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Cost Question - If you need to visit the doctor onboard

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I just took a poll on here about the biggest fear about cruising and one of the answers was getting sick since I didn't buy insurance.... This now has me thinking we ALWAYS buy insurance but to date (and 12+ cruises behind us) we have never needed it nor have we ever had the need to visit the doctor while on board.

 

The question is... What are the charges for visiting the doctor onboard? Is it like going to a regular doctor's office...meaning an office visit charge, etc...and how much has this run you?

 

Which leads to the next question - does insurance (purchased either independently or through the cruise line) cover this charge? Say you develop a bad cold on board and need medicine?

 

I'll be interested to read your answers

 

Thanks

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I, too, have been thinking about this. I think the least of your problems would be a cold or a slight medical problem. The extreme costs would be an emergency surgery, heart attack or the like. I only purchased the insurance when I felt the insurance cost was slight as compared to the cost of the trip. I also never purchased on inexpensive, near the port cruises. I never really weighed in extreme medical emergencies. Not sure what I will do on my next cruise.

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No, it's not like a doctor's visit.... it's like an emergency room visit. We were charged $100 when my husband hurt his back. Doc spent a few minutes with him and gave him some muscle relaxers. Insurance supposedly would have covered it, but I never got around to filing it.

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I'm not sure if the charges are the same on RCCL as they are on Carnival.....but a friend of mine had to go to the onboard doctor for an ear infection in January and it cost her $90 for the visit plus the cost of the medication. He prescribed penicilin and Darvocet, but I don't know how much extra those medications were.

 

She needed to go back a couple days later because the medication wasn't working and they wanted another $65 just to discuss it with her. They said it was a 'follow up' visit and she needed to pay the fee in order to even discuss her illness with them.

 

She told them 'No thank you' on the second visit.

 

She can submit the receipt to her insurance company back in the states to be reimbursed. You should check with your insurance before you go to see if they will pay any expenses out of the country.

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For some reason it seems my daughter always has something happen that requires a visit to the ship's doctor. Fortunately, nothing serious....last time it was a sprained ankle.

 

The charges have been similar to a doctor's office visit at home....plus medicine at an additional charge.

 

Although the charges for the doctor's services have always been charged to our shipboard account, the doctor's office has also given us a separate statement....which in turn can be presented for reimbursement to our personal health insurance company upon returning home. Our health insurance program covers us for this at the same percentage it covers a *non-provider* at home.

 

If one has travel insurance as well, it may be a plan that picks up the difference....(?)

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The charges are VERY similar to a doctors office and are pretty much in line with usual and customary fees in the USA on land. The difference is that for most of us, our insurance has "cut a deal" with the doctors for a much lower charge, and usually we only pay a small part of that deal.

 

On a ship you pay the full charge, no deal, no discount, if you have insurance, you can get reimbursed later, but you will be responsible for the full amount at the time of service.

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DW had to go to the Sick Bay on AOS last year when she got sun poisoning and a severe allergic rash. It was 90 for the visit and then 160 for the shots/meds she was given. She needed intravenous benadryl.

 

We had trip insurance and it covered the 250. It is an out-of-pocket expense on the ship. The claim is subitted upon return and we were refunded in 2 weeks.

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DW had to go to the Sick Bay on AOS last year when she got sun poisoning and a severe allergic rash. It was 90 for the visit and then 160 for the shots/meds she was given. She needed intravenous benadryl.

 

We had trip insurance and it covered the 250. It is an out-of-pocket expense on the ship. The claim is subitted upon return and we were refunded in 2 weeks.

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DS was hurt on the Explorer two years ago. The cost of the Dr. visit was over $400 and was put on our account. We paid a premium because it was considered an emergency visit when the Dr.'s office was closed at noon for lunch. (heaven forbid we should bother the Dr. during lunch on a Sea Day.)

 

Anyway, we also had medical expenses in Belize and in Florida upon our return. Also, DS had to have two root canals once we got home. We turned all expenses into our medical insurance and the balance to our travel insurance. The balance was over $500.

 

I won't travel without insurance again. Given we are healthy and don't have elderly parents anymore, we just don't know what can happen while on vacation.

 

Get the insurance.

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Been on 5 cruises with my mother, 4 times she had to see the ship doctor with a bladder infection. The charges were different amounts, but were around $160 - $190, including the medication prescribed. We think she mentally is so worried about getting them that somehow it physically comes to pass. At any rate, she considers this part of her vacation expense now, as her HMO considers this out of plan and won't pay.

Should she get cruise insurance? Probably would be a wash.:eek:

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We had a $700 infirmary bill from the Navigator for 3 visits to the doctors including antibiotics - all fell ill with bad sinus infection. We luckily always buy insurance - we submitted the bill and had a refund within a month. This was 3 years ago. I would never travel without insurance. I use insuremytrip.com that will give you great comparisons - I never pay insurance from the cruiseline.

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My mom's visit to the infirmary on Explorer was $257.00 for about six minutes!!

