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Old 12-09-2017, 12:17   #1
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Question health insurance?...

Hey!

I am getting ready to leave the USA and begin a trip to sail around the world with my 2 dogs, cat, and boyfriend (and friends as our crew!!)

We are wondering what the heck we should do about health insurance?
We are all SCUBA divers, so have the DAN insurance,. if we upgrade to the Preferred Plan, is that enough? Do we even need it?

Next, and more importantly -- I have prescription medication that I really can't go with out..... any suggestions on how to get it for the next 3 years or so while I'm gone?
PLEASE HELP

Thanks,
Hannah
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Old 12-09-2017, 12:26   #2
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Re: health insurance?...

Several members here feel strongly that boat and liability insurance is a rip off and one is a fool to pay for such insurance if they just operate their boats carefully. Perhaps they feel the same about health insurance. Just be careful and you won't need to see the doctor or hospital. I'm sure they will be along soon with their reasoning.

As for your medication, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This isn't the first time this situation has come up and it won't be the last.
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Old 12-09-2017, 12:41   #3
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Re: health insurance?...

You need a "prescription medication concierge" (that's just a euphemism for a drug dealer):

https://www.expatps.com/



USPS/FedEx etc state that prescription meds can only be mailed/shipped by DEA registered distributors.

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Old 12-09-2017, 13:06   #4
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Re: health insurance?...

The surprising thing is that the rest of the world has health care too - not all doctors and nurses work only in the US. So unless you have an extremely rare condition, health care just about anywhere will take care of you. And in many places it doesn't cost nearly as much as in the US.

As for prescription medication, doctors and pharmacies also exist in the rest of the world. It may be easier to continue your supply from the US, but consider whether you want your medicine sitting in a poste restante box in some distant post office for a month or more?

Regarding your dogs, there will be many countries that will not allow them on shore. Are you sure you want to do that to your dogs? North America is considered a rabies zone, so many island nations (think the entire South Pacific including NZ and Australia) won't allow them. Cats have the same issues, but are generally more suited to life 100% on board.
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Old 12-09-2017, 13:18   #5
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Re: health insurance?...

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Originally Posted by fxykty View Post
The surprising thing is that the rest of the world has health care too - not all doctors and nurses work only in the US. So unless you have an extremely rare condition, health care just about anywhere will take care of you. And in many places it doesn't cost nearly as much as in the US. ...
This is also our healthcare plan.

Most countries offer excellent health care services at a fraction of the cost found in the USA (and even Canada). Our plan is to pay as we go for healthcare costs for every place except the USA. It would be nuts to go there without additional insurance.
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Old 12-09-2017, 13:30   #6
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health insurance?...

Adding to fxykty, when traveling internationally you should not have any issues finding acceptable doctors and hospitals in any but the most remote locations. And it will be significantly cheaper that that of the US (probably the most expensive in the world). If you have special prescription needs, stalk up in advance; know the generic medicine you require as other countries may have a different name for it.

If you want the assurance of insurance then check into the limitations of DAN. Only you can assess if its 'enough'. There are insurance company's, not many, that will provide full travel and medical coverage worldwide on an annual basis (we have such a policy; approx $800 pppy).

My wife has advanced asthma and we have been cruising worldwide for 3 years and this hasn't been an issue. She stalks up and we have always found the medicines in most countries. And its soooo much cheaper than in the US. And added value: the clean airs of the ocean have done her wonders - the best medicine!
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Old 12-09-2017, 15:13   #7
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Re: health insurance?...

Guys as someone who makes his living from emergency care and aeromedical evacuations I certainly do not recommend traveling anywhere without suitable evacuation services and medical expenses cover. Even drop your boat insurance before you consider this.

I deal with a lot of this and believe me yes it's not USA prices but for example in South Africa a bypass following a heart attack will set you back at least $50 000. I have seen cerebral malaria cases run bills of over $100 000 ( even then you might not survive). Aeromedical Evacs can cost $50000 to $100000. And they are required should you have a major illness in a remote location.

