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Old October 20th, 2011, 05:24 PM
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Default Travel Insurance Question

Hi all,
We are booked for an NCL cruise at the end of November. Have everything nailed down except for the insurance. We don't buy it for the cost of the cruise since we live in the port city and also since that would be the least of our worries if something did go wrong. So, I am looking for just medical and medical evacuation. But, the one I used to use gives me a security warning for their website (from my anti-viral software). Can't seem to get in touch with the other one I've used. Anybody have info that might point me in the right direction?
HAAALP!
Marty
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Old October 20th, 2011, 05:59 PM
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Marty...I've often gotten travel insurance not covering the cruise, but just focusing on the medical evacuation, etc. I use insuremytrip.com, but, last time, I called and spoke to them to ask specific questions, which helped alot.
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Last edited by Trip; October 20th, 2011 at 06:07 PM.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 10:16 PM
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Don't forget that the insurance you purchase is secondary to health insurance that you have through an employer .
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Old October 20th, 2011, 10:20 PM
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Henry, in many cases that may not be the case, specifically in regards to medivac off the ship,and repatriation.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Trip View Post
Henry, in many cases that may not be the case, specifically in regards to medicav off the ship,and repatriation.
I've been in the health insurance industry 38 years and I have never heard of a travel insurance policy that pays before the coverage a person has from their employer .
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Old October 20th, 2011, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry43 View Post
I've been in the health insurance industry 38 years and I have never heard of a travel insurance policy that pays before the coverage a person has from their employer .
Henry... you may want to check with your sources in the industry. I believe though the exceptions exist, the vast majority of health insurance policies within the United States will not offer out of country coverage.

But, I do agree that everyone should check with their own carriers.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 11:47 PM
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Henry... you may want to check with your sources in the industry. I believe though the exceptions exist, the vast majority of health insurance policies within the United States will not offer out of country coverage.

But, I do agree that everyone should check with their own carriers.

That is true re out of the country ,however some carriers do,for instance the one I have .
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Old October 21st, 2011, 12:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry43 View Post
That is true re out of the country ,however some carriers do,for instance the one I have .
You're one of the lucky one, me thinks. I have heard of a few cases, like yours, where their health insurance does cover them out of the country. But I'm pretty sure the vast majority of insurance plans do not.

And a ship at sea is definately out of the country

There's no chance I'd recommend people travel out of the country without verifying that coverage, assuming their health insurance would pay... and I'd probably advise checking it twice.

The system in Canada is different, and more similar to what you describe. Our health care insures travelers in other countries, but ONLY to the amount the insurance would pay for the same treatment here.

Any costs above that are the responsibility of the person or their travel insurance. Those diffences in costs of various treatments are most often considerable!
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Old October 21st, 2011, 09:38 AM
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I suspect many of the readers of this website are like me and are on Medicare. It is my understanding that it will not cover me out of country. My secondary will not either so I always buy, at the minimum, the medical and medevac insurance.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 11:01 AM
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I've been in the health insurance industry 38 years and I have never heard of a travel insurance policy that pays before the coverage a person has from their employer .
With our plan at work . The travel insurance company will pay first and then submit a claim to the Provincial Medical Plan for reimbursement . The travel portion of our plan has a lifetime max that it pays out . With them you have to pay first then submit a request for reimbursement(they might also reject part or all of the claim) . Most travel insurance companies in Canada will pay the hospital or other costs (not ship board Doctor) directly to the provider and will also move you to another hospital they deem that yo will get better care
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Old October 21st, 2011, 04:33 PM
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Default Medical and Evacuation Coverage

