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jjeffjb

Important X insurance info

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One of the greatest financial risks when traveling would be the requirement for a medical evacuation, especially when traveling abroad.  Celebrity travel insurance does include medical evacuation but only up to $25,000.  A series medical evacuation could require a sum far greater.   Many independent travel insurers cover up to $100,000.   You can also purchase a policy that covers only medical evacuation and use it in conjunction with Celebrity or independent insurance.  That's what we'll do for our 4 back to back cruises in Asia.  The cost for a one million dollar policy for 90 days is $400 for 2 people.  The risk of ever needing a medical evacuation is tiny but the cost could be huge.

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We are looking at Med Jet Assist for the 1st time for our next cruises.  A 2 year policy will cover 3 cruises.

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That's a pretty pricey option.  If you evacuated from a ship in US waters by coast guard helicopter, is there a fee for that?

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Are you selling something?

 

X does'nt require proof of insurance.  Whether it should or not is a different question.  But most people are only MedEVac's once.  Not serially.  I doubt you would be allowed to re-board your back to backs if lifted from one.

Edited by GastroGnome

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Important reminder!

Someone I worked with recently  retired and took a dream cruise to South Am.

 

Unfortunately,  she suffered an aneurysm and was airlifted  off the ship to a land based hosp in SA,   and  was eventually transported to hosp in NY.  Hopefully,  she had a good  med and evac policy..

 

We always take the ship's ins and buy another indep medical and evac policy 

Cost is small for the peace of mind!

 

( Medicare does not cover outside of US and apparently our supp does not either)

 

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16 minutes ago, GastroGnome said:

Are you selling something?

 

X does'nt require proof of insurance.  Whether it should or not is a different question.  But most people are only MedEVac's once.  Not serially.  I doubt you would be allowed to re-board your back to backs if lifted from one.

I'm not selling anything, just passing along information.

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18 minutes ago, Locksmth said:

That's a pretty pricey option.  If you evacuated from a ship in US waters by coast guard helicopter, is there a fee for that?

I don't know the answer regarding the Coast Guard.  But a medical evacuation from any port would be on your dime.

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This is a very complicated topic.  Lots of good discussion on cc's travel insurance forum.     

 

We always buy a third party policy with at least $250k evac coverage.  An annual medical / evac only Geo Blue trekker policy only cost us $350.  Inusremytrip.com is a very knowledgeable outfit that carries policies from many insurers.  It's also very important to pay attention to the fine print ie:  exactly what is covered,  do they pay for spouse to accompany you, will they transport you to hospital of your choice or just one that they say can provide acceptable standard of care, will they pay local hospital direct or do you have to go out of pocket and then file for reimbursement.  

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21 minutes ago, GastroGnome said:

Are you selling something?

 

X does'nt require proof of insurance.  Whether it should or not is a different question.  But most people are only MedEVac's once.  Not serially.  I doubt you would be allowed to re-board your back to backs if lifted from one.

The med evac would cover the cost to get us home, not back to the ship for the continuation of a cruise.

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I carry $10m emergency medical.  Costs me $450 and it expires in a month 8(.  I was just curious if the US Coast Guard charges to airlift you off of a ship.

 

Socialized medicine has its advantages.  Most I would be out of pocket for air evac in British Columbia would be about $90.

 

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38 minutes ago, jjeffjb said:

The med evac would cover the cost to get us home, not back to the ship for the continuation of a cruise.

 

Medical evacuation will only get you to the closest medical facility to treat you.  From what I understand after that the insurance company and the medical facility decide if you need to be further evacuated say back to a US hospital.  Also from what I understand in most cases this would be unlikely.

 

Many people seem to pair an annual medical/evac policy like Geo Blue with MediJet to provide the ability at your direction to be able to be evacuated to the hospital of your choice providing the original treating Dr determines you are stable for transport.  This is the route I'm taking as I start to cruise more often this year.

 

Also from what I've heard over the years US Coast Guard evacuations are not billed.  I've read on here that there is some sort of agreement where this is true for any government rescue by some sort of treaty.

 

Pretty good advice from squaremouth in my opinion.  I don't use this company so I'm not selling anything.

https://www.squaremouth.com/press-room/top-five-myths-for-travel-insurance-during-cruise-season-warns-squaremouth/

 

 

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It's my understanding that visa chase reserve (not preferred) covers medical evacuation, if some of the cruise has been purchased with the card. It does have a hefty annual of $450 but will credit you back $300 when spent on travel. I am relying on that... hope it's accurate.

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Max $100,000

Important Claim Information and Timeframes

  • The evacuation must be pre-approved by the Benefit Administrator in consultation with a legally licensed physician who certified that emergency evacuation is warranted due to the severity of the injury or sickness. The Benefit Administrator must also make the actual medical transportation arrangements.
  • You, the Cardholder (or your representative) must contact the Benefit Administrator immediately for preapproval and to receive a claim form
  • The Benefit Administrator will send you a claim form.  You must submit a completed claim form and supporting documentation within 180 days of the date of occurrence
  •  Trip duration must be between 5 and 60 days and you must be 100 miles or more from home

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Heads up!  Some Medicare plans DO cover urgent and/or emergency medical treatment outside the US.  Our Advantage coverage is worldwide. YMMV.

