Medical insurance. Should I buy some

Harleyssuck

Active member
Jul 24, 2014
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I am covered with my federal gov't plan (sunlife) from Canada for emergency medical out of country. Will this be accepted in DR for an emergency or will they want cash upfront. I read about the guy in Sosua who was shot and they would not operate without payment. I am planning on coming for 2 months
 

AlterEgo

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 9, 2009
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South Coast
You'll probably have to pay up front and submit an application for repayment when you get back.
 

malko

Campesino !! :)
Jan 12, 2013
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I am also hesitating......... my insurance cover back home has run out. Checking out dr insurance......

How come, like in the OP's example, the hospital asks for money upfront ??
I live in the campo, pehaps its diffrent in cities, but the few times I have been to hospital, it has been free.

Last week I went down to local hospital for a dog bite. Injected me with tetanos shot, cleaned the wound prescribed anti biotics and painkillers. They even told me to go to pharmacy "del pueblo" at the hospital, for cheaper rates. ( 10 days antibiotics, 10 stong pain killers, 10 "stomach protectors pills" and an antiseptic cream....... 300 pesos. ).

So is insurance only if u want a "first world clinic " ????
 

Black Dog

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May 29, 2009
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You'll probably have to pay up front and submit an application for repayment when you get back.

If that's the case then you should take out insurance here, I have seen people lose their life's savings through not having insurance and you a right, they want the money before treatment.
 
Jan 17, 2009
1,622
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You should contact CMC (Centro Medico Cabarete). You do have insurance, and CMC does accept most international insurance: cmc.sosua@gmail.com Just ask them if they'll take your plan.

I am covered with my federal gov't plan (sunlife) from Canada for emergency medical out of country. Will this be accepted in DR for an emergency or will they want cash upfront. I read about the guy in Sosua who was shot and they would not operate without payment. I am planning on coming for 2 months
 

DR_Guy

Bronze
Feb 17, 2010
883
69
48
I think everyone should have insurance. I thought if you out of Canada more than a month, you lose benefits. I used to work for a Canadian company and we moved a guy from Ontario to Quebec. He lost his OHIP insurance after 30 days, but had to wait 90 days for Quebec. So he did not have government insurance for 60 days. The company bought a 60 day policy. Seems strange, but yes some Candians do not have health insurance. Good Luck!
 

drSix

Silver
Oct 13, 2013
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Well! My daughter's broken leg cost us about $6k. $1,500 at CMC in Sosua just for them to make it worse, and another $4,500 at HOMS in Santiago for the same, but better, care. At CMC, they would not even look at us without $500 down, and they won't discharge you until full payment is made. At HOMS we had to pay $3k upfront, because a toddler with a broken leg isn't am emergency. We didn't have insurance, but now we do. I'm not sure that it would make much of a difference though. Now I have Humano ARS with 80% coverage for $150 a month for four people. Whether or not it will actually pay, I don't know. An injured gringo is a big cash cow for a Dominican doctor. Cash will get you seen and treated, that I know. So, get insurance, have $1k in cash in an envelope, and a credit card with at least a $5k balance to cover all the bases.
 

DR_Guy

Bronze
Feb 17, 2010
883
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I have an international ex-patriate plan with evacuation, etc. It costs me $250 a month, but it works. They suggest you notify the local hospitals before you need em. I broke my hip in Constanza on Saturday night and had a new one in Miami by 5:00pm the following monday afternoon at Broward Medical. When I was at Juan Bosch they told me they had pretty good luck doing hip replacements, but it takes over a week because the patient has to buy the parts. LOL. I asked the doctor if it was ok to fly to Miami and have it done. His reply, "That's what I would do." Called the insurance company and they booked me first class out of Santiago Sunday morning. End of Story.
 

windeguy

Platinum
Jul 10, 2004
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I am also hesitating......... my insurance cover back home has run out. Checking out dr insurance......

How come, like in the OP's example, the hospital asks for money upfront ??
Because they are a business and feel it is in their best interests to do that. Otherwise they might treat someone and not get paid.

I live in the campo, pehaps its diffrent in cities, but the few times I have been to hospital, it has been free.

There are free public hospitals in the DR. I have seen them and I would never want to be in one. Obviously you are familiar with them.

Last week I went down to local hospital for a dog bite. Injected me with tetanos shot, cleaned the wound prescribed anti biotics and painkillers. They even told me to go to pharmacy "del pueblo" at the hospital, for cheaper rates. ( 10 days antibiotics, 10 stong pain killers, 10 "stomach protectors pills" and an antiseptic cream....... 300 pesos. ).

