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Old 09-02-2012   #16 (permalink)
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There is a Blue Cross preferred supplier in Playa. The San Carlos Hospital on the Federal Highway. I haven't used them yet but will check them out in November. Probably still have to pay upfront but who knows?
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Old 09-02-2012   #17 (permalink)
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Yes, absolutely!! Get travel insurance!!! There's has been a story on the news the past few days about a Canadian woman who opted NOT to get travel insurance and then had an accident on a boat in Croatia on vacation. The medical bills started getting into the hundreds of thousands...and the family had to start raising $ to get her proper health care, and get back to a hospital in Canada.

Please get travel insurance. God forbid you need it but if you do, it makes everything easier...don't be penny-wise and pound foolish...

Anna Leibenko: Thornhill woman back in Canada after Croatian catamaran accident - thestar.com
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Old 09-02-2012   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by PCANNIE View Post
Even when one has excellent health, illness or accidents can happen. If you were to have a heart attack, you need immediate medical care, not a quick trip to Miami. No insurance can put you in the poor house. The same thing applies should you have or be in an accident. Insurance is for just in case and in my opinion a necessity when travelling and well worth the peace of mind.
Given the generally poor quality of health care and its infrastructure and support staff in Mexico (even at Hospiten, should you be fortunate enough to get to their well-appointed, well-equipped, but inadequately-trained ER immediately for immediate stabilization - no staff standing around scratching thier heads, etc.), this is exactly why you DO need a quick trip to Houston, Galveston, New Orleans, Atlanta, or Miami.

For those of you who can afford both insurance and air ambulance service, get both. For others who can afford only one or the other, the best bet is air ambulance service "association" (cost: $300 USD annually for the air ambulance service association that I quoted above). If you have only insurance instead of air ambulance service, you'll probably be paying a lot more for less competent and/or extensive care in Mexico. (Not to take anything away from Hospiten - the excellent internal medicine doctor will very competently get you "stabilized" - but the hospital auxilliary staff, services, and care may leave something to be desired, especially in terms of advanced, extensive, and/or continued care and treatment, which simply does not exist here at the same level as in the US and Europe.)

Why? Because "stabilization" care in Hospiten will be at a "reasonable" cost that you can probably pay out-of-pocket for far less than the annual insurance premium ($6,000 USD in the above example), but the cost of an air ambulance service after the fact can (and will) eat you alive. This presumes, of course, that you have US insurance (or a National Health Service in your country) to pay your bills when you get back home - if you don't, you're obviously better off getting an international insurance plan. And nobody, including me, will argue with you over your "peace of mind" - no question that it's the overriding factor, cost (maybe) be damned. Suerte!

Last edited by beam-eye; 09-02-2012 at 08:17 AM..
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Old 09-02-2012   #19 (permalink)
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(delete duplicate)

Last edited by beam-eye; 09-02-2012 at 08:22 AM..
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Old 09-02-2012   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ranchhand1024 View Post
There is a Blue Cross preferred supplier in Playa. The San Carlos Hospital on the Federal Highway. I haven't used them yet but will check them out in November. Probably still have to pay upfront but who knows?
Originally posted by TCEd, 12/17/2011 re: Hospital San Carlos:

Our ambulance & hospital experience
"I thought posting this information may help others who visit PDC to know what to expect if they need ambulance and/or hospital care. When a medical emergency occurs remaining composed in a familiar environment is difficult and being away from home in another culture and language only heightens ones concerns. I'm not doing this to put down the medical care we received, only to describe what we experienced.

My wife had a very low heart rate for years and occasional fainting spells when it dropped very low. 15 months ago she had a pacemaker implant to control her heart rate at a minimum of 60. Our last night in PDC she fainted during dinner. I immediately thought her pacemaker malfunctioned or another heart issue appeared.

I asked the resort staff to call for a ambulance. The response time was in excess of 30 minutes. My wife had recovered some by know. Once they arrived she was asked if she had diabetes or any allergy's, placed on a cart and into the ambulance. As they were getting ready to leave I was told we needed her passport ! Quick run to room get passport and back to ambulance. During the ride to the hospital they connected her to a heart monitor which the technician fiddled with continually as I tried to read her heart rate to see if the pacemaker was functioning. The drive to the hospital from Mahekal was short, out to hwy 307 and between Juarez and Const.
Ambulance company was Life Support Ambulances. The cost was $600USD cash or credit card. Never even mentioned pesos so I'm guessing there is a two tier fee schedule.

