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Cost Question - If you need to visit the doctor onboard

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I can tell you from an unfortunate experience with my husband having a heart attack 4 days from completion of our cruise last September, the 1 night emergency until we he was transferred to the Hospital in ST Johns, Newfoundland, all went to our Credit Card on file, which was a little over $12,000.00 . Our regular Insurance through my husband's Fed Retirement, sent me a check after receiving all Medical & costs from the ship/RCCL.

 

Settingsail, my husband was not as fortunate as yours and I am grateful your husband is with you today. I too am grateful it happened on board vs our being on a tour. My husband was much older then yours and to much time had elapsed before they got him back. We did medivac him home 9 days later but he passed away. We never know if & when an emergency will arise but best to have Insurance. I doubt the outcome would have been different had we been home and the Medical staff on board were outstanding. BTW, our Insurance covered his hospital stay while at the hospital in ST Johns.

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Many/most buy insurance to cover EXTREME possibilities. We didn't buy insurance to cover a on-ship visit. We buy it to cover emergencies like helicopter evac due to heart attack or other similar life-threatening conditions. Anyone able to afford these cruises can EASILY cover the hundred bucks or so for on-ship doctor visits should they tweek their back or twist an ankle.

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Many/most buy insurance to cover EXTREME possibilities. We didn't buy insurance to cover a on-ship visit. We buy it to cover emergencies like helicopter evac due to heart attack or other similar life-threatening conditions. Anyone able to afford these cruises can EASILY cover the hundred bucks or so for on-ship doctor visits should they tweek their back or twist an ankle.

 

Unless you purchase evacuation insurance only, most travel or personal insurance will cover a visit to the medical facilities so it makes sense to file a claim.

 

Rarely does a visit cost "a hundred bucks or so" unless it's a really minor visit. Costs are very similar to a US urgent care or emergency room. Just like at home they will perform routine blood work and X-rays.

 

It's smart to have evacuation and onboard insurance.

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I had to go to the medical department because I developed shingles on a cruise. The nurse explained to me that I had to pay and then get reimbursed from the cruise insurance as I have Medicare and that doesn't pay for treatments out of the country, nor does the cruise line accept any insurance.

 

I was told by the doctor that the rates charged are the Medicare approved rates, so reimbursement shouldn't be a problem. I also had a charge for the meds. I can't remember the actual costs, but I know I was fully reimbursed by the insurance I had for the cruise.

 

At that time the insurance I had, not from the cruise line, was secondary insurance, but the company knew that Medicare wouldn't pay so I didn't need a rejection from them. I have since only used insurance that is primary coverage as I have heard of others having to send a claim to Medicare, get a rejection and then the insurance company would pay.

 

I will never cruise without insurance and purchase it within 14 days of my booking.

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I had to visit the doctor on an RC ship about 5 years ago. No supplies or medication needed to be administered. It was simply an office visit. The bill was actually cheaper than what I’d expect to pay on land, maybe $100 or so. I submitted it to my insurance company but since it was “out of network” there was no reimbursement as I hadn’t met the “out of network” deductible. Some insurance policies pay zero for “out of network” so you could potentially be hit with a lifetime of debt if something happens onboard. If I were elderly or had a medical condition, I would definitely buy supplemental insurance.

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My son deveolped croup and then had an athma attack on board and they said if he did not get better after treatment he would need to be airlifted off the ship, thank you God he got better and the total bill was approx 800.

 

Since the insurance offered by the cruise is very expensive i go to insuremytrip.com I purchase insurance no secondary for 4 of us its around 100 to 120 total. I make sure that if i cant afford the insurance i wont go.They have serveral companies to chose from.

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I guess the best thing to do is check to see if your health insurance at home will cover medical bills on the ship or in a foreign country and go from there. I know our insurance does not cover us outside the U.S.

 

If you know you get seasick, perhaps a visit to your doctor at home before you go on the cruise might be in order.

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After reading this thread I want to purchase insurance. Slim chance but will ask anyway, can you get insurance la day or two before sailing? Not trip cancellation but the medical coverage for medivac and illness, etc.

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After reading this thread I want to purchase insurance. Slim chance but will ask anyway, can you get insurance la day or two before sailing? Not trip cancellation but the medical coverage for medivac and illness, etc.

Always a good idea! Check insuremytrip.com.

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Last June on harmony my then 14 year old son was screaming in pain from his abdomen at 3 a.m. an emergency visit to the infirmary with an iv and pain meds. This went on for 2 days not sure the problem but maybe appendix. They made us get off in Puerto Rico to go to hospital for scans. Anyway his ureter was kinked but could wait to get home. We did not buy Travel insurance. Ship Infirmary was over $900 for 3 different nights and $1400 for hospital. When we got home found out his kidney was completely not functioning. Had it removed and is now fine. Thank god. Our health insurance paid it all.

 

 

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After reading this thread I want to purchase insurance. Slim chance but will ask anyway, can you get insurance la day or two before sailing? Not trip cancellation but the medical coverage for medivac and illness, etc.

Yes you can.

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Unless you purchase evacuation insurance only, most travel or personal insurance will cover a visit to the medical facilities so it makes sense to file a claim.

 

Rarely does a visit cost "a hundred bucks or so" unless it's a really minor visit. Costs are very similar to a US urgent care or emergency room. Just like at home they will perform routine blood work and X-rays.

 

It's smart to have evacuation and onboard insurance.

 

My local urgent care charges $135 for a visit if you don't have insurance coverage.

