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Author Topic: Need help - Hospital bill on vacation due to my HIV status  (Read 12786 times)

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Offline TheNorwegian89

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Need help - Hospital bill on vacation due to my HIV status
« on: March 17, 2023, 07:33:23 am »
I hope it is okay to post this message here on the forum, and if not, I understand and the admin is welcome to take it down or move it  :)

Dear forum family,

I humbly ask for some help today as unfortunately, i have encountered a very difficult situation due to my HIV status and i am currently in a hospital in Asia during my holiday.

As a 33-year-old man, lonely and with little contact with my family and old friends due to my HIV diagnosis i have known about since 2016 and this has made things not so easy, but I have managed to get help and support from organizations working with HIV and helping everyone effected by it and I am currently on successful treatment with Dovato.

I have been hospitalized with high blood pressure, pneumonia, and high fever. When my travel insurance contacted the hospital, they were made aware of my HIV diagnosis, and now that I am on the road to recovery, the insurance refuses to cover my hospital bill as they claim that my underlying condition may have triggered these symptoms and my insurance is then not valid and my claim is rejected.This has led to the hospital confiscating my passport until the bill is paid.Also i have missed my flight home because of the situation and the insurance reject the claim under the same reason as above.

The total bill amounts to 276,258 Thai baht, or around 8074 dollars, 7585 euros, or 6657 pounds converted today.

This is a lot of money, and of course i try through other friends, but its not so easy to give the explanation to everyone when they don't know my diagnosis.

Let me know if you have tips or questions.
Thank you in advance.

Sincerely,
Thomas
« Last Edit: March 18, 2023, 03:56:53 am by Jim Allen »

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: Need help - Hospital bill on vacation due to my HIV status
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2023, 06:44:21 am »
Hi Thomas,

Sorry to hear that you have been unwell and about the situation with the insurance company. I do hope you have recovered from your bout of illness. 

How are you feeling now? Do you have enough HIV medication, and what was your last CD4 & HIV count?

Quote
Let me know if you have tips or questions.

Have you asked the Hospital if they are willing to state in writing that the medical issues had nothing to do with your underlying health condition? Have you spoken to your embassy to see if they can assist you or talk to the Hospital?

Suspect it would have been more straightforward if your passport had been lost so you could ask for a temporary one to travel home on and deal with the bill from home. Alas, that's not the situation.

Best, Jim.
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Offline Jim Allen

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Re: Need help - Hospital bill on vacation due to my HIV status
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2023, 06:49:03 am »
Quote
As a 33-year-old man, lonely and with little contact with my family and old friends due to my HIV diagnosis

Sorry to hear that you have little contact with your family. I presume you think they would react negatively because of HIV status, or is it stigma because of how HIV is acquired?

Quote
i try through other friends, but its not so easy to give the explanation to everyone when they don't know my diagnosis.

Why would you need to tell them you are living with HIV? Surely its enough to explain to friends and family that you were sick, had a high fever and are stuck abroad and their help would be appreciated to get home?
« Last Edit: March 18, 2023, 06:51:57 am by Jim Allen »
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Offline TheNorwegian89

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Re: Need help - Hospital bill on vacation due to my HIV status
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2023, 09:51:51 am »
Hi Thomas,

Sorry to hear that you have been unwell and about the situation with the insurance company. I do hope you have recovered from your bout of illness. 

How are you feeling now? Do you have enough HIV medication, and what was your last CD4 & HIV count?

Have you asked the Hospital if they are willing to state in writing that the medical issues had nothing to do with your underlying health condition? Have you spoken to your embassy to see if they can assist you or talk to the Hospital?

Suspect it would have been more straightforward if your passport had been lost so you could ask for a temporary one to travel home on and deal with the bill from home. Alas, that's not the situation.

Best, Jim.

Hello Jim,

I breen in contact with different people from my government and they consulate or embassy dont do any economic support. It is mostly visit if you at the hospital or in prison. So that i have tried.

I have gotten my doctor back home to make a statement.

I have a travel insurance through REVOLUT Metal and they use Allianz, maybe you heard about them?, i have had some vases with computer and phone before and i always gotten rejection on claims and i see some reviews these days online and they aint mutch loved out there.


