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Old 07-02-2011, 12:29   #1
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Health Insurance for Canadians

hello, we are wondering what heath insurance plans Canadians are buying for extended time abroad(ie. more than 6 months). thanks
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:54   #2
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diama, if you are sailing in the Caribbean, I would suggest that you don't need any. There is excellent, low cost (or in some cases, no cost) health care available in Grenada and Venezuela. For example, as at December, 2009 you could get an ultrasound with radiologist report the next day for $15.00 in Venezuela. Inter-island flights are available quite cheaply, although of course, you could always get a cheap flight back to Canada.

Cost for a significant procedure? Several years ago a friend of mine incurred serious spinal injuires in a motorcycle accident on Isla Margarita. She was taken by ambulance to a local hospital where, after a Catscan (and a second opinion from a Canadian doctor who received copies of the report) it was determined that surgery would be required before she could be safely flown home. She was transferred to an orthopedic hospital where surgery was performed by a US trained surgeon who spoke excellent English. She needed 3 further days in hospital to recover. Her total bill? $1500.00! (And upon her return to Canada the orthopedic surgeon she consulted here could find nothing to criticize about the surgery).

Yes, there are risks associated with carrying no insurance. However, in an article a few years ago in Cruising World magazine, some American cruisers who had insurance found it cheaper and less of a hassle to pay out of pocket for some procedures in Trinidad and Venezuela, than to deal with the necessary forms, referrals and deductibles on their policy.

Brad
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:21   #3
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Here's where we get ours.

Trust this may be of assistance - https://www.kanetix.ca/travel-insurance
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:55   #4
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thanks. the Kantix site seems useful for time we will spend in the US. American medical costs are beyond understanding. We read with interest your post Southern Star. We have sailed without insurance before but many try to convince us we're crazy. Your itemising of some medical costs is illuminating and your reservations about insurance plans concur with things American friends have told us
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:08   #5
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Keep in mind that your Ontario coverage is good for a few months. I have heard that the best thing you can get is Medivac insurance...they fly you and your busted or scalded arm or leg (the most common cruiser malady) back to Ontario and then you get treated on the province's dime.

I know more than one traveller (not cruisers, mind you) who received sub-par medical care abroad that resolved as complications and a measure of disability. Both of them wished they had got on a plane with a gutful of codeine and had been treated by Western doctors.

Just something to consider. A great deal depends on where one is when injured or taken ill. Cuba is supposed to have very skilled doctors, but very little in the way of current drugs or equipment, for instance.
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Old 09-02-2011, 05:52   #6
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diama, if you are spending considerable time in the US then yes, I would opt for additional travel coverage/medical insurance.

Cheers!

Brad
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Old 16-02-2011, 09:00   #7
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I like medi-vac insurance too. Policies vary according to how many miles you must be from home, what constitutes an emergency that flies you home, i.e. Canada (rather than to the nearest acceptable facility) and whether next of kin can accompany you on the flight if that is your choice.
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