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Health Insurance

ameyer5

New Member
I'll be walking the Camino for the first time this summer. Do people normally get some sort of health insurance plan for the time that they are on the Camino in case of an accident? If so, does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks.
 

crackmrmac

Veteran Member
A good question. I imagine standard holiday insurance covers you on the camino; it's not exactly mountaineering. On this reckoning I figure I'm covered. EC citizens also have the basic cover in EC country we are visiting.
Perhaps the health insurance cover you have at home may be extended. Check small print.

Brian
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
The old adage is "if you can't afford travel insurance you can't afford to travel".Being,like you, a non EU citizen you would not be covered. I get health insurance which cost me Aus$190 for 3 months. If I had selected the full bells and whistles-lost luggage (I only have carry on),cancellation etc it would have been nearly triple. I have some sort of cover with my credit card but prefer to have separate insurance.
 

crackmrmac

Veteran Member
I have some sort of cover with my credit card but prefer to have separate insurance.
I agree this is also quite vague, and would not depend on it.
On this side of the world it is possible to buy quite cheaply an annual holiday travel insurance for individual or family at reasonable rates. It includes winter sports. Small print may state no holiday in excess of 60 / 30 days.

The old adage is "if you can't afford travel insurance you can't afford to travel"
Wise words indeed. My mother used to say " don't put your foot outside the country without insurance"

Perhaps some Spaniards can tell us how native / foreign national, accident emergency rescue operates.
But let's all be careful out there. Most accidents happen to weary tired pilgrims or those in a hurried pace.

Buen Camino
 

30daystosantiago

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 solo and 2013 with wife and toddler
I had Blue Cross/Blue Shield through my employer at the time I walked the Camino. They told me it would cover me for accidents in Spain. Of course, this did not include emergency rescue or flight home on charter jet, etc. But do a google search, there are plenty of companies who will sell this type of insurance if you really want it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I did not have medical insurance.
I don't have it now.
The only health issue was had was an infected tick bite, which was kindly cared for by a Farmacia employee.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
A flea instead of a tick could be:

Isoenzymatic Analysis of 712 Strains of Leishmania infantum in the South of France and Relationship of Enzymatic Polymorphism to Clinical and Epidemiological Features

Laboratoire de Parasitologie-Mycologie and Centre National de Référence des Leishmania, CHU de Montpellier, Montpellier, Laboratoire de Parasitologie-Mycologie Hôpital de l'Archet, CHU de Nice, Nice, Laboratoire de Parasitologie-Mycologie, Hopital La Timone, CHU de Marseille, Marseille, France

In the south of France, leishmaniasis due to Leishmania infantum occurs in the following five foci of endemicity (from west to east): Pyrénées-Orientales, Cévennes, Provence, Côte d'Azur, and Corsica.

The result could be:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cutaneous_leishmaniasis
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
It was a tick.
A tick from Wales.
A tick from a cat in Wales
A tick from a cat who lives with my friends in Wales.
A dead tick.
::laughing::
 

Deirdre

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
In most cases in Spain emergency room medical treatment is free for Pilgrims. I was treated at the hospital in Santiago for an infection.... I spent 15 minutes before leaving trying to find out where I should pay - they finally told me that there was no paying - it was free. On the other hand, I paid for my dental work.. but much less than it would have been in the States. My US medical insurance/card would not work in Spain anyway.
Buen Camino,
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
Anniesantiago said:
It was a tick.
A tick from Wales.
A tick from a cat in Wales
A tick from a cat who lives with my friends in Wales.
A dead tick.
::laughing::

As a countryman who has worked with sheep in the U.K. I would never neglect a tick bite! They can carry Louping Ill - a serious virus disease of sheep which can be transmitted to humans. The other increasingly common tick borne illness in the U.K. is Lyme Disease. This can be debilitating in the long term if not treated early.
I don't want to scare anyone but tick bites can lead to problems. If possible avoid brushing through tall bracken, gorse etc on open moorland.
The other tip worth remembering is NEVER pull a tick off your skin. It will leave its jaw parts embedded leading to infection. A dab of surgical spirit or similar will make the little beastie let go!

