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luckyinpa

which insurance pays upfront so you dont pay?

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i was reading an article which implied you get insurance so you dont have out of pocket costs upfront and id be very interested in that type of insurance

 

"Cruise insurance can take care of you and your investment by paying for expenses incurred by covered medical evacuation required to transport you from a ship to the nearest medical facility center. Without a cruise travel insurance plan, you may have to pay thousands of dollars out of your pocket upfront for medical treatment and medical transportation. That is why it is so important to protect your trip with cruise travel insurance."

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Travel insurance doesn’t work like your medical coverage at home. It is not a matter of handing them a card and having them bill the insurance company.

 

Even if you merely visit the doctor on board the ship, you will be billed and the charges go on your account to be settled before you disembark.  You have to file a claim for reimbursement on your own.

 

If you need more extensive treatment, some travel policies will guarantee payment to allow you to be admitted to the hospital.  In any case, you may have to pay some costs out of pocket upfront.

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In the case of evacuation from the ship out at sea to a land based facility,,,, there is not going to be a charge in 98% of all instances. These types of evacuations are done by Coast Guard, or military type personnel. If you are talking about evacuation from hospital back home, then this will be arranged by your travel insurance company and the hospital. No money out of your pocket. You can also by an annual policy from MedJet Assist, where the decision on where to evacuate you to and when is your decision not the insurance company and the hospital.

 

If you are asking where you need medical services at a hospital and they require cash upfront,,,,, in serious situations the travel insurance MIGHT offer the hospital a letter of ability to pay or MIGHT wire some money upfront,,, but in most instances your going to be responsible for any upfront monies.

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Medical transportation from the ship to the nearest facility could also mean an ambulance ride. Once on a trans-Atlantic cruise, I was surprised to see half a dozen or more ambulances lined up to meet the ship when we stopped in the Azores.  Apparently a number of passengers needed medical attention beyond what the ship’s infirmary could or would provide. In a case like that, the medical team had time to contact the passengers’ insurance companies to arrange things. I think that would be the procedure even if you had to be removed on short notice while in port.

 

Now, if an ambulance had to pick you up off the street, I guess it would be worked out when you got to the hospital. The point is that the insurance company requires you to notify them as soon as possible if you are sick or injured and in need of emergency transportation.  It is covered, but the insurance company needs to be involved.

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You'd also want to CAREFULLY read the exact terms of the policy YOU get.  Is it *written* somewhere that they will guarantee (or perhaps even wire?) money to a hospital (or any emergency medical provider)?  If it isn't *written* in black and white, then don't count on it!

 

But to be more realistic, IF you or a loved one is taken to an ER in dire condition overseas, do you really want to risk needing to wait until that guarantee/payment is all arranged, before medical care would be started?  It isn't like in the USA, everywhere.  Some places are actually better about payment, but some are apparently much worse.

 

SO much better to just pull out a charge card (or two, depending!?) as you/loved one is being wheeled in for treatment.

That DID happen to us.  An ambulance met the ship (we were already docked for an overnight) for DH.  When we got to the ER, while the ER docs were starting to check him out, I was handing over a charge card (I figured Amex Platinum would reassure the billing dept the best).  I noticed a sign to the effect that NO insurance guarantee would be accepted *unless* it was one of the insurers on a specific approved list.  I found that very interesting.  Ours would have qualified, but again, it's the immediate medical attention that matters.  Who knows how long it would have taken for the hospital to take care of this?  And what if they did NOT accept guarantees?? (I've read here about some smaller places where *no* medical treatment would be provided until a hefty pre-payment have been handled.)

 

Why risk it?

We keep high limits on our charge cards, for emergencies, even though we've never come close to using the full amount.... just in case...

 

GC

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5 hours ago, GeezerCouple said:

You'd also want to CAREFULLY read the exact terms of the policy YOU get.  Is it *written* somewhere that they will guarantee (or perhaps even wire?) money to a hospital (or any emergency medical provider)?  If it isn't *written* in black and white, then don't cou

 

Why risk it?

We keep high limits on our charge cards, for emergencies, even though we've never come close to using the full amount.... just in case...

 

GC

Have you found that any hospital has required more than $50k ?

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On 9/3/2019 at 5:37 PM, mustgo said:

Have you found that any hospital has required more than $50k ?

In 2014, just after boarding the ship, I experienced chest pain.  Off the ship and to the private hospital in Barcelona.  One cardiac stent and four days later, before being discharged, had to pay approx. €33,000 (approx. $39,000) on a credit card.  Was reimbursed by my primary insurance once I submitted all their required paperwork.

