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SempreMare

$143,000 bill for snakebite treatment

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$143,000 bill for snakebite treatment in the US

'All in all, she was released within 24 hours of the bite.'

https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/04/try-not-to-get-bitten-by-a-snake-it-could-cost-you-143000/

The bill included

$68k for four vials of antivenin

$56k for air-ambulance transportation.

 

"And, in the end, the family’s insurer negotiated the $67,957 antivenin bill to $44,092.87."

 

This was a reminder to me of 1) how quickly medical costs can spiral 2) The high costs of medical air transport

 

I wonder if anti-venom treatment would be tons less in Canada or Europe.

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Posted (edited)

Glad she’s Ok but why is this being posted on Cruise Critic?  This happened on a hike in Illinois (didn’t know cruise ships stopped in illinois)

Edited by Luckiestmanonearth

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Probably because people who cruise often underestimate the cost of treatment and medical evac.  

 

While the example was a hike in Illinois, the same sort of medical situation can occur in many ports and excursions.  

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On 6/13/2019 at 9:39 PM, Luckiestmanonearth said:

Glad she’s Ok but why is this being posted on Cruise Critic?  This happened on a hike in Illinois (didn’t know cruise ships stopped in illinois)

Our American Queen Mississippi trip docks in Illinois in a couple of weeks - but I do get your point!

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On 6/14/2019 at 8:55 AM, cherylandtk said:

Probably because people who cruise often underestimate the cost of treatment and medical evac.  

 

While the example was a hike in Illinois, the same sort of medical situation can occur in many ports and excursions.  

 

@cherylandtk,  Exactly. 

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A few years back, my wife was in Royal Darwin Hospital for several days.  Her total bill w hosp[ital, physician, and supplies was about $6000.  On the same trip, I fell and got major cuts and abrasions on my face and arms.  My total bill including supplies to that my wife could rederess my wounds at the emergency room was about $400.

 

DON

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This thread simply reinforces many of my previous posts (over many years) about the inadequacies of many Travel policies, especially those sold by cruise lines.  Consider that many of the these policies only cover up to $10,000 or medical (some cover up to $25,000) which is simply not enough coverage for many medical problems.  I have often suggested that the minimum medical coverage should be $100,000 and lately I have wondered if even that number is too low.  

 

There is also a perverse situation (seldom discussed) regarding travel insurance, medical limits, and evacuation costs.  Consider a person with $10,000 of medical who blows through that coverage is less than 1 day in a trauma center.  At that point the insurer is already on the hook for their maximum but has no further liability.  In a perverse sense they have no further incentive to work with the patient to obtain better care or help with evacuation.  However, if you have $250,000 of insurance and are hospitalized in a foreign country, the insurance company has a strong incentive to get you home (even if they have to pay for evacuation) where your future medical bills are covered by your regular insurance.

 

Just fruit for thought.

 

Hank

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1 hour ago, Hlitner said:

This thread simply reinforces many of my previous posts (over many years) about the inadequacies of many Travel policies, especially those sold by cruise lines.  Consider that many of the these policies only cover up to $10,000 or medical (some cover up to $25,000) which is simply not enough coverage for many medical problems.  I have often suggested that the minimum medical coverage should be $100,000 and lately I have wondered if even that number is too low.  

 

There is also a perverse situation (seldom discussed) regarding travel insurance, medical limits, and evacuation costs.  Consider a person with $10,000 of medical who blows through that coverage is less than 1 day in a trauma center.  At that point the insurer is already on the hook for their maximum but has no further liability.  In a perverse sense they have no further incentive to work with the patient to obtain better care or help with evacuation.  However, if you have $250,000 of insurance and are hospitalized in a foreign country, the insurance company has a strong incentive to get you home (even if they have to pay for evacuation) where your future medical bills are covered by your regular insurance.

 

Just fruit for thought.

 

Hank


Very interesting way to look at it, cost/incentive-wise.

Indeed!

 

GC

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47 minutes ago, GeezerCouple said:


Very interesting way to look at it, cost/incentive-wise.

Indeed!

 

GC

Based on experience.  We had posted the tale here on CC.  About 15 months ago DW seriously injured her lower leg while we were in Vietnam.  It was treated on our cruise ship but she did not respond well to the treatment.  A few days later the ships physician referred us to major hospital in Osaka, Japan (where we were docked) where DW had further treatment and outpatient surgery.  The reasonable alternatives were for her to stay in Japan a few weeks (for further treatment) or be medically evacuated back the USA (which could be done in a lay flat seat).  Our medical insurer not only had our medical insurance ($250,000 of coverage) but also insured up to e $500,000 of evacuation.  Getting DW back home  (quickly) offered many advantages over further treatment in Japan (or gambling on continuing the cruise).  While the insurer agreed to pay for the medical evacuation (over $10,000) it meant they had no further obligation for medical bills once DW reached the US.  Technically they could have refused to pay for evacuation since DW was not an inpatient.  But this increased their financial risk if DW subsequently needed further medical treatment outside the country.  When I worked for a medical insurer (Government) similar issues and decisions were pretty routine.  While the well-being of a patient should always take precedence there are times when cost containment is a major consideration.

 

Hank

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