The hospital San Carlos emergency room was empty (so was the complete hospital not another patient on three floors ) so we got in immediately and transferred onto a bed. Things then slowed down as the nurse helped Fran undress and put on a gown etc. The emergency doctor entered and he asked the typical questions asked in any emergency room : what happened ?, how did it happen ? how long ? and this is where things got difficult trying to explain in English to someone who has some English skills but I still doubt we got across her history correctly. Much time passes !
Doctor has nurse do a EKG, hook Fran up to a saline IV and wants to do a chest Xray. Eventually in rolls a guy with a very ancient looking portable Xray machine which he has looks of difficulty maneuvering and some confusion arises btw him and doctor regarding what they plan to do. Suddenly the plan changes and off Fran goes with IV in tow to the Xray room for the chest Xray and back. Now the nurse begins prepping to take blood for analysis and I'm making sure everything comes from sterile wrap/packs. She inserts a syringe needle in Fran's vein and lets blood drip into 3 or 4 small test tubes as she freaks out !
Notice all this is happening and they have yet to hook her up to a heart monitor ! They never did the whole time we were there and for some reason my communication didn't get through.
The nurse was on Facebook for most of the time we were there and whenever I asked anything she went to the doctor for instruction either she didn't understand or needed approval from him.
The doctor called a cardiologist in who I'm pretty sure drove from the Cancun area. He arrived looked at the EKG, Xray, checked her pulse and heart rate for some time and stated everything with her heart was fine. He though the incident was another issue but non-threatening and we checked out. Took the EKG and Xray with us but forgot the blood work which we got yesterday with local help.
The hospital costs was 16486 peso/$1211USD cash or credit card.
We did not have travelers insurance for this trip, I look at it similar to extended warranties or service contracts. Our health insurance will cover some of these costs also.

In summary -
If you have a per-existing medical condition I'd strongly suggest you carry a document explaining that condition in Spanish when you come to PDC or in whatever countries language you're at, it would help significantly.

Do not expect things to work like at home, be prepared for the unknown.

Medical equipment may look older then you expect.

Be prepared to pay cash or credit card.

Bring your passport to the hospital, they copied Fran's.

If your absolutely sure take a cab vs ambulance, it's faster and a lot cheaper."
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Old 09-02-2012   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by liloleme View Post
Yes, absolutely!! Get travel insurance!!! There's has been a story on the news the past few days about a Canadian woman who opted NOT to get travel insurance and then had an accident on a boat in Croatia on vacation. The medical bills started getting into the hundreds of thousands...and the family had to start raising $ to get her proper health care, and get back to a hospital in Canada.

Please get travel insurance. God forbid you need it but if you do, it makes everything easier...don't be penny-wise and pound foolish...

Anna Leibenko: Thornhill woman back in Canada after Croatian catamaran accident - thestar.com

From the article: "Anna Leibenko, the former Argos cheerleader who fell off a catamaran while vacationing in Croatia two weeks ago, has returned to Canada, though she remains on life support...A website that was set up to help pay for medical care and the flight home, help-anna-leibenko.org, has raised $142,000.

Sorry, but this is exactly my point against spending your good money on health insurance. Does anybody here sincerely believe that two weeks in a Serbian hospital is what this young lady needed? Or that having health insurance would have helped in any way whatsoever, other than possibly paying for 2 weeks of relatively poor medical care in a Serbian hospital? (Medical training and practice in Serbia is Russian-influenced, and does not meet American or Northern European standards.) What is needed in any true emergency like this, where thoroughly competent care is simply not available, is an immediate air ambulance flight to a thoroughly competent facility in Canada (or, quicker, in the UK or Northern Europe).

Last edited by beam-eye; 09-02-2012 at 09:27 AM..
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Old 09-02-2012   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by beam-eye View Post
From the article: "Anna Leibenko, the former Argos cheerleader who fell off a catamaran while vacationing in Croatia two weeks ago, has returned to Canada, though she remains on life support...A website that was set up to help pay for medical care and the flight home, help-anna-leibenko.org, has raised $142,000.

