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irwinsailor 20-03-2003 22:37

Health Insurance ?
Any ideas where and how to get afordable health insurance while being a fulltime live aboard cruiser?

GordMay 03-04-2003 20:11

I'm told - Blue Cross/Blue Shield - but we self-insured (ie: no insurance).

Kasidah 26-01-2007 09:54

Health insurance
Ok. This seems to be the most hard to find info of anything we have looked for to start our cruising lifestyle…Where to get affordable health insurance even if its just a very high deductible to just cover those major “illnesses”, that everyone hopes will never happen to them. Unless we plan on leaving the states for over 6 months out of the year and finding an off shore address, I just can not find it….unless I want to pay around 5 to 8 thousand dollars a year. Our thought is to self insure ourselves by have an account in place before we leave that would take care of some of the problems, how ever god forbid if one of those major illnesses struck….this would end our dream. Our thought is to put about 5 years of what we would pay for premiums aside and hope for the best.
My biggest questions for all of you out there that are self-insured is when something does happen where do you go and where are the affordable places without jeopardizing your health? Clinic? Hospital? For those who are in good condition health wise, do you find you end up needing a lot of medical treatment or advise each year? I know this would all depend on the person and your situation however I would like to just get some feed back from cruisers out there already in this situation.

Vasco 26-01-2007 10:12

I've used Worldnomad in the past but never had a claim so can't comment on that aspect.
World Nomads

David_Old_Jersey 26-01-2007 11:44

My plan would be to also "self insure"..........but as a back up if push comes to shove and I can't be fixed up locally (or get something longterm)then to fly home for treatment on the local equivalent of the NHS.

Kasidah 26-01-2007 12:27

Health insurance or self insure?
Thanks for the quick replies.... Alot of companies I have looked into won't cover you if you are cruising in your home country or you have to be out at least 6 month of the year. The idea of self insuring and just making sure that you are in a place or can get back to a place that will give you good care sounds like the way we will go unless we can find more affordable insurance that will pay claims when you summit them. We are divers and are members of DAN which should help if we need to get some where in an emergency. It would be great to hear from a lot more cruisers about this so that others just getting out there know they are doing about the same thing or have different choices when it comes to health insurance issues.

Vasco 26-01-2007 12:48


Have you looked into how DAN actually works? I have heard some negative comments regarding actally getting repatriated.

Kasidah 26-01-2007 13:27

I was looking at DAN for a little extra insurance in case we have some type of a accident in the water (diving and what not). But I will go over that just before we go. I know we picked it up a long time ago when we would travel to dive and they covered you if you had to be transported for medical when diving(We dive a lot). I have not looked it over in a while but I will. Thanks. I put the part in about DAN just as an extra. The health insurance as a whole is really the part I am looking at. Any comments would be great.......

Originally Posted by Vasco

Have you looked into how DAN actually works? I have heard some negative comments regarding actally getting repatriated.

Brent Swain 26-01-2007 14:12

Health Insurance
Given the extremely high price of health insurance in the US you'd be better off to get health insurance for any other country and rely on getting there from wherever you are in the world, not the US.
I once bought health insurance from Travel Underwriters, Worldwide Mediclaim. When I made a claim they simply refused to pay, because I didn't have a credit card for them to put my expenses on( and force me to go to court to get reimbursement.) Other I've met have had bad experiences with this company.
Consumer reports say Voyager is one of the best.
People are flying overseas for medical attention a fraction the price of the same operation in the US, and often more reliable results .
I saw a report that said 40% of medical diagnosises in the US are wrong. When doctors went on strike in LA in the 70's the death rate declined noticably. Both Spain and Greece spend a fraction the amount per capita on health care yet have longer life expectancies.
I don't know why yanks in other countries with better medical systems feel the need to go to one of the worst countries in the world for medical atention.

Jentine 26-01-2007 14:31

Spoken like a man with a paper a$$hole.

David_Old_Jersey 26-01-2007 14:52


Originally Posted by Jentine
Spoken like a man with a paper a$$hole.

Is that a medical diagnosis?? :smiling:

On a more serious note, Health Tourism is of course big business - if folk just judge on results and costs, yer may find you ARE already in the place you would choose if paying yourself.

Jon D 26-01-2007 16:15

We have a high deducable individual policy with Humana that is affordable. You have to be in pretty good health to get however and they will exclude prior conditions. It's a standard PPO, what that means is we self insure the everyday stuff but major events are covered. This comes in handy as I recently had a unexpected surgery. I know BC/BS also offers similar policies. We are currently cruising US waters between 1/2 and 2/3 time depending on the year. We have been able to find doctors in plan in all the coastal states.

Brent Swain 26-01-2007 18:15

The medical bills in many countries are less than the cost of insurance in the US. I once had to visit a doctor in Mexico. Charge $10 CDN.

irwinsailor 26-01-2007 19:28

My plan is to pay as I go out side of the US. I understand that medical costs are about 10% of the cost of the US. Now I need to get out there.

seafox 27-01-2007 02:04

Eat an apple a day.

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