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DAN America Insurance Dumped at 10 Popular Dive Destinations; Cozumel, Belize, Bahamas, Galapagos...

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DURHAM, North Carolina -- In a news release dated March 9, 2006, hyperbaric chamber operators from some of the world's most popular dive destinations have announced they will no longer accept DAN America insurance. The destinations include The Bahamas, Baja California, Belize, Cancun, Cozumel, Galapagos, Phuket (Thailand), Playa del Carmen, Samui (Thailand), and the Yucatan (Mexico).

The press release states that all divers carrying DAN America dive insurance and diving in these locations should be prepared to pay out-of-pocket for any medical service rendered, because these chambers will not accept DAN America’s insurance or DAN America’s credit card as a method of payment. Hyperbaric chambers in other locations are currently considering joining this group and not accepting DAN America insurance.

This consortium of chambers has been forced to sue DAN America in federal court in the United States due to unpaid medical claims, some dating as far back as 2004. The financial burden of not being paid has forced several chambers in remote locations to consider closing down. In order to remain open, these chambers can no longer treat DAN America patients and not be paid.

The release also notes that while DAN America is a non-profit research organization based in the US, its insurance product is underwritten/re-insured by a for-profit organization that is wholly-owned by DAN America called Accident & General Insurance Ltd., based in the Cayman Islands. DAN America has claimed a rate dispute as the reason for non-payment, saying that the rates are above what DAN America considers reasonable and customary in the locality. However, major medical insurers (including Blue Cross BlueShield, Humana, Prudential and Kaiser Permanente), DAN Europe, DAN Southern Africa, DAN SEAP as well as all other dive insurers have accepted these same rates as appropriate and paid their bills.

This action only applies to DAN America insurance and not any other insurance coverage including DAN Europe, DAN Southern Africa, DAN Japan or DAN SEAP.

This announcement comes on the heals of an announcement by SSS (Sub-aquatic Safety Services), with chambers in Mexico, Belize and Thailand, and an announcement by the Bahamas Hyperbaric Centre, LTD, both saying that they would no longer accept insurance from DAN America over billing disputes.

DAN responded to an earlier announcement saying the dispute was over what constituted “reasonable and customary” charges for treatment of decompression illness. DAN claims Mr. Mauricio Moreno, owner of SSS, says his charges are “reasonable and customary,” even if the charges are significantly higher than similar services elsewhere.

Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of, its staff or its advertisers.

Reader Comments

5 people have commented so far. cloud add your comment

I would agree with the operators. In 2001 I suffered the bends in Cozumel Mexico, and my private (employer) insurance policy (Prudential) covered 100% of the $ 24,000 charge. I had a DAN supplemental premium policy and it was essentially worthless. Even so, getting injured outside the US causes the US-based insurers to make the claimaint jump through hoops providing verification and investigating the claims. It took over 6 months to finally get the reimbursement to my Doctor in Mexico, Dr. Pascual Piccolo. Dr. Piccolo and his clinic, Meditur, were absolutely fabulous in the level of care and attention they provided, even driving me personally to the chamber for treatments (I needed 5 for an inner-ear DCS). They maintained close follow up during my recovery and once I returned to the States and to this day keep in contact periodically. I have never heard from DAN, except to ask for renewal of the insurance. I would recommend Meditur for anyone travelling to Cozumel. I think in order to operate safely and to keep the operation ethical, DAN needs to separate their diver training, safety and DCS database resource from their for-profit insurance business. The two businesses are at opposite ends of the spectrum and cannot co-exist under the same umbrella, in my opinion. Only in this way can they truly serve the diving public.
   comment# 1   - Tracy Long · Speyer, Germany · Nov 2, 2007 @ 7:28am

I am going to track this down. I am going on a trip to cozumel in april 2008 and thought I had insurance. If this is true, shame on dan for not letting me know. over the last two years I have convinced 8 divers to join dan. what the heck!
   comment# 2   - steve holland · snohomish wa. usa · Jan 29, 2008 @ 6:21pm

It is not a case of SSS not accepting the insurance. The treatment charges made by SSS Network are far in excess of what can be reasonably expected, for hyperbaric treatment. DAN USA have a guide to costs and due to SSS network over charging and over treating (They have a minimum number of treatments policy)DAN USA will only pay what they see as reasonable costs. On top of that, the SSS staff are internaly trained. There a few or no chamber opperators who hold a recognised Chamber opperators qualification, ie ALST/CHT.
   comment# 3   - Former employee of SSS Network · Thailand · Oct 21, 2008 @ 10:31am

great site really informative i learned a lot great stuff keep it up by maryann paper writing
   comment# 4   - maryann · 2273 Diamond Street Asheville, NC 28801 · Mar 31, 2010 @ 2:02pm

So what is the latest on this. Which company is recommended now for diving insurance at the present time? TIA
   comment# 5   - T Jackson · Houston, USA · Aug 5, 2015 @ 12:40pm
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