Avatar

Report of medical scam in Los Cabos

by Johnny Briefcase @, Friday, August 25, 2017, 09:00 (109 days ago)

According to couple from New Zealand, they were the victims of a medical scam which they believe was tied to organized crime. They claim to have been extorted for for grossly inflated medical costs by the clinic where they sought treatment. If true, the whole affair sounds pretty scary. I have always found our dealings with health care to have been fair & reasonable in Mexico; but, then again, we don't stay at the big hotels and have never been in a medical emergency.
Has anyone else on the forum heard of such a situation ? ...JB

https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=22&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjot9-ewfLVAhUMxWMKHf-KD1g...

Avatar

Report of medical scam in Los Cabos

by frostbite ⌂ @, Hamilton MT, Friday, August 25, 2017, 09:09 (109 days ago) @ Johnny Briefcase

Scary! Glad they're OK.

--
[image]
http://www.casa-amarilla-zihua.com

Avatar

Report of medical scam in Los Cabos

by Hunter-MX ⌂ @, Troncones, Gro. Mexico, Friday, August 25, 2017, 10:51 (109 days ago) @ Johnny Briefcase

A different spin on this story and so many others I read where people claim to be held hostage in hospitals and hotels because they owe money.

First, in this story, they are New Zealanders, in Mexico but the story is speaking of dollars owed and we have to assume that is US dollars: Why? Language barriers and misunderstandings, as well as quickly rising anger coupled with fear of being extorted come into play, as well as just the overall fear of being sick and alone in a foreign country.

Next, the amount being charged for a comparable emergency visit and medical care is far from outrageous, though it is very high for Mexico. If it had happened while they were in the US in Los Angeles, emergency room services are far more expensive.

It is important to note that at the end of the story they state the insurance company is refusing to pay because they thought the cost was too high. That means the bill is unpaid and the couple left both the hospital and their hotel without paying or making sure arrangements were in place.

You CAN NOT leave a hotel, hospital or any establishment here without paying the bill. This isn't a first world nation. We don't have collection agencies that can track you down where ever in the world you are from. So if you leave, they are screwed on the money. This happens, A LOT.

So it easy to point fingers here, but there is NO evidence presented that this was Narco related. The bill is high but we don't see an itemized list of treatments provided. Most places here operate on a very tight budget, so having to wait weeks or months for payment is not an option, whether from an insurance company or the patient. Most hospitals and clinics will not accept insurance. They are privately owned and are in no way required to do so. I think nothing unreasonable happened.

Let me offer a piece of advice from many years of experience. If you are going to travel, make sure you can cover yourself for emergencies. Be sure you have an outside contact that can get you money if you need it. Most important, plan for what you think is the impossible, a car accident, an illness or even being detained by the police. You are not at home and you should remove ALL expectations of things being anything like wherever it is you came from.

So flame away if you will, but I suggest you take a few notes.

--
www.williammertz.photography

Avatar

Report of medical scam in Los Cabos

by Labrat ⌂ @, The Roosterfish Foundation, Friday, August 25, 2017, 11:07 (109 days ago) @ Hunter-MX

:megusta:

--
Más Chile Más Mejor

Pay no attention
Just Another Tourist

Avatar

Report of medical scam in Los Cabos

by Talley Ho @, Playa la Ropa/Silver Strand Beach, California, Friday, August 25, 2017, 12:16 (109 days ago) @ Hunter-MX

Beautifully, clearly stated.:megusta:

Avatar

Report of medical scam in Los Cabos

by grappa135, Zihuatanejo, Friday, August 25, 2017, 13:55 (109 days ago) @ Hunter-MX

Currencies from the antipodes - notably Australian and New Zealand Dollars - are not recognized as negotiable currencies in Mexico - therefore all residents of those countries have to book hotels, flights and travel insurance in US Dollar values.
However, it is my experience (over 30 years in the travel industry in Europe and Australia) that the majority of travel insurance companies state quite clearly,that in the event of hospital treatment the insured MUST contact the Insurer to be advised of hospitals that are partnered with that Insurer. They are also advised that all costs and charges must be made by the traveller, and subsequently reimbursed by the Insurer against receipts from their client.
The New Zealand couple found an exceptional Insurer that would, not only pay their fees up front, but would also speak with the Hospital AND the subsequent Hotel!
It is very difficult for travellers from the antipodes to pay large Hospital bills in US Dollars, as they can only access these through a limited number of ATM's, in just a few cities in Mexico - and then at only a few hundred dollars per day.... so NO Worldwide insurance company should place their clients in a Hospital, or Hotel, that does not accept International credit cards.