If you are not concerned about trip cancellation/interruption coverage than the best way to obtain coverage is to visit a travel insurance comparison web site like QuoteWright.com, InsureMyTrip.com, or Squaremouth.com and ask for a quote with a zero (0) trip cost. Using a 0 trip cost will eliminate the trip cancellation coverage under most policies and will reduce the cost considerably. There is a draw back to doing this - it will usually make you ineligible for pre-existing medical conditions coverage. Coverage for pre-existing medical conditions is usually contingent on a traveler insuring the full, prepaid cost of the trip so by using a 0 trip cost you won't be eligible.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 04:43 PM
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Travel ins..thanks for that tip...
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Old October 21st, 2011, 04:54 PM
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Thanks for all the input folks. But I don't have an employer and hubby is self employed, so that does not factor in. And the evacuation aspect is something that I have never seen covered by the usual medical insurance policies, even when we both had employer coverage. I used to check with our carriers for every trip. Time to make some phone calls.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 10:19 PM
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You're one of the lucky one, me thinks. I have heard of a few cases, like yours, where their health insurance does cover them out of the country. But I'm pretty sure the vast majority of insurance plans do not.

And a ship at sea is definately out of the country

There's no chance I'd recommend people travel out of the country without verifying that coverage, assuming their health insurance would pay... and I'd probably advise checking it twice.

The system in Canada is different, and more similar to what you describe. Our health care insures travelers in other countries, but ONLY to the amount the insurance would pay for the same treatment here.

Any costs above that are the responsibility of the person or their travel insurance. Those diffences in costs of various treatments are most often considerable!
I worked for a company that insured 7000 people .Ninety percent of them were native to Italy and traveled there many times during the year . Therefore it was mandatory to have a carrier that covered people for illness and or accidents all over the world . This carrier is one of the largest in the USA .
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Old October 21st, 2011, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry43 View Post
I worked for a company that insured 7000 people .Ninety percent of them were native to Italy and traveled there many times during the year . Therefore it was mandatory to have a carrier that covered people for illness and or accidents all over the world . This carrier is one of the largest in the USA .
Henry... that's all well and good. And I'm sure there's many mulit-national companies that would require the same type of insurance... which I'm also sure wasn't cheap.

However, those cases are the exception, rather than the rule. And it would be a mistake for people to have read your post in response to the topic, and with your stated experience in the insurance industry, believed it necessarily applied to them.

Your case was NOT the norm, and if anyone without that coverage, passed on purchasing travel insurance, the results could have been devastating to them. That's why I posted to the thread.

It's a mistake to believe our personal experiences all naturally apply to everyone; especially when you claimed expertise on the topic. I hate to sound like I'm lecturing you, but misinformation is one of the most dangerous things available on the Internet.
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Old October 22nd, 2011, 12:56 AM
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Henry... that's all well and good. And I'm sure there's many mulit-national companies that would require the same type of insurance... which I'm also sure wasn't cheap.

However, those cases are the exception, rather than the rule. And it would be a mistake for people to have read your post in response to the topic, and with your stated experience in the insurance industry, believed it necessarily applied to them.

Your case was NOT the norm, and if anyone without that coverage, passed on purchasing travel insurance, the results could have been devastating to them. That's why I posted to the thread.

It's a mistake to believe our personal experiences all naturally apply to everyone; especially when you claimed expertise on the topic. I hate to sound like I'm lecturing you, but misinformation is one of the most dangerous things available on the Internet.

In my initial post I should have stated that if one is cruising solely in the United States 99% of all health insurance carriers will assume primary carrier status .
However ,as you have stated there are very few carriers ,perhaps only 10 that assume primary carrier status when traveling out of the country .
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Old October 22nd, 2011, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry43 View Post
In my initial post I should have stated that if one is cruising solely in the United States 99% of all health insurance carriers will assume primary carrier status .
However ,as you have stated there are very few carriers ,perhaps only 10 that assume primary carrier status when traveling out of the country .
There are very few cruises that are "soley" in the United States.

Too many people have "assumed" that their health insurance covers them outside the United States and have ended up in big financial trouble. Very few hospitals or doctors "bill" you in foreign countries. They want up front payments. You can max out a credit card very quickly when this occurs.

I urge everyone to check their health policy to make sure they are covered outside the country and it also covers medical evacuation and repatriation.

If it doesn't then you need a supplemental travel policy.

