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For those of you over 65 with World Wide Medical, expect a very big shock when your renewal notice comes in.  Mine is up over last year by 20% or so, that after a big increase last year.  Remember these increases are compounded year over year, so You can expect an even larger increase next year.  The company's reasoning?  11% for inflation ( what, are we in Venezuala?) and the rest because I am a year older.  At this rate of increase my premiums will double in 4 years - my income sure isn't doing that.  Add to that, if you have a pre-existing condition, then there are very few options available.

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Thanks, John. They're shooting themselves in the foot. People who can afford premiums like this also can afford to self insure. And that's what I intend to do. It's going to drive lots of folks right out of the market.

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Just to add my two cents here, I can say this was a major concern before moving to Boquete.  But without an answer to the question of medical coverage I moved here anyway. So now that a year has passed I can say that I've explored all options and have concluded that for people my age (71 now 72 soon) there is no good coverage option in Panama other than self insured for emergencies (up to $20,000 in my case from US plan, though car insurance does cover some part of this) and Medicare coverage back in the states for more serious situations.  I realize there is still a gap in what i might need, but have decided to accept the risk, take really good care of my health and see what the future brings.  Not a great solution for everyone, but it's all I can do for me.  Best wishes for great solutions.  Dennis

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Just an FYI. There are two programs coming up at the Tuesday Talks at BCP that might provide some answers.

On June 6, I have JR Pazo(with Health Alliance Panama and We Care Pharmacies) who is in charge of all things medical for U.S. veterans in Chiriqui.

And, on July 25, I have Irma Castillo Smith from Keep it Simple Panama to introduce a new health insurance company starting to do business in Chiriqui. I understand this company will insure the older population we have here.

I guess we all have to understand that we use more medical (and insurance) resources as we age.

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Interested in the outcome of the above meetings Penny.  We plan to move permanently to Panama in January and I've been studying the best approach to medical coverage.   Seems International coverage plans are the best for the first year we are there until we can figure out a plan 'on the ground'.    Looking forward to your postings after the meeting conclusions!

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Panawanna, there are options out there.  You do have to make your own decision and not be swayed by slick marketing.  It is going to cost, but everything good does.  PM me if you want more info.

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