 

 

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A friend went to Barbados a couple of years ago from the UK, stayed in an all inclusive hotel. She was taken I’ll and put in hospital there, then air- lifted to Broward Hospital Fl where she spent 9 weeks before being Medi vaced home to UK. The flight went up the coast of USA and to Iceland where they changed crew before flying to Southampton airport UK to get her to a hospital near home.

The total cost was £560,000 which was paid in full by her insurance company , when these things happen you don’t mind paying for the cover.

The hospital in Barbados would not admit her until her husband handed over his credit card for $5000 US!!

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6 hours ago, Locksmth said:

That's a pretty pricey option.  If you evacuated from a ship in US waters by coast guard helicopter, is there a fee for that?

Coast Guard's and military around the world do not charge for evacuations from a ship to land.  But once on land you would be responsible for any transportation (i.e. to the hospital) and additional cost if you need to be evacuated to another place or home.  Also keep in mind that the cost of medical care can quickly run into the 10s of thousands of dollars or worse.  Most cruise line policies do not have very high limits which makes a great argument to buy some type of private policy.   Even basic evacuation via commercial air can be quite expensive.  Last year my DW needed to be medically evacuated from Japan back to the USA (to our home town) but was cleared to fly commercial as long as it was in a lay-flat seat.  A single business  class ticket from Tokyo to our home (on Delta) cost about $10,000!    And if she had been refused by Delta (this does happen if the pilot does not want to take a medical case) a private air transfer would have cost in excess of $50,000.    We do a lot of travel and had an annual travel medical policy that covered up to $250,000 of medical and $500,000 of evacuation.  Our insurance policy covered the medical (in Japan) and the evacuation cost....while our credit card covered most of the money we lost because we had to leave the cruise early (trip interruption).

 

Hank

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9 hours ago, jjeffjb said:

  A series medical evacuation could require a sum far greater.  

 

This was the source of my understanding that you intended to re-board and risk re-evacuation.  On reading replies since I presume you mean serious?

 

MedEvac (and treatment and journey home) is indeed very expensive.  And I am surprised that Celebrity don't require proof of insurance.  (In saying that I am not in any way advocating that folk do not carry insurance!)

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I was using my BoA credit card to pay for cruises, with comped medical insurance.  All was fine except 15K for medical evacuation.  What's the point?  I would just end up buying a mirrored policy anyways with better coverage, because an evacuation-only policy was far more expensive.

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3 hours ago, emmas gran said:

 

The hospital in Barbados would not admit her until her husband handed over his credit card for $5000 US!!

 

I know this is the part that we find so strange: a hospital refusing to admit you without payment. It’s also strange to hear the amount of pax who travel without any sort of insurance - again, something that’s less common over here.

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10 hours ago, Baron Barracuda said:

This is a very complicated topic.  Lots of good discussion on cc's travel insurance forum.     

 

We always buy a third party policy with at least $250k evac coverage.  An annual medical / evac only Geo Blue trekker policy only cost us $350.  Inusremytrip.com is a very knowledgeable outfit that carries policies from many insurers.  It's also very important to pay attention to the fine print ie:  exactly what is covered,  do they pay for spouse to accompany you, will they transport you to hospital of your choice or just one that they say can provide acceptable standard of care, will they pay local hospital direct or do you have to go out of pocket and then file for reimbursement.  

 

You are so right about the ‘fine print’. 

 

In the UK sale of insurance is often done by the TA on booking a cruise. The TA  may not make the need to ‘disclose existing medical conditions clear’.  Or not even be clear themselves about what should be disclosed. The cruise booker doesn’t read the small print as they feel ‘safe’ having booked through their cruise agent. The cruiser then goes on their holiday feeling safe, has a fall and then is not covered for their broken arm/leg because they have previously been diagnosed with osteoporosis which should have been declared...Ironically declaring their condition would have only cost a few more ££ and they would have been covered.

 

I am not blaming just the travel agent in these sort of circumstances, it is ultimately the responsibility of the purchaser to check the cover they are buying is correct.

 

Sometimes people do take insurance gambles. We spoke to an elderly couple one cruise who had decided not to declare the husbands recent surgery ‘in case the insurance company wouldn’t cover them or want to charge too much...’ They were lucky, he stayed fit for the cruise but.....

 

Sadly these sort of situations tend to happen to those who travel infrequently rather than regularly....Those of us who travel frequently tend to ‘shop’ for annual cover which does make you read the fine print more carefully.

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10 hours ago, C-sea said:

It's my understanding that visa chase reserve (not preferred) covers medical evacuation, if some of the cruise has been purchased with the card. It does have a hefty annual of $450 but will credit you back $300 when spent on travel. I am relying on that... hope it's accurate.

The Chase Sapphire does indeed provide good med evac.  I use this card for travel.  Read the fine print as you may have to charge the entire trip to get the coverage.  Also, and this is why I can't use the Sappire card on my 4 B2B cruises, the travel must be completed in 60 days or less.