Sorry, but this is exactly my point against spending your good money on health insurance. Does anybody here sincerely believe that two weeks in a Serbian hospital is what this young lady needed? Or that having health insurance would have helped in any way whatsoever? What is needed in this kind of emergency is an immediate air ambulance flight to a thoroughly competent facility in Canada (or, quicker, Northern Europe).
It's a very sad story indeed, but sometimes no matter what is done and/or how quickly it's done, the outcome isn't good.
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Old 09-02-2012   #23 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by beam-eye View Post
From the article: "Anna Leibenko, the former Argos cheerleader who fell off a catamaran while vacationing in Croatia two weeks ago, has returned to Canada, though she remains on life support...A website that was set up to help pay for medical care and the flight home, help-anna-leibenko.org, has raised $142,000.

Sorry, but this is exactly my point against spending your good money on health insurance. Does anybody here sincerely believe that two weeks in a Serbian hospital is what this young lady needed? Or that having health insurance would have helped in any way whatsoever? What is needed in this kind of emergency is an immediate air ambulance flight to a thoroughly competent facility in Canada (or, quicker, Northern Europe).
Well that's what health insurance does. It pays to transport the patient and family members via air ambulance, if necessary, to your home country. With a 'standard' travel insurance package, it will pay for emergency coverage in the country the accident took place, and then pay to transport the patient back to their country of origin.

Because this woman had no travel insurance, she had to stay in the Croatian hospital until they could raise enough funds on their own to pay for an air ambulance to fly her back to Canada. The policy I sign up for when I go to Mexico for the winters would transport me, my travel companion and my pet(s) too.

I had to have a small procedure done in Mexico at Hospiten a few years ago and the service I rec'd was amazing. Better than what I had rec'd in the US and in Canada. And the emergency operation cost $1800, which was charged directly to my travel insurance company...no fuss, no mess and no headaches on my end. When I got sick, I went to the hospital, gave them my travel insurance info and that was the last I heard of any charges, or any administration part of it. The insurance co dealt directly with the hospital and they told me to focus on getting better, and not worry about the details.

I won't leave the country now without making sure I have good travel insurance in place.
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Old 09-02-2012   #24 (permalink)
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Liloleme That sounds like a good idea
My wife has a hearth condition and we always worry
What to do if something happens while in Mexico
Do you mind telling us what insurance you have and the cost
Thank you
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Old 09-02-2012   #25 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by liloleme View Post
Well that's what health insurance does. It pays to transport the patient and family members via air ambulance, if necessary, to your home country. With a 'standard' travel insurance package, it will pay for emergency coverage in the country the accident took place, and then pay to transport the patient back to their country of origin.

Because this woman had no travel insurance, she had to stay in the Croatian hospital until they could raise enough funds on their own to pay for an air ambulance to fly her back to Canada. The policy I sign up for when I go to Mexico for the winters would transport me, my travel companion and my pet(s) too.

I had to have a small procedure done in Mexico at Hospiten a few years ago and the service I rec'd was amazing. Better than what I had rec'd in the US and in Canada. And the emergency operation cost $1800, which was charged directly to my travel insurance company...no fuss, no mess and no headaches on my end. When I got sick, I went to the hospital, gave them my travel insurance info and that was the last I heard of any charges, or any administration part of it. The insurance co dealt directly with the hospital and they told me to focus on getting better, and not worry about the details.

I won't leave the country now without making sure I have good travel insurance in place.

i agree totally with you......my canadian rbc policy costs around 300 bucks for the 100 plus days......it a no brainer
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Old 09-02-2012   #26 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Pizzaman View Post
Liloleme That sounds like a good idea
My wife has a hearth condition and we always worry
What to do if something happens while in Mexico
Do you mind telling us what insurance you have and the cost
Thank you
I try to use Blue Cross as much as I can since it's the most well known and seems to be the most accepted. Two years ago, I bought a 6 month policy for $300 and some change. It may be a bit more expensive for you since your wife has a pre-existing condition...you can still be covered though, it just may cost a bit more.