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My 2nd cruise I got hurt and had to see the doctors onboard. It cost me $175 which I had to pay upfront. They gave me a form to file with my health insurance when I got him, which I did. Unfortunately I then found out that my health insurance at the time did not cover you outside the US.

 

I've learned my lesson now and travel with travel insurance.

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My 2nd cruise I got hurt and had to see the doctors onboard. It cost me $175 which I had to pay upfront. They gave me a form to file with my health insurance when I got him, which I did. Unfortunately I then found out that my health insurance at the time did not cover you outside the US.

 

I've learned my lesson now and travel with travel insurance.

 

Yeah, Wrona. Have you ever had a cruise where you DIDN'T hurt yourself??

 

Always FOLLOW Wrona down stairs, never in front of her.:D

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Yeah, Wrona. Have you ever had a cruise where you DIDN'T hurt yourself??

 

I think there might have been 1 or 2.:p ;) The last time they didn't make me pay for my visit to the infirmary.

 

Always FOLLOW Wrona down stairs, never in front of her.:D

 

I've already warned the people on my roll call about making sure I'm always wearing my glasses, especially when attempting to navigate stairs!:D

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On our Navagator cruise in September our DIL's stepfather came down with pneumonia and a kidney infection. (started before the cruise, just didn't know it).

There was talk of helicoptering him off the ship.

The Infirmary bills were over $5000.

They did not have to pay a cent out of pocket after their insurance and the travel insurance paid.

Good investment in my book.:)

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On our January Monarch cruise, while making a spa appointment I suddenly fainted (result of a too strict pre-cruise diet followed by overindulging on dirty bananas and a dining room waiter bringing every dessert on the menu, each night :o ) and was rushed to the ship's emergency room. Initially, they just started me off on some intraveneus fluids and basic examinations (BP, blood-sugar level) but once the doctor heard we were European and would get the entire bill refunded (we've got universal health care; full coverage, even when abroad ) he suddenly decided, what the heck, I needed TWO bags of fluid, an ECG, full blood tests and a nice, little rest in for the entire day in the emergency room :eek: I guess doctors are the same, whether they're land based or out on sea :rolleyes: Total bill came to $750... I'll get it all back, eventhough I never take out any insurance. Thank god for a good health care system :D

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My husband usually needs to go to the Doctors because he gets sea sick. They charge around $100.00 which they put on your ship board account and then we turn it in to our insurance company after we get home. Sometimes we get our money back and sometimes we don't. I do know one thing...on Caribbean Princess my cousin needed to see the doctor for two visits. They did not charge him for the second visit as it was related to the first visit. And the medicines are MUCH cheaper on the ship than at home.

Hopes this helps a little?

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We always carry insurance just in case-- but my experience on Celebrity Summit was very pleasant considering the circumstances. I broke my arm on a shore excursion, went back to the ship, it was an "emergency" visit cause medical area was not open. They were there within 10 minutes, did X-rays, put arm in cast provided anti inflammatories and also pain killer and the entire bill was $330.00 which insurance paid completely. My point is that in the States an emergency room visit for this kind of injury would have been well over $1000.00...... $330.00 seemed more than reasonable to me......

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I carried insurance for the last cruise I took. Not so much for the cancellation part, which I would appreciate if I really did have to cancel at the last minute, but primarly for the medical. You just never know what may happen and for my family of five we were covered for $120. Well worth it IMHO.

 

My parents (who are new to cruising) have begun asking their doctor for an Rx prior to leaving and they take it with them- just in case. For the most part a person that gets frequent illness that require medicines knows when they will need it or not. If you have it on hand it can prevent an unnecessary expense.

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Just got off the Monarch on Friday. DH and DS were playing golf in Ensenada and DH fell down a little hill. He ended up hurting his ankle very badly. He iced it until he got back to the ship and we went down to Medical. They didn't know if it was broken or sprained. Two xrays and a pain killer later they figured it was sprained. They wrapped it and sold us crutches (which he needed!). The bill came to $249.90. I just submitted it to our health insurance yesterday ... should be no probs getting reimbursed.

We always get the travel insurance on longer cruises, but never on these short little 4-day cruises. I doubt we will change that. After all ... WHO gets hurt playing GOLF!!!! :eek: hee-hee

~d

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It's not the cost of the onboard visit that will put you in debt it's the airlift to the US that will cost $$$$$$$$$$$$$.

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My daughter had a cold and needed lung treatments it ran $400.00 You have to pay cash and submit it to your personal insurance first, if or what they don't pay you can submit to the travel insurance.

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I too was considering whether or not to get trip insurance. It seems to me that if my health carrier at home will reimburse my exspenses it may not be worth it. Even with trip insurance you have to pay out of pocket and wait to be reimbursed. Also the carrier I was researching stated that it did not cover exspenses related to alcohol. So if my DH gets drunk and falls down the stairs, no coverage:confused: What if someone else gets drunk and falls on me:confused: I don't understand how these are not covered. What happens if I don't have insurance and I have to be airlifted for emergency medical treatment and I don't have thousands of dollars to pay and dont have a credit card to charge the exspenses on?

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