(I would never go overseas without Insurance but that is my choice)

Walk well and safely
Tio Tel
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
From a medical journal:

Ticks are best removed as soon as possible, because the risk of disease transmission increases significantly after 24 hours of attachment. The use of a blunt, medium-tipped, angled forceps offers the best results. Following tick removal, the bite area should be inspected carefully for any retained mouthparts, which should be excised. The area is then cleaned with antiseptic solution, and the patient is instructed to monitor for signs of local or systemic illness. Routine antibiotic prophylaxis following tick removal generally is not indicated but may be considered in pregnant patients or in areas endemic to tick-borne disease.

Ineffective or Dangerous Methods of Removing Ticks: What Not to Do
________________________________________
Do not use sharp forceps.
Do not crush, puncture, or squeeze the tick's body.
Do not apply substances such as petroleum jelly, gasoline, lidocaine (Xylocaine), etc., to the tick.
Do not apply heat with a match or hot nail.
Do not use a twisting or jerking motion to remove the tick.
Do not handle the tick with bare hands.

In addition to timely removal, it is important to remove the tick completely, including the mouthpart and the cement the tick has secreted to secure attachment. Improper tick removal may cause mouthparts to break off in the skin, possibly leading to infection or granuloma formation. Twisting off the head should be avoided, because this may cause the tick's potentially infectious body fluids to escape.
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
falcon269 said:
Following tick removal, the bite area should be inspected carefully for any retained mouthparts, which should be excised.

I will make a careful note to include a scalpel in my essential packing next time around!
Seriously though, I have found that a good long soak in the bath will often do the trick - drown the little darlings. My experience comes from working for years with sheep on Dartmoor in the U.K. Lots of creepy crawlies . . . . and hills and mist and rain and wind and. . . .

Tio Tel
 

Bridget and Peter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
TerryB said:
falcon269 wrote: Following tick removal, the bite area should be inspected carefully for any retained mouthparts, which should be excised.



I will make a careful note to include a scalpel in my essential packing next time around!

I think you should include the microscope too!


Isn't it interesting that its the pilgrims who have state provided medical services at home who wouldn't dream of going abroad without travel insurance, including in my case cover to return my broken, comatose or lifeless body home (and the bicycle, we get ours through the Cyclists Touring Club), and those who normally have to pay for insurance at home who seem to be quite happy to fly off uninsured to foreign parts where they might get:-

shin splints whatever they are (I did look them up on Wikipedia but I still didn't really understand)

black toes from walking downhill without a walking pole

allergic reactions to bed bug bites

Leishmania or Lyme's disease from the ticks

savaged by fierce dogs, Pyrenean bears or charging bull(ock)s

poisoned by drinking water from the taps or water from plastic bottles or water from poisoned rivers where the locals will lie in wait to skin and butcher your horses

hypothermia from being caught in snowfalls

sun stroke from walking in the sun and not knowing what to drink

anaphylactic shock from some Spanish form of common analgesic

or several other horrors warned about on this forum (or by Aimery whatsisname, whose Pilgrim guide was an early prototype for this forum) which were so horrifying I have blanked them from my mind.
 

anniethenurse

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances.Vasco del Interior.Camino Finisterre& Muxia. Camino Portugues. Ruta del Ebro.
Like TerryB I would NEVER go overseas without Insurance...
In Spain and Europe I´m covered as an EU- citizen...
annie
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Lol Bridget you made me laugh. I vividly recall one wonderful meal I shared with other pilgrims in Lectoure on the Le Puy route. The evening provided a much appreciated chance to chat with others, with the exception of one convo topic that gave me nightmares. As you know, we don't have snakes in NZ, and I had only ever seen a couple of small dead snakes en route, that in my wisdom/wishful thinking I had decided were probably harmless grass snakes of some kind. Unfortunately a fellow pilgrim put me right about this and pointed out that I had in fact seen venomous vipers!! Then this man went on to tell me how high my chances were of getting a serious disease from ticks as we were walking through land with a lot of long wet grass at the time. And being a typical Kiwi I was walking mostly in shorts. In my nightmares I had vivid visions of my Camino certainly being over in the next day or two, either from snake or tick bite!!!!! But, I am glad to say, my nightmares came to nothing, and in due course I walked safely into Santiago.
Margaret
 

Javier Martin

Veteran Member
crackmrmac said:
...Perhaps some Spaniards can tell us how native / foreign national, accident emergency rescue operates.
...

Hi everybody.

Spanish healthy system (Social Security in spanish) is one of the best in the world. If you ask yo any spaniard he always will talk very badly about, but because he is not comparing with anything abroad.

