After having already lived in Colombia before coming this time, I knew that this was the most crucial part of my insurance that I needed. Public hospitals here are really terrible so paying hundreds of pounds for health insurance which only covers you for the public care is no better than having no insurance in my book. After much investigation, I ended up paying for a few months of regular travel insurance with Debenhams who said that they may (or may not!) cover private hospitals and it depends on the type of injury. They said when an incident arose, that I, or someone in my family, should call them to clarify whether I can be treated in a private hospital or not. Now, this is less than ideal as if I am alone and get run over, no-one will be able to call to check this, but it was the best I could find.
I now have a better solution for ex-pats that I didn't realise was an option before I left. My boyfriend's dad works for Coomeva, one of the best private health insurance companies in Colombia and, a few weeks into my arrival, he told me that I could sign up for a plan through him. I pay $80,000 (£22) a month and can be treated in any private hospital/clinic in the country, have elective blood tests and check ups, and am covered from small illnesses like tonsillitis, right up to serious accidents, without having to claim anything back or go through difficult paperwork. Had I known I could get the same insurance as Colombians without the need for a cédula (ID card) or anything, I never would have bought the insurance from Debenhams.
So, for any ex-pats planning on coming, or any already here, if you want this insurance you can get in touch with me (click on the 'Contact' tab at the top) and my boyfriend's dad can set it up so easily and can even give you a discount. All I had to give him was a copy of my passport. Problem solved!