Just travelling and report it stolen could or not go, you never know if the immigration down here get information, because Thailand government like to keep track of everyone.

Offline TheNorwegian89

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Re: Need help - Hospital bill on vacation due to my HIV status
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2023, 10:08:29 am »
Sorry to hear that you have little contact with your family. I presume you think they would react negatively because of HIV status, or is it stigma because of how HIV is acquired?

Why would you need to tell them you are living with HIV? Surely its enough to explain to friends and family that you were sick, had a high fever and are stuck abroad and their help would be appreciated to get home?

]
Hello Jim,

I been in contact with different people from my government and they consulate or embassy dont do any economic support. It is mostly visit if you at the hospital or in prison. So that i have tried.

I have gotten my doctor back home to make a statement.

Also the travel insurance i have is through REVOLUT Metal and they use Allianz, maybe you heard about them?, i have had some vases with computer and phone before and i always gotten rejection on claims and i see some reviews these days online and they aint mutch loved out there.


Just travelling and report it stolen could go or not go, thats a 50/50. You never know if the immigration down here get information, because Thailand government like to keep track of everyone.


My family already knowni have hiv and it is actually only my mother i have contact with after i came out with it. She dont have so mutch herself as she is old. So thats the situation there.

Normally when asking people that i also not known so long, they will want to know why insurance not taking care of it. I also lost most people i knew when poeple in my city got to know it some years ago. I should have kept my mouth shut, thats my opinion now.

I been alot to an organization in Oslo named HIV Norge on courses and mental treatment thats been very good. Sadly they dont help out with things like this.

So im trying to find some solution, alot is closed in Norway in the weekends so maybe when people atnwork again on monday i can call around a little! So im searching around on google at the moment.

Offline TheNorwegian89

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Re: Need help - Hospital bill on vacation due to my HIV status
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2023, 10:35:55 am »
Forgot to answer the first question, not easy using the forum with the phone.

The last blood tests were taken in September, I just checked my medical records now and this is what was shown by the blood tests I took: He has taken blood tests that show suppressed HIV RNA and CD4 in the upper normal range. Renewing prescription for Dovato. New appointment in May 2023.

I always bring alot with me. So i have 2 months lefte more or less. So thats no problem.

Im doing better now and staying at a room i rented near the hospital. It will take some time to be back in shape where i was before i got sick as i have asthma. But it will come :)

Offline thunter34

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Re: Need help - Hospital bill on vacation due to my HIV status
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2023, 01:57:06 pm »
If you have or can get documentation that you have good viral suppression and CD4 in the upper normal rage, then there's no reason to assume HIV is behind your current health issues  People without HIV can and do get all of those things on their own. The cold, hard truth is that your insurance company is just being incredibly shady, and doing just what insurance companies do: take money from you, and then seek any and every way possible to worm their way out of fulfilling their obligations.

This is a terrible predicament,  and I wish I had better advice to give you on how to get out of it, but this is uncharted territory for me. It never occurred to me that any country would seize a passport to imprison someone there over a medical payment, as you stand less of a chance drumming up money in a foreign country than your own. The best I can suggest is paper documentation of a viral suppression and good immune condition.

Shame on them all.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline TheNorwegian89

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Re: Need help - Hospital bill on vacation due to my HIV status
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2023, 03:34:51 pm »
If you have or can get documentation that you have good viral suppression and CD4 in the upper normal rage, then there's no reason to assume HIV is behind your current health issues  People without HIV can and do get all of those things on their own. The cold, hard truth is that your insurance company is just being incredibly shady, and doing just what insurance companies do: take money from you, and then seek any and every way possible to worm their way out of fulfilling their obligations.

This is a terrible predicament,  and I wish I had better advice to give you on how to get out of it, but this is uncharted territory for me. It never occurred to me that any country would seize a passport to imprison someone there over a medical payment, as you stand less of a chance drumming up money in a foreign country than your own. The best I can suggest is paper documentation of a viral suppression and good immune condition.

Shame on them all.

