Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Slochteren, Netherlands.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Papenburg, Germany.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Our travel medical insurance and other things

We had a time change here in Albania a week ago, and for some reason we just haven't been able to adjust. We're normally up between 6:30am and 7:00am every morning, but it was almost 8:00am when we got up Friday morning. Not sure what's going on... might have to start setting the alarm!

I wanted to tell you about our new travel medical insurance. 

For many years, we were self insured. In other words, if we needed to see a doctor, we would have to pay out of pocket. I know, most of you would be horrified. 

But in over ten years of travel, we only had to pay to see a doctor twice... once when Ruth cut her hand in South Africa, and the second time was when I had a bad rash in Colombia that wouldn't go away. So we certainly saved a lot of money over those years, and the gamble we took with not having medical insurance premiums paid off for us. 

When we started looking into this German residency thing, one of the requirements is that you have to have medical insurance. So I started looking into it. 

I'm still not sold on the expense though. Ruth and I disagree a little bit on this, but she has to be happy too, so we are now insured travelers whether we end up getting German residency or not.

Ended up choosing a policy that included Covid related problems. We bought a policy that cost $207 USD per month for the two of us. Which is reasonable, however it had a $5,000 USD deductible which meant that you would only make a claim if it was something quite serious.

But last month, somebody recommended another company, and so I did some more research. It's really tough to compare apples to apples... there are so many different providers, and so much fine print to read through. The insurance companies (and their lawyers) don't do their customers any favors in this regard. 

But this company that was recommended makes things pretty basic and understandable. We are now paying $192 USD per month (for the both of us), which is only slightly cheaper, but with a $100 USD deductible which means we would be able to make a claim for a much more minor ailment.

The company is called Heymondo and we signed up to their Long Term plan. So we paid for 3 months in advance at those rates, but it gets even better the more that you extend it up to another 8 months. And if we choose the 8 month extension, our monthly rate for the two of us goes down to $146 USD. So it's really not a bad deal for long term travelers such as ourselves.

The other thing is that this is a worldwide policy, valid in every country including the ones with ridiculously expensive healthcare. It is only not valid in "zones of armed conflict" or your home country.

So with that done, we can now feel better about getting sick!

We went out and did some grocery shopping yesterday. In fact, we do this almost every day! Being right in the central area, we have so many shops nearby... everything is within walking distance. So we only buy enough that we need for the next day or two. We're actually kind of enjoying doing it this way, rather than the typical big box store type of stocking up that we do in Canada or the U.S..

We got home and put the key in the door lock. Something went click, but the lock didn't open. We played with it for a few minutes, but there was something wrong internally. So we went and got our host lady Susana, and she tried. She went and got her husband, but of course it was the same result.

Next thing you know, they had a guy who seemed to be the neighbourhood handyman over and he managed to get the door open, after taking a few things apart. They went to a nearby hardware store and bought a new lock mechanism.

Lock pieces everywhere!

So while they were working on this, the husband asked if we wanted to try his homemade raki. Raki is the local Albanian hooch. Twice distilled spirits made from the pulp of either grapes or plums. His is made from grapes that are grown right here in the garden.

All of this was done communicating with Google Translate.

Well, the stuff is rocket fuel. He's telling us, "only in small amounts" and "don't drive after drinking this stuff". Yeah, a few sips is all you need!

He ended up giving us a small water bottle filled with the stuff. 

We are off to the dentist today at noon to hopefully finish up my bridge procedure.

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Spring is here. Lots of different Scotts Lawn Care products are on sale, today only.

And in Canada...



13 comments:

  1. Thank you for such precious information about health insurance for traveler. I'll look it up at Heymondo to see what they could provide for our next trip ... sometime later this year, I hope!

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    1. You are welcome! We hope that you will get that trip in this year too. :-)

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  2. That does sound like a great Insurance.
    Hoping your Bridge work fits the bill.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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    1. It sounds good but you never know until you use it how good a company is, hopefully we won't have to find out!

      The anchor tooth work for the bridge is coming along well, we have no doubt that it will fit perfectly when all the work is complete. :-)

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  3. I’m definitely going to check out this insurance company. Thanks for the recommendation. Im amused by the raki story. We had a similar experience in Vietnam with home made “hooch”. By the end of the evening Michael was singing karaoke in Vietnamese! 😆

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    1. Lol, we love hearing stories like that. Local "hooch" can make you do things you never though you would do otherwise! :-P

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  4. A small amount of money for a piece of mind. Consider all the places you've been, what are hospital conditions in general for the public? Better to have insurance and go to a private hospital with good care and services. I'm looking now too as I'm not quite sold on Mexican social medicine.

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    1. yeah i rely on mexican medicare and I also have skymed just in case. Once you reach 70 travel insurance is super pricey. I just make sure I am in Canada at least 5 months a year to maintain medical here. Getting older sucks

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    2. Yes, in general it does give you piece of mind but we have also heard of so many stories where the insurance companies try to find an "i" that you didn't dot or a "t" that you didn't cross and then deny your claim! It really is crazy, that you have to be afraid that they just may not pay up because of one thing or another, you shouldn't have to worry about things like that, especially after paying the money for their product.

      I think in Mexico even getting insurance for private hospitals is pretty inexpensive from what we have heard, at least compared to Canada or the U.S. and we have heard lots of good things about the care in the private hospitals there.

      Getting old might be a bit more expensive but we don't think it sucks, it is definitely better than the alternative, lol!

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  5. good prices on insurance.Unfortunately only good to 69, but i can use them for my wife next year. i have only found one US company that will insure me for northbound uS transit and they are pricey and only good to 500,000

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    1. We still have ten years to go before we reach that age and who knows what else will come by before then. Insurance is always changing but yeah, if you are older then that, I guess it is of not good to you.

      The odds are with you, that you won't have any issues but at least some insurance is better than none if you are needing it.

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  6. On the insurance, it is not available for your home country. How will that work once you obtain residency in Germany? Will it still cover you?

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    1. That's a good question. There is still a lot of research to be done!

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