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Medical Care/Insurance for 65+

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7/2/2017 22:13 EST

I am looking to retire to Latin America within the next several months. One of my big concerns is health care/medical insurance. I will be 67 in September and I notice that some national health plans will not accept anyone over the age of 65. I do plan on keeping my Medicare A and B as well as my Medicare Advantage program, which is based in Houston. It would be relatively easy to fly back to Houston for any kind of major procedure, even if I had to buy a Med Evac plan. My concern is for routine care (out of pocket?) and important but not critical procedures, or for a situation in which my condition was not stable enough for air evacuation. So my question is this: Is there a good national plan for someone my age in Chile? Are there hospital-based plans that accept us older retirees? (For example, I have heard of one such excellent plan in Managua, Nicaragua.) International plans such as those offered by Cigna seem very expensive.
Thanks very much for any and all input!

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7/3/2017 11:33 EST

I am in the same situation but have been to Chile several times and inquired there. There are two medical coverage plans of which ISAPRE is the one I favor. It is based in my case on the german hospital in Temuco, but can be based in any hospital and coverage does not limit you to that hospital, you can get attention anywhere. their plans are expected to cost between 225 US per month to their top plan around 350 US per month. The good thing is they include dental and vision, don't have deductibles, copays are very low and the service is excellent. A visit to an endocrinologist in the best clinic in Temuco cost 68 US with no insurance at all. It was a 30 minute visit and follow up visits are part of the initial visit so the follow up is free.
Appointments are made online or by phone and wait time was under 10 minutes. You will need a certificate from your US doctor that states your current condition, medications, etc. as well as a copy of your records. It takes one month wait period to start coverage after you sign up.

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7/4/2017 13:13 EST

My experience in Chile outside of Santiago is the hospitals are run by incompetent non English speaking people who are more concerned with looking good and/or protecting the image of the hospital than taking care of patients! The male doctor at one hospital was more concerned with having his picture taken with the “gringo” than helping him! The female doctor at another hospital, though she did an excellent physical, lied like a politician when she wrote her report! Her main concern was to make sure she did not say anything that questioned the idiocy of the male doctor nor to say anything that might be construed as questionable practice by her hospital! I had to return to the US in order to have my heart checked and have by pass surgery! To top that off the insurance companies in Chile are no different than those in the US who promise anything to get your money then do everything to keep from paying off. Bottom line is no one gives a damn about your health except you. Forget all of that crap about “how good hospitals are in Chile”! The truth is they are terrible!

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7/4/2017 17:34 EST

Great info to have. Thanks!

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7/5/2017 10:46 EST

I went through an open heart sirgury with 5 bypass at a public hospital, and I am doing very well.

So I disagree completely with your opinion regarding bad quality of Chilean public hospitals.

I have appreciated your opinions in other matters of this forum, but on the last, you were not well informed.

The hotel accomodations of a public hospital are clearly poorer compared to a private clinic. Sometimes they are just ugly. The same happens with the speed of attention because public hospitals attends thousands of people daily.

However many of the best doctors on private clinics, have a steady job on public hospitals for several reasons:

1. Clinical learning practicing with many different cases daily.
2. As a service to the community.

So, as on my case, I received excellent medical attention from a staff composed of doctors that are among the best on their field. They make a shift at hospitals and another on their private consultation or on a private clinic. This is common. Bad practice happens but it is uncommon.

I have friends as doctors and for critical urgent attentions as on my case, they suggest you go to the public hospitals, because the quality of the doctors, their committment to public service and the wide physical resources available of an hospital You find there many areas of specializatilns and tens or hundreds of doctors depending on the size of the hospital. So they can have urgent meetings with several doctors when needed to decide on a complex case. On a private clinics some of these features are less abundant, but you got granted that the bill on clinics will be several times larger.

For analysis, readiness on examinations and for less than critical life operations, and having much more money in your pocket , private clinics are excellent options.

Kind regards Captain

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7/6/2017 12:24 EST

You must be in Santiago, and if you read what I wrote I excluded Santiago! I guarantee that you were not in Caldera or Copiapo! There is no "hospital" in Caldera and the hospital and the clinic in Copiapo are both a medical fraud. Just ask the local people and they will all tell you that!

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