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Old 07-25-2004   #1
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 120
health insurance kayaking in other countries?

I've been shopping for health insurance for while I am unemployed (soon to be post-student and pre-job). I'm hoping this unemployed period will last long enough for a long kayaking trip (most likely central or south america but maybe other places). I noticed that many health insurance companies have no or poor coverage abroad. Then I looked at health insurance for "international travel" and, well, at least the one I looked at specifically excluded coverage while kayaking (along with a bunch of other sports).

Just curious what you have done for such trips, especially those of you who have gone for a long time. How much did special coverage cost if you did get it? Anyone have any good foreign hospital stories?


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Old 07-26-2004   #2
Eagle, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
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i can attest, after visiting a hospital in Costa Rica, that you do not need health insurance until you return to the US; everything was free, including the narcs. i can also attest, after visiting a hospital in Costa Rica, that if possible, you want to wait until you return to the US to go to the hospital.

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Old 07-26-2004   #3
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Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
I go to Mexico to boat every year, and this kind of insurance covers any health care costs as well as getting your broken / sick body back to the states ASAP. Covers "extreme sports" & is pretty cheap- I think it was about $28 for 14 days, but the policies can be adjusted for months and I think it's still pretty reasonable. I've never been injured, but after watching a guy break his back on a 60 footer & getting loaded into a Mexican ambulance, I err on the side of caution..

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Old 07-26-2004   #4
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 7
That sounds like a great deal!

$28 for insurance to transport you back to the US is a wonderful investment.

A few weeks ago I transported a patient from the Jefferson County Airport to a Denver hospital (I work on an ambulance). He had become ill while in Mexico and desperately needed to be transported back to the US ASAP for treatment. The bill for the air ambulance (Lear jet) and our ambulance combined came out to $20,000 according to the air ambulance company. It was an amazing service, very fast, but I have wondered how most of us kayakers could ever afford something like that.
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Old 07-26-2004   #5
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 163
I bought 15 days worth last year before Costa Rica, there was NO restrictions on coverage for kayaking on the policy. It covered in country emergency treatment and transport back to the states. It was about $30 and I think it was from John Hancock Ins., prolly find it at the local independant insurance office.

If anything, it was worth knowing I had it.

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Old 07-28-2004   #6
Power Forecaster
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 30
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I think you should also make sure it covers ALL kinds of emergency transportation back to the US, because I'm sure you wouldn't want to be stuck with a $20K bill after recovery...

If you're still under student status, you might want to check out STA Travel because I know they offer some kind of adventure sports insurance for up to a year, as long as you have an ISIC card (international student ID card), which you can get as long as you have your school id and it's not expired yet...

Good luck!


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