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Contact your credit card company and dispute the charge.  You may have to pay it, but it will stay off your statement until everything is completed.  Shame on HAL and it's medical staff.  ( I don't care that they are contract people, they are on a HAL ship and therefore represent HAL)

Edited by summer slope

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Oh my goodness, what a high to low experience! Heart warming that your wife survived cancer and that you surprised her with this cruise! Fantastic that she was readily diagnosed, operated upon, and back to functioning so quickly! The rest was just awful. I can understand them being concerned about the first 24 hours of recovery, but with the local doctor’s approval, you should have been able to re-board after that, IMO. The charges were monstrous, but cruise line medical charges seem to be all over the place. Some are shocked at how affordable they are, and others are hit with big bills. You have a positive attitude, and I’m glad you aim to have a brand new AK cruise experience another time that will 🤞 be healthy and amazing!

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1 hour ago, summer slope said:

Contact your credit card company and dispute the charge.  You may have to pay it, but it will stay off your statement until everything is completed.  Shame on HAL and it's medical staff.  ( I don't care that they are contract people, they are on a HAL ship and therefore represent HAL)

Very bad advice as the charge is for a service that was rendered.

 

Good way to get on the HAL no sail list ( and probably all brands under Carnival Corporation umbrella).

 

By the way, when you enter the sick bay on the ship, your are given a statement to read and sign the describes the conditions  of medical care  and that there will be a charge.

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You sound like an amazing husband, and your wife is a very lucky woman.  I'm sorry to hear you weren't allowed to rejoin your cruise, but we had a similar situation arise when we were on a Panama Canal cruise.  DH decided at one of the ports to go body surfing (yes, he's an idiot . . . you'd think at his age, he'd know better! LOL), resulting in a hernia.  He went to the ship's doctor who, despite all tests to the contrary, decided it was his heart and we were disembarked in Colon, then taken by ambulance to Panama City.  The next morning he was released from the hospital with a clean bill of health and we were told that we would not be able to rejoin the ship for the remainder of our cruise (another 4 days) because the Captain didn't want to take the chance that something might go awry.  We made our way to Miami where we spent a few days playing tourist, then onto Ft Lauderdale where we rejoined the friends we were cruising with, and a couple of days later, we all flew back to the "frozen tundra".

 

Thankfully our travel insurance paid for all the costs we incurred, including the infirmary costs from the ship; I can only hope you had additional travel insurance to cover yours.

 

Smooth Sailing! 🙂🙂🙂

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This doesn't sound like the HAL I know, you should have contacted the Captain or staff captain, they can overrule the 'Princess' doctor. I would write a letter to the executive offices of Hal and demand an apology and a major discount on a future Alaska cruise..

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I wish that the OP would return to this thread and let us know if he, hopefully, had travel insurance to help cover the exorbitant fees.

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14 minutes ago, JudithLynne said:

I wish that the OP would return to this thread and let us know if he, hopefully, had travel insurance to help cover the exorbitant fees.

 

I'm guessing he/she won't return, because I'm thinking that they probably did not have the insurance and quickly realized their 'mistake' based on many of the posts here mentioning it.

 

They'll probably stay away rather than return and admit that they didn't have insurance, so all the costs are theirs.

 

Expensive lesson learned..

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59 minutes ago, JudithLynne said:

I wish that the OP would return to this thread and let us know if he, hopefully, had travel insurance to help cover the exorbitant fees.

 

ER visit plus one night in the hospital for $3200? I would not call that exorbitant. Unless you are Canadian or EU.

 

My insurance doesn't pay on the ship. So we get a supplemental travel policy. 

 

Glad shes alright. I don't see what HAL did wrong here.

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9 hours ago, Homosassa said:

$3231? Sounds about right for a few tests and overnight monitoring. Surgery would have cost much more (wait until you receive your insurance statements for Sitka).

 

The doctor and medical staff on ships are outside contractors. HAL does not set their rates nor would become involved in the billing. 

 

Depending on your health insurance, this may be covered under your normal policy (it would be for me - my Medicare supplement covers all costs outside the country).

 

 

Alaska is a   U.S.  state and medicare would pay there same as anywhere within the  'States'

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2 minutes ago, sail7seas said:

 

Alaska is a   U.S.  state and medicare would pay there same as anywhere within the  'States'

However, the ship is not the US, and it's the ship's bill the poster is referring to. 

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54 minutes ago, RuthC said:

However, the ship is not the US, and it's the ship's bill the poster is referring to. 

 

My understanding is that Medicare will pay if the ship is docked in the US. I think also if it's in US waters, but I'm not sure about that. We don't know if OP's wife is old enough for Medicare or if their medical insurance will cover this. Sounds like they did not have travel insurance. So unless OP comes back to clarify, we won't know how this was resolved. 

 

I keep coming back to that old American Express slogan, but apply it to travel insurance. Don't leave home without it.

 

 

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From some of the comments on this Thread, I'd say there is an excellent, untapped market for a travel stupidity insurance product.

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10 hours ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

My understanding is that Medicare will pay if the ship is docked in the US. I think also if it's in US waters, but I'm not sure about that.

I know Medicare has a couple of obscure exceptions to the 'must be in the US' rule, and at least one of them involves Alaska, but I don't know if this situation is one of them.
I had to know the Medicare rules in my work, but the situation of being on a foreign-flagged ship and needing medical attention while in American waters never came up. 

