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Medical Coverage on the Frances

2020 Camino Guides
Camino(s) past & future
planning for spring 2018
It looks like I will be doing the Frances sooner than expected. I finally convinced my friend who grew up in Spain to do the El Camino, but he wants to do it this September. There are certain advantages to doing the El Camino de Santiago Frances with him as he speaks Spanish and has relatives in Barcelona and Madrid who can help us with travel arrangements. So it looks like September 2017 it is!

I wanted to ask about medical coverage in Spain. I am still working now and have medical coverage through work, but I retire in a month and will switch over to V.A. medical coverage. I am fairly certain they will not cover in Spain, so I will have to buy temporary medical coverage for the six or so weeks I am there. I am assuming that the Spanish health care system will not cover visiting Americans. So if anyone, especially Americans, can give me information on how to go about getting temporary travelers medical insurance for the El Camino I would appreciate it.

Thank you and Buen Camino. I am so excited!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Yes, do get good travel insurance. Among other dramas during my last camino, on her last day walking into Santiago de Compostela, my friend Robyn tripped and fell and badly injured her elbow - she had to be taken by ambulance to hospital in Santiago, where she was Xrayed and treated. No breaks, but severe nerve damage. She is only now back in Australia and receiving the bills, and they are quite large. She had the sense to take out good travel insurance, so all should be covered.
 

jerbear

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de madrid, camino francis, camino inverino (2012, 2013,2014)
CdM, Francis, San salvador, primativo june 2015 CDM , francis, inverino 2016
Camino madrid, via de Plata. Santiago.
Coast of the dead malpica to muxia
You can get a cheap high deductible from aaa. What I get 230 for 10 weeks.
 

Lurch

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
looking at 2018-2019
Related question...anyone know if Tricare covers you. Or is it hie thee to Rota if serious but you can travel.
 

Kari204

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning CF April/May 2018
Related question...anyone know if Tricare covers you. Or is it hie thee to Rota if serious but you can travel.
I also have TriCare and it is worldwide coverage. However, to me its more of a hassle to try and explain it and billing along the Camino as well as flashing my card around unnecessarily. If I need to see a Dr while along the camino for something I will probably pay out of pocket and then keep all receipts to turn in when I get home for reimbursement from TriCare. If I get into any serious issues where I might need hospitalization/surgery/etc ($$$) I would have to leave Camino and find transport to go way the heck down to Rota for treatment/hospitalization. I think Rota would be the closest.
 

jerbear

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de madrid, camino francis, camino inverino (2012, 2013,2014)
CdM, Francis, San salvador, primativo june 2015 CDM , francis, inverino 2016
Camino madrid, via de Plata. Santiago.
Coast of the dead malpica to muxia
Related question...anyone know if Tricare covers you. Or is it hie thee to Rota if serious but you can travel.
They would not let me on the base.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
When I still lived in USA I used worldnomads.com to insure all my travels. Very reputable, quite reasonable. If you want to compare several options, check out Squaremouth.com .

The base at Rota is now cut up into zones and access is strictly enforced on an as-needed basis. I can't see a US vet limping in and asking for medical care, even if he has his VA paperwork. Not any more.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Please, el Camino. Not "The the Camino" or "the el C.". It's the Camino. People won't look at you as funny this way in Spain o_O
Especially don't say it to your Spanish friend!! You are basically saying the the Camino. Choose one article el or the. :D
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature
It looks like I will be doing the Frances sooner than expected. I finally convinced my friend who grew up in Spain to do the El Camino, but he wants to do it this September. There are certain advantages to doing the El Camino de Santiago Frances with him as he speaks Spanish and has relatives in Barcelona and Madrid who can help us with travel arrangements. So it looks like September 2017 it is!

I wanted to ask about medical coverage in Spain. I am still working now and have medical coverage through work, but I retire in a month and will switch over to V.A. medical coverage. I am fairly certain they will not cover in Spain, so I will have to buy temporary medical coverage for the six or so weeks I am there. I am assuming that the Spanish health care system will not cover visiting Americans. So if anyone, especially Americans, can give me information on how to go about getting temporary travelers medical insurance for the El Camino I would appreciate it.

Thank you and Buen Camino. I am so excited!
Get a travel insurance! The only way to go, worth every penny because you never know...
I do when I travel to 'non-european' places :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Yes, do get good travel insurance. Among other dramas during my last camino, on her last day walking into Santiago de Compostela, my friend Robyn tripped and fell and badly injured her elbow - she had to be taken by ambulance to hospital in Santiago, where she was Xrayed and treated. No breaks, but severe nerve damage. She is only now back in Australia and receiving the bills, and they are quite large. She had the sense to take out good travel insurance, so all should be covered.
Hi Jill - gee you both had bad luck on your camino.
About the travel insurance - I totally agree - in fact I would quote Bob Carr (when he was Australian Foreign Minister) - if you cannot afford the Travel Insurance then you cannot afford the travel.

