The best part of visiting and living in the Bahamas is enjoying a stress-free lifestyle. You get to leave all of your cares and worries behind as you live in the moment.Your most difficult decisions are whether you prefer an ocean view or poolside view with lunch and which deep-sea fishing spot you think has the biggest catch of the day.
However, the question arises – what do you do when there’s trouble in paradise? If for some reason you needed to see a doctor while in a foreign country, where would you go and how is the quality of care? If you’re living there full-time, would you have easy access to prescription medications?
The inevitable can happen while you are on vacation at your home-away-from-home. You get the flu or end up having an accident. No matter how it happens, you may need to see a doctor while you are abroad.
It's important to understand what your domestic insurance will cover while you are abroad, and what you will have to pay on your own.
The following are key things to remember when you are using your healthcare abroad to help cover any medical needs you may have:
U.S. Residents Can Ask U.S. Government For Help
If you are seriously injured or become very ill while you are traveling or vacationing abroad, you can reach out to the US embassy and government for help. You can find a list of qualified and quality doctors while you are abroad. You simply have to enter your location and they will turn you to the best resources in your area. Use this link to do so.
Understand What Your Healthcare Covers
Before you travel abroad, talk to your insurance representative and understand exactly what medical services and goods are covered in the specific country you'll be visiting. Understand what out-of-pocket expenses you will be personally responsible for. Remember to always carry your insurance identity card and a claim form.
Most Countries Will Not Pay For Your Flight Home
Depending on the country you are vacationing in, keep in mind that if you get gravely injured or ill, you may have to be flown back to the U.S. Very few insurances will pay for this expense. While that may not sound like it's likely to happen, keep in mind that if you have to be flown back to the U.S. in case of an emergency the cost can easily top $50,000. You will likely have to pay that out of your own pocket.
Medicare Is Generally Not Accepted
Many other countries will not accept Medicare as insurance if you are to need medical care. It's a good idea to purchase another healthcare plan or have secondary coverage if you plan to frequently travel or vacation outside of the U.S. for any period of time. See additional information at Medicare.gov for more information on what may be covered in some rare cases versus what you are generally responsible for paying out-of-pocket.
Take Care of Doctor's Visits Before Vacationing
If you know you will need medical care for a certain condition or need to complete an appointment such as going to the eye doctor or getting a physical, do it before you are ready to go on any extended period of vacation. This lessens the likelihood that you will have to go to a doctor while you are away on your trip.
Where can I get the best care if I need to see a doctor?
The Marsh Harbour Healthcare Centre is a state-of-the-art facility that opened in 2017 that provides a wide variety of medical services, including dental and lab services.
Pack Extra Medications
Always pack extra medications and medical supplies to take with you when you travel abroad. For example, if you plan to vacation for three months to your vacation home, take enough supplies and medicines to last four months in case you were to get held up or you couldn't get home exactly when planned. This is especially important for vital medications and medical supplies. This will help you avoid having to use healthcare abroad, which insurance may or may not help pay for.
Where is the closest pharmacy to Schooner Bay?
The closest pharmacy is Abaco Island Pharmacy in Marsh Harbour.
Can I fill my prescription if I'm not a resident of the Bahamas?
Abaco Island Pharmacy can fill and refill U.S. prescriptions and it only takes one phone call to get your prescription transferred.
Save the Phone Numbers of Emergency Services
If you need any emergency services while on Great Abaco, here are the numbers to call:
Ambulance -- 242-367-2911 or 242-359-6282
Air Ambulance (Jet Rescue) -- 305-504-1093
Are you planning on visiting Schooner Bay for a Discovery Stay soon?
We'll answer any questions you have to get prepared for your epic adventures in the Bahamas!