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Hi all,

I am completely confused with choosing an insurance and exactly how it works if we get hurt on the ship and need to see the doctor or if God forbid need an evac off the ship. I am a complete novice when  it comes to travel insurance and the terms so any straight forward advice would be great.....


Primary is my regular health insurance we carry and secondary is the trip insur right?


I am not overly concerned with cancellation of trip. What I'm most interested in is medical and evac. My husband, 51 had a heart attack this summer and we will be on a 7 night eastern carb. cruise in Feb 2019 ( nassua, tortola, st Thomas). He's ok now but it puts the fear in you about it happening again. 


Is this considered a pre existing  condition?

So if he needed to see the doctor on board for any reason... do we pay out of pocket then get reimbursed the cost from trip insurance?

Our regular health insurance does not cover ship drs correct? Or how about evacs off the ship?


I'm usually pretty good with this stuff but my brain just can't wrap its self around travel insurance lol. Our health insurance is great as it's offered to state workers in Mass, GIC Indemnity plan.


NCL is offering a travel essential insu plan for $25 per person. Any information or advice on this plan?  Or should I skip this and head to one of the online stores and go from there.


Thanks everyone for any simple, straight forward answers, if there are any lol!!!

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Boy, do I wish it could all be straightforward and simple, but the answers to your questions are varied and possibly complex.


Insurance is a case where one really needs to research, or speak with a qualified individual to answer the specific question that apply to you.  Any of the oft-mentioned brokers can help you.


As a quick start, you will need to ask/research your current medical insurance if it will cover you at all out of the country, and for what events.  If not, any insurance you purchase will become primary payer, although it could still be a secondary policy, meaning you may have to submit a claim to your primary insurance to be denied first.  Clear as mud, right?


Also, be aware that there are sometimes good reasons to choose a secondary policy over a primary policy (when you have high expenses and a deductible on your primary paying policy).


As to pre-existing conditions (PEC) each policy defines this with individual time limits and parameters, so you would need to compare specific coverages to determine which policy is best for you and your husband’s situation.  


Sorry I could not be more specific in answering, but everyone has different needs and desires.  There is likely a perfect policy out there to meet your needs, it just takes a bit of research and reading to find the right one.

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A good place to begin some research might be to visit this website and read thru the FAQ section. (Frequently Asked Questions). www.tripinsurancestore.com


Quick basic answers

if your husband is being treated for or is taking medications for and/or related to his recent heart attack,  assume it’s preexisting unless told otherwise.


Primary vs Secondary

First and for most, understand that all travel insurance is “Reimbursement” only in most instances. 

If travel insurance is Primary, then you file with them first for reimbursement.

If secondary, then you must file with your primary (work or Medicare, or whomever) first, get their determination or denial, then file with secondary.



Evac from ship to closest facility able to treat the patient is done on the ships doctors and ship captains orders. If evac by helicopter in Caribbean or Gulf area, will be US Coast Guard at no cost to the patient.

After treatment and patient is stabilized, the doctors and travel insurance decide if evac back home is authorized.

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Good replies here already. I will echo that you need to talk to your current health insurance company about coverage out of the country. One employer group health plan we were covered by told us we would get reimbursed after we paid the bills wherever an incident took place.  Later, under a different group health plan, we were told there might be some doctors abroad in their network.  


No matter what, we still always bought a TravelGuard policy.  We always buy trip insurance inside the initial two week window of trip deposit for the pre-existing conditions waiver.


During one cruise, I became very ill. (Nothing to do with the ship). We had to pay the $800+ ship infirmary bill before getting off the boat, file for reimbursement from our employer group health plan, as predicted by our travel agent they rejected it (out of network of course), then file with the trip insurance company. We got reimbursed every penny but had to go through the steps.


Now that we are on Medicare the travel insurance health coverage is even more important. 


Talk with your health insurance company first. Call them directly and not the H.R. Dept or the insurance sales rep.  Then shop for good travel insurance.  HTH

Edited by Walfam

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I suggest you call (don't just rely on their excellent website) TripInsuranceStore https://tripinsurancestore.com/. They can answer all your questions and recommend appropriate policies which they've vetted. There is no extra cost to you. You pay only what the insurance policy costs.

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