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Question concerning primary and secondary coverage


cruisingnana

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We have booked a short spur-of-the-moment cruise for Easter weekend; I'm in the process of purchasing travel insurance within the time frame to cover pre-existing conditions as I have an elderly mother. We do not have health insurance and are wondering if we need to be sure to purchase primary coverage. Please help!!!!

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We have booked a short spur-of-the-moment cruise for Easter weekend; I'm in the process of purchasing travel insurance within the time frame to cover pre-existing conditions as I have an elderly mother. We do not have health insurance and are wondering if we need to be sure to purchase primary coverage. Please help!!!!

 

Primary vs Secondary coverage is strictly a matter of convenience.

 

With a primary plan, if you need medical help you pay the bill and then submit it to the travel insurer for reimbursement.

 

With a secondary plan you would first submit that bill to your regular health insurance provider. If they decline to pay (maybe they don't cover you outside the country) you then submit it to the travel insurer. If they only pay a portion (less deductible or co-payment) you submit a claim for the unpaid balance to the travel insurer.

 

Yes, it's kind of a pain doing the paperwork twice however I've filed a medical claim with CSA and the paperwork didn't take more than 10 minutes since I made sure to have all of the necessary documentation prior to leaving the doctor's office. My attitude is that if I can get primary coverage without paying more I'll do it. But I won't pay more to save 10 minutes of paperwork in the very slim chance I'll have to file a claim.

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In the state in which I live, travel insurance is always primary without having to pay an additional fee. Is your mom covered by Medicare? If so, even if you know Medicare won't pay for out-of-the country medical services, IME, some travel insurance companies are still going to make you submit a claim to Medicare, as they won't consider payment without that denial.

 

If your travel insurance is primary, you may have better luck having the health care provider bill them directly, and not expect you to pay upfront at the time of service.

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