Accidental Injury or illness in a country far from home can be a very scary experience. If you are without proper health insurance or cannot demonstrate ability to pay at a local hospital, it can mean the difference between life and death. Imagine lying on a stretcher in the hallway, waiting for treatment, while proof of liquidity is confirmed.....many Expats have paid the ultimate price! Excellent Health Insurance coverage is available to protect you in the Republic of Panama.
High quality hospitals, physicians and medical facilities are available in Panama. Most doctors have been trained in the USA, Canada or Europe and speak English. Be Prepared! Private hospitals and medical professionals expect to be paid and will require some guarantee of payment before treatment. It is not uncommon for medical care to be denied by private hospitals. Without financial resources (cash/credit cards) or proper health insurance coverage, you may find yourself transferred from their hospital to a Panama government facility. The public hospitals are adequate, but Panamanian citizens will have priority over your treatment. Here is an example of a visitor "stuck" in Panama with inadequate coverage:
If you have an existing "Home of Origin" health insurance, some of these carriers from the USA, Canada and Europe MAY provide coverage for emergencies while traveling.
You will probably NOT be covered under that policy, if you change residence/domicile to Panama. The US Social Security Medicare program does NOT provide coverage for medical costs outside the USA. Canada and most other countries with national health care systems have similar restrictions after you have changed domicile.
Most Local Panama insurance carriers will accept applications for medical insurance coverage to age 62. Their plans offer International, as well as, Panama only coverage. They usually have maximum lifetime limits ($300K, $500K and $1M) in a PPO type policy using a network of doctors and hospitals approved by the insurance company. If you have a serious preexisting condition or take medication, it will be difficult obtaining coverage. Foreigners are required to pay for and pass exams/lab work.
There are a few International Health Insurance Companies licensed to sell in Panama that will accept applications to age 74. Their premiums are reasonable, if you apply a high deductible to the catastrophic coverage policies. Different companies offer international coverage up to a maximum limit of $2,000,000 "annually renewable". You may select from a range of deductibles from $0 - $20K . Select a higher ded, to obtain a lower premium. The most outstanding benefit of one plan is that no deductible applies for in patient benefits (hospitalization), emergencies and out-patient surgeries in Panama. You may use any private hospital in Panama including Hospital Punta Pacifica. Most of these internationals have Air-Evac and do not require physical exams or lab work, if you have a clean medical history. I encourage you to "investigate" the cost of obtaining a catastrophic coverage to protect you and your family....please!
If you would like to receive a customized quote, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org call 6674-1063 or contact my associate Carmen at 322-1605.
Kevin Bradley - Insurance in Panama