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I have seen many recommendations for geoblue travel insurance. We are preparing to look into a policy and it appears that it is available for expats and business travelers only.

 

Am I missing something?  Thanks.

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Yes, you are missing something but you don't explain what YOU are looking for.

Also, it may depend on where you live.

If you live in the US, not all policies are available to be sold in each and every State.

Each State has an insurance commissioner who regulates each provider.

I'm in Washington State. Geoblue is not available to me.

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I looked into it, but I am too old.  You might ask on the cruise/travel insurance board here, under Cruise Discussion Topics.  EM

Edited by Essiesmom

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Geo-Blue sells several different types of policies including single trip and multi-trip as well as annual travel policies (we have had this policy for several years).  Their policies cannot be sold in a few States due to the States own licensing regulations (more political then anything else).   The last time we talked to the Geoblue folks they could not write policies for those living in Washington and New York (didn't know about Maryland until I read the above post).  I believe they will insure just about anyone until age 85 and does not exclude pre-existing conditions.

 

Since everyone has their own risk tolerance and insurance "wants,"  folks should carefully assess policies based on their own situation :).  If you need professional help in assessing policies there are many who recommend calling "Steve" at tripinsurancestore.com.   I have never personally dealt with Steve but he has even been interviewed here on CC and handles policies from quite a few different insurance companies (including Geoblue).

 

 

Hank

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 GeoBlue Trekker plans are the ones that many travelers use.

 

Note: you must have a health policy in force within the US to apply for GeoBlue travel coverage.

Medicare, BCBS or other commercial insurance are examples of this.

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We have purchased GeoBlu annual policy for the last two years. DH had a medical emergency and they were great. Had a check in three weeks. Needless to say we have renewed it again this year. 

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15 minutes ago, #1cruiseaholic said:

We have purchased GeoBlu annual policy for the last two years. DH had a medical emergency and they were great. Had a check in three weeks. Needless to say we have renewed it again this year. 

We also had a major medical emergency while traveling in Asia.  Medical expenses were incurred on the ship and in Japan (including several inches of expense documentation from a Japanese hospital.....all in Japanese (Kanji and Hiragana).  Just translating all those pages was a major task and Geoblue accepted the documentations in a foreign language (many insurers require the claimant to get stuff translated).  GeoBlu reimbursed us for nearly all our medical expenses and did it within 3 weeks :).  GeoBlu also paid for medical evacuation and was in regular communication with both myself and the ship's physician to work out all the details.

 

Hank

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12 hours ago, Hlitner said:

We also had a major medical emergency while traveling in Asia.  Medical expenses were incurred on the ship and in Japan (including several inches of expense documentation from a Japanese hospital.....all in Japanese (Kanji and Hiragana).  Just translating all those pages was a major task and Geoblue accepted the documentations in a foreign language (many insurers require the claimant to get stuff translated).  GeoBlu reimbursed us for nearly all our medical expenses and did it within 3 weeks :).  GeoBlu also paid for medical evacuation and was in regular communication with both myself and the ship's physician to work out all the details.

 

Hank

Hank,

I just want to thank you for all your helpful posts over the years. There has been a wealth of info on cruise critic much of which I have been able to use successfully. 

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I’m in the process of retiring and deciding which Medicare supplement to get.  Looks like some of them offer $50k for foreign expenses.  I suspect they are a drop in the bucket if something serious happens, right?

 

Was reading the Geoblue Trekker $250k plan.  If I read it right, if I get sick on a cruise ship, let’s say something like pneumonia or flu or something not serious enough for hospitalization, the ship dr visit is covered but meds aren’t?   Seems like this policy is really for the very serious, hospitalization stuff, but just sick, even if sick + needing meds but not hospital, isn’t covered?

 

Anyone got some examples of the type of scenarios that are and aren’t covered?

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9 hours ago, erdoran said:

I’m in the process of retiring and deciding which Medicare supplement to get.  Looks like some of them offer $50k for foreign expenses.  I suspect they are a drop in the bucket if something serious happens, right?

 

Was reading the Geoblue Trekker $250k plan.  If I read it right, if I get sick on a cruise ship, let’s say something like pneumonia or flu or something not serious enough for hospitalization, the ship dr visit is covered but meds aren’t?   Seems like this policy is really for the very serious, hospitalization stuff, but just sick, even if sick + needing meds but not hospital, isn’t covered?

