We’ve been asked a few times about what we do for medical care while we travel. The short answer is we keep up with all the regular preventative care—and see doctors and dentists when needed.
What this really means is that on the cruising circuit there are countries, towns and doctors that become known for providing excellent and affordable healthcare. And while we do carry evacuation insurance, our day to day healthcare costs are out of pocket.
Mexico is one of the countries that is considered great for healthcare (another we've heard raves about is Malaysia). And both La Paz and La Cruz are popular for check-ups. In the past year we all visited local dentists—basic cleanings were around $30, fillings another $30 and Evan’s root canal ended up in the $600 range.
We have heard that some Mexican dentists are over-enthusiastic when it comes to fillings—they rarely use x-rays, so rely on physical signs of decay. So our rule of thumb is to visit the same dentist at the same time as another family. If too many cavities are found we know we’ve hit on someone who’s too enthusiastic with the drill and we all move on…
While we’re in La Cruz I’ll also check in with the same dermatologist who found my second melanoma last year (and drag Evan in for his own check-up) and then I'll head for a mammogram and see a well-regarded gyno for the rest of my annual check-up.
Between preventative care, prescriptions, two eye doctor visits and glasses, surprise skin-cancer treatments and a surprise root canal our healthcare expenses were about $1000 last year. Which is the same as our health insurance costs at home… Technically we could go home for check-ups (and we do know many cruisers who do) but we’re confident enough in the Mexican system that for preventative care and day-to-day follow-up care we’re happy here.