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Old 05-02-2009, 17:31   #1
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Health Insurance while cruising?

Anyone have any leads on health insurance while out cruising? Mine is now more than my mortgage!! Our health is ok, but being without insurance is always a gamble.

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Old 05-02-2009, 17:36   #2
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Originally Posted by mestrezat View Post
Anyone have any leads on health insurance while out cruising? Mine is now more than my mortgage!! Our health is ok, but being without insurance is always a gamble.
The consensus on this board and others leans toward going without if full time cruising out of the US.

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Old 05-02-2009, 19:32   #3
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Originally Posted by Therapy View Post
The consensus on this board and others leans toward going without if full time cruising out of the US.
I don't see any such consensus. I would certainly look into international coverage, depending on your age, health, and financial situation. There are many plans to choose from. Unless you are very wealthy (and if you were, you probably wouldn't be asking the question), a serious illness could mean financial ruin.
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Old 05-02-2009, 20:36   #4
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Basic treatments can be had for cash. Most countries operate a decent medical system but it's based on cash in advance. Locals without cash usually are left to alternative treatments. They don't do as well. Boating accidents are not uncommon so the host of broken bones and nasty cuts and other assorted trauma injuries are something no one is immune from.

If you need specialized treatments you'll most always need to travel to another location. You'll more likely need a policy that can pay you back since service is mostly cash in advance until you get to the most civilized locations. It won't cover travel unless you get a specific evacuation policy. If you are in the same hemisphere those policies can be had at a reasonable cost. Even if all you have is a way to bail out and a place to go it could be part of a solution.

Many don't carry any insurance health or otherwise. Friends that left just after 9/11 got back a year ago and have been catching up on delayed health care for the better part of a year with minor surgeries and extended tests. The revenge for being away cruising 7 years often causes the disease that has no cure - age. You can lead an active and healthy lifestyle and still get older and have problems to deal with. These are people that were never sick and just suffered the serious problem of turning 50. We usually have a few stories each year where the husband has a heart attack and ends it in a short span of time. Being away does not accrue extra health.

Health care has to exist in a spectrum of solutions. From the first aid kit all the way up to an emergency evacuation. I don't think you can really assemble a single policy to cover that. Some things beyond just the most basic you need to be able to treat ASAP and then seek extra help. Your first aid skills should be expanded to include more than you do now. You can go through several of the Red Cross courses locally. There is a lot of information here already on those topics of how to prepare for more first aid training.

A good understanding of your current health is clearly something required. Finding a way to get an annual physical isn't such a bad thing either. You can be proactive and should be when out away from most of the world.
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
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Old 10-02-2009, 17:11   #5
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If you will be outside the USA for 6 months or more, go to the IMIS website and get a quote on international medical insurance. The website is IMIS Online Services , then scoroll down to the medical plans.
IMIS - Int'l Marine Ins Svcs
please enter "Susan-CF" where it asks how you found out about IMIS
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Old 11-02-2009, 07:19   #6
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I believe that some people rely on evacuation insurance to get back to their home country for major medical problems. Here is one option from DAN:

"As a DAN Member, you automatically receive DAN TravelAssist and up to $100,000 of evacuation assistance coverage. Effective for both diving and non-diving injuries, this benefit is provided by AIG Travel Assist, a world leader in emergency evacuation services. Your evacuation coverage begins when you are traveling at least 50 miles/80 km from home and call DAN TravelAssist to arrange your evacuation."
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Old 16-02-2009, 11:59   #7
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health ins while cruising

we've found health ins in the us to be a big's ridiculously expensive, usually has high deductibles, doesn't cover many things and usually requires you to have medical proceedures only in the us---which is really crazy considering the cost of proceedure outside of the us. we do just the opposite of the DAN program: if one of us gets ill or has to have surgery, we scram out of the us to guatemala, nicaragua or costa rica. there, medical "tourism" is big and one can easily find highly qualified doctors who actually care about you, the patient, not just w/ lining the pockets. my cataract surgery in guatemala was $270---not the $3500-4500 quoted here in fla. my root canal/post implant/crown was $400 in nicaragua---not the $1500 in the us. after years of paying in to the insurance "system" and never having a claim, my wife had to have thyroid surgery. she flew home from belize to have the surgery in the us and the total bill was over $20,000---of which WE had to pay about $5k due to deductibles and uncovered proceedures (nurse anesthetists and physicians assts. were not covered). you are right about the chance of getting killed financially w/ an unforseen catastrophe---you just better be out of the us if it happens.
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Old 16-02-2009, 12:04   #8
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Get your heath work done out side the US. Many/most are US trained. Far far cheaper. Just pay cash for the best healthcare. Maybe cover a super high deductible for the big C or something like that in case you might want to come back to the states.

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