 

Anyone got some examples of the type of scenarios that are and aren’t covered?

GeoBlue Trekker Choice covers up to $5,000 per trip for prescription meds.  It pays 100% of cost.  There is a total $50 deductible per year for all coverage.  Where have you seen that meds are not covered?  I have the plan, put have not put in a claim.  There are many positive reviews of GeoBlue's Trekker.  Here is a summary of the Choice and Essential plans:  https://www.geobluetravelinsurance.com/products/multi-trip/trekker-compare-plans.cfm. There are links on that page to download a PDF of the detailed plan description.

 

There are medicare supplements that offer $50k for foreign medical expenses.  The $50k is a maximum lifetime benefit, not per year.  So if you have one of these plans as well as GeoBlue Trekker, it is always better to go through GeoBlue first, so you do not use up any of the $50K.

 

Also remember, plain Medicare will normally only cover you in the USA and on a cruise ship within 6 hours of a USA port.  GeoBlue will only cover you outside of the USA (including on a ship).  So, the two can complement each other.

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They talk about their “elite network of doctors and hospital—only a few qualify” which means that you are at the mercy of everyone else.  Geoblue pays in full for in-network care, but it sounds like th majority of care is out of network.  Any thoughts or experience there?  Although I guess the reality is we are buying it for catastrophic situations, not normal ones.

 

’Halfway down page 17:. Prescription Drug Exclusions and Limitations
Prescription Drug reimbursement is subject to and treated as part of any benefit maximums, limitations on Pre-existing Conditions or any other exclusions or limitations contained in this entire Plan. In addition, reimbursement will not be provided for:
.

 

. Oxygen.
13. Professional charges in connection with administering, injecting or dispensing of Drugs.
14. Drugs and medications dispensed or administered in an outpatient setting, including but not limited to outpatient hospital facilities and doctor's
offices 

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36 minutes ago, erdoran said:

They talk about their “elite network of doctors and hospital—only a few qualify” which means that you are at the mercy of everyone else.  Geoblue pays in full for in-network care, but it sounds like th majority of care is out of network.  Any thoughts or experience there?  Although I guess the reality is we are buying it for catastrophic situations, not normal ones.

 

’Halfway down page 17:. Prescription Drug Exclusions and Limitations
Prescription Drug reimbursement is subject to and treated as part of any benefit maximums, limitations on Pre-existing Conditions or any other exclusions or limitations contained in this entire Plan. In addition, reimbursement will not be provided for:
.

 

. Oxygen.
13. Professional charges in connection with administering, injecting or dispensing of Drugs.
14. Drugs and medications dispensed or administered in an outpatient setting, including but not limited to outpatient hospital facilities and doctor's
offices 

See a few thoughts below. I have not filed a claim, but perhaps someone who has will be able to provide actual experiences

 

In/Out of Network

I would expect that the chances of visiting one of their network doctors are small.  The chance is 0% if visiting a cruise ship medical center.  GeoBlue will pay "Usual and Customary Charges".  But, this will be the same limitation with virtually any other travel insurance.  The foreign doctor or facility could significantly overcharge you and/or the insurance could try to underpay.  There is definitely some risk here, but I saw enough reviews a year ago which indicated GeoBlue was pretty good at paying valid claims. So I think the majority of the risk is on "overcharging" providers.

 

Prescription Drugs

I had not seen the exclusion you point out above, and it looks like you are correct.  I guess some of this will depend on how the visit was written up.  If the drugs are expensive, I suspect the medical center will only have a small supply.  They will probably give you what you need to get to the next port (not covered) and then provide you with a prescription so you can purchase more in port (covered).  This is all speculation on my part, and hopefully someone else will have first hand knowledge.  

 

A year ago, I remember seeing multiple reviews that said GeoBlue paid "everything", but I don't remember anyone getting into the details of all charges.

 

Another thought is to call tripinsurancestore.com (or another broker) and ask them your questions.  They are usually pretty good with explaining the details.  If you get some answers, please post back.  Also, if you do elect to purchase the GeoBlue plan, don't purchase it or put it into effect until a day before your first trip.  This will maximize your coverage period. 

