being treated for illness in other countries

We just returned from a trip to the Canadian Rockies. Unfortunately it was a trip from hell. After months of planning, we embarked on a trip which started with bad weather in Dallas (connecting from Florida), which resulted in us staying in Dallas for 2 days before we could get another flight out to Calgary. So, a bad start to our vacation. We not only had to pay for the unexpected hotel stays in Dallas, but had to forego one of our reservations at a hotel where we were arriving late at night in Calgary. We never saw our luggage for those 2 days in Dallas. After just 3 or 4 days of fun in Banff, we got sick - one of us with a terrible sore throat, and the other with a really bad head cold. (Fortunately neither of us got Covid). So, of course it never occurred to us that we would need am emergency visit just to get some antibiotics to be able to board the plane and get back home. Now, in the US, you would just go to a 24 hour urgent care place, but where we were in Canada, the only option was the hospital emergency room, and of course we didn’t have Canadian (free) health care, so had to pay a whopping $1100 before getting a doctor to look at one of us, and hand over just 2 stout antibiotic pills. So, just a word of caution, if you are travelling to a foreign country, you might want to get some temporary medical insurance so you can get treated in that foreign country. Do most of you do this? I guess we figured a.) Nothing would happen, and b.) “it’s just Canada.” Boy, we learned that lesson now.

We are retirees, and after this horrible trip, we might just stick to the US from now on. Kind of sad…

Footsox

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Sorry you had such a rough trip, but sure do appreciate your words of caution. Perhaps someone will chime in with ways to avoid the same in the future.

We are sticking to the mainland ourselves, which of course could include Canada and Mexico, because of no desire or need to get on an airplane.

IP

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That has not been my experience in Canada.
We had one incident a few years ago (maybe 15 or so) where my son caught his big toe on a diving board and separated it significantly from the rest of the foot. Looked quite painful but he was stoic.
We found a walk-in clinic (we were advised that would be much easier than the hospital emergency).
There was quite a wait, but since bleeding was under control we just waited.
The stitching and repairs also took a while (difficult to work in the area between the toes) and I was expecting a significant charge.
Turned out to be less than $100 Cdn so maybe $60 USD. I’m sure waits are longer and costs higher nowadays.

But, just like here, hospitals are expensive.

And yes, Canada is an international trip…

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“Now, in the US, you would just go to a 24 hour urgent care place, but where we were in Canada, the only option was the hospital emergency room, and of course we didn’t have Canadian (free) health care, so had to pay a whopping $1100 before getting a doctor to look at one of us, and hand over just 2 stout antibiotic pills. So, just a word of caution, if you are travelling to a foreign country, you might want to get some temporary medical insurance so you can get treated in that foreign country. Do most of you do this? I guess we figured a.) Nothing would happen, and b.) “it’s just Canada.” Boy, we learned that lesson now.”

Yes, if you go to EU or anywhere else as a senior, either a temp medical policy or an evacuation plan in case of major illness might be advised.

In most of EU, medical care is inexpensive if you find a clinic.

Even in the US, if you are on Medicare Advantage, some plans only provide for ‘serious’ illness at hosp emergency room = for heart attacks, strokes and similar. If you are ‘out of area’ you’ll pay hefty co-pays.

regular Medicare covers you anywhere in the US.

t.

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regular Medicare covers you anywhere in the US.

Which includes in addition to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

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Canada does have walk-in urgent care clinics which are more reasonably priced. They may not have been available where you were.

My husband had the same experience of being asked for $1,000 prepayment to be seen at an ER in Toronto. He was able to go to a walk-in clinic. If additional medical care would have been needed, his son would have brought to a hospital in the US.

The cost for the walk-in clinic was low. I didn’t think about it but his Plan F does have some out of country coverage and it might have covered the charge.

Lesson learned. I didn’t think about travel insurance because he was traveling with his son by car and not very far from the US border. Travel insurance wouldn’t have helped anyway because they require submitting to your insurance before they cover anything. The Part F probably would have covered it.

If you have private or employee health insurance, you should have coverage overseas. Just save the receipt, and submit a claim. Not so sure about Medicare, but I think you can do the same with them if it was emergent care. You could also fund it out of an HSA, if you have one.

We have private insurance, and a MedJet policy. Six years to Medicare for me. I’ll want a medigap policy that allows reimbursement of medical expenses overseas. I should make a note somewhere, since after 6 years I may forget. This is a good reminder.

1poorguy

Just save the receipt, and submit a claim. Not so sure about Medicare, but I think you can do the same with them if it was emergent care

Medicare Part A and B does NOT cover any care outside of the US with some exceptions for parts of Alaska where Canada has the nearest hospital.

Plan C, F & G may have out some of country coverage. It depends on the plan.