Also: Pre-existing conditions can make a travel policy worthless if they are not waived. Most policies require purchase within 7 - 14 days to waive the pre-existing conditions clause.

Take care,
Mike
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Old October 22nd, 2011, 04:39 PM
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Mike,
While I understand what repatriation means in general, I am not clear on what it means in this context. More info, please?
Thanks,
Marty
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Old October 22nd, 2011, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by colorcrazie View Post
Mike,
While I understand what repatriation means in general, I am not clear on what it means in this context. More info, please?
Thanks,
Marty
Returning you to your home country. The travel expenses associated with getting you home.

Take care,
Mike
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Old October 23rd, 2011, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
There are very few cruises that are "soley" in the United States.

Too many people have "assumed" that their health insurance covers them outside the United States and have ended up in big financial trouble. Very few hospitals or doctors "bill" you in foreign countries. They want up front payments. You can max out a credit card very quickly when this occurs.

I urge everyone to check their health policy to make sure they are covered outside the country and it also covers medical evacuation and repatriation.

If it doesn't then you need a supplemental travel policy.

Also: Pre-existing conditions can make a travel policy worthless if they are not waived. Most policies require purchase within 7 - 14 days to waive the pre-existing conditions clause.

Take care,
Mike
Very few cruises solely in the US ? I disagree .There are hundreds if not more cruises from various parts of this country to Alaska .
There are cruises from NYC to Fla .Cruises from NYC to New England .

My insurance is with Aetna .This is one of the top 10 carriers and they cover me any place on the planet .
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Old October 23rd, 2011, 12:50 AM
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I would think that even if anyones insurance carrier was one of those ten, that to have this specific coverage it would be an addendum to the policy, not part of it..costly to be sure,and would not make sense for the casual traveler.
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Old October 23rd, 2011, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry43 View Post
Very few cruises solely in the US ? I disagree .There are hundreds if not more cruises from various parts of this country to Alaska .
There are cruises from NYC to Fla .Cruises from NYC to New England .

My insurance is with Aetna .This is one of the top 10 carriers and they cover me any place on the planet .
''

Henry,

You are correct that there are cruises that sail in Alaska and do cruises along the east and west coast. However, they are the VAST minority of cruises that embark from U.S. ports. The mainstream cruise lines will embark more passengers in one week than these cruise lines will embark in an entire year.

The U.S. only cruises are the vast minority as are the people who would be reading these forums and taking one of these cruises. This makes the insurance coverage outside the U.S. very important to the large majority of people who will be taking a cruise and the information about insurance should not be directed at a very small minority of these people unless it is so qualified.

The majority of private and public (Medicare) health insurance policies do not cover the person outside the U.S.. With your experience in the insurance industry I would feel you would know this. I also have Aetna insurance and I am not covered outside the U.S.. Even with the same underwriter there are different policies and everyone should verify what their policy covers before they travel.

I have a Wells Fargo ATM card that does not charge a foreign transaction fee but this is because of the type of account that I have and most Wells Fargo customers will be charged a foreign transaction fee when using it in a foreign ATM or when making purchases outside the U.S.. It's the same company but different terms.

The mainstream cruise lines have foreign flagged vessels and the Passengers Services Act requires that they must stop at a foreign port. This makes foreign insurance coverage all the more important to most cruisers.

Take care,
Mike
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Old October 23rd, 2011, 12:29 PM
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Within a very short time after leaving a port, the cruise ship is in international waters, and no longer in the United States.

So, any coverage by those who have coverage in the United States will not cover any treatment necessary on the ship.

Bottom line... for the minimal cost of travel insurance one has to be a FOOL not to purchase it.

Of note, the insurance available from the cruise lines does not necessarily offer you the coverage you need. Look at third party suppliers for less expensive and more thourough coverage.
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Old October 23rd, 2011, 04:28 PM
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Thanks, guys. I guess repatriation means the same thing as I thought it did. But, when in doubt, go to experts! And, we definitely have them here. Once again, I am honored and awed by the knowledge and generosity of this group.
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