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ppartlo
01-02-2012, 12:56 PM
Hi everyone. If there's one thing that's clear about the new immigration and residency rules, it's that they're not necessarily clear! I have been all over the immigration documentation and website, but one question continues to elude us. An 80+ year old relative is in the process of applying for residency as a pensioner on Bonaire. He overwinters for up to 6 months each year on the island. He has apparently been informed that if that level of temporary residency as a pensioner is approved, he will be fully covered by the Dutch healthcare program. Something just doesn't make sense to us about that statement. First, as a temp resident who will be paying nothing into the Dutch tax system, why would full healthcare be provided? Seems awfully generous of the Dutch government. Also, the application form includes a Section 9 that asks for confirmation of insurance coverage, so it clearly is part of the review process.

Can anyone clarify - will the national Dutch healthcare program cover temporary residents? This is a critical question as he is perilously close to cancelling his private health plan which has always been in place on past trips to the island.

Thanks.

ruth
01-07-2012, 11:52 PM
I would say absoulutely NOT to cancel any existing health insurance he has--even if the health care system here on Bonaire will cover him, it will cover him only here; any major medical issues would see him being flown to Curacao or Colombia to see specialists or be hospitalized there (if he speaks fluent Dutch & Spanish, and is comfortable with receiving medical care in possibly South America, this is not so much an issue). Another thing to consider is that although our prescription meds are covered, not all Rx's are available here--if nothing else, he should be certain any meds he currently uses are available here. There may be isolated cases of Americans with Bonaire residency having some health-care covered in the US, but nothing to count on.

LouiseH
02-23-2012, 03:38 PM
I have just encountered the same query. I am in the process of gathering all information for our residency applications and was informed by MCB insurance advisor that health insurance is no longer required as we will qualify for the national healthcare once residency granted. I have asked for confirmation from RCN and will let you know of any reply.

MikeTruesdell
02-24-2012, 12:13 AM
Hey Louise

Hope to see you on the island. As we will be there on March 4th. Cindy has everthing she needs as for as her residencey in order. The health care is something we had not even thougt about untill seeing a couple of post. Will be intersting to see what I really means.


Thanks Mike and Cindy

randl
02-24-2012, 07:56 AM
My neighbors on Bonaire are full time residents with Dutch health insurance. They are US/Canadian citizens. He is currently in Medellin, Colombia (with a paid translator) getting major, costly cardiac care at no charge. I, too, would like to know more about this insurance for our future plans for extended stays and eventual residency.

LouiseH
02-24-2012, 01:37 PM
Seems like many things administrative on the island that changes are happening faster than they can keep up with. Will keep you posted on their official reply when I get it.

Mike and Cindy, it seems we may miss each other on this trip, unfortunately the UK authorities are proving as slow with requests as those on Bonaire and its not looking likely we'll have all our documents sorted to do our residency applications until end of march / April time now. Telling myself it's good practise being patient for once we are back on the island!!

MikeTruesdell
02-26-2012, 12:22 PM
We will be on island March 5 filing for my wife Cindy's residency. We have all the paper work we hope that she should need. We will inform as soon as we know about the health care in question.

bontalkpcom
03-02-2012, 02:51 PM
Have a look at the official information at:
http://www.rijksdienstcn.com/index.php?view=pagina&id=120&set_language=EN
My understanding is at the present time and subject to change is anyone legally residing on Bonaire is covered.
You must have a residency permit, You must be registered at civil registry i.e. have a sedula.
You must be entered into the healthcare insurance database by registering with ZVB which requires sedula and residency.

LouiseH
03-06-2012, 03:03 PM
I have had the following reply by email from the RCN and it seems to confirm the last posting.

Louise

After you receive your permit and register at the census office and get your sedula(local identification card, you will be insured automatically.

bontalkpcom
03-07-2012, 06:42 PM
I have had the following reply by email from the RCN and it seems to confirm the last posting. Louise
After you receive your permit and register at the census office and get your sedula(local identification card, you will be insured automatically. You must be entered into the healthcare insurance database by registering with ZVB which requires a copy of your sedula and residency permit. I got this info from new residents who went for healthcare and were told that they were not in the database therefore they had to pay. I just registered myself last week at the offices of ZVB which is next to the Tax Offices downtown.

kob
09-20-2012, 11:23 AM
You must be entered into the healthcare insurance database by registering with ZVB which requires a copy of your sedula and residency permit. I got this info from new residents who went for healthcare and were told that they were not in the database therefore they had to pay. I just registered myself last week at the offices of ZVB which is next to the Tax Offices downtown.

Assuming it takes some time to apply for residency & then obtain your sedula & residency permit, is there private health insurance available to bridge the gap between leaving the US and being covered by the Dutch healthcare system while the residency approval, registering with ZVB, etc. processes take place ??

Does anyone know of private healthcare insurance in the US that would bridge that gap ??

Thanks for any insights.

bcwolfen
09-21-2012, 09:14 AM
I think Blue Cross has plans available that cover you for extended periods. We are just starting to look into this ourselves for our move down next spring.

kob
09-21-2012, 09:33 AM
Thanks for the info, Gerald. I plan to retire in March 2015 and we will permanantly move to our home on BON. I would be very interested in hearing what you learn about Blue Cross, residency, etc. If you prefer to discuss offline, just pm me. We are going down to BON in October and plan to visit the ZVB offices to start getting info, which I will be happy to share.

Thanks again.

bcwolfen
09-23-2012, 08:30 PM
I've been looking over the Blue Cross Canada website which has many plans for individuals/couples/families and also travel plans. I 'm not sure if the US plans are similar or not.

petri hausmann
09-24-2012, 08:23 AM
I recommend that your first step is to find out and confirm what outside insurance will be accepted here. In the past, foreign insurance of any kind is not accepted. It is pay cash, then apply for compensation from your private insurance carrier.

kob
09-24-2012, 10:23 AM
Thanks for the advice, petri. Am I correct in my assumption that, once accepted as a Bonaire resident, I will be covered by the Dutch healthcare system? Or are there other requirements not mentioned previously?

Thanks for any insight -- KOB.

petri hausmann
09-25-2012, 03:02 PM
cedula plus register with the ZVB... then you should select your "house doctor"...while it does not take more than a day or so to get a "regular" doctor appt. referrals to specialists can take weeks and possibly off island .. advanced care probably in south america... wait time for eye appointments is a few weeks and dental is months ...there are no rehab centers.. while it is a good system it compares in the amenities very differently than the USA. If you are going to be full time on the island it can work for you but also you need to work with it.. just be sure you check what is covered here before you stop any outside plan. i live here full-time but have kept my Armed Forces insurance and Medicare- just in case ..

petri hausmann
09-25-2012, 03:08 PM
at first you will need to re-apply for residency every year for a period of 5 years, then you should get permanent residency and would only need to renew your cedula every five years. If you let it lapse or re-apply late, you will lose your coverage and it is
back to step 1 in the residency process ...

kob
09-25-2012, 04:22 PM
Thanks for your insights, petri. Very helpful. I did plan to keep my Medicare, etc. in case my wife or I need to return to the US for medical care. Good advice. Thanks.

petri hausmann
09-26-2012, 11:43 AM
that is an excellent plan........