 

I found out when my SO had to make a visit (she is from Europe), and we had to pay, then claim against her travel insurance.

 

Follow up visits for the same thing are cheaper.

 

Good deal, since the travel insurance (booked through the airline) was only about $50.

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On our honeymoon cruise on navigator, on the second from last night in the MDR we were eating dinner and my husband started going very red and not being able to breath. We rushed him to the infirmary at the bottom of the ship and they gave him an epipen and then put him on fluids for about an hour. He then had a check up visit the next day. Luckily he was seen in time before his airways closed.

 

He is allergic to nuts and all the waiters and staff knew this. Unfortantly it must gave been a cross containation.

 

We had many discussions with customer services and the managers (that were very stressful) to get the $500 removed for the medical expenses. They kept saying that it wasn't an accident. In the end they phoned their lawyers and all of a sudden all the expenses disappeared from our on board account and they gave us free drinks for the rest of the cruise!

 

We had insurance but it was the principle.. we knew we were right in this situation.. and eventually they agreed too.

 

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After reading this thread I want to purchase insurance. Slim chance but will ask anyway, can you get insurance la day or two before sailing? Not trip cancellation but the medical coverage for medivac and illness, etc.

 

check out https://www.geo-blue.com/

 

medical only :)

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I got sick onboard with bronchitis. I had to get antibiotics. I had to pay upfront. I think it was around $150 for visit and meds. I didn’t buy insurance. However, the lady onboard gave me the paperwork to file with my regular health insurance. I did that when I got back home and I was reimbursed with no problem just like if I would have seen my regular family doctor here in the US.

 

 

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I got sick onboard with bronchitis. I had to get antibiotics. I had to pay upfront. I think it was around $150 for visit and meds. I didn’t buy insurance. However, the lady onboard gave me the paperwork to file with my regular health insurance. I did that when I got back home and I was reimbursed with no problem just like if I would have seen my regular family doctor here in the US.

 

 

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Glad it worked out for you. A lot of insurance policies, including Medicare, don't cover you on cruise ships, or out of the US, that's why it pays to check your insurance before cruising, especially with regard to evacuation from the ship, or foreign port.

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The onboard Dr. visit is not brutally expensive, but, if anything, sprained ankle, etc, while on shore, you will wish you had bought insurance.

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We purchased from travelinsurance.com which is kind of like a broker showing you different companies like AIG, Allianz, Travelex and other respected companies. Basically travel insurance rates are based on your age and the cost of the trip.

 

If you are in your 50's expect to pay about $100-$150 for each $2000 trip. If you are in your 70's expect to pay double that. Regardless, it is FAR cheaper than any incident on-board a ship or off the ship. We were traveling this last month with a couple in their 70's. She developed a skin/tissue infection, fever etc. while on-board. Her 7 visits during the cruise totaled in excess of $6000. I honestly did not have the heart to ask if they had purchased the insurance. They probably did not, as much grumbling as there was. Remember that minor increases in rates can make a huge difference for medical and/or evacuation. Sometimes you might pay $20 more for twice the coverage. There are still countries in the world that will hold you hostage until payment arrives. (Mexico is one of them). Those insurance carriers will literally wire them the money, so that you can be released and go home. Worth every penny in my opinion. As stated earlier by dozens, Medicare/Medicaid will not help you. 

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A year ago my husband had a heart attack 4 days from the end of our TA and we were diverted to ST Johns Newfoundland as we were to far out for the helicopters. The evening on board expense maxed out my Credit Card on file, however our regular Medical Insurance through my husband Federal Plan with United Health Care, paid for all expenses, reimbursed me for the charges on the CC  ( $12,000 )so I could pay it off and after 9 days in Canada, flew my husband back to our home in So Calif and local hospital. with a full medical team. I had no out of pocket expense for his medical flight nor a co pay. Sadly my husband passed away 9 days after getting him home. While I agree to get travel insurance, check with your own provider on what they will cover first. We did go with an outside provider before checking with our own and they wanted $40,000 before they would pick him up. 

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I Have mentioned this in several threads, but some companies will sell you the travel insurance without coverage for the cost of the cruise.  For me, the cruise is paid for, if I miss it, I will be unhappy, but it is not a financial hit that was not expected.

 

I can cover the medical, medical evac, non-medical evac, lost luggage, and all the other coverages, for $32 for a typical trip.

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We are about to board the Allure today but the son has a very sore thumb, full of pus and inflamed. We feel we need to seek medical advice as soon as we board just for our own peace of mind and to stop it getting worse.

 

Whats to updated costs of seeing the doctor?

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Did you realize that by booking a RCCL shore excursion your Medical Fees are covered at least that's what I recall reading here if you get hurt or sick on a Tour? I think its a way to use the services for followup care as it may also be covered. What would be covered I am not sure. Maybe Bob knows.

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Thanks everyone for your advice. Much appreciated all the different points of view, each raising a different issue to consider. Most helpful and unbiased advice.

 

I'm handicapped, Legally Blind and Asthmatic. I use a WebsterPak for my prescribed and OTC medications packed by my pharmacy and carry my Asthma puffers with me. I also use a Rollator for mobility.

 

I have noted to allow  Medical Expenses of AUD$500 in cash when I next cruise, on a rival line, but the general advice is universal. Am looking out for a short cruise out of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia to experience Royal Caribbean. Honestly had NOT though to put money aside for On Board Medical Expenses-omission will be corrected as of next Thursday-banking day, so will start "squirrelling" to have money to cover any nasty surprises on board.

 

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