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Geoblue plans do not cover any costs to get your cruise fare back as in a family death is that correct?

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23 hours ago, Jersey42 said:

See a few thoughts below. I have not filed a claim, but perhaps someone who has will be able to provide actual experiences

 

In/Out of Network

I would expect that the chances of visiting one of their network doctors are small.  The chance is 0% if visiting a cruise ship medical center.  GeoBlue will pay "Usual and Customary Charges".  But, this will be the same limitation with virtually any other travel insurance.  The foreign doctor or facility could significantly overcharge you and/or the insurance could try to underpay.  There is definitely some risk here, but I saw enough reviews a year ago which indicated GeoBlue was pretty good at paying valid claims. So I think the majority of the risk is on "overcharging" providers.

 

Prescription Drugs

I had not seen the exclusion you point out above, and it looks like you are correct.  I guess some of this will depend on how the visit was written up.  If the drugs are expensive, I suspect the medical center will only have a small supply.  They will probably give you what you need to get to the next port (not covered) and then provide you with a prescription so you can purchase more in port (covered).  This is all speculation on my part, and hopefully someone else will have first hand knowledge.  

 

A year ago, I remember seeing multiple reviews that said GeoBlue paid "everything", but I don't remember anyone getting into the details of all charges.

 

Another thought is to call tripinsurancestore.com (or another broker) and ask them your questions.  They are usually pretty good with explaining the details.  If you get some answers, please post back.  Also, if you do elect to purchase the GeoBlue plan, don't purchase it or put it into effect until a day before your first trip.  This will maximize your coverage period. 

Thanks for the feedback.  The rep I spoke to had no idea about that clause or what it meant.  Her interpretation was that if I went to a pharmacy with a prescription, I’d be covered, but if the doctor handed me a bottle of prescription medicine and charged for it, I wouldn’t be.  In the end, it almost doesn’t matter because I asked if there was any policy with more complete coverage and she said there isn’t, and the purpose of this type of policy anyway is to protect us against something catastrophic.

3 hours ago, molly361 said:

Geoblue plans do not cover any costs to get your cruise fare back as in a family death is that correct?

This has nothing to do with “trip cancellation” which is what you are looking for.  This is if you get sick during your trip.  

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On 10/12/2019 at 8:05 AM, erdoran said:

They talk about their “elite network of doctors and hospital—only a few qualify” which means that you are at the mercy of everyone else.  Geoblue pays in full for in-network care, but it sounds like th majority of care is out of network.  Any thoughts or experience there?  Although I guess the reality is we are buying it for catastrophic situations, not normal ones.

 

’Halfway down page 17:. Prescription Drug Exclusions and Limitations
Prescription Drug reimbursement is subject to and treated as part of any benefit maximums, limitations on Pre-existing Conditions or any other exclusions or limitations contained in this entire Plan. In addition, reimbursement will not be provided for:
.

 

. Oxygen.
13. Professional charges in connection with administering, injecting or dispensing of Drugs.
14. Drugs and medications dispensed or administered in an outpatient setting, including but not limited to outpatient hospital facilities and doctor's
offices 

What you post is not true.  GeoBlue does have some physicians/hospitals in their network who will often accept "assignment" which means you would not have to directly pay for their services (other then the $50 deductible).  If you go to physicians or hospitals that are not part of their network you will generally have to settle all the bills yourself (it helps to have a very high credit limit on your credit cards) and later seek reimbursement from GeoBlue.  What they pay is based on their so-called "usual and customary" amounts.  But since many foreign hospitals and physicians are quite reasonable (when compared to charges in the USA) it is likely that Geoblue will cover most (if not all) of the cost.  In our case, when DW needed emergency outpatient surgery in Japan, some prescription drugs, and thousands of dollars of other medical charges on a Princess ship....the policy paid everything and did it quite fast (about 2 weeks).   Or course whether you get paid and how fast everything is settled depends a lot on you (the patient).  You need to provide all the required forms and lots of detailed back-up that itemizes all the charges.  Our claim submission was over an inch thick and took me hours to assemble...plus write a narrative which makes the claims examiner's life easier :).   And Geoblue did reimburse all the costs for IVs, drugs, etc.. all of which occurred in a medical facility (Japanese hospital or the ship's Medical Center).  