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4 hours ago, jjeffjb said:

The Chase Sapphire does indeed provide good med evac.  I use this card for travel.  Read the fine print as you may have to charge the entire trip to get the coverage.  Also, and this is why I can't use the Sappire card on my 4 B2B cruises, the travel must be completed in 60 days or less.

I also thought...  you need to purchase the whole trip on the card, when I called the benefits department they said it didn't need to be the whole trip, (the fine print under "Emergency Evacuations and Transportation" was in agreement "You are eligible for the coverage when you charge a portion of the cost, or the entire cost of the Covered Trip, made via a Common Carrier, to Your Account" which surprised me) I still play it safe and pay for the whole cruise with that card. 

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Interesting to see the posts regarding the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.  Am wondering if any of the posters have first-hand experience dealing with Chase and their Benefit Administrators.  We do :).  Yes, the coverage does exist, but getting the necessary approvals can be a challenge.  While some elements of coverage can be resolved after the fact (it took us about 2 months) when it comes to Evacuation...time is often very critical.  Splitting the trip purchase between 2 or more cards does really complicate things (trust me...).  

 

In our case we did not use Chase for our evacuation cost since we also had coverage from our annual trip medical policy (which has 5 times the limit provided by Chase).  In a real medical emergency, events move fast and can quickly overtake good judgement and clear thinking.  Dealing with multiple insurance companies when you are in a foreign land or actually on a ship becomes a daunting process (just the difference in time zones can create problems).  When I posted the details of our own situation (which involved trip interruption and a 6700 mile evacuation) I mentioned that I had the benefit of having worked in the health insurance industry for over 30 years plus the medical knowledge gained from that job and having once been a Paramedic.  But even with that background the process was somewhat frustrating and very stressful (especially when added to the stress of a medical emergency).

 

As to what happens when dealing with hospitals in foreign lands, it can be eye opening.  Keep in mind that most hospitals want payment prior to discharge and it is very likely that your insurance is not going to directly pay the hospital.  It is likely that you will be required to pay very large medical bills on a moments notice and your insurance company is generally not going to be helpful (at that point).  The final step on getting DW back to the ship from a major Japanese hospital was going to the accounting department :(.  The only thing that would satisfy those folks was a major credit card (with a sufficient credit limit to handle the entire bill) or a very thick pile of cash.  And the situation can be a lot worse in other countries.

 

When asked what is really important in a medical emergency my first thought is a major credit card (or cards) with very high credit limits.  Fortunately for us. that was not a problem.  But for many travelers (especially younger folks) this can be the worst stumbling block....if the case of an emergency.

 

Hank

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13 hours ago, Hlitner said:

Coast Guard's and military around the world do not charge for evacuations from a ship to land.  But once on land you would be responsible for any transportation (i.e. to the hospital) and additional cost if you need to be evacuated to another place or home.  Also keep in mind that the cost of medical care can quickly run into the 10s of thousands of dollars or worse.  Most cruise line policies do not have very high limits which makes a great argument to buy some type of private policy.   Even basic evacuation via commercial air can be quite expensive.  Last year my DW needed to be medically evacuated from Japan back to the USA (to our home town) but was cleared to fly commercial as long as it was in a lay-flat seat.  A single business  class ticket from Tokyo to our home (on Delta) cost about $10,000!    And if she had been refused by Delta (this does happen if the pilot does not want to take a medical case) a private air transfer would have cost in excess of $50,000.    We do a lot of travel and had an annual travel medical policy that covered up to $250,000 of medical and $500,000 of evacuation.  Our insurance policy covered the medical (in Japan) and the evacuation cost....while our credit card covered most of the money we lost because we had to leave the cruise early (trip interruption).

 

Hank

 

What insurances did you have? 

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18 minutes ago, ecslady said:

 

What insurances did you have? 

We had the annual Global Trek policy from GeoBlue (part of the Blue Cross/Blue Shield network).  But it really would not have mattered because the procedures are pretty much the same with any travel insurance.  Some certainly have nicer case managers then others, but even that is luck of the draw (there are helpful case managers and those who wake up on the wrong side of their bed).    Most of our cruise had also been charged on a Chase Sapphire card which includes $10,000 of trip cancellation/interruption insurance (Chase eventually sent us a check for $10,000).

 

In our case (which was very complex) it all worked-out and we collected most of what we were entitled to from two insurers.  But this was after more then a dozen phone calls (some lasting for at least an hour), dozens of e-mails to insurance companies, credit card companies,  airline, cruise line, etc.  And my hard copy (on real paper) claims to both Chase and Geoblue were about 2 inches thick and took many hours to compile.   DW (who was the patient) asked me "how on earth do most folks do it?"  Her statement was in reference to the fact that I had over thirty years experience in the Medical insurance world and understood how the game is played.  The good news was that buy the time we received our last check (the payment from Chase) my wife was well on the way to a complete recovery.  We were able to celebrate with a nice bottle of Champagne.  And of course we quickly took another cruise :).

 

Hank

P.S.  I actually had the thought that I could start a business being a paid advocate, fixer, consultant, etc.  But the insurance companies even make this difficult by simply imposing the provisions of HIPAA.  

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