Thanks for advice!

 If you search up Allianz at trustpilot its alot of bad reviews, alot. So it looks like im not the only one. Down here in Thailand they always take the passport at hospital, i alson went to the hospital they adviced, that turns out is the most expensive.

Even if i get the documentation, a complain can take weeks. I already in contact with lawyer back home about it.

Thomas

Offline joemutt

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Re: Need help - Hospital bill on vacation due to my HIV status
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2023, 12:51:12 am »
I am sorry this happened to you.

A patient in Thailand has a legal right to a copy of his complete medical records,
you could ask for that, though the hospital may charge you for the paper/cd they come on. This you could use to fight the denial of your claim with your insurance company.

I wouldn't try to escape Thailand as mentioned before as no one wants to be in a Thai immigration jail with HIV, also it is an insurance issue not a wrongful bill from the hospital.
What I would recommend you to do is try to renegotiate the bill item by item with the hospital, explain your situation, this is not unheard of.
It sucks though that your insurance company advised an expensive hospital and then refused to pay, I usually seek my care in public hospitals.

For future reference and for other people before you travel: HIV specific travel insurance exists in
many countries.

It's been a little rough lately in Central and North Thailand with extreme air pollution, also in the countryside because of burning, and the temperatures are high.

Take care.

« Last Edit: March 19, 2023, 12:55:49 am by joemutt »

Offline TheNorwegian89

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Re: Need help - Hospital bill on vacation due to my HIV status
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2023, 06:32:18 am »
I am sorry this happened to you.

A patient in Thailand has a legal right to a copy of his complete medical records,
you could ask for that, though the hospital may charge you for the paper/cd they come on. This you could use to fight the denial of your claim with your insurance company.

I wouldn't try to escape Thailand as mentioned before as no one wants to be in a Thai immigration jail with HIV, also it is an insurance issue not a wrongful bill from the hospital.
What I would recommend you to do is try to renegotiate the bill item by item with the hospital, explain your situation, this is not unheard of.
It sucks though that your insurance company advised an expensive hospital and then refused to pay, I usually seek my care in public hospitals.

For future reference and for other people before you travel: HIV specific travel insurance exists in
many countries.

It's been a little rough lately in Central and North Thailand with extreme air pollution, also in the countryside because of burning, and the temperatures are high.

Take care.


In these countries things is so different from western countries. They dont even threat you before they have any deposit before starting. So its complicated.

I normally use Norwegian insurances, this would not been an issue as you on successfull treament. But out of the terms it seems like it should not been an issue. I can share these terms as maybe others in here might have the same company? If its ok for admin?

This is same hospital most insurance companies wants you to use. They have people working from many countries to assist tourists. So its a big well known hospital.

Thanks for respond!

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: Need help - Hospital bill on vacation due to my HIV status
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2023, 09:58:51 am »
Quote
I can share these terms as maybe others in here might have the same company? If its ok for admin?

You can post the details if you so wish.
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Offline Loa111

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Re: Need help - Hospital bill on vacation due to my HIV status
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2023, 12:16:24 pm »
I'm very sorry to hear of your situation & hope you find a workable solution.

Unfortunately Thailand can be a very difficult place for one to be when problems such as this arise. Often it's hard to get a clear answer, & rules or laws can be bent depending on the situation or on what backhander payments are on offer.

 If you have not already done so, you should post your situation on the ASEAN Now forum (former Thai Visa forum)or similar, I think they have a section for legal questions on there?

I'm wondering since his is a civil issue at this point, how could Thai immigration have a note about this on their computers?

I wonder could you get an emergency passport from your embassy? Perhaps a land border crossing may have less scrutiny? E.g. get the train to Malaysia. Get a new flight now from Kuala Lumpur. 

It is very concerning to hear of travel insurance refusing to cover you for medical issues due to you being hiv+. I visit Thailand too and always went with normal travel insurance. I never even thought about this issue you are having.

I know if you get up in hospital in Thailand, especially a private one with rip off tourist prices, you can end up with major excess bills fast.

Does this mean we all have to declare we are positive anytime we buy travel insurance or will we even get covered properly by normal travel insurance?