About the problems while you are walking the Camino, is important cities always there's any little healthy centers with some doctors who are used to see pilgrims. I had to do that in ... Portomarin and Negreira, I think. But, you can't expect that kind of service in little towns, it works where is living enough people, think about the long winter months with old people living in this towns.

If you have any problem, they will attend you free, without cost. If you need some medecin and you have to buy it, the cost only will be the cost of that medecine.

If you are injured and have to go to the hospital, possibley the national healthy system will pay for it.

But, if you, pilgrim, have a problem in your knee and the doctor says to you that you have to miss the Camino, then you have to take this decision. Because many people decides to continue, and arrives to Santiago.

Buen Camino, enjoying it as much as possible without any physical problems,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 

Janeh

Active Member
Get health insurance. Hopefully you won't need it, but you never know. I know someone who slipped coming down the steps of an albergue and broke his back. He had to be air lifted back to Australia with a nurse and doctor. 9 seats on the plane were removed to fit his stretcher. The overall cost of his airlift out was in excess of $100,000. He was a fit man - any of us could have been him so for the sake of a couple of hundred dollars you will have peace of mind.
Whenever I travel I always get insurance - it's not fair to rely on another countries health system if you are needing more than the average first aid. cheers, Jane
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
...it's not fair to rely on another countries health system if you are needing more than the average first aid.

Come to the U.S. You won't have to rely on anything. If you do not have insurance, bring money, lots of it.
 

crackmrmac

Veteran Member
Have my annual policy renewed, also covers my son u/23 in full time education who heads off to Prague on Monday and then inter-railing for a month.
Hopefully none of us will have to avail of claim facility.
 

DesertRain

Member
I want to emphasize the importance of travel medical insurance, especially for those from the U.S. and other non-E.U. countries. Let me share my cautionary tail....

Last March, I was starting my 4th day of the camino via mountain bike – on the trail rather than the paved road. Less than five minutes after leaving the albergue in Logroño, my rear tire lost traction on the rain-slicked cobble stones in the center of the city. My foot hit the pavement, and as I fell to the ground, I saw that my knee was completely dislocated. To make a long (and painful!) story short, I had torn every ligament in my knee – ACL, LCL, PCL and MCL!

Within 12 hours, I would learn how very fortunate I was in two ways....

First, absolutely EVERYONE with whom I came into contact during the accident and subsequent hospitalization was amazingly kind, caring and generous. From the municipal police and ambulance drivers to the nurses and social worker at the hospital to the airport staff in Madrid, I was so very impressed and moved by the care they showed. The police even took my bike back to the police station where they disassembled it, and packed it up for my plane flight home to the U.S. In terms of the medical care, I do not think I could not have received better care anywhere in the world.

Second, purchasing travel medical insurance turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. Although my normal health insurance at home would have eventually reimbursed me for most of the hospitalization, I would have had to pay out of pocket. More importantly, no home insurance would have paid for the many non-medical costs or helped me with the logistics of getting home in a hip-to-toe cast. My $80 investment in the travel insurance saved me more than $10,000 in expenses. Upon giving the nurse my insurance information in the emergency room, I had absolutely no further paperwork or out of pocket costs. My medical travel insurance both paid for and helped me arrange the following:

• 100% of the cost of hospitalization for 3 days.
• 100% of the cost of the ambulance ride to the hospital.
• 100% of the cost of a four-hour ambulance ride from Logroño to the airport in Madrid.
• 100% of the cost of a Business Class flight from Madrid to my home in Arizona purchased the day before the flight. (With my cast, I couldn't even fit into a coach seat and this plane ticket alone would have cost me $4000!)

More than just paying for these things, the insurance company worked directly with the hospital social worker to make all of the arrangements for my return journey. Imagine trying to arrange for a 4-hour ambulance ride without this help: not only would the logistics be a nightmare (even if you speak spanish fluently), but you would have to arrange for payment.... all from your hospital bed while drugged out on pain meds! Instead, all I had to do was concentrate on getting better.

Please, please, please.... spend the small amount of money needed to obtain travel medical insurance. If nothing else, it will give you peace of mind. That alone, is worth $3 per day!

HAPPY ENDING.... After two surgeries, two months lying in bed, and four months of physical therapy, I am planning on returning to Logroño where I will continue my Camino exactly one year after my accident. This time, I will be walking....

Will I have insurance? You can count on it!
 

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