Medical Evacuation Insurance

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Dec 19th, 2013, 12:57 PM
  #1
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Medical Evacuation Insurance

Thinking about getting med evac insurance for our trip to Burma. I would like to be able to be evacuated to a hospital in the US. Anyone have a recommendation for a plan?
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Dec 19th, 2013, 01:05 PM
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Thursdays will have a recommendation for you.

If I need hospitalization in Asia, I want to be med evac'd to Bumrumgrad Hospital In Bangkok. I don't feel the need to get to the US ASAP, I feel the need to get treatment ASAP. I use DAN (Divers Alert Network). Just a membership gets you Med Evac insurance, about $45 a year for a couple. They evacuate you to the closest appropriate treatment facility. From Burma, that would put you in Thailand.

I probably shouldn't mention this, but getting med evac'd from Burma is complicated. This is a second hand story, but I know of a woman who broke her leg and needed to be med evac'd, but local officials would not allow a helicopter of small plane to land. She waited several days (in acute pain) to get permission to be med evac'd. Hopefully, with the new "openness" in Burma, a med evac would be easier. The story is from our last trip to Burma in 2011.
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Dec 19th, 2013, 01:32 PM
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we use the DAN policy also
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Dec 19th, 2013, 01:35 PM
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Thanks for the info. I have read about DAN and thought about joining. Whether I would want to be flown home of to a good facility once stable would depend upon the severity of the medical problem. Scary story about the evacuation.
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Dec 19th, 2013, 02:19 PM
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I don't use DAN because they told me that they will only get me to the nearest hospital, not home after I am stabilized. I use whatever looks good at Seven Corners - tenweb.com if the trip is less than 60 days.
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Dec 19th, 2013, 02:32 PM
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@thursday-you get different insurance for each trip I assume?
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Dec 19th, 2013, 02:51 PM
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No. A tenweb membership is good for a year, but if I'm going for more than 60 days I either need a different plan that year, or a top-up for that particular trip.

Since I'm now on Medicare with a publicly-available Medigap plan (instead of an employer-sponsored group plan) that only gives me 60 days emergency medical coverage abroad (with a life-time max of $50,000 and 20% co-pay - and that's the best Medigap coverage available), I may be looking for a whole new set-up next year with travel medical insurance and evacuation/repatriation together.
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Dec 19th, 2013, 04:27 PM
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Thanks for the information.
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Dec 20th, 2013, 05:39 AM
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thursdaysd, there are Medicare Advantage plans (ie, Part C) out there which have unlimited international emergency coverage with a one time $75 deductible. I cannot find a lifetime max in my policy (and $50k is simply ridiculous, one can run that up with one broken bone!). Some Advantage plans also cost effectively $0 because they take the current $100 or so or whatever monthly payment as their premium. You are advised to check them out.
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Dec 20th, 2013, 06:21 AM
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I do not use Medicare Advantage on principle. Actually, a broken bone only costs $50k in the US, my broken wrist in Switzerland cost a fraction of that.
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Dec 20th, 2013, 08:05 AM
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Just FMI, what sort of principle?
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Dec 20th, 2013, 08:39 AM
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I believe Medicare Advantage was conceived as a "Trojan Horse" to move people off Medicare and onto private insurance prior to privatizing the whole program. It diverts government funds to increase the profits of private companies instead of funding the more efficient government program.

I should mention that I grew up in England with so-called "socialized medicine", and I am a big proponent of single payer.
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Dec 20th, 2013, 08:53 AM
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Interesting. Thank you.

I'm also a huge fan of single payer. But I also find the Advantage program (at least mine) provides more benefits for the same price and still is a PPO. If anything, my insurer could be even more efficient than the gov, and I have no problem rewarding them (with profit) for that.
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Dec 20th, 2013, 09:02 AM
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My understanding is that the data shows that Medicare is more efficient overall. Also, all the Medicare Advantage plans I have seen are HMO or PPO plans with co-pays. With Medicare plus Medigap Plan F I have no deductibles and no co-pays and I can see any doctor that accepts assignment.

I also have a philosophical problem with companies making a profit off healthcare. I think that doctors, nurses, and hospitals should be well compensated, but the insurance companies are unnecessary overhead. Apparently before the ACA they were often spending less than 85 cents of every premium dollar on actual healthcare, and they put far too many resources into denying care, even to people who thought they had coverage.

But we are straying from the issue...
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Dec 20th, 2013, 03:04 PM
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I thought Medicare, any part, was not available to people living overseas. Is it possible to get Medicare reimbursement as an expat? Could someone please clue me in on how to go about this?
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Dec 20th, 2013, 03:19 PM
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No, Medicare is not available to US citizens living overseas, nor will Medicare pay for any treatment outside the US even for those people who live in the US. For people living in the US, it is possible to get supplemental insurance that will pay for care outside the US, and as per NFZ, some Advantage plans pay for care outside the US.
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Dec 20th, 2013, 04:05 PM
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Right, Medicare doesn't cover any treatment abroad. Some Medigap plans, (C, D, F, G, M and N) do, but only for emergencies and with the limitations I listed. Medicare Advantage plans are substitutes for Medicare plus Medigap, and you would have to look at each plan separately.
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