Does anyone in the viewing audience depend on Medicare for their healthcare while living in Panama? Is this even possible? I have a senior citizen friend who's asking.




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Not as I read it.


Medicare guidelines are very specific. They DO NOT cover medical care costs or prescriptions outside the U.S. except for some very specific exceptions.

The statement, "as long as you are a US citizen it doesn't matter where you live", means  "as long as you are a US citizen it doesn't matter where you live as far as being covered by Medicare". That does not mean you can have treatment covered and paid for 'everywhere in the world'.

To understand Medicare you have to look at each of the four parts.  The rules and coverages very by part.

Part A   Hospitalization  Everyone is eligible at age 65.  No additional cost.

Part B   Medical for doctors both in and out of the hospital. Eligible at age 65.  You are charged for this coverage, however you can opt out.  If you don't sign up at age 65 and decide to enroll latter there is a financial penalty.

Both parts A & B  are administered by the Feds and only cover care rendered in the USA.

In addition to Parts A &B  there are add on programs for supplemental expenses and drugs.  Parts A & B  are not the deluxe gold plated plans that some politicians would have you believe.  If you don't have a supplemental plan you can be on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars.  You need to purchase a supplemental plan to have coverage equivalent to what you might of had if you  worked for a big company.  These plans are offered by private insurance companies.  The companies offer various standard plans that meet minimum requirements as specified by the Feds and are sold at a standard price in each state.  The various insurance companies can offer additional features/benefits as a competitive advantage.  A Standard feature of Plan F from all insurance companies is that you can be reimbursed for a lifetime maximum of $50,000 for emergency medical expenses while you are out of the USA.

Finally Part D coverage is a drug plan.  It will only work to purchase drugs at a discount in the USA.

In summary while basic Medicare ( A & B )  only cover you in the USA it is possible with a Plan F supplemental plan to have some coverage while not in the USA.  Is it worth it?  Part B  plus Plan F will cost you about $225 per month this year.   If you can't get the coverage you need in Panama  then Medicare is an option, but you will have to get patched up enough to make a trip back to the USA for treatment.

Do you need to maintain an address in the U.S. to return to the U.S. for treatment?  I never expected to cover it here, really.  I have heard that visitors are covered under Panama health care for a few weeks or so.  Again, hearsay

Encon has quoted me 199.45.  This was without my physical, but one had to be done.  It takes about a week.  You pay a whopping 20.00 for it in David.  It includes an aids test, urine test, a questions and answer session with an english speaking Dr.  It also includes a little of the touchy feely stuff.

One concern, is that my fee scale would be the same as someone with high blood pressure, etc.  I am not on any medications, as of this moment (don't even say it out loud).  You can only get this insurance up to the age of 65, but can keep it afterward.  This is the cost up to  and including age 69.  This is off topic, but for those concerned as to weather they are insured or not, this is an option. I am doing this through Magna, on the right side of the road on the way into town.

The doctor's name is Samuel Cattan.

Bonnie, I will use him some, as he can be a good source of referrals to specialists, should the need arise, Thats

Yes, Correcto on the Dr. and his wife Lulu.  He gave me her card, as she owns a nursery, has a horse, and dogs, so we have a lot in common.

My blood pressure was perfecto 100/70.  What I am saying is that I got the quote before they established any of this.

They did not do an EKG, but I have had one in the past 8 months, so they just asked for the name and city of my Primary care phy. in the U.S.  I hope they do run a cholesterol check, just to have it on record.  All my blood work is usually very good, dispite my sweet tooth.

Correct on the Ins. co.

I wonder if women have more false neg on EKG's due to using body lotion.  My little tabs kept falling off. They just slapped them back on.  Came back questionable.  Sent me to the hospital for a very expensive stress test, around 4 grand.  I should have asked them to wipe off three layers of lotion and try again.  Come on now, what would goes into a physican without putting on lotion in the morning.... A lesson learned.

I did the tread mill.  Which my Dr. requested.  Guess that was a good thing, I would not have known the difference.  Off to buy veggies...  Can't find them dipped in sugar anywhere....hummm.

 Hola ,I went back to the states for a simple one hr one day recovery  surgery on my back.I already have 6 screws in my lower lumbar the I had done at  Hospital National in Panama city,open back surgery.So I was not as anxious as before my last surgery in Panama about 7 years ago.I used Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville Florida  because of its supposed to be one of the best hospitals in the USA.They tore the sack that covers the spine a and I leaked cerebral fluid.It took them six hours to repair This was about18 months ago Im still using a cane,and have to use heavy drugs for the chronic pain.I would never use the hospitlas in the US even though I have Medicare,and can use the VA aill at little or no cost Just a little info  on were Id go for sugery again .Six days in the hospital,and the care was 3rd world

This deserves a fresh topic rather than being tacked on to a six-yer-old post. Go to the box next to your name above, the one that says +Add, to begin a new post.

Bonnie great suggestion. Readers should also be extremely wary of anecdotal stories about, medicines, doctor experiences and surgeries. Especially when passing on Lawyer Advertisements for Ambulance chasers and surgical experiences, like this one.  There are always a small number of outside normal clinical/surgical outcomes.  They can happen to anyone or anywhere including in Panama.  Once they occur here your outcome is rarely a good one.

As Lee Zeltzer learned the hard way...

A Licensed HC Professional

Where is the ad for the lawyer ambulance chaser?  Was it deleted?


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