Health Insurance for Expats

Posted By: canukgirl

Health Insurance for Expats - 08/14/08 05:53 PM

I've been doing a bit of research, and I am trying to find some affordable insurance for my husband and myself while we are living in Belize. We go back to Canada for around 2-3 months a year, but have become non-residents of Canada so no more free health insurance! Being Canadians, we are not really used to health insurance so any tips, hints, or companies that are the best, would be greatly appreciated!
Posted By: dabunk

Re: Health Insurance for Expats - 08/14/08 06:39 PM

Universal hospital in Belize is offering a plan. One of the members here uses them and is very happy. Do a search as I do not remeber who it was.
Posted By: canukgirl

Re: Health Insurance for Expats - 08/14/08 10:48 PM

I would also like to be covered when i go back to canada for visits.
Posted By: seashell

Re: Health Insurance for Expats - 08/15/08 12:39 AM

Slightly off the topic, but I'm curious.

What happens to local non-expat Belizeans that end up in hospital? How is their care paid for? i.e. In the case of an emergency need for surgery, heartattack, stroke and the like?
Posted By: CayeMarie

Re: Health Insurance for Expats - 08/15/08 12:50 AM

Universal's health plan ended some months ago. It is back to pay as you go. It is very reasonable compared to Canada and the States.
Posted By: seashell

Re: Health Insurance for Expats - 08/15/08 01:47 AM

Reasonable how? If a young person gets injured on the job, or whatever and ends up in hospital needing leg set, or stitches, or someone is in a car accident and needs surgery, how do they pay as they go, on local's wages?
Posted By: JZB

Re: Health Insurance for Expats - 08/15/08 02:24 PM

We use this company but have never needed to make a claim so I can't comment on how easy/difficult they are to work with. They provide coverage worldwide including emergency medical evacuation in case you need to be airlifted to the US.
Posted By: cakelee

Re: Health Insurance for Expats - 08/15/08 04:37 PM

SS - I think for workmans comp-type cases (hurt while on the job), Belize has a social security system that kicks in, assuming contributions were made on behalf of the worker. I don't know what exactly is covered (medical expenses, lost wages, etc?), but contributions made to the system are based on the amount of employee's wages.
Posted By: tacogirl

Re: Health Insurance for Expats - 08/15/08 06:14 PM

Canuckgirl if you ever had to go back to Canada in case of medical emergency you could likely pay your way up to date on ohip and be seen our friend here had a friend who did that.
Posted By: seashell

Re: Health Insurance for Expats - 08/15/08 07:28 PM

Thanks cakelee, that answers part of the question (with regard to workers with paid up comp). What about someone in a car accident that doesn't have comp, only the low hourly wages of a job they are no longer able to work? What happens when they end up in hospital requiring surgery?

Canukgirl, perhaps it is different in Ontario, but in Alberta, you need to live in the province for 3 months before you are eligible for AHCI. That said, once you have lived here for those 3 months, you can apply to recover any out of pocket medical expenses you incurred during the waiting period.
Posted By: canukgirl

Re: Health Insurance for Expats - 08/15/08 11:46 PM

Seashell - I think you misunderstood - We did live in Manitoba for our entire lives and were covered but now live in Belize and have registered as non-residents of Canada for tax purposes, so we don't have health care in Canada. We need to buy a health plan.

Thanks for the website JZB...and tacogirl, we'll have to hang out soon and you can explain that whole ohip thing to me! smile
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Health Insurance for Expats - 08/16/08 02:47 AM

I was able to get a one time 5 year extension on OHIP but was told that unless I became resident in Ontario for 6 months I would not qualify again. I also registered as a Canadian non-resident when I left the country. All I did was to stop by the OHIP offices on a return visit and explain my circumstances and they gave me a one time extension on my card.
Posted By: tacogirl

Re: Health Insurance for Expats - 08/16/08 05:25 AM

SS fundraisers are a common option here that people do to help raise money for someone in need of medical care who needs a helping hand.
Posted By: seashell

Re: Health Insurance for Expats - 08/18/08 08:01 PM

canukgirl, sorry, I didn't misunderstand you. However, I may have misappropriated to you, when I should have been answering tacogirl, who was telling you about OHIP.

Tacogirl, with regard to your response about fundraisers, I can see where that would be all well and good, if one had advance notice that hospitalization is required. What happens if someone poor and local from the mainland, has an accident and needs immediate medical care that will cost hundreds of dollars? Are they let die or suffer until the fundraising is complete?

Perhaps I should start a new thread about this as some may not be reading this thread since I've somewhat hijacked it.
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