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1 minute ago, RuthC said:

I know Medicare has a couple of obscure exceptions to the 'must be in the US' rule, and at least one of them involves Alaska, but I don't know if this situation is one of them.
I had to know the Medicare rules in my work, but the situation of being on a foreign-flagged ship and needing medical attention while in American waters never came up. 

 

I've met people who haven't traveled out of the US who were surprised to learn that Medicare stops the moment you're out of the country. 

 

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12 hours ago, RuthC said:

However, the ship is not the US, and it's the ship's bill the poster is referring to. 

Good point Ruth!!

Denise😊

40 minutes ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

I've met people who haven't traveled out of the US who were surprised to learn that Medicare stops the moment you're out of the country. 

 

Supplement Insurance does cover it for a good premium price! We have it and covers all. United Health Care.

Denise😊

 

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Don't assume the OP was uninsured just because he complained of the $3231 bill from HAL. I complained about the cost and was not involved. No need for the OP to return again to the thread, he has had his say and provided me with a valuable warning about cruise ship healthcare for which I thank him.

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1 hour ago, DeeniEncinitas said:

Good point Ruth!!

Denise😊

Supplement Insurance does cover it for a good premium price! We have it and covers all. United Health Care.

Denise😊

 

 

Yes, mine does, too. But if I have travel insurance that becomes primary. Travelguard was fantastic. They agreed to pay DH's hospital bill directly. I had to sign an agreement that I would reimburse them for anything over my coverage, which I suppose I could have submitted to my insurance. But the bill was less than my coverage. 

 

Edited by 3rdGenCunarder

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The reason they were not allowed to return to the ship at the next port is that it would have been a PVSA violation.  The cruise left from Seattle, therefore it was a round trip, returning to Seattle.  In fact, they were in violation when debarking in Sitka, but unless it is also listed on their statement, the ship ate that fee ($700+pp).  Rejoining the ship in the next Alaskan port would have been a double violation...EM

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On 9/8/2019 at 6:09 PM, Homosassa said:

$3231? Sounds about right for a few tests and overnight monitoring. Surgery would have cost much more (wait until you receive your insurance statements for Sitka).

 

The doctor and medical staff on ships are outside contractors. HAL does not set their rates nor would become involved in the billing. 

 

 

My bill was a LOT lower than that on X (for a few hours), while I was expecting a similar amount.

 

I don't think that a guest is supposed to understand that the doctor is actually working for a different company. They have a contract with HAL, Guest Relations tells them where to find the doctor, the bill is sent to them by HAL. Even if HAL doesn't want to deal with it, it's just logical to call them for complaints.

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On 9/8/2019 at 9:09 AM, Homosassa said:

$3231? Sounds about right for a few tests and overnight monitoring. Surgery would have cost much more (wait until you receive your insurance statements for Sitka).

 

The doctor and medical staff on ships are outside contractors. HAL does not set their rates nor would become involved in the billing. 

 

Depending on your health insurance, this may be covered under your normal policy (it would be for me - my Medicare supplement covers all costs outside the country).

 

 

I think that amount is way out of line.  I can only compare to my own experiences with HAL (twice) and while I didn't need to stay in the infirmary overnight, I had personal care (nurse under direction of ship doctor) and medications in my cabin for several hours in the night, and including medication, the most recent bill was only $124 .

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I wonder if the high cost was because she stayed overnight. The ship's hospital isn't staffed all the time, only during open hours or if there's an out-of-hours need. If a patient is in there all night, doesn't someone from the medical staff have to be there, too? 

 

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6 hours ago, DeeniEncinitas said:

Good point Ruth!!

Denise😊

Supplement Insurance does cover it for a good premium price! We have it and covers all. United Health Care.

Denise😊

 

Denise, same for us.  We have medicare through UHC and it pays no matter where we are.  We also get trip insurance, which is secondary to medicare.  We have paid for onboard medical, submitted claim to UHC/medicare, which paid 100% and listed it as "Foreign Provider on the EOB.  We have had four medical claims and all have been paid my medicare/UHC  (Alaska, UK, international waters).  

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Hello, thank you to all the cruisers for the positive feedback and comments, the reason I tell our story is just to make people aware of how you will be treated should you fall ill on a cruise.
Yes we have insurance and yes the insurance company took care of the bill but that is not the point, the point is that the cruise lines are ripping people off with charges as extreme as those we incurred.
Anyway my wife was fine after surgery, thanks to the good doctors in Sitka.
Happy cruising and good luck!

 

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19 hours ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

My understanding is that Medicare will pay if the ship is docked in the US. I think also if it's in US waters, but I'm not sure about that.

 

My only experience is on the Rotterdam out of Tampa. I realized when unpacking that I did not have my Thyroid medication (husband rummaged around in drug bag and knocked it out at home).  Next port of call was Key West and then San Juan.  Due to a doctor's office that didn't not answer the telephone and never called back, I could not get the prescription in Key West (I have since changed practices).

 

I visited the on board doctor before the ship left Key West who was able to supply me with a sixteen day supply.  I was charged for the office visit and the drug.

 

Medicare would not pay. However, my Blue Cross/Blue Shield Supplemental Insurance did.

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