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Old 08-08-2022, 04:49   #1
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International Medical Insurance

We are early 70ís USA citizens (Medicare) who split our time between Canada and Caribbean. We are looking for medical insurance for when we are outside the USA.

Any recommendations or advice?
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Old 08-08-2022, 08:38   #2
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Re: International Medical Insurance

We spent years in the Eastern Caribe and found that it is far better to simply pay a la carte for routine medical expenses. They have perfectly competent doctors in the islands and medical care is very cheap compared to the USA. For more serious stuff we had medical evacuation insurance (e.g. Medjet or SOS) which is pretty cheap and will get you flown by paramedics to the hospital of your choice where your US insurance kicks in. Note that this is insurance only for the ride to the USA, not medical care.

Things may have changed now since Covid. But my take is that US people are so scared of high medical costs that they assume they need it even when routine local care is cheap and available. What ISNT available are some medications. You need to find a way to get some things from home and it is a good idea to check availability. Better still just buy a 6 month supply in Canada before you go
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Old 08-08-2022, 08:47   #3
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Re: International Medical Insurance

Canada is another matter. Seems like there is a Dr. shortage everywhere but especially here in Newfoundland.

We are US citizens.
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Old 08-08-2022, 09:03   #4
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Re: International Medical Insurance

I second the vote for MedJet. It's what we use. As for Care in the Caribbean, bring some common meds with you (antibiotics, pyridium, cough suppressant, prednisone, epi pen, Neosporin ointment) and bandages as well as sutures. Sutures are hard to find in some remote locations and if you get get cut (rocks, coral, fish, sharp things on board) you will be ahead of the game if you have sutures.

As a side note I am a pulmonary and critical care physician and this what I do.
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Old 08-08-2022, 16:13   #5
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Re: International Medical Insurance

There is also DAN. Which is basically a medivac insurance. I don't know if you're too old to qualify for it. Or if you have "pre-existing conditions" that will make you not feasibly insurable.

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Old 08-08-2022, 17:05   #6
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Re: International Medical Insurance

Ann,

We do have DAN. I was trying to look at the coverage more closely today and just could not get past the web site layout. I just could not find Meaningful info.

Specifically they continually refer to it as “accident” insurance. So suppose one if us had a heart attack, would we not be covered because it is not an “accident”?

I will try again, perhaps with more patience.
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Old 09-08-2022, 15:03   #7
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Re: International Medical Insurance

I don't know, but never heard of someone having a heart attack intentionally.

It's not quite what you're looking for, but there is traveler's insurance. Australians buy it before going to the US, and places that do not offer them reciprocal national health coverage.

Some places have ins. that you can buy within the first week of arrival in their country. Visitors insurance.

Maybe someone who is a switched on insurance broker will come back to you. Blue Cross used to offer international ins. coverage, but was quite expensive, and again, the pre-existing conditions exclusions were strict.

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Old 09-08-2022, 15:35   #8
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Re: International Medical Insurance

Quote:
Originally Posted by bensolomon View Post
I second the vote for MedJet. It's what we use. As for Care in the Caribbean, bring some common meds with you (antibiotics, pyridium, cough suppressant, prednisone, epi pen, Neosporin ointment) and bandages as well as sutures. Sutures are hard to find in some remote locations and if you get get cut (rocks, coral, fish, sharp things on board) you will be ahead of the game if you have sutures.

As a side note I am a pulmonary and critical care physician and this what I do.
Before we went off cruising our dock mate who was an orthopaedic surgeon suggested a skin stapler when I asked him to teach me how to suture. His instruction consisted of one question, "Do you know how to use a stapler?" Only issue apparently was you get more scarring than with a good suture job. I figured the scars would make me look tougher. Not sure of my wife's thoughts on the subject.

We ended up with four different antibiotics onboard - for respiratory, intestinal, dental and skin infections.
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Old 09-08-2022, 17:02   #9
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Re: International Medical Insurance

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Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
We are early 70ís USA citizens (Medicare) who split our time between Canada and Caribbean. We are looking for medical insurance for when we are outside the USA.

Any recommendations or advice?
I have worldwide coverage excluding USA with Cigna Global. I excluded USA because it cut the cost in half and Iím currently cruising in Australia so it is unlikely I would need coverage there. I am covered if I have an accident when transiting through the USA on a commercial operator.

John
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Old 10-08-2022, 12:21   #10
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Re: International Medical Insurance

We are going with Medjet.

We have carried DAN for a long time. Looking over the benefits closely it excluded far too much. They only cover dive related, and to a lesser extent “water sports” related events. So if I were to break a leg or get mugged ashore it would not cover. Or at least that is how I read it.

Medjet will transport us home to a facility of our choice, and with the premium policy will evacuate in some other threatening circumstances.

We looked at a third policy that provided some additional medical coverage but the costs were very high and they only flew to Miami.

For us, with Medicare insurance and spending much time out of country, Medjet worked best.
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Old 14-08-2022, 08:30   #11
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Re: International Medical Insurance

In the beginning of my Digital Nomad life I had Cigna Global. They were easy to work with whenever I changed my country. But I never had to make a claim, so I don't have personal experience with that. On a different forum I saw some positive reviews that seemed to have been written by real people.


I ditched my insurance and now I simply self-insure. I'm an EU citizen so if I ever get something chronic that requires expensive care, I have that safety net.
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