Healthcare & Insurance in Panama – answers

My sincere thanks to John and Susan @Latitude Adjustment for the following information and contacts for acquiring health insurance in Panama. 

“Try these agents for information and quotes for health care:
Gonzalo de la Guardia (…agent for VUMI International Heath Coverage)
He represents several companies.
“International Health Insurance”
Cel: 507-6671-3357
Office: 507-393-5530
Skype: gedelaguardia
Panama City, Republic of Panama
Gloria Detresno…..agent for auto and property insurance and represents several Health Care companies. She has been in busieess over 20 years and her service is excellent as well as Gonzalo de la Guardia!

“VUMI, World Wide, and Bupa and the best of the companies out there. You can chose several different plans, deductibles, coverage to suit your budget.

“We have not had to use our insurance so we can not personally say how the claim process is but in doing our research VUMI has a great reputation for paying claims on time and it is all done through email. VUMI is Gonzalo’s Health Insurance Company for him and his family. We know friends here that have World Wide and have nothing but praise for them after having to file claims and getting reimbursed.
Our VUMI policy went up $400 this past renewal and come next renewal we will look at World Wide.
Something that was very important for us: Having coverage any where in the world (we plan on doing a lot of international traveling) including the US, for our occasional visits back with family.”

I’ve taken the liberty of also adding a link to John and Susan’s blog post on their insurance experience:
Latitide Adjustment: misadventures-in-health-insurance

NB: John and Susan were kind enough to provide me with this information via a comment in Don Ray Williams’ post in Chirique – which I referred to in my previous post on healthcare and health insurance in Panama.

Susan explaines  (and I agree) that “the best takeaways from Don Ray’s site is that healthcare is definitely less expensive in Panama, and the quality of care can be very good, but there’s no free ride. It’s really important to have a strategy and an idea how to pay, should you need medical attention.”

More from Susan:
“Here’s some more excellent input from another fellow blogger, Richard Dietrich”:

Having mentioned to John & Susan that I’d found from other online sources that I wouldn’t qualify for health insurance in Panama past the age of 65 (at which age I qualify for Medicare in the US) – that I’d need to be residing in Panama, and in possession of a Pensionado visa, in order to apply for an appropriate health insurance policy in that country – which basically rules me out of the process as I’m still here in the US, and fast approaching that magical age, Susan had the following to say, which I think is one very good way of approaching the Health Insurance dilemma:

Susan: “I think Medicare is a big key to all of this if you qualify. If you’re in reasonably good health, one strategy is to get stablized here and then go home and take advantage of your medicare for more extensive treatment. I think that’s the way a lot of older folks here approach health situations.

“It’s certainly a very individual problem, and everyone has their own individual approach.”

Susan is right. In all this, I begin to see the advantages of having one foot in two countries – one’s “home base” – and one’s chosen “home away from home” – whether it’s Panama or some other (close enough) destination.

One last word: Regarding Richard Dietrich’s blog (link provided above), it’s worth keeping in mind that his is a for-profit blog, and therefore information he provides, though useful and informative, can often be in his own best interests.  For instance, I understand he has advertised both his properties in Panama for sale on his site, and thus it would serve him well to paint Panama in the best possible light. (Thanks to Jim & Nena for this).

3 thoughts on “Healthcare & Insurance in Panama – answers

  1. I have a US address (my daughter’s home) and it make a lot of things easier, banking, US health care and insurance, mail, etc. She can photo and email any mail that comes in so it’s very unusual that she has to physically send anything here. I can also shop on line, have stuff sent to her house and pick them up when I visit. There are a lot of advantages of keeping a foot, or at least a toe in the home country.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to hear. My daughter is still a graduate student and will be for another two years, so I’m not sure I can impinge upon her for that sort of support.
      All left to be seen I guess.


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