Dealing with emergencies abroad


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North End

When you plan to travel, it’s important to include health insurance as part of the costs. No one wants to be faced with enormous bills because of an unexpected health crisis. Seniors, especially, must arm themselves with protection.

One octogenarian I know revealed that in 2014 she was vacationing in Florida when she was suddenly faced with a health emergency. She required an immediate operation to insert a pacemaker and spent one night in the hospital. Her travel insurance company covered the $50,000 price tag.

Recently, while vacationing in Margate, (a 20-minute drive north of Ft. Lauderdale), my family and I were forced to deal with unexpected health issues but luckily, they were at the other end of the price scale. I had a problem with a painful whiplash, my son presented with a flu-like illness and fever, and his wife contracted an ear infection. In a matter of days we all visited a nearby clinic. The bill for each of us (up front) was $145 US. My daughter-in-law’s ear treatment cost $50 US, and the total bill for all of us, including medication, totalled $500.


Better safe than sorry should be the motto of all who travel abroad, especially seniors.

One never knows what lies ahead. Another Canadian couple in their 60s also faced unexpected problems in Florida. The wife had just recovered from breaking an arm a few months back but recently missed a step going into their Deerfield complex pool and ended up breaking the femur in her left leg. Luckily her insurance company changed their mind about sending her home and she can recuperate here. Her husband even bought a wheelchair so they can continue with their holiday plans.

Seniors who winter in this warm and pleasant environment joyfully join tours, sail on cruises, and attend entertainment events such as the annual Renaissance Festival in Fort Lauderdale, held yearly during February and March.

People suntan and walk on the beaches, dance together at staged events, and enjoy light sports and exercise. Most look healthy and fit and one wonders how many of these visitors

believe in protection.

As for me, I am cautiously optimistic. Throughout the many decades that I’ve wintered here, I’ve never failed to purchase health insurance. Now my deductible is enormous.

This means I pay the clinic costs for minor ailments, in the hope of averting the big bills that may co

Freda Glow

Freda Glow
North End community correspondent

Freda Glow is a community correspondent for the North End.

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