Better Call Jackson

Local couple frustrated and drained of cash after medical issue during cruise

COLUMBUS (WCMH) -- Thousands of people enjoy taking cruises, including Susan and Herbert Caudill, who have taken many over the years.

A recent cruise left the couple frustrated and drained of cash.

It started when Herbert was not feeling well on the third day on the ship. He has congestive heart failure.  The ship's medical staff treated Herbert and he said he was feeling much better, but they said they had done all they could do.

"They informed us we were not sea-worthy, therefore we were not allowed to leave St. Martins by plane, I said, 'what do we do?' They said, 'immigration is like this,'" says Susan Caudill.

They were allowed back on the ship but just for one day until they reached San Juan, Puerto Rico. Their vacation was cut short without reimbursement and they had thousands of out of pocket dollars spent on medical treatment.

"He had spent at St. Martins $5,700 for medical bills for about 10 hours," says Susan Caudill, "Plus the $1,500 at the infirmary."

The Caudills could have avoided most of the trouble if they purchased travel insurance. Susan Schneider with Twin Horizons Travel says the cost is worth the coverage.

"You pay a couple hundred dollars depending on your age and the cost of your trip, it could be less than that for premium insurance and you get the medical flight back in case you have an accident", says Schneider.

Another element the Caudills and others may not realize, Medicare coverage does not apply in the West Indies where they were traveling.

Recently, Medicare added a new supplement that covers you abroad, ask your travel agent about the coverage.

The average cost is about $135 per person, per week.


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