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Old 24-04-2014, 18:17   #1
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Medical Insurance

My wife recently contracted a serious medical condition that will likely leave her disabled for the rest of her life. Although Canadian citizens covered by the Government health care system, the wait times for diagnosis and treatment are unacceptable. We made the mistake of not purchasing private insurance (not for use in Canada as it is illegal) for travels outside the country and so as a result of seeking treatment in Switzerland will face large costs ($50,000.00 to date) for her treatment. We thought that if either of us ever got really sick then all we would have to do would be to get back to Canada and we would be good. Wrong!! If you leave the country for 6 months you are not covered anyway and the state of the health care system is so poor that unless you are bleeding out on the floor of the hospital you have to wait months for diagnosis and treatment.

You can't afford to not have independent medical coverage that will cover you anywhere in the world so make sure you budget for the costs as you might not be able to afford the health care otherwise!!!!
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Old 24-04-2014, 18:27   #2
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Re: Medical Insurance

Undercutter,

So sorry to hear of your troubles. I was under the impression that as Canadian citizens, you can re-establish residency for coverage under the Canadian health care system.

As yachties, one can sometimes get travelers medical insurance in countries we visit. You're right, you do have to budget for it, not trust to luck. Kind of you to bring that up here in the midst of all the turmoil.

It's not much consolation, but life just does get in the way of our plans. Best wishes for her getting her health back and you staying healthy, too. I hope you can get the medical stuff sorted out well.

Ann
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Old 24-04-2014, 18:41   #3
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Re: Medical Insurance

Thanks Ann, I will pass your best wishes on to my wife.

Once you are back in the country for 3 months (Ontario) you are then eligible again for Public Health Care. Unfortunately, our system is in such a state of decay that the wait times are incredible. Fortunately we have the ability to acquire health care in Switzerland which is probably among the best in the world. Unfortunately, at a minimum she will be disabled for the rest of her life. The Doctor told me that the only way that we can sail is if she is secured against movement while underway as she could be severely injured from a fall or accident. Her words were "Yea Right" She is a fighter but it is breaking my heart to see such a strong woman in her condition.

We short crewed our 56' ketch together for 5 years and I have seen her do amazing things during that time. I am hoping for more of the same and we hope to get back on the water again someday.
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Old 24-04-2014, 18:53   #4
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Re: Medical Insurance

Undercutter, my heart goes out to you and your wife. I hope you are able to resolve your medical/financial issues. It's wonderful that you have each other, and hope you find happiness in the small, but beautiful, moments in your day to day life, no matter where you are.
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Old 24-04-2014, 19:18   #5
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Re: Medical Insurance

Wow.

What province are you from? Here in Ontario, you can apply for a two year extension of our health coverage, OHIP, while you are out of the country.

Then you fly home, if able, to receive coverage. You do have to re-qualify after the two year absence.......I think it is a six month waiting period. Something I still have to look into, the re-qualifying.

If you can't fly home...well, then if you don't have out of country coverage, I would assume you are screwed......

Longer Absences from Ontario - When can OHIP cover you? - Ontario Health Insurance (OHIP) - Publications - Public Information - MOHLTC

Lots to look at in the next year prepping for departure.

gunk
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Old 24-04-2014, 19:31   #6
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Re: Medical Insurance

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Originally Posted by gunkylump View Post
Wow.

What province are you from? Here in Ontario, you can apply for a two year extension of our health coverage, OHIP, while you are out of the country.

Then you fly home, if able, to receive coverage. You do have to re-qualify after the two year absence.......I think it is a six month waiting period. Something I still have to look into, the re-qualifying.

If you can't fly home...well, then if you don't have out of country coverage, I would assume you are screwed......

Lots to look at in the next year prepping for departure.

gunk
Really, When I went on their website (ohip) they say 200+ days and you lose coverage. Never saw anything regarding an extension. However the problem is that you will wait for months for adequate care unless you are a severe trauma case. We could have stayed in Canada and paid for the health care but the wait times would have been atrocious. As it was, when we did go to Switzerland there diagnosis was different than at home as we were able to access all the tests required. MRI, Biopsies, Bone Marrow tests. The problem in Ontario is that they do not have the time or resources to fully investigate a medical condition, at least in this case and as a result the bag of pills that they prescribed where worthless if not in fact harmful.

Didn't mean for this to turn political. Just wanted to give my 2 cents worth of advice and suggest that the costs of insurance coverage is cheap compared to the costs of paying for the care if you need it.
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Old 24-04-2014, 19:35   #7
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Re: Medical Insurance

Not taken as political whatsoever here. I would not want to be in your shoes at this point, I sincerely hope that all works out in a healthy and expedient manner.

Good luck and best wishes for a speedy, healthy recovery. And thank you for posting this....it will make me much more diligent in my upcoming decisions.

gunk
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