That was a good recommendation.

So is insurance only if u want a "first world clinic " ????

Better clinics and hospitals are one reason. Real care for a serious problem is another reason. It comes down to how much risk are you willing to take when it comes to being insured, or not.
 

malko

Campesino !! :)
Jan 12, 2013
5,096
791
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The free public hospital, I have been to 2 diffrent ones, are of course quite "scary". But I was actually suprised. No wait, good hygene, nice staff and free.....
The only experience I have had with a private clinic was HOMs in santiago for MIL. Nice but very busy.
And "dengue " clinic in santiago, cannot remember the name. Do NOT go there. Dirty. Private room, clean but not a western standard. 20 000 pesos for 2 days. I was fuming.......

So I have kind of let things go. Small stuff here. If sick, a local GP (or whatever u call them) will call round to ure place for 500 pesos. Survived typhus fever that way :classic:
Serious problem. Back home to france ( where I hope it is still free:classic: ) by my own means if possible, with a rapitration insurance if not ( I still have one of those).
Because, as u said, doctors will probably pull ure leg to make more money, insurance or not.

So fingers crossed, and touch wood.
 

windeguy

Platinum
Jul 10, 2004
39,477
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Health care is never free. If you are from a place that provides health care without charging you, then higher taxes are needed to cover the costs of that health care. Free health care is a misnomer. It is socialized health care.
 

Kathyaa586

Member
Mar 23, 2011
36
0
6
I have Canadian coverage as well and had need of the emergency room a couple of times. I used a hospital in Higuey and I was charged up front and collected the money from my insurance company when I got home. From what I understand though, if you are in the tourist area like Punta Cana, they will take your insurance there, (and charge a lot more).
 
Jul 28, 2008
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I have an international ex-patriate plan with evacuation, etc. It costs me $250 a month, but it works. They suggest you notify the local hospitals before you need em. I broke my hip in Constanza on Saturday night and had a new one in Miami by 5:00pm the following monday afternoon at Broward Medical. When I was at Juan Bosch they told me they had pretty good luck doing hip replacements, but it takes over a week because the patient has to buy the parts. LOL. I asked the doctor if it was ok to fly to Miami and have it done. His reply, "That's what I would do." Called the insurance company and they booked me first class out of Santiago Sunday morning. End of Story.

That sounds like the best policy to have!
 

drSix

Silver
Oct 13, 2013
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No matter what you have, especially international coverage, they will still want $$$$$ before they touch you. Cash is king.
 

bob saunders

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Jan 1, 2002
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dr1.com
I am covered with my federal gov't plan (sunlife) from Canada for emergency medical out of country. Will this be accepted in DR for an emergency or will they want cash upfront. I read about the guy in Sosua who was shot and they would not operate without payment. I am planning on coming for 2 months

Sunlie has a phone number for that. Why don't you phone them and ask if you have to pay first and then be reimbursed.
 

Trainman33

Bronze
Dec 11, 2009
1,126
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I had Humano insurance when I was there and actually had to use it for something serious. Last July I had to have my gallbladder removed at the Union Medica hospital in Santiago. It cost about $500 after insurance. Most of that was OR supplies which are not covered in the DR.
 

DR_Guy

Bronze
Feb 17, 2010
883
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No matter what you have, especially international coverage, they will still want $$$$$ before they touch you. Cash is king.

Wrong. They have hospitals here under contract and they arrange payment directly to the hospital.. Least that is my experience.
 

windeguy

Platinum
Jul 10, 2004
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No matter what you have, especially international coverage, they will still want $$$$$ before they touch you. Cash is king.

Incorrect drSix.

If you have a plan they accept, they will rarely if ever request cash up front. For a planned procedure they get authorization. Emergencies are treated and then billed. I have medical insurance here with Humano and I do not need to provide cash up front. It is when you have no plan the hospital accepts that they will require cash up front.

As was mentioned, you have to enroll in a local plan before you reach 65.
 

retiree

Bronze
Jan 18, 2008
978
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We have Sunlife (Canada - Federal Gov't out of country emergency medical coverage) and it has been accepted the two or three times we have had to go to the hospital in the DR. No cash up front. If you would like plan details or anything else you can pm me. Covers maximum of 6 months a year. You have to be in Canada (in Ontario in our case) half the year in order to maintain the provincial health care coverage.