Your mini guide to health insurance in the Bahamas
The Bahamas are a natural and historical wonder located off of the coasts of Cuba and Florida, USA. The country boasts 700 islands and cays that range from resort-packed to uninhabited, and its history tells stories of piracy, colonialism and the hybrid mix of African, Caribbean, European and American culture that makes up the Bahamian way of life.
The capital city, Nassau, is located on New Providence Island and thanks to the tropical maritime climate you can expect fantastic weather generally all year round. Summer lasts from May to September, with winter taking over the October to April months. Don’t let that long cold season fool you, it’s normally around 21°C in the Bahamas during winter.
The Bahamas is an English speaking country on account of its previous state as a British colony. It gained independence in 1973 yet remains part of the Commonwealth with God Save the Queen as its royal anthem (the national anthem is March On, Bahamaland) and cricket as it’s national sport. The country is also one of the richest in the Americas, with an economy based on tourism and finance.
Overview of healthcare in the Bahamas
The standard of healthcare in the Bahamas has always been considered to be high, and the country continues to maintain this view by channelling investment in the local health sector as well as into the training and employment of medical staff. The health system has a broad range of tertiary services and clinical programs that provide general and specialist medical care to Bahamian residents.
As a premier healthcare centre in the Caribbean, local medical care is fantastic but it can still be a good idea to get insurance. Travellers from some countries may be required to show proof of vaccinations for things like yellow fever (you should check with your travel agent, local embassy, or the Bahamas Tourist Office). While legal residents of the Bahamas can take advantage of NHI government funded care, foreigners must pay for all costs out of pocket.
The public system is managed by the Public Hospitals Authority in the Bahamas, which is recognized as one of the best healthcare systems in the Caribbean. The Princess Margaret Hospital, Grand Bahama Health Servic,e and the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre come under its jurisdiction with more than 1,000 beds between them.
The private sector has two smaller hospitals in the Bahamas; the Lyford Cay and the JCI-accredited Doctor’s Hospital. These facilities offer both emergency and general services, as well as specialized care for patients suffering things like heart disease. In both systems, procedures that cannot be performed in the Bahamas can mean patients are transferred to the United States instead for care.
Medical staff in the Bahamas are highly regarded and all will speak English. You can expect physicians, nurses, therapists, technologists, and a range of other medical professionals to be on hand in the Bahamian system, all dedicated to providing the best possible care for all clients they serve.
Medical insurance options in the Bahamas
While the National Health Insurance Authority oversees the government funded NHI Bahamas, foreign residents and travellers will have to consider purchasing their own insurance to help meet the sometimes high costs of the Bahamian health system. You’re options include purchasing travel insurance, local Bahamian health insurance policies, or a comprehensive international medical plan.
Travel insurance will provide both travel and health benefits, however the medical coverage of such plans is generally a lot less comprehensive than other solutions and is for emergency care only. Local Bahamian medical insurance will cover you for care within the country’s island region but may not extend to the often costly US system should you need to be transferred for care. International medical insurance plans can cover you in the Bahamas and in almost every other country including the US.
Cost of healthcare in the Bahamas
The Bahamian dollar is the official currency of the country and is pegged to the US dollar at a rate of 1:1, however US dollars are also accepted throughout the islands. Hospitals and doctors will normally request cash payment up front before treating a patient unless you hold recognized health insurance. The cost of procedures in the Bahamas can be 30-40% less than in the US, with surgery on a broken ankle charging around B$D 1,300.
If you are pregnant, the cost of maternity care and delivery in the Bahamas can also be costly. A normal delivery can start with a deposit cost of B$D 1,450, a caesarean section B$D 5,100 and the deposit for the theatre, anesthetic and maternity package can be B$D 5,100. Bear in mind that these charges are deposits and also exclude things such as daily stay charges, lab tests and scans, doctor's fees, or use of NICU.
Cost of health insurance in the Bahamas
The cost of insurance plans in the Bahamas comes in a wide range that depends on your need and level of desired cover. Basic inpatient only plans can cost as little as USD 54 per month, while the most comprehensive plan with high limits and benefits can be as high as USD 1,092 monthly. Additional cover for outpatient, maternity, and dental is available, and will vary in cost; dependent on the plan.
Get a quote now
To get a more accurate quote for how much a health insurance policy that covers you in the Bahamas might cost, check out our online comparison tool using the button below. Alternatively, you can contact our expert advisors to discuss your healthcare needs. Using a broker like Pacific Prime can ensure that you not only get the right coverage at the best price, but that you have the ongoing support of our team for the duration of your policy.