Travel vs Health insurance

I will be retiring in Phnom Penh in about a year, so obviously for the long term, and thinking about insurance. Problem is, at age 65, I am getting quotes for Health Insurance of around $550 a month, whereas Travel Insurance is coming in around $850 for a year. This seems to be a better deal since the Travel Insurance has a good whack for accidents and medical emergency, and as long as I can make it back to my home country I can get free treatment there for all the serious stuff. How do other retirees handle the cost of health insurance? Is Travel Insurance the best bet?

Hello.

You touched a big problem that all senior expats face: an un-affordable health insurance.

Once you reach 67 it will be even worse, think of paying $800 a month, add to that the rent and utilities, let's say $400 a month and you spend already $1200 of your monthly pension on those 2 items.

Reason why many expats, me included, have no health insurance.

Those that are in that situation pay per visit, as needed. Luckily health care in Cambodia is not so expensive and about 1/10th of what you would pay in the US, but when larger problems show up you're in trouble.
It's a gamble, if you're healthy you can do it. If you can go back to your home country and get free health care, do it. If you cannot go back to your home country for free health care, like me, take the risk.

Travel insurance seems nice but they hardly pay anything. As far as I know they only cover accidents and then only in certain cases. Like many don't pay for damage after riding a motorbike or even riding pillion on a motorbike. If you ride a motorbike with no helmet, no valid drivers license or you have been drinking, they won't pay a penny.

Sorry to not being able to give a wonderful solution, there ain't one, we senior guys are stuck. But we live in paradise and that makes everything worth while.

Cheers

Joe
Cambodia expert
Expat.com team

What about heading to Thailand for a serious issue?
There's expat insurance there much cheaper than described here, as I recall from a TV thread a year ago.

Not when you are 65 or 67.

When in PP no need to go to Thailand,  there is a super modern hospital here under Thai management,  Royal PP hospital.

Cheers.

Joe

Hi Joe, I am a 66 year old Australian currently working here for a major company who pay me an allowance to get my own medical cover rather than them providing it. I have a Travel Insurance Policy from Australia Post ( Have used Australia Post for years ) which provides excellent cover even for my pre existing conditions of high blood pressure, cholesterol and having had a heart stent fitted a few years ago. It is absolutely vital to declare all pre existing medical conditions! The main reason I have it is in case I snuff it here as it covers repatriation of mortal remains as well as the usual general stuff including dental. As you say NOTHING involving motorcycles although Tuk Tuks are covered. ( I checked and got it from them in writing ) Cost is @ $AUD 1600 per year ( the first 6 months were a bit more expensive but it keeps getting cheaper every time it is extended ). Hope this helps.

Belmont Boy

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