Tips for Bermuda Travel & Health Insurance
A comprehensive travel and health insurance in Bermuda can save you from what otherwise can be an unanticipated bomb-shell expense. Yes that's true. Bermuda health and other medical expenses are very high and often far higher than in the USA. Recent studies have shown that medical cost in Bermuda is second highest in the world.
No visitors including even the British or US nationals are automatically covered in Bermuda for any health expenses. Even the British national health laws do not apply here. Bermuda does not have any reciprocal health related insurance arrangements with any country whatsoever.
Unlike many other countries, Bermuda does not have National Health Services or any free clinic or medical services. Check out Bermuda Medical Facilities
to know about all the hospitals, clinics and other medical centers in the island and the services they offer.
Depending on your purpose of visit, you may need a short term or a long term health insurance.
Short visit to Bermuda
If you are planning a short visit to Bermuda on Business or vacation, you should take adequate travel and medical insurance coverage before coming to Bermuda. You can even get such travel/medical insurance online... there are plenty of companies. If you are planning to rent a scooter in Bermuda
, you are likely to be asked for a proper travel and medical insurance. Because it's quite risky riding a scooter in the island unless you are used to left hand drive and also to the kind of traffic Bermuda has.
Also remember that the hotels, apartments and guesthouses will take heavy cancellation charges even if you show proof of sudden illness or some other unavoidable reasons. A travel insurance comes very handy in such cases as well.
In case of emergencies, you can contact the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) located in Paget Parish. This is the only large critical care hospital in the island.
Address and Contacts:
Point Finger Road, Paget Parish, Bermuda. Phone (441) 236-2345. Bus Routes: #1, 2, 7
Emergency department: Ground Floor, Acute Care Wing, KEMH
Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year Tel: (441) 239-2009
There is a service called the Overseas Family Help Service of the Hospital Auxiliary organization that operates under Bermuda Hospitals Board. They help overseas patients in the hospital with accommodations, communications, translations and emotional support. Address and Contact: Ground Floor, General Wing, KEMH. 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday. Phone: (441) 236-2488.
There is no inoculation or special health precautions necessary while travelling to Bermuda.
Relocating to Bermuda
If you are moving to Bermuda with a job, your employer must cover you under a health insurance plan as per the employment law in Bermuda. However, in such cases the health insurance would be done with a local Bermudian insurance company and not with any multinational insurer. This is also a government norm. Prior to your travel, you can of course additionally cover yourself and your family through a global insurer such as Allianzcare or through one of the several other insurance companies.
However by Bermuda's law, your employer too should cover you and your family under a Health Insurance Plan (HIP). In the first year, the employers usually cover only the basic medical services. And sometimes they will recover a part of the insurance premium from your salary. You should try to negotiate and ensure that you and your family are covered comprehensively from day-1 including major and critical medical cases plus dental expenses.
In Bermuda, your employer will insure you and your family through one of the local Bermudian insurance companies and not through a multinational insurer of your choice. By Government regulation, a foreign or multinational company can not take up local business.
The local insurers are Argus Group, BF&M Insurance Group, Colonial Insurance Company, Kitson Benefit Services and British American Insurance Company. The first three being the largest.
Health Insurance Department (HID) of Bermuda also offers two health insurance schemes: Health Insurance Plan (HIP) and FutureCare, the latter gives additional benefits at a higher premium rate. But both plans provide coverage for dental benefits, doctor’s visits, in-patient and out-patient care at the hospital, and overseas care. Annual premium for Health Insurance Plan (HIP) is $429.24 for 18 years and over but under 65, and $190 for below 18 years. While in Bermuda, you as an expat can also avail these insurance schemes (in case the employer's insurance coverage is not adequate).
Contact info for HID Bermuda
Address: Sofia House, 2nd Floor, 48 Church Street, Hamilton HM 12, Bermuda
There is shortage of qualified dentists and dental surgeons in Bermuda. In general the waiting time for a local Bermudian is 6 to 9 months to get an appointment for a treatment like filling, scaling or extraction. So you should get all your dental checks and treatment done before coming to Bermuda. There is a good dental agency called Bermuda Dental Association that represents over 30 qualified private dentists. However they too run out of capacity.
Before travelling to Bermuda, you must ensure you have adequate health insurance as travelers will be responsible for the cost of their healthcare while on the island. Medical costs here are as high and often higher than those in the USA. In general, your insurance will cover 100% of the cost of a generic medication and 80% of the cost of a brand drug, in which case you will have to pay 20%. This however, will depend on which insurance company holds your policy.
All standard immunizations such as Tetanus, MMR, Chicken Pox, Influenza, Hepatitis B, Pertussis, DTaP/Tdap, Haemophilus B, Polio, Pneumococcal etc (as applicable) should be ideally up to date before your travel date so that you can avoid unnecessary medical expenses.
The island is free of local transmission of Zika virus.
Always carry in your wallet, an updated list of the medications you are taking (name, dose and how often you take it etc.). Also include in the list, any medication or food allergies you might have. Include any over the counter medications, vitamins, supplements or complementary or alternative products. Carry this list with you when you go to the hospital, to see a specialist or any other healthcare professional
Humidity is a concern in Bermuda, so try and store your medicines in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Humidity, heat and light can affect medication potency and safety.
Medicines that are classified as Over The Counter (OTC) varies from country to country. Hence, some medicines you could buy without a prescription overseas may not be available in Bermuda. OTC medicines usually treat common ailments such as aches, pains, itches, etc. Some will be available for you to choose yourself off the store shelf while others will need you to speak to the chemist first. He/she may ask you some questions to ensure you are getting the right medication and that you do not require treatment by a doctor.
The chemist at dispensary may ask for your driver’s license or other photo identification when you collect a medicine. So carry one at all times.
Carry your doctor’s prescription during your travel. In case you need to have your regular medication replaced from a local dispensary, it would be a lot smoother to have a prescription on hand.
If you are visiting the island and have forgotten your medication, a 5-day emergency supply can be issued to you from one of the locally registered medical stores. You will however, have to provide a proof that you have had this medication in the past six months or that you are taking it regularly. If this cannot be provided, a prescription may be obtained from a Bermuda registered doctor. Moreover, in most cases, even if you have a prescription, it will have to be countersigned by a Bermuda registered doctor or re-written by a Bermuda registered doctor before it can be filled.
A prescription must have details such as your name; date of birth; dosage; how often the medicine needs to be taken and for how long; doctor’s name and address along with his signature and date; expiry of prescription is considered one year after it has been written. It is advised that you use one drugstore for all your prescriptions.
1) Check out Bermuda's Medical Services
to know about all the well known clinics and hospitals in Bermuda, and the services they provide.
2) There are quite a few Health clubs and Fitness centers
in Bermuda that are quite popular and can provide good means to keep yourself and your family fit and healthy.
3) I recommend that you check out Bermuda Health and Safety
for a complete guide to take the correct measures and avoid all health related risks in Bermuda.
Viewers' Reviews and Comments
Cristiano Colucci (January 2018)
Hi, can you please advise what the average annual spend on healthcare per a person (my wife) and a child would be? Thanks a million.
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) January 2018
Hi, the annual health insurance premium in Bermuda (local insurance company) would be around $430 for adult and $190 for child below 18.