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Old 02-19-2015, 03:35 PM   #41
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Well, this is eye opening for me. Since I am just about to retirement (but not yet eligible for Medicare), I have a lot to learn. Here is a URL that lays out the (very) limited conditions under which U.S. Medicare pays for foreign medical treatment.
http://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/11037.pdf
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Old 02-19-2015, 06:38 PM   #42
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Great in theory, but for those of us in the frozen north, the cost of medical insurance to head south in the winter is prohibitive. My dad was looking at $1,400 for two weeks coverage for a trip to Hawaii.
Another relative has a winter home in Palm Springs that they can't afford to visit.
Don't get me wrong, but when you are 50 years old and wearing rose coloured glasses, you should probably take them off once in a while.
My retired Ontario-based parents spent 3 or 4 months each year in Florida, quite affordably, for a stretch of several years during their retirement (in their 70's); they rented a place, but a trailer would have worked, too. Most of my aunts and uncles wintered in the U.S. for a few years of their retirement, mostly in Arizona, some in RVs.

But yes, that ended for my parents when medical conditions made the requisite travel insurance prohibitive for one of them. In later years - and maybe not so late depending on medical adventures - the Escape will likely be only for summer use for most Canadians.

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When I retired close to 10 years ago, my goal was to be retired longer than the time worked!! Simple. Both my parents did it, my Mom is 94 and still alive.
That's a great goal, and many do it. On the other hand, if we are all unproductive for a couple of decades until our first real job, then only work for 35 years, then are retired for another 35 (for a total 90-year lifespan), then only about one-third of the population is actually working. Are we really working hard enough in that time for this to be sustainable? Has this ever worked in human history? I doubt it - and I think exploring the reason it seems to work now is a socio-political discussion that does not belong in this forum.

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That said, When I did retire the mortality table which run insurance and pension calculations seem to indicate my like span was 20 years after retirement. I hope they are incorrect.
That's essentially the same information which I paraphrased from a retirement planning book in my earlier post. It makes sense, since only a small fraction of us will live to anything like 94 years old.
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Old 02-19-2015, 06:40 PM   #43
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Canadians cannot be reimbursed for medical care if out of the country? Even emergency treatment? You would have to have private insurance for that?
Yes, essentially. Canadian government health plans fund Canadian hospitals - they're not set up to pay massive bills from foreign facilities. I'll avoid the politics of that - it's just a reality for context when travel planning.

Many of us - like Donna - have employer-provided travel medical insurance; mine covers up to 45 days at a time outside of Canada. For this reason, there is something to be said for traveling across the border on working-era vacations, then sticking with exploring one's own country in retirement.
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Old 02-19-2015, 06:49 PM   #44
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A lot of people don't realize that they need travel medical insurance for 'out of province' trips as well, since medical is a provincial responsibility.
Yes, but the provinces have reciprocal coverage agreements, so you are still covered while temporarily visiting in another province. Out-of-province insurance is privately available, and it is cheap because there's not much to cover. Go ahead - visit those grandchildren on the other side of the country!

Alberta: AHCIP coverage within Canada
British Columbia: Medical Care Outside British Columbia
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:26 PM   #45
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The site you link to for BC says, in part:

"B.C. residents are strongly advised to purchase additional health insurance when travelling to other Canadian provinces to cover the cost of services not included in the reciprocal agreement between provinces".

Watched a show the other day on how cost of ambulance varies from province to province. My recollection is it costs about $84 in BC and $800 in another province. Air ambulance would cost thousands. Such coverage is really quite cheap.
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:44 PM   #46
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Very interesting topic. Wish I lived in Canada. My health cost are north of 500 a month but it is what it is. I plan to work 10 more years then get out of the business I will never be able to not work but at least I find something I can enjoy I am looking forward to putting in an order for an escape in next few weeks As the movie quote goes get busy living or get busy dying. Life is just too short Looking forward to meeting someone of you in next in next few years what a great group of people
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:45 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
The site you link to for BC says, in part:

"B.C. residents are strongly advised to purchase additional health insurance when travelling to other Canadian provinces to cover the cost of services not included in the reciprocal agreement between provinces".

Watched a show the other day on how cost of ambulance varies from province to province. My recollection is it costs about $84 in BC and $800 in another province. Air ambulance would cost thousands. Such coverage is really quite cheap.
Sure... but if you're in a province with $800 ambulance rides, you hardly need to buy insurance to be in a place with $84 ambulance rides... especially since the provincial health care plan doesn't cover that ride at all in most provinces, so it isn't really a health insurance difference. The B.C. web site seems somewhat alarmist to me, but if you do take their advice, I agree that the travel insurance is cheap (at least compared to insurance for international travel).

B.C. cheats the reciprocal agreements by saying that ambulance costs are not covered by health care, then covering the cost for everyone with B.C. health care. Fortunately the hospital visit at the end of the ambulance trip we needed in B.C. was fully covered by Alberta Health Care.
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:48 PM   #48
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To my Canadian friends look into travel health plans. We are on a plan that guarantees us the ability to travel internationally until we are 80, we pay a monthly fee which if we don't make a claim in 10 years we get a 50% refund of our premiums. As Brian mentioned our parents had similar experiences with travel insurance becoming too expensive after they suffered from a few health concerns.
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:56 PM   #49
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I took the BCAA health questionnaire with me on a visit to the doctor, looking for help in ensuring that I filled it in correctly. I was willing to pay, if necessary, which I wasn't.
And, even the doctor had difficulty interpreting some of the questions. A wrong answer could result in a claim denial.
Aren't I full of cheer?
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:01 PM   #50
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Very interesting topic. Wish I lived in Canada. My health cost are north of 500 a month but it is what it is. I plan to work 10 more years then get out of the business I will never be able to not work but at least I find something I can enjoy I am looking forward to putting in an order for an escape in next few weeks As the movie quote goes get busy living or get busy dying. Life is just too short Looking forward to meeting someone of you in next in next few years what a great group of people
Likewise Kevin. Hope to meet you too.
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