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Author Topic: Thinking of quitting  (Read 1772 times)
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« on: August 01, 2016, 08:14:31 AM »

I am considering taking SSI disability because it's like 500 bucks less than I make a month. If I considering living abroad as I figure my money would go farther, but concerned about quality of care and costs of treatment. Anyone have any ideas like living in Cambodia, Costa Rica or generally anywhere that is cheaper and has a good quality of living for Americans.

My job is not hard, but quite frankly I want to enjoy life and not worry about the constant needless grind of working, commuting, and dialyzing in the Northeastern United States.

anyone else in my position?
Simon Dog
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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2016, 09:26:05 AM »

I was working part time and told to retire or go back full time.   I took the deal and start on disability next year when my severance runs out.     

While medical care is much cheaper in some other countries, Medicare does not cover out of country treatment.  Even if your private insurance does (which is unlikely), it is limited to 30 months of treatment.

I don't expect any other countries will say "Welcome foreigner; we will now have our taxpayers fund your dialysis".   Some countries might let you get on national health care if you own property in the country (Canada may), but I am not certain.

You have a good deal here in the US with Medicare that you are unlikely to match in any other county.

Also, consider that foreign hospitals work differently.  In many cases, you will not be admitted to the ER (or even given an ambulance ride) without prepayment and the option is to either go without treatment or, in some cases, go to the substandard "public hospital".    It is not like the US where emergencies must be treated without consideration as to ability to pay and, once admitted, you can be discharged only when medically ready even if you are not paying your bill.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2016, 09:29:35 AM by Simon Dog » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2016, 10:47:29 AM »

Glad to see that your 'quitting' relates to the rat race over giving up on dialysis!

Simon Dog's feedback is valuable.  You might be able to move to a US territory, i.e. Porto Rico and retain your Medicare Coverage, but the cost of living will be elevated (as compared to a third world country). Porto Rico also is exempt from most federal taxes but you still get your federal benefits.

Regarding dialysis cost, most less developed countries I visit cost from $200-$300 per session for transient patients.  If you were a regular you probably could lower that cost, but then you also need to factor in the cost of IV medicine that is not included when you are transient. (I let me home center worry about my labs and medicine since I'm only gone for a week at a time.)  I've not yet visited somewhere like Cambodia but Chile and Argentina was $200-$300 per session. 

A Chinese dialysis patient shared the transient price which in China which was a steal at $60-$80 per session, but again IV medicines might add significantly to that cost.

Personally I would stay away for foreign countries for retirement unless you have lived aboard a lot and are confident you will learn the local language.  With a chronic condition you want the quality of medicine and ease of communication you find here in the US.  I expect my health will decline as time goes on with my care requirements growing increasingly complex, dealing with more complexity doesn't sound good when working with care professionals whose primary language is not English.

Regarding communication so far I've received treatment in only three and a half countries where English is not the primary language.  In both Chile and Argentina I could not communicate with the tech's well and mostly relied on the fact that dialysis is fairly routine.  In Chile my blood pressure was higher than normal and I had difficulties communicating with the doctor who spoke some English, I think it the end we sort of gave up and decided not to worry about it.  Argentina there were no problems but still I could not communicate well with the payment person and the techs.  In Brussels everyone speaks Dutch, French and some English but it was still hard to deal with an older Tech who didn't understand that I don't have buttonholes. In French speaking Montreal the nurse had no problem with English.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2016, 10:49:14 AM by iolaire » Logged

Transplant July 2017 from out of state deceased donor, waited three weeks the creatine to fall into expected range, dialysis December 2013 - July 2017.

Well on dialysis I traveled a lot and posted about international trips in the Dialysis: Traveling Tips and Stories section.
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2016, 11:23:29 AM »

Moving abroad is an idea I played with for a while.  Now, of course, I'm probably too old and too sick to do it.  But here are some links to get you started.

Here's an article from 2013:  https://internationalliving.com/2013/11/five-places-get-affordable-health-care-overseas/  It doesn't speak directly about dialysis.

https://www.brokerfish.com/expat-health-insurance-advice   Expat health insurance

I had some excellent dental work done in Costa Rica.  Great country.  No military so they spend their money on useful things like education and healthcare. 

Diagnosed with Stage 2 ESRD 2009
Pneumonia 11/15
Began Hemo 11/15 @6%
Began PD 1/16 (manual)
Began PD (Cycler) 5/16
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2018, 02:42:07 AM »

Hi, I'm a Brit living in Cyprus, I'm lucky that my costs are covered by European health card, meaning the UK NHS pays for my treatments. I am still working and coping with hemo twice a week, although at times I do feel ready to pack in work, a maintenance position in a bar/restaurant, I have only one more year before retirement and pension, which is roughly equal to my present salary, so I'll probably hang on in. I do count myself lucky in that, not only do my docs and nurses have English, and I have a little Greek, we understand each other. Don't ever forget that in countries that we think of as 'backward' the medics have generally trained in the UK, USA or a European country like Germany, so have excellent credentials. I'm quite confident with my USA and UK trained docs.
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