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- In Pictures: Great Health Care in Seven Top Retirement Destinations
Posted on April 25, 2013 by Jo Gibney
There are any number of reasons people choose to pack up and move overseas—great weather, culture, low-cost-living and improved quality of life. But an increasingly important consideration is affordable, quality health care
- Health Care Survey: The Best Havens for Quality Care Overseas
Posted on April 22, 2013 by International Living
You’ll find excellent, affordable care in many locations overseas. But where? For our 2013 Health Care Survey, we asked our experts to reveal what’s on offer in seven of the world’s best havens today. These are the most popular countries with expats: places that score high on quality of life in general.
- “The Lower Cost of a Retirement in Panama Drew Us Here”
Posted on April 16, 2013 by Terri Marshall
When John and Robyn Cole married in 1990 their 12-year age difference wasn’t a big deal. But as they started to age together, the difference became more apparent… and they started to think about the future. “I began to see what life would look like if I worked until age 65,” says Robyn. “John would be 77.”
If you’re ever in the Arenal region of Costa Rica there is one activity you have to make time for: a dip in one of the natural hot springs. Known locally as “aguas termales,” the 90 to 110 degree Fahrenheit waters are naturally heated by volcanic activity. In fact, most of the hot springs have a great view of the Arenal volcano from the pools.
- Health: The 7 Best Havens for Quality Care Overseas
Posted on March 25, 2013 by Eoin Bassett
“There is something amazing about the medical system here, and something not quite right with ours,” says Shane Simons, who moved to the tropical island of Penang, Malaysia, eight months ago from Los Angeles. “My doctor in L.A. told me I needed a mole removed from my neck. I was in his waiting room for 45 minutes and his consulting room for 45 seconds.
There is something amazing about the medical system here, and something not quite right with ours,” says Shane Simons, who moved to the tropical island of Penang, Malaysia, eight months ago from Los Angeles. “My doctor in L.A. told me I needed a mole removed from my neck.
When my wife, Suzan, and I heard that we could get what is commonly called an “executive health assessment” in Quito, Ecuador, we decided to give it a try. Our primary care physician, Dr. Davalos, works with Hospital Metropolitano in Quito to put together a comprehensive package of tests that cover all the health bases over a two-day period.
- How Expats in Costa Rica Access Low-Cost, Top-Quality Care
Posted on November 26, 2012 by Jason Holland
When expat Gloria Yeatman needed surgery in May 2010, money was not a worry. This U.S. expat, who lives just outside the Central Valley town of San Ramón, did have to chip in $55 for an ultrasound, $40 for a visit to the doctor…and then there’s that $42-a-month fee she and her husband Paul pay for medical care in Costa Rica. But that was it. And that’s from the initial doctor visit to the eventual surgery and recuperation.
- “Doctors in Cuenca, Ecuador Even Answer Their Own Phones…”
Posted on October 30, 2012 by Edd Staton
I moved to Cuenca, Ecuador. I did it for all the right reasons—and discovered an exciting new life beyond the curtain of fear that keeps most people stuck at home. I’ve been living here for two years now, and my expat experience thus far has vastly exceeded expectations that were pretty high to begin with. One of the most impressive aspects of life in Ecuador is the quality and affordability of health care.
- Affordable, High-Quality Dental Care in Costa Rica
Posted on October 24, 2012 by Starr Daubenmire
My recent trip to Costa Rica was an amazing experience. And to think it only happened because I needed expensive dental work, and that traveling to Costa Rica for it actually paid for most of my vacation. In recent years, dental costs have risen faster than inflation. And since only 55% of U.S. residents have dental insurance, that means half of us are paying cash out-of-pocket for dental work.
We dropped our insurance a long time ago when we sailed around the world, finding health care costs to be minimal in most foreign countries. Some even had better medical technologies than the U.S. In French Polynesia, my breast mammogram was free. The dentist in Malaysia used impressive new medical devices and innovative procedures.