 

It is said in the insurance industry that you do not know how good a policy is until you actually file a claim.  In our case, after having Geoblue for several years, we finally had to file a serious claims and GeoBlue earned my respect.  They also worked with us and paid for DW's Medical Evacuation (about a $10,000 charge) from Japan.

 

We have long advised folks that encounter a situation that will result in filing a claim, to carefully document everything including conversations, phone calls, etc.  Also seek the maximum amount of documentation from each medical provider before you leave the facility...as it can be difficult to later obtain documents (especially in foreign countries).  If a facility offers to give you even more documentation but insists that you must pay a fee, you should generally pay the fee and get all that info.  In our case, Princess Cruise Line's medical department did charge an extra fee (I think it was over $40) to print out the entire medical record. We paid that fee without question and it was later reimbursed by GeoBlue.

 

Hank

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Hank, the language I have about prescription exclusions comes right out of Geoblue's material.  Is that wrong?  It's in their own literature!

 

Regardless, we are buying the policy, and we thank you and the other folks in this area for educating us because it would never ever have occurred to me to buy supplementary medical coverage.

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From a conversation I had with one of their (GeoBlue's) customer service reps a few years ago, yes, indeed, there is material on their website that is completely wrong when it comes to the way they do business.

Example: The $50. deductible.  According to the rep, it doesn't happen.  I asked about what it said on the website.  Her response was that no one was going to take time to correct 'minor issues'.

Also, even tho it is referenced without definition, GeoBlue has no limitation on pre-existing conditions.

Explained to me that, if you have insurance in the US, and you must to buy coverage from GeoBlue, it is assumed that any condition you have is already under treatment in such a manner that you are fit to travel.

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The universal here is 'READ THE FINE PRINT ON YOUR POLICY'.  is there no accurate fine print for GeoBlue?

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1 hour ago, erdoran said:

Hank, the language I have about prescription exclusions comes right out of Geoblue's material.  Is that wrong?  It's in their own literature!

 

Regardless, we are buying the policy, and we thank you and the other folks in this area for educating us because it would never ever have occurred to me to buy supplementary medical coverage.

I am not questioning your read of their language but simply telling you how it all worked when we filed what most would call a major claim.  I assume (and this a big leap on my part) that GeoBlue is using language to avoid paying for things like outpatient "infusions" which is an issue with many policies.  In our particular case, DW received IVs with a powerful sedative, IV antibiotics (while still in the procedure room), a script (filled by the Japanese hospital pharmacy) for oral antibiotics...all of which were reimbursed by GeoBlue with no issues.  In fact, with tons of claim info (her treatment on an off the ship spanned about a week, the only item denied by GeoBlue was a big taxi fare to get DW from Yokohama to Narita.  The irony about that taxi is that if we had allowed her to be transported by ambulance it would have cost over $1000 a would have been reimbursable under the Med evac section.  But using a taxi to save the insurance company money (and call less attention to her case which might have discouraged the airline from the transport) backfired on us.  Tis life.

 

I spent over 35 years in the Medical Insurance industry (government) and was actually quite impressed with how GeoBlue handled our situation.  We had fast access to a very professional medical  case manager (this is usually a good thing) who even followed-up with a few phone calls after we had returned home.   Our case was a bit unusual (I posted the details more then a year ago) and the insurer turned out to be reasonable (not always the case with insurance companies).   Does this mean that everyone will get the level of service we received?  Who knows since we can only speak to a single complex claim over a year ago.  

 

Speaking of them having a network, this is quite unique among travel insurers.  We live in Mexico part of the year and there are actually network providers near to our home (fortunately we have never needed their services).  I know that one of the Internal Medicine physicians has a terrific reputation (hope we never need her services).  In the case of our Japanese Hospital, it was the largest major teaching hospital in Osaka and was not part of their network.  While DW was still at the hospital I had telephoned GeoBlue (it is good to get medical insurers involved at an early stage) and they immediately told me that the hospital was not part of their network and wanted to know if I had the ability/means to pay the hospital.  I have no idea what would have happened if we could not pay...since just like US Hospitals our last step on her discharge was to visit the accounting department :).

 

Hank

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