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First diving trip to Cozumel - a few questions

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Cert1967

Vail Opens 12NOV2021
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If your primary insurance doesn't cover you everywhere you go or has an exclusion for common recreational scuba diving you have crappy insurance.

I do travel with 2-3 high limit credit cards that offer me about $40K-$60K ...

Dandy - crappy insurance? He may be old - like many on SB, but he seems to come well prepared.

I suspect that Dandy has Medicare and a gap policy - most 65+ folks do. Perhaps you are not acquainted with the limitations of these policies?

Traditional or an Advantage plan - substandard? In many respects yes, but overall the combination is adequate. Finding a primary care doc who accepts M, especially new patients, can be challenging. If the providers you choose accept M, life is good.

Medicare offers scant coverage for international travel - likely why Dandy has a travel insurance policy in addition to DAN coverage. The gap policy - some coverage in most instances.

Medigap & travel | Medicare

Medicare + GAP + International travel? If you need medical care you had better have cash access and a policy with international coverage for later reimbursement.

You will likely need cash for international care even if you have international coverage thru you primary insurance. And the documentation for such a claim - maybe not up to your insurance company’s expectations - reimbursement may be a long time coming.

Your high limit is $60k for out-of-country emergencies? Maybe not as high a limit as you think in light of treatment and evacuation costs. If you need more or you card(s) are declined - what then?

DAN in most diving destinations? You are likely to be treated without cash on the barrel-head.

Me? DAN coverage is a great value and often accepted with no out-of-pocket costs in dive destinations. Wouldn’t dive without it.
 

mstevens

Toadfish. Splendid is implied but not guaranteed.
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I am thinking of getting a 3mm shorty or full just in case. Will that be enough for Cozumel? What about cenote diving?

There is no answer to this sort of question. Everyone is different in terms of how warm they prefer to be. The longer you're underwater, the more heat you'll lose. Our average Cozumel dive for the past few years has been 67 minutes, and second dives are closer to 80-90 minutes. When we started diving in Cozumel our dives were almost 20 minutes shorter. Divers with better air consumption may need more thermal protection.

On most island dives year-round I wear a 1 mm neoprene skin, while my wife will wear a 3 mm or 5 mm suit depending as much on air temperature and sun vs. cloud as on water temperature. On summer dives our local DM friend will usually wear a 5 mm suit, and in winter a 7 mm over a hooded vest. Our son usually goes in a Lycra skin. I would probably die of claustrophobia in a 7 mm suit before I broiled to death, but I have no intention of finding out.

I think the points made by others about the preferability of full arm and leg coverage are spot-on. A skin, at least, is a good way to reduce the risk of trip-ruining sunburn.

Cenotes can be pretty brisk, and you'll likely need something warmer than you will for ocean dives. We rent suits when we dive cenotes, even though we have multiple skins and suits each on the island, because we don't need that much neoprene for ocean dives.
 

mstevens

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I am not, usually agnostic to buying extra insurance unless it is mandatory. I assume the emergency coverage of my regular insurance will cover the emergency part of the treatment and the probability to hit a very large (north of $5k) bill that is not covered is rather small.

Perhaps it's because of what I do for a living, but I would not travel outside the US for diving without specific diving insurance.

Never, ever, EVER simply assume ANYTHING about what your medical insurance will cover.

I've been hit with a really nasty kidney stone in Cozumel. I spent nearly 24 hours on a stretcher in the ED, had a CT, plenty of time with a nephrologist (and, to be clear, great ED care compared to that at any of the US hospitals where I had similar treatment, and I worked at those hospitals!). I doubt my US insurance would have covered the bills, but I don't know because the total was less than my $3,000 deductible. The time my wife had a scooter crash we were really glad we had coverage that applied outside the US.

With diving a few times a year, is it really worth it?

Yes. We've always paid for DAN insurance for our son, and he started diving at 10 and has no health problems. Diving is inherently risky. All of us do all sorts of things to mitigate that risk, but there are plenty of great divers who have "undeserved" decompression hits. A series of chamber rides can really set you back.

Does it cover repatriation?

When I was a resident, my friend finally went on vacation then had to be flown back to the US from his cruise. That ended up costing nearly USD$20,000, in 1992 dollars, which went on his AmEx(!). It also took 3 of us, working from a major US teaching hospital, days to coordinate everything. If you're at all concerned about medical issues, repatriation is likely to be the most expensive possibility and the one for which you want to be working with people who know what they're doing (unlike my friend's well-meaning but inexperienced doctor friends).
 

