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GeOBlue for AU/Japan with cruise insurance?


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We are traveling to Oahu, AU, cruise to NZ, then cruise to Japan, before returning to USA. We will have cruise insurance. I see it only covers up to $20K sick/accident and $75K med evac. We have Fed govt BCBS (under 65). 

Should we get GeoBlue for additional evac (5 sea days in Sea of China)? We will have a week in AU pre-cruise that cruise insurance would not cover. But, I assume it's unlikely to need (or even get authorized for) med evac from AU, given the excellent medical facilities. And GeoBlue wouldn't cover HNL, as it's in USA. We are early 60s.

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Before I retired, I had BCBS with an international rider coverage. I don't trust basic highlights or brochures that provide coverage information. I reached out to HR for more specific answers to questions I had and they were worthless. So, I called BCBS directly and asked very specific questions about very specific scenarios. Questions like evacuation, hospital coverages, advanced payment if needed, in network vs out of network. Medivac back home coverage, spousal support coverages, repatriation of remains coverages.

After having that conversation, I decided that the option that worked best for me was to purchase a travel coverage plan and use my BCBS as a backup secondary option.

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6 minutes ago, phillygirl2400 said:

Good point about GeoBlue not providing med/evac coverage in Hawaii. We always buy an annual GeoBlue policy for our cruises. Next year, we have a b2b2b including Hawaii. We'll probably need to look into additional evac coverage. 


You probably know that evacuation coverage provides for hospital to hospital transfer if it is medically necessary. It is to the nearest hospital and does not necessarily mean repatriation by air ambulance. Most often the patient is treated locally and returned home by commercial air when he is able to travel. That may mean first class with a medical escort if necessary, but air ambulance isn’t as common as people would like to think. That is why many comprehensive policies offer $500,000 or $1,000,000 in coverage. They never have claims that high, but you would be fully covered.

The doctors and the insurance company make the decision as to when and how you are moved. As you can imagine, air ambulance is reserved for extreme cases - perhaps severe brain injury that will not be resolved in a reasonable amount of time. MedJet Assist gives you more control over the decision, but it too has some limitations.

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2 minutes ago, phillygirl2400 said:

I've heard of MedJet but never looked into it. I'll put it on my to do list. 😊 


We always have it.


The main concern, which is reasonable, is that one needs to be an INpatient in a hospital for MJA to kick in.  That's not usually a problem if one is really sick, but in some really "out of the way" place, it could be.

And there must be an accessible airport for fixed-wing aircraft.


Once admitted (not ER or Observation), *you* can decide if you want to be moved to a "better" hospital, with *you* defining "better".

With most (all?) regular travel or health insurance, they'll move you only if it is medically necessary, and that... is in the eyes of the beancounters... and perhaps the local medical team who may be reluctant to declare themselves unable to provide proper care...

You can select any hospital (in the USA, I think), such as your home hospital where your medical team knows you, or some specialty hospital (but they you'd need to get yourself back home).


They'll use a fully equipped medevac air ambulance or lesser if sufficient.  That could also be business class with a medical person accompanying you.  (Spouse/partner gets a coach seat.)


MJA kicks in (for USA residents) once you are at least 150 miles from home.  There is an annual policy, which we get; it then covers major vacations plus the assorted shorter visits to relative/friends or business trips.  Or there are "per trip" policies.


We came very close to calling them when I was in hospital overseas.  Just as we were looking at each other, "Should we call MJA??", I started to recover.  🙂 


As always, read *all* the terms and conditions.



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from above, thus why I am asking. I'd assume that Sydney is up to par (or surpassing) USA hospitals, so the chance of medically necessary evacuation from SYD back to USA would be nil? Then, question is, is it worth it to up the already $75K medivac cruise insurance to $500K?

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14 minutes ago, elaine5 said:

from above, thus why I am asking. I'd assume that Sydney is up to par (or surpassing) USA hospitals, so the chance of medically necessary evacuation from SYD back to USA would be nil? Then, question is, is it worth it to up the already $75K medivac cruise insurance to $500K?


While we came close to calling MJA, we never did (and hope to keep it that way).


But among the experiences we've heard about is the situation where someone needed continuing hospitalization, and the spouse/partner needed ("wanted", but that equals "needed" for many of us) to stay nearby, and also *not* having anyone at home for that extended time...


And then there are situations where someone has difficult to control (or just unusual) medical conditions such that one's "home hospital and medical team" would be a more prudent place to be, even if a foreign hospital is "up to par".

(And some of us live near, and use, very top tier medical school hospitals/physicians with specialists where some of that has definitely mattered...)


And the problem isn't whether $75k would suffice for medevac (or one might pay any excess).

Chances are that in an "up to par" hospital, no regular insurer is going to authorize that long distance medevac in the first place.  So the insurance would be paying nothing.  It would all be out of pocket, unless one has MJA (or something similar).



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