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March 2003

Medical Insurance for Voyagers
A few months back we wrote about our search for health insurance to cover us as we voyaged. We looked into several of the international health plans, and found these costly with the added limitation that once we decided to swallow the anchor and settle in New Zealand we would have to try to get coverage with a local company which could be difficult due to our ages. (Larry is currently 63, I am a few months shy of 59). Then we learned about a travellers plan offered by Panteanius. Finally I contacted an insurance broker in New Zealand to discuss it all. A compromise emerged that we feel fits our needs and might be useful to others.

Remember, we have voyaged for 35 years with no medical insurance and found the lifestyle amazingly healthy and our medical expenses very low as when we did need assistance we got top grade care in places such as South Africa or the UK or New Zealand at prices less than 1/3 those found in the U.S. But with our ages definitely changing the odds and also our plans to be in US waters over the next year, we have opted for the following coverage.

We purchased Annual Single Trip travel insurance, taking cover for Medical and repatriation only. This cost Pound Sterling 551 for the two of us (about $800), and will cover taking care of immediate medical concerns where they happen and then any cost to ship the injured person and an accompanying adult back to New Zealand. From discussions with others using this plan, they only repatriate you for something that will require long term or major medical care, not for things like a broken leg or pneumonia. We then bought a Hospital and specialist care medical coverage from Tower insurance, a reputable New Zealand firm. Once covered by this firm, we are eligible with them no matter what our ages. This cost us about $500 US. There is a $75 deductible on the travel insurance, none on the coverage once we reach New Zealand.

Pantaenius - www.pantaenius.com or email - info@pantaenius.co.uk.
Tower - www.tower.co.nz or email - askus@towerlimited.co.nz

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