new health insurance abroad- pre-existing conditions
September 29, 2010 6:34 PM   Subscribe

I have a friend living in the US with US health insurance. He wants to move back to Panama, where he's from. He's recently had a heart surgery, and tells me that he won't be able to get health insurance in Panama as this would be a pre-existing condition there. It's not a pre-existing condition currently and is covered by his US health insurance. He therefore, doesn't think he can move back home. Its a stressful situation for him and I really wish I could give him some meaningful advice, preferably something that includes him retaining medical coverage either in US or Panama, and being able to move back to Panama. I remember from looking into this myself earlier that it did seem possible to retain US insurance coverage if you live outside the US but maybe only if you are a citizen. Please help!
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (1 answer total)
Is his current coverage employer sponsored or is it individual (private) insurance? If employer, and he voluntarily terminates coverage by quitting, he's SOL unless he can get insurance in Panama. I know nothing of insurance outside the US.

There's next to no chance of him quitting, losing his employer insurance, and getting his own private insurance in the US with his condition. Though this is changing if he can wait two years for some of the new Health Care Reform measures to kick in.

If he currently has private insurance, AND his current insurance covers out-of-country care (some do, some don't), and and if he maintains a US address on paper, he may be able to keep and use his current coverage in Panama.

He would have to manually send his own claims to the US. Claims would be paid in US dollars with a check mailed to him at his US address.
posted by thatguyjeff at 5:21 PM on September 30, 2010

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