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KellyJean

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Are their any travel insurance policies that will "pay up front" so to speak? Of course, no one anticipates the need for a visit to the ship's doctor (or worse) while cruising. However, not everyone has a credit card (for whatever reason) nor due they necessarily carry enough cash for such emergencies. What do people do under these circumstances when they DO have travel insurance but have to pay the ship's doctor up front and wait until they get home to be reimbursed?

 

A passenger on my last cruise had to visit the ship's doctor after an accident in port. 4 hours and a few IV's etc. later and his bill totaled over $1,000. Luckily, he had a credit card to cover it. Not everyone is that fortunate.

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Are their any travel insurance policies that will "pay up front" so to speak? Of course, no one anticipates the need for a visit to the ship's doctor (or worse) while cruising. However, not everyone has a credit card (for whatever reason) nor due they necessarily carry enough cash for such emergencies. What do people do under these circumstances when they DO have travel insurance but have to pay the ship's doctor up front and wait until they get home to be reimbursed?

 

A passenger on my last cruise had to visit the ship's doctor after an accident in port. 4 hours and a few IV's etc. later and his bill totaled over $1,000. Luckily, he had a credit card to cover it. Not everyone is that fortunate.

 

CSA was bought out a couple of years ago by EuropAssist and at that time their clients began to have access to EuropAssist's network of doctors and hospitals. They have incorporated the following benefit into their policies:

 

"If you need medical assistance while traveling or en route to trip departure, you can call CSA's 24-hour assistance hotline to get a referral within the CSA designated provider network of 30,000 physicians and 180,000 service providers worldwide. Then when you receive treatment, you simply acknowledge that you received the one-time care, which must be under $1,000, and the physician or service provider will submit paperwork to be reimbursed directly from CSA. This allows you to receive treatment without spending your vacation dollars when the unexpected occurs. If the medical expense is more than $1,000 the standard claims process would be in place."

 

But even though when on land you're probably not too far from one of their contracted providers to the best of my knowledge no shipboard doctors (who are independent contractors, not employees of the cruise line) work with EuropAssist.

 

In cases of a major medical emergency many insurers will arrange for direct payment. Here's from TravelSafe:

 

"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 this is from a Travelex plan:

 

"Emergency Medical Payments - We will assist You in the advancement of funds or guarantee payments (up to the Policy limit) to a hospital or other medical provider, if required, to secure Your admission, treatment or discharge."

 

And by the way, this has nothing to do with the insurer being "primary" or "secondary". For the medical coverage Travelex is primary and TravelSafe is secondary.

 

However, this doesn't guarantee that the doctor will accept this type of payment.

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I don't think there are any ship's doctors that will accept insurance; all medical care is billed to your on-board acct.

 

That said, if you can't pay up-front, you can make arrangements with the Purser's desk before you leave; they aren't going to arrest you or indefinitely detain you to settle your bill because of medical care, but you do have to make the arrangements prior to debarkation, as they aren't going to let you just stroll down the gangway to leave.

 

As cruiseco said, this has nothing to do with it being primary or secondary coverage. For the companies that will provide up-front payment for catastrophic emergency coverage, if they are secondary they'll just subrogate what they can to your primary provider. (As in, you'll file a claim with your insurance, and then sign the check over to the secondary company.)

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Are their any travel insurance policies that will "pay up front" so to speak? Of course, no one anticipates the need for a visit to the ship's doctor (or worse) while cruising. However, not everyone has a credit card (for whatever reason) nor due they necessarily carry enough cash for such emergencies. What do people do under these circumstances when they DO have travel insurance but have to pay the ship's doctor up front and wait until they get home to be reimbursed?

 

A passenger on my last cruise had to visit the ship's doctor after an accident in port. 4 hours and a few IV's etc. later and his bill totaled over $1,000. Luckily, he had a credit card to cover it. Not everyone is that fortunate.

 

There are insurance companies that act as the primary carrier but you still have to pay up front. The difference is that when you get home and submit your bills you first would submit it to the travel insurance company (if they act as the primary carrier) versus first going through the step of submitting them to your own insurance company. This at least shortens the process to get a check back from the insurance company.

 

Keith

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