. Her American husband, a shade tree mechanic, also works for cash, opting to not pay taxes.

So, she was pushed toward the medical plan of last resort: Seguro Popular. This is a fairly new program for those who do not participate in the government IMSS system of national health insurance. Again, the folks who use Seguro Popular are in this fix almost always because they worked under the table or not at all. (Families of workers are generously covered if there is even one wage earner/tax payer in the family). But Cristina did not want to use Seguro Popular because it’s not very good, and it’s slow, with very long waiting lines. She was told if she had waited the four weeks neccessay for the free operation, her leg would be on the road to healing, but on the wrong road.

Due to the generosity of friends, Cristina managed to raise  about $12,000 for the six and a half hours of surgery by a private doctor who stuck two plates into her leg, and she is now wobbling towards recovery. She is out of surgery, but not out of the woods.

Her boss, Jackie Alemeda, along with some friends, pitched in to find this private doctor, and to collect money for the perliminary tests and the physical therapy she will need.

But she still needs more money and is appealing to her friends, and, well, anybody, to give her more money.

Alameda has started a campaign on www.gofundme.com. GoFundMe is a crowdfunding platform that allows people to raise money for life’s events such as celebrations and graduations to challenging circumstances like accidents and illnesses.

GoFundMe allows users to create their own website to describe what they are raising money for. Members can describe their fundraising cause, the amount they hope to raise, and upload photos or video to sell their cause. Once the website is created, GoFundMe allows users to share their project with people through social media and email. People can then donate to a user’s cause through the website and track the progress of their funding. Those who donate can also leave comments on the website in support of the project. GoFundMe makes money by automatically deducting an 8% fee from each donation.

So, if you would like to help Cristina, go to http://www.gofundme.com/v9e8bk. If you want to save the 8% fee, swing by Click-On at KM 44.4 of the free road, just south of Lobster Village and leave a donation there. ,