To our OP - I support the above advice. Have a long talk with your current insurance company - they may have a system where you can piggy-back your travel insurance onto existing policies. Cheers
 

wcsjms

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016) ; 1st Camino Frances September 2016-November 2016 ; Camino Frances August 2017-October 2017
It looks like I will be doing the Frances sooner than expected. I finally convinced my friend who grew up in Spain to do the El Camino, but he wants to do it this September. There are certain advantages to doing the El Camino de Santiago Frances with him as he speaks Spanish and has relatives in Barcelona and Madrid who can help us with travel arrangements. So it looks like September 2017 it is!

I wanted to ask about medical coverage in Spain. I am still working now and have medical coverage through work, but I retire in a month and will switch over to V.A. medical coverage. I am fairly certain they will not cover in Spain, so I will have to buy temporary medical coverage for the six or so weeks I am there. I am assuming that the Spanish health care system will not cover visiting Americans. So if anyone, especially Americans, can give me information on how to go about getting temporary travelers medical insurance for the El Camino I would appreciate it.

Thank you and Buen Camino. I am so excited!
Many travel insurances require you to pay for treatment then they reimburse you once you send in the bills. real the fine print carefully.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
After carefully reading the fine print, I usually always buy the travel insurance offered by my airline when I purchase my round trip ticket. In my case, this is either American or United airlines.

What I learned is that their policies cover you for the number of days you are "in travel status." That is the days between your departure from home and return to home. So, if your total elapsed time is, say 40 calendar days, they cover you for that time.

As regards WHAT they cover you for, I invite you to read the fine print. In my experience, they cover just about any routine activity that is not listed on their list of EXCLUDED coverages. For example, walking is covered. Mountaineering is not.

As doing the Camino is certainly walking, albeit a lot of it, it is a covered activity.

That this policy also covers medical evacuation back to your home, is also a valuable bit of coverage. In my case, my US Blue Cross-Blue Shield insurance cover also works outside the US. In fact they have a web site dedicated to helping one locate an English-speaking doctor, hospital, or specialist in most any country.

On this web site, I select the country, city, then identify the specialist(s) needed. They provide the name, address, phone number of the indicated resource. For example, at Santiago, the University Hospital has virtually every specialty I could need. The university hospital is covered by my plan as well.

I used this capability more than 10 years ago when I lived in Belgium. Typically, they would bill me (a modest sum). I would obtain reimbursement from my carrier. But, it was painless...pardon the pun.

I hope this helps...
 

Fonkalei

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Nope
I usually avail of the free travel ins offered when i use my platinum credit card to buy my flights. Quick comparison and its virtually offering the same
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
Keep in mind, age is a factor when it comes to medical/travel insurance. I always read with misty eyes, all the great suggestions for different insurance companies and their respective coverages, knowing none of them apply to those 80+. And if I recall, worldnomads don't insure anyone over 65 - I may be mistaken about that, but I did check them out a couple of years ago, when I was 79 Fortunately, I did find one (with the help of someone here), that offered more flexibiltiy than most.
 

Lurch

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
looking at 2018-2019
Just wanted to thank those who cleared things up regarding Rota and Tricare. The experiences of others who have Tricare are very useful.

Also wanted to let movinmaggie know I an very impressed. I will be 73 next year when I plan on walking the Camino Frances but to do the Primitivo when in your 80s definitely gives me hope for the next decade. Maggie, my hat's off to you.
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
Just wanted to thank those who cleared things up regarding Rota and Tricare. The experiences of others who have Tricare are very useful.

Also wanted to let movinmaggie know I an very impressed. I will be 73 next year when I plan on walking the Camino Frances but to do the Primitivo when in your 80s definitely gives me hope for the next decade. Maggie, my hat's off to you.
Thank you cvix, but I am only one of many on this forum who are in their golden years and still going ...you will meet many in your age group when you do begin your journey. I wish you Buen Camino.
 

jmcarp

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
When I still lived in USA I used worldnomads.com to insure all my travels. Very reputable, quite reasonable...
FYI, I checked worldnomadscom for the sake of comparison with the insurance I have already purchased for a trip later this fall, and if I understood the message that popped up, it appears they won't insure anyone over the age of 69.
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
FYI, I checked worldnomadscom for the sake of comparison with the insurance I have already purchased for a trip later this fall, and if I understood the message that popped up, it appears they won't insure anyone over the age of 69.
Well that does help somewhat.......
 

Kari204

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning CF April/May 2018
When I still lived in USA I used worldnomads.com to insure all my travels. Very reputable, quite reasonable. If you want to compare several options, check out Squaremouth.com .

The base at Rota is now cut up into zones and access is strictly enforced on an as-needed basis. I can't see a US vet limping in and asking for medical care, even if he has his VA paperwork. Not any more.
I understand a discharged Vet with VA papers maybe not being let on base since its an active base and not a VA Hospital, but if I have a valid active military ID - would they still deny my passage onto the base? I was told I would be ok with my ID.
 

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