Don't leave without it if you value your families and your lives.

Sad to say even repatriating a body home can cost $10 000-$15 000
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Old 12-09-2017, 23:26   #8
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Re: health insurance?...

Whem it's my time to go wherever I am I hope I'll have the grace to accept it, no way is anyone spending hundreds of thousands prolonging things.

Airlift evacuation indeed, crikes the egotism boggles my mind. . .
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Old 13-09-2017, 00:05   #9
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Re: health insurance?...

Time to go is one thing John

But it's entirely another thing being in a hospital bed with a broken Pelvis for example in excruciating pain being fed paracetamol for pain (because that's all they have got) with no way to get out of there.

I am not talking about day to day Meds as I agree they are cheap in third world countries and in most you can buy any antibiotics over the counter with no scripts etc.

It's the big stuff in remote areas that's scary
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Old 13-09-2017, 00:23   #10
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Re: health insurance?...

I've spent many decades very far from what many call civilisation, most of my life without grid electric, much without running water.

And never with the resources to be "rescued" beyond what was available to the locals.

Even now stateside I doubt if I or my family would get the same level of quality care that would be available in the rest of the (more what I call) civilised world.

You make your bed, and then you lie in it.

But that's just me, an outlier I admit.
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Old 13-09-2017, 02:35   #11
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Re: health insurance?...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
This is also our healthcare plan.

Most countries offer excellent health care services at a fraction of the cost found in the USA (and even Canada). Our plan is to pay as we go for healthcare costs for every place except the USA. It would be nuts to go there without additional insurance.
Agree. Your new lifestyle will be your best health insurance.(As long as you don't eat too much high glycemic.)
Don't listen to the fear mongering health professionals marketing their products.
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Old 13-09-2017, 02:41   #12
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Re: health insurance?...

Health insurance, is not available in our location for any price. I was, however, able to find very affordable expatriate insurance through Cigna. We have a very high deductible, which makes it essentially like catastrophic health insurance with coverage up to $2m.

Although rwidman does not like to acknowledge the fact, there is a difference between not wanting insurance and not being able to buy it. See this thread and this thread for evidence of his recalcitrance and accusatory stance.
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Old 13-09-2017, 03:00   #13
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Re: health insurance?...

having done 3 rtws without medical insurance I want to chime in with my 2cents worth too:
consider your age first & foremost! we were young, insurance wasn't financially viable for our budgets, so we gambled - & won. apart from a broken toe in Curacao, dermatologist in Papeete, dentists in the Canaries, Panama, Fiji & Oz, gynäcologists in Grenada, Curacao, Panama, Papeete & a birth in Raiatea we needed no medical care. could have turned out differently though...e.g. a caesarian in Raitaea would have set us back plenty...!
imho the statistics would show a skyrocketing need for medical attention for most from 50 upwards...
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Old 13-09-2017, 03:01   #14
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Re: health insurance?...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DumnMad View Post
Agree. Your new lifestyle will be your best health insurance.(As long as you don't eat too much high glycemic.)
Don't listen to the fear mongering health professionals marketing their products.
most doctors would disagree & say that your genetics are your best insurance...& there isn't all that much you can do about them...
& as everybody is partial to anecdotal evidence:
friends with a sailing "career" very similar to ours, similar rtws, similar lifestyles on board, same age, also voyaging-during-pregnancy - the lady sadly succumbed to cancer in her 40ies: rapid growth detected during a stay in Chagos, visit to doctor in Maledives, flight home from Mayotte...lost the fight here in Austria...
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Old 13-09-2017, 03:08   #15
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Re: health insurance?...

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most doctors would disagree & say that your genetics are your best insurance...& there isn't all that much you can do about them...
Exactly. And most dieticians will say fresh fruit and vegies will work wonders. Endorsed by medical researchers.

Edit; of course one could say good sense is your genetics and hence good health is genetics.
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