• Welcome to Crohn's Forum, a support group for people with all forms of IBD. While this community is not a substitute for doctor's advice and we cannot treat or diagnose, we find being able to communicate with others who have IBD is invaluable as we navigate our struggles and celebrate our successes. We invite you to join us.

Moving Abroad while on Remicade - South America

Hi! New to this forum but looking for anyone who might have ideas/advice for moving abroad with Crohn's!

I'm from the US and have a moderate case of Crohn's that has been kept really well under control for the past 6 years with Remicade infusions every 7 weeks. In 2016 I studied abroad in Chile and the travel insurance offered through my school covered 100% of my infusions abroad as I was part of a group plan.

Now I am trying to return to Chile for a year or so but really having trouble finding any expat/travel insurance options that will cover me, and have more or less lost hope that there exists any insurance company that would take me on as an individual (as opposed to part of a group plan). I've looked into the in-country healthcare in Chile as well but that seems complicated/I'm not sure they would take me on as a foreigner with a pre-existing condition.

Is there anyone who has had experience moving abroad and receiving infusions? Are there alternatives to travel insurance plans that folks have had success with?

Thanks!!
 
Just wanted to update this thread in case there's anyone like me out there looking for answers to this very specific question --

I did make it back to Chile, without expat insurance... the key was to get a job here and enroll in the public health system, where there is a law called Ley Ricarte Soto which covers 100% of Remicade/infliximab costs for Crohn's patients. This was a very long and involved process, especially because under current conditions it can take over 6 months to receive your temporary residency visa and be allowed to join the public health system. If there's ever someone who wants more information/tips about the process absolutely let me know and I would be happy to help.

Medically though I'm happy to say it's all worked out and I've been receiving my treatments here for 4 months now for very little cost!
 
I did a strange and expensive combination of flying back home for infusions, having other people bring me Remicade, and requesting an extra Remicade dose as a "vacation override" and taking it with me to get infused here. The taking Remicade with me thing would probably not be strictly okayed by insurance but the nurses at my US infusion center helped me finagle it. Also since it's against hospital/clinic protocol here (same as US) to just accept random drugs you've brought with you, I had a nurse friend do the infusion (again with the help of nurses from my home clinic loading me up on all the supplies). This was probably risky medically speaking. As you can tell, I was a little desperate.

100% would not recommend, if I were to do it again I would come to Chile to apply for the visa (or maybe even apply for it from the US instead) and then go back to the US to wait the 6 months for my visa to be ready, since legally you can't work until you have it anyways. On the other hand, if I hadn't been here on the ground figuring it all out it may have never happened!

As an additional note, I have been virtually symptom-free for the past 4 years and do nothing else to manage my Crohn's besides my Remicade infusions, so in that sense I didn't have to worry about a lot of other medical/daily life complications that I know others face.
 
Top