Health care is now more affordable for people who need to travel overseas for emergency or acute care.
Cayman-based health policy advisory group EagleMount Ltd. and its partners have launched an insurance product that it says will make more affordable healthcare options available for people who need to travel overseas for emergency or acute care.
The company has partnered with All Seasons Underwriting Insurance Agency Limited, a Lloyd’s of London-admitted company, “to promote an insurance policy that allows people to get secondary and tertiary care and trauma care in destinations outside the United States”, explained William Peguero, managing partner of EagleMount.
EagleMount has developed a medical network of nearly 25 hospitals in the Caribbean – in Colombia, Panama, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, the Bahamas and Trinidad – and has more coming online.
“These are centres of excellence… that are on par with any hospital in the United States. The only difference is a difference of 60 to 70 per cent of the cost,” Peguero said.
He added: “Our policies and products give people US$50,000 to $250,000 worth of coverage, including air ambulance, so they are now able to go to a centre of excellence and any acute care that may be required can be taken care of, from trauma to neo-natal, which are the most expensive cases.”
EagleMount, along with ASUIA and International Triage, recently penned a memorandum of understanding with the Nevis government in the eastern Caribbean. “We have signed an MOU with the government of Nevis, which will allow us to do the whole country pretty soon,” Mr. Peguero said. International Triage acts as the third party administration in the arrangement, while EagleMount carries out the government relations.
He added that the company was also in negotiations with two other islands in the Caribbean to provide insurance solutions for their indigent population.
“We have made an offer to do that here in Cayman and await a response from the government,” he said.
Peguero had spent the last few years familiarising himself with hospitals throughout the region. In 2006, he was asked by Jackson Memorial Hospital in Florida to help it develop business in the Caribbean. “From that time, I have had different clients in the fields,” he said, including Johns Hopkins.
“It took me through the region, seeing hospitals and meeting ministers of health in every island and country. It gave me exposure to health care,” he said.
“Over the years, I’ve seen that a lot of islands in the Caribbean don’t have primary care so they send people to the United States… What hurts the most is usually there is a large percentage of the population that is not able to go to the US because of visa requirements or because of policies that have very little capacity, maybe $25,000 to $50,000. With that amount, you would not be accepted to any institution in the US,” he said.
This led him and his partners to start looking into alternatives for cheaper, high quality health care solutions for labourers or indigents or others who cannot afford to pay for surgeries, trauma care and other medical needs in the United States.
“Neo natal care in the US costs a minimum of a million to a million and a half dollars. At a high end institution in Colombia, with vast experience, it is probably $200,000 for the same care, with more US-board certified physicians,” Peguero said.
In June, ASUIA, in conjunction with Eaglemount and International Triage, launched the new insurance product at the Insurance Association of the Caribbean’s 31st Annual Caribbean Conference in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. “We launched it there among industry peers. It went extremely well,” Peguero said, adding that the group is preparing to make the product available in 14 countries.
“We are working hard to accomplish that task because we have a product and service we would like to take to all the world,” he said.
The overseas care packages for patients include medical air lift, transportation to and from the hospital, as well as a hotel stay, if necessary. Peguero said all the physicians treating the patients would be English speaking and that a case manager would be assigned for each patient.