Shawn, where do you plan on cruising? If in the Gulf of Mexico
, the Caribbean
or South or Central America
, you will likely be within shuttle flight distance of places where health care
reasonable. There are numerous people who have purchased, at considerable cost, coverage and have found that their deductibles exceed the cost of health care
in some Caribbean
, for one (although if you plan on returning to the US, you would be banned from using their health care; but also Grenada
(which has the medical school
of the University of the West Indies and an up to date teaching hospital) and Venezuela
come to mind.
has both public and private hospitals and even at the latter, costs are incredibly low. A friend of mine and his wife had a motorcycle accident
on Margarita Island 5 years ago and had to be transported by ambulance to the hospital. Both were x-ray'd, he was treated with a neck brace and pain killers. She, unfortunately had fractured vertebrae. An MRI was taken and she was transported to an orthopedic hospital where surgery was performed. She was stabilized for a few days and then she was able to fly back to Canada. A Canadian Orthopedic Surgeon who reviewed the surgery said that they had done an excellent job; she recovered fully. The total cost, including ambulance for both? $500.00USD.
There have been numerous articles in the last couple of years in Cruising World etc. which give more current
and similar examples; one sailor had received a deep wound that became seriously infected. As I recall
he attended hospital on a Sunday - the wound was cleaned and samples of the infection taken. Due to the seriousness a specialist was called in on Sunday night. After the cultures were analyzed, it was determined that he had a rare infection that could only be treated by a particular antibiotic. He received an IV boost of the same and was released with a prescription for oral pills to follow up. As I recall
, he received change from his $50.00 deposit.
Other examples? As of a year ago, an ultrasound with radiologist report cost under $15.00. I could probably find the cites for the articles (or some of them), but the point is that health care in some places is so inexpensive that, even for a foreigner, that costs are cheaper than any form of health insurance, let alone the insurance plus deductibles. Travelling without heath insurance does pose a risk; that being said, unless you are suddenly struck with a catastrophic injury/condition that does not permit
you to travel, even by air, you will always be within range of inexpensive, quality health care if you are cruising in the Caribbean.
With respect to Canadian health insurance coverage out of the country, I know that Ontario's plan (and they vary province by province) has drastically reduced the coverage for people travelling outside of Canada. Even Canadians are now advised to purchase
additional coverage when travelling abroad.