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Old March 26th, 2012, 08:59 AM
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Default Travel Insurance - Repatriation

All of the moderators and staff here at Cruisemates preach that everyone should get insurance. All of us do it for different reasons but we all know that if you are traveling without insurance you are risking more than your health. You are also risking your money and even your financial stability.

On the Chit Chat forum there is a thread Linda & Bruce are home where, our Moderator, Trip had an incident while on a cruise and her husband required hospitalization and "repatriation" services. Without insurance the cost of the hospitalization and the repatriation would have been in the tens of thousands of dollars.

What is "repatriation"? It is getting you and your travel mate back home in the event of illness, injury or circumstances beyond your control. The most common of this is when you are sick or injured and require special flights or medical attendance while being transported home. Repatriation also covers the cost of flying a loved one to your location if you are traveling alone.

When we buy a cruise we like to think of the fun and great times we are going to have. We hardly ever think that we are going to get sick, break a bone or bones, have a heart attack or something in our gut is going to go boom. Yet it happens and it can be very costly if it does. Being evacuated, from a ship, by a foreign Coast Guard or military helicopter and transported to the nearest hospital can run, up to, six figures. Note: If you are evacuated by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter and are a U.S. citizen you will not be charged but you may be charged by the cruise line for the service of they provide to get you ready for the evacuation and you definitely will be charged for the cruise line medical services.

Once you are at the hospital you will be stabilized but if you are in St. Cucaracha hospital in some third world country you want to get back to the U.S. as soon as possible. This is when repatriation insurance comes into play. This insurance will pay for you, and usually one other person, expenses to get back to your home or a U.S. hospital. It also "usually" covers the cost of a trained medical attendant to fly with you. These fees are usually over ten thousand dollars.

So, next time you take a cruise. Check your personal insurance, credit card insurance and find out if you are covered for medical evacuation, foreign care and repatriation. For most policies you will find that you are not. Medicare covers none of these but many Medicare Part C and Supplemental policies may cover foreign care but there is usually a pretty low limit. I haven't found one that covers medical evacuation and repatriation and even American Express Black Card (Centurion) does not cover pre-existing conditions.

If your personal insurance doesn't cover all of this then spend the $100 - $300 and get the travel insurance. You probably won't need it but if you do and don't have it then it could be a financial ruin to you and your family.

Buy the insurance.

Take care,
Mike
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Old March 26th, 2012, 09:14 AM
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Mike I have only one word to add. "AMEN"
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Old March 26th, 2012, 11:20 AM
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Default Medical Evacuation

Another name for this is Medical Evacuation. If you have to go home in an air ambulance with medical attendants, the cost goes through the roof.

On some trips we skip the trip cancellation, baggage coverage, and so on. But we never skip the medical payments and medical evacuation.

When I was hospitalized in Cambodia, Medicare did not cover it. Our Medicare Supplement paid 80%, and our trip insurance picked up the other 20%. That alone more than paid the cost of buying insurance on a whole lot of trips!
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Old March 26th, 2012, 05:27 PM
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I have always bought trip insurance but until I started buying it by myself never really had much for medical evacuation but now I do. I know that I could not affor the costs that would be invloved should something happen to either of us and the cost of a policy to cover the trip is just a drop in the bucket.

We have been fortunate not to have to use it but I will not take the chance. So with in a day and usually the same day that I book a cruise I am getting the insurance.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MercedMike View Post
Another name for this is Medical Evacuation. If you have to go home in an air ambulance with medical attendants, the cost goes through the roof.

On some trips we skip the trip cancellation, baggage coverage, and so on. But we never skip the medical payments and medical evacuation.

When I was hospitalized in Cambodia, Medicare did not cover it. Our Medicare Supplement paid 80%, and our trip insurance picked up the other 20%. That alone more than paid the cost of buying insurance on a whole lot of trips!
Yes, Medicare does not cover anything except stateside. At least that's what I've heard.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 07:39 PM
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I bought it for the first time on our last cruise....I will never ever go without it, just not worth taking the chance!
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Old March 26th, 2012, 08:23 PM
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Last summer, there was a flash sale from this company. I don't know if it was for a promotion for a new company, or what, but, the rates were less then dinner for 2 at McDonalds.

For this, we got curb to curb service,and our angel nurse, took care of everything, from tickets, passports, even tips to our pushers. Having never used the repatriation portion of previous travel policies, I don't know the differences, between that, & our repatriation plan. We lucked out...

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Old March 26th, 2012, 08:24 PM
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If you travel regularly from home (even domestically), think about using MedJet

www.medjetassist.com

They have yearly and multi-year policies; well worth if you even have to use it once in 10 years.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip View Post
Last summer, there was a flash sale from this company. I don't know if it was for a promotion for a new company, or what, but, the rates were less then dinner for 2 at McDonalds.

For this, we got curb to curb service,and our angel nurse, took care of everything, from tickets, passports, even tips to our pushers. Having never used the repatriation portion of previous travel policies, I don't know the differences, between that, & our repatriation plan. We lucked out...
Liz got a years coverage for the two of us for $3 and you got whole family for $8 back in August. Bet we will both be renewing this policy, maybe not the same deal but now we know they have great service!
We certainly want it for our sailing in Europe in 2013.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 09:31 PM
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Phil & LIz...blessings on your house...xo
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Old March 27th, 2012, 12:25 PM
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I buy an annual plan from RBC (Royal Bank of Canada).

I pay about $160.00 and it covers our family of four for all excursions during the year, including all those little trips to go over the border for shopping.

I love the peace of mind of not having to buy it for each and every trip. My policy renews each Spring Break which is pretty easy for me to remember.

This plan covers medical only ~ not travel (trip cancellation etc.). I'm not sure if it covers medical evacuation.

We've only used it once, when prior to our Carnival Dream cruise, both kids come down with fevers and bad coughs after we arrived in Port Canaveral. We took them to a walk-in clinic. The expenses were nominal (about $250.00) for both. RBC made several attempts to call my cell phone and enquire about their health. They then followed up with me because I had not submitted my receipts. After I finally did, we had a cheque covering all expenses within a few weeks. We just received a mailer from AMEX trying to sell us medical insurance. They were cheaper than RBC, but RBC was so great to deal with, I won't risk changing to another provider.

I think I posted here last summer about our FOTS cruise, when at the airport, we encountered a young family that were flying home without their mother because she died while they were on vacation. Heartbreaking.
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Old March 28th, 2012, 08:44 AM
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I get the travel insurance because of trip cancellation, lost baggage and medical evacuation. These are things my normal medical does not cover. Be sure to check and see if you are covered, these could be some huge expenses.
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