Health insurance—qualifying for it, paying for it, and keeping it—is one of the biggest worries we hear about from folks in the U.S. But since I moved abroad it hasn’t been a problem for me. And if you’re thinking of moving abroad, it likely doesn’t have to be a problem for you, either. As an expat, you’ll have a range of health care solutions available to you. Your choice is deciding which options makes the most sense for your situation.
Every expat who moves from the United States to Costa Rica has to make some adjustments. Things are slower, more relaxed. The lifestyle is about time with family and friends, not work and material possessions. You won’t find big box stores on every corner…
Peter’s hip first started bothering him when he fell hard during a basketball game. He ignored the slight injury and continued to jog on the beach and spike volleyballs with our grown sons (I’m their avid cheerleader). Left unattended, advanced arthritis eventually set in to create agonizing pain. Since we run adventure charters aboard our catamaran Freebird, this was a big problem. Our safety depends on Peter’s good health.
My recent trip to Costa Rica was an amazing experience. And to think it only happened because I needed expensive dental work, and that traveling to Costa Rica for it actually paid for most of my vacation. Let me explain… In recent years, dental costs have risen faster than inﬂation. And since only 55% of U.S. residents have dental insurance, that means half of us are paying cash out-of-pocket…
Roger Hughes and his wife Candace moved part-time to Uruguay four years ago. A big reason was access to affordable health care. “We didn’t fancy curtailing our lifestyle to preserve a great portion of our assets for health care costs,” says Roger. A few countries in the world stand out as places where foreign residents can easily qualify for, and affordably buy, a private health care plan.
- Volcanoes, Tropical Beaches… and a Trip to the Dentist?
Posted on July 26, 2012 by Starr Daubenmire
It was the most spectacular view I have ever seen. One entire wall of the room opened onto a direct view of the Arenal volcano, framed by the lushest vegetation imaginable. I gasped in delight when I saw the hot tub on the terrace, and I’d never seen anything like my shower: a rock wall with plants in the crevices and water pouring out from a basin at the top. And this was just my hotel room!
Roger Hughes and his wife Candace moved part-time to Uruguay four years ago. A big reason was access to affordable health care. “We didn’t fancy curtailing our lifestyle to preserve a great portion of our assets for health-care costs,” says Roger.
As Roger and Candace had learned, a few countries in the world stand out as places where foreign residents can easily qualify for, and affordably buy, a private health-care plan. Uruguay is one of the best.
Imagine a country where a doctor personally greets you and takes you into his small ofﬁce for a consultation. Where you have his personal cell number and most “appointments” are drop-by visits with no waiting around. A place where that doctor makes house calls and you won’t be charged for any follow-up visits to the ofﬁce…
One of the things we are most grateful for living in Malaysia is the health care, which is among the world’s best—and cheapest. It’s rare we need to use it, but when we do, it’s good to know we’re dealing with the very best doctors and at very low prices. There’s a reason four plane-loads of medical tourists land in Penang every day.
- Panama: Great Health Care at a Fraction of The Cost
Posted on March 7, 2012 by Terry Coles
As a Texan firefighter my husband, Clyde, had premium health insurance—which the city helped pay for. But once he retired we would have had to pay the full amount, about $1,000 a month. Since we were both too young for Medicaid, we wanted to live somewhere with good health care that cost less than the U.S. Panama topped all the lists.
There’s so much to love about island life in Penang, Malaysia, that it’s hard to know where to start. My wife Lisa and I spend just $1,719 a month to live here, and that’s renting with an ocean view and eating out regularly in the island’s amazing restaurants.
“Costa Rica offers true freedom,” Todd says. “They say that about the U.S., but Costa Rica really does offer true freedom.” No one bothers you here, the government is non-invasive and stable, there aren’t people protesting in the streets…people are happy. Sociologists have actually proven that Costa Ricans are the happiest people on the planet.
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