--
Graham Felipe'

Report of medical scam in Los Cabos

by K&B, Friday, August 25, 2017, 16:47 (109 days ago) @ grappa135

Beautifully clearly stated. :megusta:

Report of medical scam in Los Cabos

by Mexalberta @, Friday, August 25, 2017, 17:52 (109 days ago) @ grappa135

Aa friend was taken to hospital in Cancun and had emergency bowel surgery. His Canadian Travel Insurance required no payment by the patient. He says the situation couldn't have been handled better at home.
Unfortunate when simple gets complicated.

Report of medical scam in Los Cabos

by Lilyana, Saturday, August 26, 2017, 00:07 (109 days ago) @ Mexalberta

It would be great to know the name of this Canadian Insurance company your friend was covered with!

Thanks

Report of medical scam in Los Cabos

by Mexalberta @, Saturday, August 26, 2017, 09:24 (108 days ago) @ Lilyana

RBC was the seller. Not sure who the underwriter is.
send me a pm for more info about another suppplier that insure my wife and I
Cancer is considered a pre existing condition in the same class as asthma, diabetes.
They recognize that cancer patients and survivors don't have spontaneous attacks like heart disease patient.

Report of medical scam in Los Cabos

by Paulf @, Mount Sterling, Ky 40353, Saturday, August 26, 2017, 09:41 (108 days ago) @ Hunter-MX

We found out years ago that added insurance is needed when traveling outside of the States. I had to see the ship's doctor while on a Cruise. The cost of the visit was added to our bill. When we got home, submitted the bill to our insurance company and they refused to pay because we were outside of the States. We had gotten insurance for the Cruise. I submitted the bill with the paper work with the refusal. A couple of months later we received a check from the travel insurance for the total bill. There are too many horror stories about traveling and no insurance. All you have to do is use the travel insurance 1 time and you feel it was worth it.

Report of medical scam in Los Cabos

by Craig AKA the cruise ship guy @, Sunday, August 27, 2017, 17:40 (107 days ago) @ Paulf

The deal is to know where to go for medical help. In the Cabo area you need to stay away from St. Lukes and One World. Also do not get in an ambulance as they will take you to one of these places for their kick back. It has nothing to do with paying your bill as these guys are thieves. I took my wife in for medical treatment in the middle of the night about 2 years ago. In a room for about 5 hours, urinalysis, IV, antibiotics and saw the doctor twice. The entire bill was $200 usd but I knew where to go and went to AmeriMed. Obviously you guys aren't up on what is going on in Cabo and are way off base here.

Report of medical scam in Los Cabos

by Canada1 @, Sunday, August 27, 2017, 20:17 (107 days ago) @ Craig AKA the cruise ship guy

Where would one go in ixtapa/Zihua?

Report of medical scam in Los Cabos

by Paulf @, Mount Sterling, Ky 40353, Monday, August 28, 2017, 09:04 (106 days ago) @ Canada1

We stay at Pacifica and a couple of times Kathie had to see a doctor. Pacifica has a doctor that that came and took care of Kathie each time. We are very pleased with the doctor provided. I think most of the resort hotels has a doctor the hotel works with-especially the large hotels.

Report of medical scam in Los Cabos

by rdcosta @, Monday, August 28, 2017, 09:12 (106 days ago) @ Paulf

We have been going to clinica Maciel for years. Never stayed there, but a lady from our complex last year spent four days there, had her arm and wrist set by a surgeon and the bill was about $2500.00 Canadian

Avatar

Report of medical scam in Los Cabos

by jodymaryk @, Wednesday, August 30, 2017, 15:01 (104 days ago) @ rdcosta

I believe this is the clinic that treated my friend a couple of years ago for an infected bug bite that was near her femoral artery. When she decided that she need to have it looked at as it was very inflamed and painful, we went to the owner of our bungalows and had her call a doctor as I trusted her completely as a long time business owner and resident. The doctor came within an hour along with a nurse and checked her out determining she needed to have it incised and drained and being so close to her femoral artery didn't want to do it at the bungalow. They went with him back to the clinic and she said is was a very good experience. They paid for it with a credit card and her insurance later reimbursed her. We would definitely go there again. The doctor was the owner of the clinic.

My mother passed away a number of years ago in Tepic, Mexico after a few week hospital stay along with two surgeries. They were snowbirds and their dentist co-signed for her to be admitted to a private hospital. Their insurance (Group Health) later reimbursed ever penny they were charged. Couldn't have been smoother.

We recently went to Europe and one of my first calls was to my insurance to be sure that we would be covered internationally. We are and have plenty of credit on our cards if we need to pay for services. :) I am surprised at how many people don't check with their insurance when traveling out of the country and just assume their insurance will pay. Never assume anything.