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Travelsafe vs Travelex


geepmaley

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While knowing absolutely nothing about what your needs are, I like TravelSafe's customer service but many will always choose a plan with "primary" medical coverage (Travelex) over one with "secondary" coverage (TravelSafe) -- with me that's not a deal breaker.

 

Either is good if it suits your needs at a reasonable cost. If it doesn't meet your needs then either is a waste of money at any price.

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While knowing absolutely nothing about what your needs are, I like TravelSafe's customer service but many will always choose a plan with "primary" medical coverage (Travelex) over one with "secondary" coverage (TravelSafe) -- with me that's not a deal breaker.

 

Either is good if it suits your needs at a reasonable cost. If it doesn't meet your needs then either is a waste of money at any price.

 

I read the tripinsurance store blog on primary vs secodnary and got confused. In your opinion, what is the major benefit of primary vs secondary?

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I use Travelex often. I have sent in claims and they were handled promptly. I've never use TravelSafe.

 

I prefer selection a company where they act as the primary insurer. One of the main reasons is that I can just send them the claim and they take care of it. if they are secondary you have to first send the claim to your own regular health provider (if they have one) for health related claims and then you have to wait for them to respond before you can send the information to the travel insurance company.

 

Keith

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I read the tripinsurance store blog on primary vs secodnary and got confused. In your opinion, what is the major benefit of primary vs secondary?

 

As Keith said, it's a matter of convenience. For myself, in the rare case that I need medical help while traveling I really don't care if I get my money back in 8 weeks instead of 4. Others will have a different opinion. All things being equal (cost, coverages, service) I'd probably choose a primary coverage plan. But I'd never pay more for one.

 

As far as the info on that blog, it's describing a fairly unusual set of circumstances where a secondary plan might be a better choice. The following would have to occur:

 

#1 Your regular health insurer has to cover you outside the US. Let's pretend itdoes and has a 10% co-pay/deductible.

 

#2 You must have purchased a travel insurance plan with primary medical coverage. Again, let's pretend the coverage limit is $50,000.

 

#3 The doctor/hospital bill has to exceed the travel insurance plan's coverage limit. In this case we'll say you had a heart attack and the total bill was $75,000

 

You would submit the $75,000 bill to the travel insurer and they turn around and send you a check for their max benefit -- $50,000.

 

You then turn around and submit that remaining $25,000 bill to your regular health insurer. They send you a check for $22,500 (90% of the $25,000).

 

What about the unpaid $2500? You eat that.

 

If you had a secondary insurer you would:

 

Submit the $75,000 bill to your regular health insurer. They send you a check for $67,500 (90% of $75,000). This leaves $7,500 unpaid.

 

You'd send a claim to the travel insurer for the unpaid $7,500 and they send you a check for that full amount.

 

So, with the secondary coverage you are 100% covered when all is said and done instead of having $2500 unpaid.

 

That particular set of circumstances is going to be so unusual that it wouldn't even enter into my consideration about buying a primary vs a secondary plan. Sure, it can happen but if I wanted a primary coverage plan I wouldn't change my mind over this.

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Keep in mind that if you don't have a primary insurance that the out-of-country provider can bill or accepts, you are going to be asked for payment up front. I don't know about you, but lots of people do not have $75,000 sitting around.

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Keep in mind that if you don't have a primary insurance that the out-of-country provider can bill or accepts, you are going to be asked for payment up front. I don't know about you, but lots of people do not have $75,000 sitting around.

 

Very true. Arranging upfront payments to a hospital isn't a matter of the insurance being primary or secondary. For example, here's a comparison of the two plans the OP is considering:

 

TravelSafe (secondary medical coverage):

 

"Advance payment will be made to a Hospital, up to the Maximum Benefit Amount ($100,000), if needed, to secure Your admission to a Hospital, because of a covered Sickness or Injury. The Program Medical Advisor will coordinate advance payment to the Hospital. "

 

And here's from Travelex (primary medical coverage):

 

"The Company will advance payment to a Hospital, up to

the maximum shown on the Confirmation of Coverage ($50,000), if

needed to secure Your admission to a Hospital because

of an Accidental Injury or Sickness."

 

So basically the same benefit but in this case the secondary insurer -- because of the much higher maximum benefit amount -- might even be the better way to go if this is a concern.

 

Note that with some of the Travelex plans they limit any advance payments to $5,000 which may not even get you in the door in some places.

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Very true. Arranging upfront payments to a hospital isn't a matter of the insurance being primary or secondary.

Thank you for the clarification! So true, there have been some horror stories posted on CC about people trying to obtain medical treatment in other countries, and being asked for very large sums of money upfront.

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I read on TravelSafe's website they are now secondary in the US and primary for non-US medical xspense. FOr whatever that's worth.

 

They use different underwriters for US and Canada clients. If the Canada underwriter wants to be primary that's what will happen -- it's their money that pays the claims. Probably a decision made to be more competiyive in the Canada market,

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