I am at an age where I will always have Medicare Part A, which is not something that can be taken away from you. What I did when I came to Belize was to drop my Medicare Part B coverage. The reason I did that was because it was US $110 per month for me and my husband at the time I came down, so that’s $220 per month total. I have been here 8 years, which is 96 months. So, in 8 years, the both of us total would have spent over $21,120 for Medicare Part B coverage.
In that time, my husband has had one hefty bout with salmonella. I took him to a private hospital in Belize City, where he stayed for five days. Two of those five days, he had a private nurse who was with him 24/7. All the testing, the blood work, private room, TV, phone, and all the medications, everything included, I walked out and spent $7,200 out of pocket, without any insurance. So if you take the amount of savings that I have had in 96 months, less the $7,200 I spent, I’m about $14,000 ahead of the game.
An average doctor’s visit in my area, where you will walk in to your doctor and walk out, costs $25. Sometimes you will have your medication that will take care of whatever you visited for included in that amount.
You don’t’ have to pay for Medicare Part A because you are an American. Part B, you have to opt in, but I felt that paying for Medicare Part B coverage is lots more expensive than to take your chances even being uninsured in Belize. That worked out for us.
(Children at Belize City hospital in 1975, pictured.)