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  1. #1
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    Default Health insurance in DR

    I was following the post of William Webster (sending positive thoughts your way) and I realized how "green" I was about getting Medical Insurance in the DR and still using the US system when and if needed.

    Can folks inform me on how they handle doctors in the DR for regular prescriptions for high blood pressure etc. Do you prefer to return to the US for such things.

    Looking to retire full time to the DR in a few years, but still working until SS can kick in

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  3. #2
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    Chances are that your daily meds are available without a prescription here but may be more expensive than at home. You purchase healthcare insurance here to cover illness/accident treatment. You'll need to doctor shop as it may take a few attempts to find one that you are comfortable with for checkups and to monitor existing conditions.

    When you go back to your home country for a visit, it's usually a good idea to schedule a doctors appointment if you have the time just to check in. Bring a copy of your medial records to the DR.

    Insurance is provided by three big companies here. Prices ranges depending on the specific policy you choose. Figure $1000 USD a year per person. Some companies require a medical exam when you sign up, others do not. Some have limited coverage for the first two years, all have upper yearly spending limits. Coverage for people applying for the first time after they turn 64 can require more effort to procure.

    Decent medical care can be found here in the DR but like most other things it takes more effort to source and take advantage of. Equipment and facilities here are not all cutting edge so for really serious procedures and complex treatment many opt to seek that level or medical care back home.

    You will need to choose between an insurer that covers you here and in your home country or the cheaper local option that only covers you in the DR.

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  5. #3
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    Not sure if you can get any kind of DR prescription coverage on your Domincian health plan. Many drugs that are prescription in the US are over the counter in the DR and a much cheaper price. You would obviously need a regular doctor in the DR and have him give your a script if necessary. You can make arrangements to mail your US prescriptions through a package forwarding company in Florida to the DR. If you are going to be in the DR permanently than you should have medical coverage that is accepted in the DR. You will no longer be visiting your doctor in the US and they won't continue your prescriptions without regular appointment visits. I am sure you can find additional info on the internet.

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  7. #4
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    Another option is ship drugs in if possible.

    RE: Dental
    The Dental service here is outstanding in the right clinic.... and 50% or less than US and Canada.

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  9. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boowow View Post
    I was following the post of William Webster (sending positive thoughts your way) and I realized how "green" I was about getting Medical Insurance in the DR and still using the US system when and if needed.

    Can folks inform me on how they handle doctors in the DR for regular prescriptions for high blood pressure etc. Do you prefer to return to the US for such things.

    Looking to retire full time to the DR in a few years, but still working until SS can kick in
    I take 5 pills on a daily basis, 2 for diabetes one for high blood pressure and one for cholesterol the other is for my heart. I buy them without a prescription at any drug store in the DR There are different laboratories that make them some as much as twice what they cost at others. But my monthly supply of meds cost me $67.50 at WalMart in the USA and about $40 but in pesos in Puerto Plata after having learned which brand I preferred, and having agreed with the Farmacista that is what I wanted each month.
    I spent most of my day yesterday here in Medellin Colombia and most farmacias here don't even carry the stuff I need and when they do it is about 3 times what I was paying in the DR.
    Der Fish

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  11. #6
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    If you can, get insurance coverage in the DR before you turn 64. In most cases, it becomes impossible after that age, no matter how much you are willing to pay. I am part of a group plan and I pay 1000 pesos a month (less than $25 a month). I don't have coverage for my prescriptions. Most doctors honor my insurance and my copay is 500 pesos ordinarily. For doctors that don't, the cost is about 1000 pesos. Some things aren't covered, like the tetanus shot I got yesterday when I went to the emergency clinic (1500 pesos/$32). I cut my hand and had six stitches. The emergency room, doctor to treat me and the procedure and other drugs (lidicaine before the stitches) cost nothing to me. Insurance covered it all. I also have to go the hospital every few months for a transfusion. That costs me about 2000 - 3000 pesos for the upgrade to a private room (usually all that is available. The blood is extra. That costs about US$100 per unit. My medication, which in the US would be very expensive, is relatively inexpensive here. I take generic Nexium, an antidepressant and regular antihistamine/decongestant tablets every day. I also take medication for a bone marrow disorder as an injection once a week and also medication for Parkinson's. The total I spend on medication is about US$250 a month. I didn't budget for that, but I did budget for golf, which I can't play anymore! My pay for Part B of medicare would be US$120 a month with it only paying 80% of doctor visits and no prescription coverage. Most Part D or other plans that do include prescriptions predict an out-of-pocket of at least US$8,500 a year. Overall, i am very pleased with the healthcare I receive and wouldn't consider returning to the US for medical treatment for lots of reasons, including cost, but also because my doctors here seem to care about me personally. They take all the time I need, rushing and they are always there when i need them, not some other doctor or nurse practitioner. PM me if you have questions.

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  13. #7
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    it makes no sense whatsoever to buy regular daily medicine with dominican health insurance. minimum yearly coverage is capped pretty low and depending on what and how many meds you need you can drain the yearly allowance in one month. better insurances allow a little bit more room but still it's better to spend it on medicine during occasional sickness (cold, infections and so on).

    most of the meds are available OTC, prices differ depending on the lab producing the drug. if you pay cash and but larger supply most pharmacies will offer a discount, up to 10%.

    normal course of action would be to visit internista or a specialist once a year or however often it's recommended and check if any adjustments in your regular medicine are necessary.

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  15. #8
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    Thank you everyone for the advise - very very helpful.

  16. #9
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    If you are using MICARDIS ,then that is readily available at most pharmacies but they do not stock Micardis 40 ...you just buy Micardis 80 and break a tablet in half .

  17. #10
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    In a nutshell:

    Most meds are cheaper in the DR than in the US.

    Agreed it makes no sense to have an insurance plan that covers medications unless you have some very different requirements than most people. Such plans are just too costly.

    And, make sure you can still get enter into a plan based upon your age.

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