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Old 17-02-2012, 11:20   #1
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Researching Health Insurance

We currently are live-aboards. By the end of the year, if all goes well, we plan to sail to the Caribbean for the beginning of retirement. My husband is of the right age to use Medicare, however I am not - I'm three years short of full retirement.

I would love to hear from those of you who are knowledgeable about the availability of good affordable health insurance for cruisers.
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Old 17-02-2012, 11:51   #2
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Re: Researching Health Insurance

Welcome to CF, snoggo.

Sorry, but Medicare doesn't cover you outside the U.S. You'll need to buy a policy. Try using the custom search feature in the link in my signature line. That should bring up a number of past threads, some very recent, on this topic. You can get some reading in while waiting for responses here in your thread.
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Old 17-02-2012, 12:52   #3
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Re: Researching Health Insurance

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, snogoo.
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Old 19-02-2012, 13:20   #4
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Re: Researching Health Insurance

Lots of good cruising in the American Caribbean. Prices for policies are based on your "home" address so get some sample quotes based on addresses you are considering using as your home base.
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Old 19-02-2012, 17:11   #5
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Re: Researching Health Insurance

OK. Thanks. What about this Mexican Plan I've been hearing about?
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Old 19-02-2012, 18:54   #6
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Re: Researching Health Insurance

Quote:
Originally Posted by JanetGroene View Post
Lots of good cruising in the American Caribbean. Prices for policies are based on your "home" address so get some sample quotes based on addresses you are considering using as your home base.
This is a real problem. If you sell your house, cars etc. AND what the heck does your home address where you lived once for short/long time have to do with insuring you on the other side of the planet? I posed this question to agents and ABSOLUTELY NO RESPONSE. We are in the same position as the OP. We are about to go naked. Big savings if nothing goes wrong.
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Old 20-02-2012, 04:36   #7
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Re: Researching Health Insurance

You can do what many cruisers do. Sign up with a mail forwarding service. You'll then have a Personal Mailbox (PMB) which can be used as your health care insurance "home" address, a billing address for credit cards, address for your financial, banking and investment services, Medicare, Social Security, the IRS, etc.

If you sign up with St Brendans Isle in Green Cove Springs, Florida, you can legally establish "domicile" there and become a Florida resident with all that implies (driver license, voting in state and federal elections). Florida is a good choice since it has no state income tax, no tax on investments, no death taxes, and no property tax on your boat. The only catch is that you cannot reside in another state for over 1/2 year, which really isn't an issue for long term offshore cruisers or ex-pats like us. We've lived outside the US part time for eight years, and full time for over five years, and have found this arrangement, along with the ability to handle health care transactions and financial matters over the Internet be ideal. Aetna covers us here in Nevis on their "out of network" reimbursement scale.

SBI scans our mail envelopes and we can choose to have them sent to us via USPS International mail or via FedEx, or to have SBI open the mail, and scan the contents which we can then download to our computer for a small additional fee. We find this a lot better than imposing on family members or friends to be our "mail drop" in the States.
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Old 20-02-2012, 06:33   #8
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Re: Researching Health Insurance

Hello All Who Have Responded - Thanks for all your input. You have provided a great starting point. It sounds like others have managed their way around some of the scarier business of sailing away... and I don't mean sharks... sharks of the two legged variety maybe...
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