DandyDon

Old men ought to be explorers
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When I was a resident, my friend finally went on vacation then had to be flown back to the US from his cruise. That ended up costing nearly USD$20,000, in 1992 dollars, which went on his AmEx(!). It also took 3 of us, working from a major US teaching hospital, days to coordinate everything. If you're at all concerned about medical issues, repatriation is likely to be the most expensive possibility and the one for which you want to be working with people who know what they're doing (unlike my friend's well-meaning but inexperienced doctor friends).
Yeah, I'm keeping my DAN membership even when I give up on diving. That membership benefit is worth it.
If an Insured Member has suffered a Medical Emergency during the course of a Trip and such condition requires an Emergency Evacuation or Medically Necessary Transfer, DAN TravelAssist will arrange necessary services and Covered Expenses incurred for evacuation or transfer will be paid directly to the provider, up to the combined benefit limit.
 

ggunn

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I think the points made by others about the preferability of full arm and leg coverage are spot-on. A skin, at least, is a good way to reduce the risk of trip-ruining sunburn.
And if you are a follicly challenged old frint like me, don't forget about the top of your head!
 

deepsea21

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Yeah, I'm keeping my DAN membership even when I give up on diving. That membership benefit is worth it.
If an Insured Member has suffered a Medical Emergency during the course of a Trip and such condition requires an Emergency Evacuation or Medically Necessary Transfer, DAN TravelAssist will arrange necessary services and Covered Expenses incurred for evacuation or transfer will be paid directly to the provider, up to the combined benefit limit.

So when you can no longer dive you'll still keep wasting $ on this policy that will provide you absolutely no medical coverage and your cited reason for keeping it in place is pretty much worthless? READ YOUR POLICY!

Per the DAN policy... Emergency Evacuation means when there is no local medical care available and the medical condition of the Insured Member and Medical Necessity warrants immediate Transportation from the place where the Medical Emergency occurs to the nearest Hospital or medical facility where appropriate medical care, treatment or evaluation can be obtained. Medically Necessary Transfer means that following treatment or evaluation at the nearest Hospital or medical facility, and absent suitable local care, Medical Necessity warrants Transportation to a different Hospital or medical facility for further care, treatment or evaluation.

As far as your repatriation claim is concerned... "Repatriation for Additional Care When an Insured Member suffered a Medical Emergency during the course of a Trip for which Emergency Evacuation or Medically Necessary Transfer is necessary, and the Insured Member is deemed medically fit to travel to a different Hospital or medical facility for further care, treatment or evaluation, DAN TravelAssist will arrange and We will pay, up to the Benefit Limit, the Covered Expenses for Transportation to a Hospital or medical facility that is located either: 1. near the Insured Member’s Home; or, 2. near where the Insured Member is living and/or working at the time of the Medical Emergency. Any Repatriation for Additional Care shall be undertaken at the discretion of DAN TravelAssist in consultation with the Insured Member’s treating Physician. Repatriation for Additional Care is limited to scheduled commercial airlines, watercraft, or ground transportation, and DAN TravelAssist will arrange and We will pay, up to the Benefit Limit, the Covered Expenses for such scheduled commercial airlines, watercraft, or ground transportation.

Dandy, you'll be wasting your $ on this insurance when you are no longer diving and you are advising others to do the same. You'll be paying for worthless insurance. AGAIN, READ YOUR POLICY! It pays for nothing if there is medical care available and, if you are healthy enough to travel home, it pays nothing more than a seat in coach on a common commercial airline to get you home.

For anyone who has health insurance that covers them internationally and scuba diving DAN is a waste of $ in my opinion. Anyone interested in DAN insurance should visit the DAN website by all means and see how long it takes you to actually find (if you can) and read the entire policy they are selling you. It's tough to find by design for a reason... Once one eventually finds it and reads it in its entirety they realize it is pretty much worthless insurance. Go ahead, try and find the entire policy on their website before purchasing. I bet 99% of those who buy this crap secondary insurance never found or read the entire policy. They have no idea what they purchased.
 

DandyDon

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Travel Assist is not part of any of their offered insurance programs but is a membership benefit.
As far as your repatriation claim is concerned..
You left out this part...
If an Insured Member has died while on a Trip, DAN TravelAssist will arrange, and up to the combined benefit limit will be paid, for the expenses incurred to move the body and return the mortal remains to the Insured Member’s Home for burial.​
Families always want the remains returned and funeral businesses charge enormous fees for such. I know of one previous neighbor who died in North Texas and the family paid over 20K to bring him to West Texas.

The other two are appealing to me for some of the wild places I visit. Ever camped at Big Bend NP? Yeah, I think the benefits are worth $35/year. There are several other benefits listed at DAN Membership Benefits - Divers Alert Network

For active divers with typical medical insurance, much less us old coots with Medicare but like to travel outside of the US to dive, DAN dive insurance is a bargain. Bully for you if yours covers you better than most.
 

deepsea21

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Dandy, do you mean to tell me and everyone that Medicare won't pay for domestic ambulance transport out of Big Bend National Park? Without DAN Dive insurance you are somehow going to be stranded in Big Bend and personally responsible for paying for ambulance travel out?
 

Kimela

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Adding this alone is basically like adding 1MM to your entire suit.

XS Scuba 2mm Tropic Beanie

I KNOW you're right - adding that beanie helps out so much - but I canNOT stand the sound of the velcro in my ear. Ouch. Every time I break mine out and say "this time I'll use it" I end up not being able to tolerate even the thought of the sound. I guess I have really sensitive ears ... and an unused beanie!
 

yle

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With diving a few times a year, is it really worth it?

This is actually a great question, and it's really the same question as "should I take the insurance on the rental car from the rental car people?"

If you never have an accident, no it's not worth it.

If you have an accident, it's worth 1000x what you paid.

I've been fortunate... never had an accident in a rental car or diving. YMMV
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/teric/

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