You can buy it online, at the blue cross/blue shield travel insurance website.
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Old 09-02-2012   #27 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Pizzaman View Post
Liloleme That sounds like a good idea
My wife has a hearth condition and we always worry
What to do if something happens while in Mexico
Do you mind telling us what insurance you have and the cost
Thank you
I buy trip insurance for 5 major reasons, health coverage is one, even though we have no known health issures.

I look at each of these sites:

Compare Travel Insurance From Every Major Company

Travel Insurance - InsureMyTrip.com

Travel Insurance - Compare Review and Buy - QuoteWright.com

I've never seen a policy yet that does not include a medical evacuation provision, usually in the amount of $500,000 or $1,000,000 USD.

I usually upgrade the policy to make the trip insurance the primary health coverage, and in so doing, they will remit money immediately to ensure your admittance.

When searching for the right policy for you, there are a search filters that help narrow the results. Pre-existing conditions is one of the available filters.

I typically pay $125 - $175 for our family of 4.
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Old 09-02-2012   #28 (permalink)
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If WaterRat and Lilolme have short-term trip travel insurance policies in the $150-$300 range, rather than the $250 per month per person rate the initial post on this thread stated (and on which my posts were based), then this is the info we need to know. Thanks for the info!

I found WaterRat's QuoteWright link easiest to work with (I didn't check Blue Cross, but Lilome's $300 for 6 months is a good price), and found these prices for 61 companies (I used 4 states: OK, CA, WA, OR):


$$$ for 90 days, 180 days, 1 year (low/high quotes in US Dollars):
OK - $193/1110, 388/3374, 1030/8111
CA - $193/1110, 388/3374, 1030/8111
WA - $314/1110, 630/3374, 1709/8111
OR - $193/1071, 388/3374, 1030/8111

All 61 quotes include hospital care and air evacuation, and about half require no deductible (the remaining plans have deductibles of from $50-$250). The take-home lesson is that for a short vacation trip, or 3-6 month trip, travel insurance with medical evacuation is the way to go (depending on the fine print), assuming adequate to good medical care continues to be available (as it generally is in Playa), because the cost of the low-end to mid-range insurance is a better value than either paying out-of-pocket costs on a fee-for-service basis and/or air ambulance alone.

For ex-pats living here year-round, although the cost of paying separately for both out-of-pocket fee-for-service and air ambulance service is likely to be less than the cost of low-end to mid-range travel insurance (especially if you're from WA, for some reason), the costs of the low-to-mid range plans (which include air evacuation) are very attractive - I could easily change my mind (i.e., from recommending only air ambulance service over travel insurance) if the fine print is favorable, but I wouldn't change it for other locations in Mexico (or Serbia, for that matter), where the first priority is to get back home to competent medical care.

Last edited by beam-eye; 09-02-2012 at 09:06 PM..
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Old 09-02-2012   #29 (permalink)
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If Water Rat and Lilolme have short-term trip travel insurance policies in the $150-$300 range, rather than the $250 per month per person rate the initial post on this thread stated (and on which my posts were based), then this is the info we need to know. What companies do you use, what are the benefits and time covered, etc.? Thanks for the info!
Of the three links that I posted, I prefer the first, SquareMouth. I just find their site more intuitive.

One of the 5 issues that I referred to was coverage for Scuba accidents. Some trip insurers cover diving, others specifically deny coverage.

Last trip I purchase a policy from Travel Guard, (through SquareMouth). Total cost was $175.00 for the 4 of us. It included $50,000 per person in primary emergency medical coverage, (no deductible), $1,000,000 medical evacuation and repatriation, $25,000 accidental death per person, along with the usual trip delay, lost baggage and baggage delay benefits.

For this year's trip, I purchased a policy from John Hancock, again through SquareMouth. Travel Guard no longer offered a policy that offered inexpensive coverage for our Scuba gear.

This policy also includes primary emergency medical coverage in the amount of $50,000, (no duductible), but only $250,000 per person in medical evacuation and repatriation. It also offers $25,000 per person accidental death benefit. The total cost for this policy was $138.00.

Last edited by WaterRat; 09-02-2012 at 09:15 PM..
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Old 09-02-2012   #30 (permalink)
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WaterRat , thanks a million for the info
I also found the Website Squeremouth easier to use
Than the others
For less than 200. dollars well have peace of mind during he next stay
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