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My wife and I are planning to move from the USA to Boquete this July (2019) and I'm having a hard time figuring out how I will get insulin pump supplies at a reasonable cost. It seems like no one will insure me with a pre-existing condition. I thought I could maybe qualify for Obamacare in the states and have my pump supplies mail forwarded through Miami, but I've heard MINSA will either charge me 30% duty tax (on about $2,000 worth of supplies for 90 days) or even confiscate or return to sender because they want me to buy from Panama. Not sure if that's true - just what I heard. 

I know some folks fly home to get their medicines and smuggle them back into the country in their suitcase. Seems kind of ridiculous, but it's better than dying I suppose. 

An even less desirable option would be to go off the insulin pump and return to daily injections with significantly worse blood sugar management. I'd rather not consider that option, but I do recognize it as an option. 

Does anyone out there have an insulin pump? How do you live? What are my options? Please help!

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As a Registered Nurse nurse having lived here for 12 1/2 years I would not recommend Panama as a retirement choice for folks with serious chronic medical conditions.  Bottom line is to rent for a year and find out how it goes for you.  You may private message me if you wish.

ALISON 

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On 5/14/2019 at 1:25 PM, Adam said:

My wife and I are planning to move from the USA to Boquete this July (2019) and I'm having a hard time figuring out how I will get insulin pump supplies at a reasonable cost. It seems like no one will insure me with a pre-existing condition. I thought I could maybe qualify for Obamacare in the states and have my pump supplies mail forwarded through Miami, but I've heard MINSA will either charge me 30% duty tax (on about $2,000 worth of supplies for 90 days) or even confiscate or return to sender because they want me to buy from Panama. Not sure if that's true - just what I heard. 

I know some folks fly home to get their medicines and smuggle them back into the country in their suitcase. Seems kind of ridiculous, but it's better than dying I suppose. 

An even less desirable option would be to go off the insulin pump and return to daily injections with significantly worse blood sugar management. I'd rather not consider that option, but I do recognize it as an option. 

Does anyone out there have an insulin pump? How do you live? What are my options? Please help!

Please do not sell all and move.  Do yourself a favor and allow yourself time to visit here, talk to folks with similar issues and possibly other chronic health problems, get accustomed to life in a foreign country.  Of the two most common reasons people leave HEALTH CARE  and FAMILY are leading the list. Pharmacies are not as you know in the USA or Canada.  Meds are generally a bit expensive and the available list of meds available is a shorter one.  Recently, for example, some 50 different blood pressure meds were removed from shelves here. Customs can hold items ( meds cosmetics)  sent from foreign countries for a time that are on their watch list...which seems to change at a whim.   My husband and I are both in our 70s we are healthy and active.  That said, we are now at the stage of our lives where we look to return to the USA for our more golden years.  

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