Offline Jim Allen

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Re: Need help - Hospital bill on vacation due to my HIV status
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2023, 12:39:36 pm »
It is very concerning to hear of travel insurance refusing to cover you for medical issues due to you being hiv+. I visit Thailand too and always went with normal travel insurance. I never even thought about this issue you are having.

Does this mean we all have to declare we are positive anytime we buy travel insurance or will we even get covered properly by normal travel insurance?

Plenty of travel insurance products do require you to disclose any pre-existing conditions, and some might not cover specific conditions.  So its always good to check before you take out any cover.

There was an Aidsmap article on this a few years ago, It is UK-specific but it has some good advice if you are travelling. https://www.aidsmap.com/about-hiv/travel-insurance-people-hiv

I also travel with both my passports, people call me paranoid but I'm always worried about loosing mine and if I do I can at least book a flight home on my second passport and nationality.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2023, 12:43:15 pm by Jim Allen »
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Offline TheNorwegian89

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Re: Need help - Hospital bill on vacation due to my HIV status
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2023, 11:55:51 pm »
Well it hasnt been any solution so far, my lawyer in Norway is working on it, bit it can take time he say... Trying to sell of stuff back home with help from my mother..

Lawyer advise me to do a gofundme for some of it, but no place allowed to post it, also in here and other forums...  its just a mess everything...

Coming home to empty apartment 😂😂

Offline daveR

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Re: Need help - Hospital bill on vacation due to my HIV status
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2023, 05:00:11 am »
Not wanting to add to your woes but keep an eye on your visa expiry date. They will charge overstay fees, usually per day over.

To be honest, raising the money by whatever way you can is the only way out. I will be very surprised if the hospital backs down. The legal system will be against you here. There has been a lot of complaints from the Government in the past few years about tourists using medical services here in Thailand and not paying their bills. I know you thought your insurance would cover it but due to what has happened previously expect no official sympathy or assistance.

Other stranded tourists have had family members start gofundme pages for them to pay hospital bills here.

Offline TheNorwegian89

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Re: Need help - Hospital bill on vacation due to my HIV status
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2023, 12:16:01 am »
"I've visited this place many times in the last 13 years and have learned that money is often the solution to most problems here. However, I'm now concerned about a potential overstay as you mention and the potential costs associated with it.

From my information if an overstay is outside of your control and you have documentation from the hospital to support it, you won't be charged. Unfortunately, in this case, I'm unsure if that will be the case since I've recovered from my illness.

I've had multiple hospital visits after i had my hiv statusd, due to food poisoning, infections, and normal things. Thankfully, my Norwegian insurance has covered all my medical expenses without issue. I must admit, though, that I haven't always disclosed my HIV status to the hospital.

Given this, I'm unsure if I should disclose my HIV status  in the future anyway after this experience..

Alternatively, I'm wondering if it's possible to negotiate a deal with an insurance company that could benefit others in this forum. There are many users here, and it could be a helpful solution for everyone. What does the admin think about that? Something that could be possible ?








Offline TheNorwegian89

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Re: Need help - Hospital bill on vacation due to my HIV status
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2023, 12:17:29 am »
Also, any suggestion where i could share a gofundme page? Forums, facebook groups etc?

Have a nice weekend everyone!

Offline Tonny2

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Re: Need help - Hospital bill on vacation due to my HIV status
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2023, 02:21:57 pm »










           ojo.               Hello there!. I am sorry about your dilemma I hope and you can fix it so you can go back to your country. I wonder why so many people in this forum go to THAILAND call Matt am I missing something?…hugs and please keep us posted.

Offline TheNorwegian89

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Re: Need help - Hospital bill on vacation due to my HIV status
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2023, 03:02:23 pm »
This could have happend anywhere in the world outside EU. So lesson is: have a serious and good insurance company.. i think the ones through mastercard, banks,memberships, etc has alot of terms that is written with small letters.

T

Offline Loa111

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Re: Need help - Hospital bill on vacation due to my HIV status
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2023, 06:35:04 am »
Any update on your situation & any closer to getting a solution?

 


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