As I came to understand, most travel insurance is secondary, meaning they will pay after your primary insurance has been billed.  Primary medical travel insurance pays first, but is extremely expensive I've been told!

If you're unsure what you are buying or need, ask, ask, ask!!

Happy Cruising

 

Edited by tnt10

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Primary insurance isn’t necessarily more expensive, but it does have limits and only pays up to that maximum. If you had a travel policy with a $25,000 limit, your regular insurance would still have to cover the remaining $14,000; and you’d still be out of pocket for co-pays and deductible required by the terms of your primary insurance.

 

Consider whether you’d be better off letting your regular insurance serve as primary since it is unlimited -unless, of  course, you are dealing  with a Medicare supplement - and letting a secondary travel policy pick up any out of pocket expenses remaining after the initial claim is settled.

 

Or get a primary travel policy with really high limits. 

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12 hours ago, tnt10 said:

In 2014, just after boarding the ship, I experienced chest pain.  Off the ship and to the private hospital in Barcelona.  One cardiac stent and four days later, before being discharged, had to pay approx. €33,000 (approx. $39,000) on a credit card.  Was reimbursed by my primary insurance once I submitted all their required paperwork.

As I came to understand, most travel insurance is secondary, meaning they will pay after your primary insurance has been billed.  Primary medical travel insurance pays first, but is extremely expensive I've been told!

If you're unsure what you are buying or need, ask, ask, ask!!

Happy Cruising

 

Thanks for the info.  We usually get secondary insurance but so far have only used it for small claims.  We are older now and cancer is an issue so need to be prepared.  We do make sure we take credit cards with at least $50,000 and hoped that would be enough.

Edited by mustgo

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 what would passengers that don't have $50,000 credit cards. But bought insurance thinking they would be covered 

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2 hours ago, Bases5 said:

 what would passengers that don't have $50,000 credit cards. But bought insurance thinking they would be covered 

As I said earlier, there are some companies that will guarantee payment in order for you to be treated. Of course it depends on the hospital being willing to accept those terms. There are probably places in the world where that could be difficult.

 

Ask how that situation will be handled before you buy a policy. A professional can guide you, but it is my guess that the insurance company will assist you in making the necessary arrangements. They can’t afford to have customers stranded.

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On 9/13/2019 at 6:48 PM, Babr said:

Primary insurance isn’t necessarily more expensive, but it does have limits and only pays up to that maximum. If you had a travel policy with a $25,000 limit, your regular insurance would still have to cover the remaining $14,000; and you’d still be out of pocket for co-pays and deductible required by the terms of your primary insurance.

 

Consider whether you’d be better off letting your regular insurance serve as primary since it is unlimited -unless, of  course, you are dealing  with a Medicare supplement - and letting a secondary travel policy pick up any out of pocket expenses remaining after the initial claim is settled.

 

Or get a primary travel policy with really high limits. 

 

If someone has a plan with Primary medical coverage and they have a claim that exceeds their limit, they should submit their claim to their other insurance first and allow their travel insurance to process their claim as Secondary coverage.

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23 hours ago, Babr said:

As I said earlier, there are some companies that will guarantee payment in order for you to be treated. Of course it depends on the hospital being willing to accept those terms. There are probably places in the world where that could be difficult.

 

Ask how that situation will be handled before you buy a policy. A professional can guide you, but it is my guess that the insurance company will assist you in making the necessary arrangements. They can’t afford to have customers stranded.

 

Those companies technically aren't guaranteeing payment in order for you to be treated. Instead, they are advancing payment to the medical facility in order for you to be treated.

 

Also, if you are traveling in a country that is on the US government's Office of Foreign Assets Control list (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_of_Foreign_Assets_Control), money potentially cannot be transferred to that country. Included in the Country Sanctions List Are: The Balkans, Belarus, Burma,  Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Cuba, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iran, Iraq, Liberia, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Zimbabwe.

 

I know it's unlikely someone will take a cruise to one of these countries, but an independent traveler might take a trip to one.

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HThanks for the explanations. That is why people need to consult a professional.

 

So the advantages of primary insurance are to (a) simplify the claims process if the claim is within the limit and/or  (b) protect the lifetime limit imposed by Medicare supplement plans? Correct?

 

Do all insurance companies routinely advance payment for hospital admissions? Others here have reported using credit cards and being reimbursed later. Is that necessary in some cases? Advantageous?

Edited by Babr

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