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Stevenamy
(@Stevenamy)
New Member

We will be coming down in a couple weeks for our pmv and I was wanting to know about health care. My husband and I both will be giving up our jobs here in the states, so we will be giving up our insurance as well. Are there any clinics there on the island for ppl with no insurance? I have diabetes and a heart problems. I have been reading the message board for months now and I feel like I know each and every one of you. We are so excited about coming down and are looking so forward to meeting some of you . Thanks in advance for all your help. Steve and Amy

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Topic starter Posted : June 28, 2010 10:06 pm
Stevenamy
(@Stevenamy)
New Member

I guess I did not say enough before, we are not planing on staying unemployed and hope to get ensured right away. My husband and I both are professionals and have already started seeking employment there. We are pretty set on living in St. Croix. During the pmv we are mostly seeking living accommodations. We are looking for a two bedroom apt or condo in a safe place that is dog friendly. We are hoping to make our move by the end of August. I just need to know that I will be able to get my meds should I not find employment right away. Thanks for all your help.

Amy

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Topic starter Posted : June 29, 2010 2:32 am
popflops
(@popflops)
Advanced Member

Someone who's lived here longer than me can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think any hospital can refuse service, regardless of insurance status. Also, what I did before we moved was to get my prescriptions at CVS, so that I can reorder them online in case I didn't have a new doctor here fast enough. (They ship here for free.) Also, you didn't mention the island, but we had quite a difficult time finding a house that would take pets, and I know for certain that very few condos will. Be persistent, keep your ears open, and good luck!

Lisa

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Posted : June 29, 2010 11:07 am
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Amy: I am going to focus on the clinic. The Health Department does have a clinic, although I can't tell you the location on St Croix. There are long waits for appointments and the customer service aspect is lacking. You would need to pay for your medications out-of-pocket as the government program (Medical Assistance, our version of Medicaid) is only available to the very poorest residents.

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Posted : June 29, 2010 11:14 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

THERE IS A PERSCRIPTION CARD THAT CAN BE USED ONLY AT THE BIG K IN THE WEST END THAT HAS SAVED US A LOT ON PERSCRIPTIONS. this card is free for ALL. i cant find it right now, but when i get home i will look for it. again IT IS A FREE CARD FOR ALL

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Posted : June 29, 2010 11:34 am
roadrunner
(@roadrunner)
Trusted Member

I don't think any hospital can refuse service, regardless of insurance status.

That is true, to a point. EMTALA, the Emergency Medicine Treatment and Labor Act, states that an emergency department must, in the case of any person who darkens their doorway, do a medical screening exam to evaluate for the presence of an emergency medical condition or active labor. The law does not say who has to do this exam -- doctor, nurse, etc. The law also says that if active labor or an emergency medical condition is found, the patient's condition must be stabilized. (Baby delivered if you're pregnant, surgery if you have appendicitis, etc.) Evaluation and treatment cannot be held up for any financial reason.

So yes, if you're having an emergency, the hospital must take care of you. If your left little toe has been hurting for 3 years, the hospital is not required to do anything other than examine you to make sure you're okay. Although that may sound harsh, it's sort of a protection for those who are having real emergencies, to ensure that the emergency department will have the resources to treat them. If you're having a heart attack, you want the ER to have a room and a doctor available for you!

Clinics, on the other hand, can refuse service to anyone (and direct them to the ER if they're having an emergency).

Most emergency departments and clinics opt to treat non-emergency conditions anyway, though, and just work out the financial aspect of things later. However, using the ER to get prescriptions refilled is abuse of the emergency system, and it's a very, very expensive way for you to do it because you will get a bill for emergency care. (Even if you don't have an emergency condition, any care given in the ER is billed as emergency care.)

Ask your doctor to write refills for longer than usual, so at least you'll be able to pay for your meds out of pocket if necessary. Ask him/her to see if there's anything that can be changed to a similar mediation that's on the "$4 list" at CVS. They have multiple generic medications that cost only $4 for a month's supply.

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Posted : June 29, 2010 4:36 pm
Stevenamy
(@Stevenamy)
New Member

You guys are great! I will be seeing all of my doctors before leaving the mainland and moving to the islands. I just want to make sure I can get health care if needed. Kind of scary to think I may need a heart doctor so far away from home. You guys have been great and I look forward to coming to the islands and chillaxing for a long time. I use CVS now so it should not be a problem. We live in NC now, and we don't even have the 4 dollars supply at CVS now. Only at Walmart. Can't wait to see all of you when we get there. Getting so excited about coming. See you all in a few weeks.

Amy

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Topic starter Posted : June 29, 2010 8:03 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Heart doctors we have. There is even a cardiac center on St Croix. Neurosurgery, rheumatology and some other specialties are not represented..

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Posted : June 30, 2010 12:41 am
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