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Another Reason to Love Sweden: Today I went again to the pharmacy, to pick up the prescription I had dropped off on Tuesday. They had sold out of the medicine I needed that day so I had to come back. Because I had requested to fill the last 2 months of the prescription (normally, they only let you fill one at a time) due to the trip to the U.S., I had to show my travel itinerary as proof that I was actually going to be out of the country and therefore unable to wait.

I had another reason for wanting to get both months worth now, though. My högkostnadskort expires next week and I'll be back to paying full price for prescription medicine. If you have one of these healthcare discount cards you pay only up to a certain amount (900 kronor for healthcare, 1800 for prescription medicines*) in a 12-month period and after you've reached it you pay NOTHING. With each purchase, the discount increases as well, so you pay less and less over the course of the 12-months. Your "free card" can last up to a year after your first purchase (if that first one is a hefty one). Medicine for children and spouse is counted for the same card.

2 months ago, when I stopped by the pharmacy, the medicine I was buying cost me 19* kronor. Last week, I picked up some salve and allergy spray and it was 16 kronor. Today, the 200 pills I picked up: NO CHARGE.

I can remember complaining about the high taxes here (income tax is nearly 50%) the first few years of living here, because living in a socialized country means that education and healthcare is cheap, and often free, especially for children. But my argument was that I wasn't in school and I was healthy so I wasn't going to benefit from the high taxes I was paying until later, if ever. Never in the case of education, actually. But in terms of healthcare...I suppose it's already starting to pay off.

***

Don't need an appointment for the Embassy in Copenhagen, we just have to show up (BOTH of us) with Karin in tow. So we're taking the morning off work one day next week to hop the train over the Öresund. I have Karin's expired passport, the form filled out, the photos taken, the stamped, self-address envelope purchased, her U.S. Citizen's Report of Birth Abroad certificate in the folder and the credit card ready to pay for the whole damn thing. What I don't have? Her Swedish personbevis, literally "person proof," which is a sort of birth certificate form that you order from the Swedish Tax Office. I ordered the damn thing last Monday. It has yet to arrive. I called Skatteverket today to ask if they could mail me one tomorrow so it would get here in time, by next Monday. No, she said, it doesn't work like that. So, if it doesn't arrive tomorrow I have to go by the nearest office and pick one up there.

Once we get to the Copenhagen Embassy, they will process all the paperwork, accept our payment and send everything to Stockholm. Who will in turn process the paperwork again and send it all TO THE STATES. Changes of getting back the passport before March 30th when mailing time over the pond is usually a week? Well, time will tell, won't it. Fingers crossed. Thumbs held.

***

Tickets were purchased today for the trip to the States! I'm SO EXCITED! e11en! Bluepoppy! Kathey & Russell! E-mails heading your way this weekend with dates/questions, etc. :D

*At today's exchange rate: SEK 900 = $128. SEK 1800 = $256. SEK 19 = $2.70
 excited
mood: excited
music: Joan Armatrading—Drop the Pilot


Comments

Congrats on the ticket purchase and good luck with Karin's passport.

Thanks for posting the bit about medicine/health care...I think it really really pays off when you get elderly as well, or just get a turn of bad luck with illness, which could happen to anyone anytime really.
I get so sad nowadays when people in Sweden don't know how to appreciate what they've got.

Having a child or a elderly parent in hospital doesn't put you in debt in Sweden...

You are so right. I've been lucky to be so healthy so far, but I was already over the grump when I got pregnant. The healthcare services for pregnancy/delivery and childcare are just fantastic in Sweden.

(Anonymous)

Yippee! I've already invited a bunch of family to my house for Easter!!! You had better warn Russell and Kathey!!! But there's lots of floor space and I have blow-up mattresses! Love, Lizardmom - still doing Happy Dance!!

Hmmm, I wonder if having your husband and kids count on same card is different from kommun to kommun or län to län maybe. Because it's not that way here. I tried getting Robert some medicine using my card and they wouldn't allow it, I had to pay full price.

I think it is, and it's also different for what amount the card is good for. Apparently in some kommuns you only pay up to 400 kronor!

Hmmm.. I guess that my boyfriend got his personbevis via Skateverket's website. I'm quite sure that you can print it out yourself if you've got personnummer.
hugs

(Anonymous)

You can order it from there, but not print it. You order it from the website and they send it to the address you are "folkbokförd" at. I guess this is to ensure it's actually YOU asking for it.

I have ordered my share of personbevis recent years to get myself a new identity card (my old one expired 2004!!!), but then I never get around to get the actual card. I use my passport for identification instead. However an identity card would be more convenient - easier to carry around, in your wallet... Silly me. :)

/Mia

http://mias.blogg.se

My first ID card was lost somewhere in Moscow, probably on Pizza Hut! I had to report it missing when I came back to Sweden. My second ID card expired in 2003, but since I have a driver's license it fills the same purpose so absolutely no need to get a new ID. In the future, the various passports, ID cards and driver's licenses may change format, function or integrate into eachother, so we'll see what kind of identification one needs then.

Nope, you can only order it, and then it claims it will take "a couple of days" to come in the mail. It's making me nervous!

(Anonymous)
can't wait

woot! woot! woot!

~bluepoppy

I bet you're sooo excited. I hope Karin's passport arrives in time. Where are you going to be besides Chicago?

Won't even be in Chicago. Waaah! :( We'll be outside Port Huron (about 1 hour from Detroit) and then I'll be just outside of Boston for the last 2 weeks of April. :)

(Anonymous)

Yippity skippity! You're coming to America! (James Brown moment.)

~Sam

Yippee! Now I shall start wishing for great spring weather. :-)

Yes, please! I reall don't want to deal with heavy winter clothing and sudden spring blizzards while I'm there! :D

Order the personbevis again online. It may have got lost in the system as I havce honestly only ever waited 2-3 days for one to come.

You can print off some personbevis yourself, but you need e-legitimation for that and while your daughter is pretty computer savvy, I doubt she has got one yet :)

Have a wonderful trip! And stock up on that green pea soup to make delicious pie floaters :)

It came today! yay!

HipHip you-ray! When do you leave?

April Fool's Day. Hrm. I wonder if that is good or bad? :P

Good. Definitely good.
: )

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