medical insurance whilst cruising


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We are about to leave australia on the the Darwin ambon race/rally then on wards What insurance to people have for extended cruising we are austalian citizens
Duncan and Caroline Woodhead
David Tyler
David Tyler
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The answer that works for me is - no medical insurance at all. I 've been cruising full time for seven years, and in that time I 've visited doctors in various countries for minor treatments and consultations, at a cost of around $50 or less each time, and a maximum of once a year. Cruising is a healthy, low stress lifestyle.

Compare that with a premium for medical insurance of about $1000 a year, or double that in the USA. If I put aside what I 'm saving, I consider that if I get something seriously wrong with me, then I 'll have to give up cruising and use the savings to fly back to the UK for treatment, where I 'm entitled to treatment under the NHS. Self insurance, in other words.
Simon Currin
Simon Currin
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David,
I guess I have to caution about NHS entitlement. This is an area where our cash strapped Government are trying to reduce their liabilities. We are now told that those that are out of the UK for more than 3 months lose their NHS entitlement!
Simon
David Tyler
David Tyler
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Thanks, Simon. Even if I keep paying my UK taxes?

So I 'lll have to get treatment wherever I am, then (except in the USA, where it 's totally unaffordable), but i 'll hold to my basic point that paying for treatment as I go (so far, and touch wood)) has cost me a small fraction of the premium for insurance.
Simon Currin
Simon Currin
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Yes it seems daft doesn 't it and I have no idea how this would be enforced but that 's apparently the rules. Staying healthy is the best plan! It would though be good to know what others do for insurance.
Beth Bushnell
Beth Bushnell
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We have always had medical insurance since starting cruising 18 years ago. Admittedly it was easier while younger. We have used WorldNomads if local cruising eg coastal NZ or Australia but when going offshore we use TopSail Insurances ' Yachtsman Gold Policy, not the cheapest but comprehensive and designed for yachties. Prices have ranged from £350 to £960 for 12 months cover. Trouble is it only takes one serious unforeseen episode stroke, MI and with no insurance you are well stuffed.
Even around the Med relying on NHS reciprocal cover is insufficient.
David Smith
David Smith
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As far as I remember you loose your entitlement to NHS treatment if you have been out of the UK for over 3 months. We know loads of Brits who just use their NHS card abroad without any problems or questions asked. If you need NHS treatment, then go back to the UK and tell them you have just returned and are living in the UK again. At that point you are entitled to NHS treatment again.

We do carry a full medical policy, it has a £3,000 excess and we can only be in the USA for 60 days in a 12 month period (unless we upgrade to cover for longer). Our policy is around £1,800 p.a. for all 4 of us and covers us Worldwide living full time on our boat.
morwood (Past OCC Member)
morwood
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As US residents our only option for coverage was to buy it. When we left our US work based coverage behind we went with a policy from IMG http://www.imglobal.com. We wanted the coverage to make sure we were covered for major problems - we 're happy to self-insure for normal day to day medical issues - though we have had no issues since we started cruising full time last June.

For the four of us, (two adults over 50 and two kids aged 12) worldwide coverage through IMG costs us $3600 per year with a $1000 deductible. This includes coverage in the US as long as you don 't live there permanently. We had to wait till we left the US to initiate coverage.

Mark.
David Tyler
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Just to add some data on costs:
Today, I went to the Sitka outpatients clinic with a complaint that many of we old fellas who are near to our best-before dates will suffer from. I had a very good consultation, first with a triage nurse and then with a doctor. Cost $136 in the clinic + $60 for two prescriptions, so not ruinously expensive, though maybe twice as much as I might have had to pay in other countries.
Daria Blackwell
Daria Blackwell
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In America, it was almost impossible to get affordable coverage for extended offshore travel. As Alex is a citizen of Ireland and I am American, we opted to take Irish medical insurance with a global cover option (Ireland has so many emigrants that it has these options) as well as DAN divers insurance for additional evacuation coverage if needed. We are both divers and DAN is very reasonable for that cover.

We also stockpiled our prescription medications in advance. We refilled monthly as soon as possible for several years, and therefore had more than 6 months ' available before we left. Our pharmacist gave us an additional 6 months advance so we were set. It 's not easy figuring this all out.

The entire time we were away (more than a year), we never needed medical assistance. I did have strep throat which I self-treated successfully with antibiotics. One of our friends, however, had to be hospitalized with a severe allergic reaction. Luckily we were in Grenada at the time which has an excellent hospital.

Vice Commodore, OCC 
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