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Old 10-17-08, 09:29 AM   #1
Kazer
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health insurance that covers vaccinations

I just got off the phone with my local travel health center getting the rundown on vaccinations for our trip (link in signature).

Here is what it looks like so far:
typhoid - $82
polio - $45
tetnus - $38
hep a/b - $88*(3 shots)
rabies - $242*(3 shots)
japanese encephalitis - $144*(3 shots)
administrative fees - $204 ($17/per shot)

I don't currently have health insurance but we have 5 1/2 months to go before the trip... does anyone know of an insurance company that would cover this sort of thing?

Thanks!
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Old 10-17-08, 01:45 PM   #2
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We found it would have been less expensive to fly to South Africa or Asia and get the shots at an international travel clinic than at home.

Here is a list of reputable international travel clinics worldwide. Link.

Travel Clinics are businesses. Shop around and get the best prices.

We had success with a travel clinic at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town and a hospital based clinic in Bangkok.

Most health insurance policies in the U.S. will not cover most of these vaccinations.
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Old 10-17-08, 01:51 PM   #3
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We got some of those vaccinations this summer, I think Hep was the only one our insurances covered (cheaper for my wife and I to use indiv insurance through our jobs than joint through either one job). I might misremember, hep might not have been covered either. And of the ones you list that we didn't get, I am comfortable in assuming that our insurance wouldn't cover them either (Japanese encephalitis, rabies, polio; I got my polio shot in grade 1 I think it was; wonder if it's any good still...).

I doubt you'll find insurance in the US that would cover any of them. And in general if you go shopping for coverage you intend to actually use, the coverage will cost more than your intended use anyway.

I like the international clinic idea.
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Old 10-17-08, 04:29 PM   #4
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Try your county health department. They are often cheaper there.
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Old 10-18-08, 02:14 PM   #5
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losigato, thank you! this looks to be an invaluable resource!
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Old 10-18-08, 08:01 PM   #6
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FWIW I wouldn't want to do all those vaccinations all at once, iirc a few of them can be unpleasant. I believe you also have to get some of the shots in sequences and/or a few months before you go.

I'd probably also skip on the rabies vaccine. From what I can tell, if you get exposed to rabies / bitten by a rabid animal, even with a pre-exposure vaccination, untreated rabies will be fatal. The pre-exposure vaccine only saves you from one step if you get exposed.

And don't forget to bring along malaria meds. Mefloquine / Lariam in particular is reported to be a pretty nasty drug....
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