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Travel Insurance Success Story!


sabreline
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We had 2 trips planned for 2023 and for the first time, I bought an annual policy. My thought was that we probably wouldn't use it (we never have filed a claim) but if we did use it on the first trip, I would just purchase another policy for the second trip. Our first trip was to Paris, in April. We arrived at 6AM and by 3PM my husband was in a Paris emergency room. He was admitted to the hospital where he stayed for 11 days. The doctors advised against traveling commercially so we chartered an air ambulance. We missed our cruise of course and the second half of our first class ticket. Our hospital bill was reimbursed by our United Healthcare policy because he was admitted as an emergency. Yesterday we recieved 4 checks..one for each of us to cover our cruise and flight, one for the air ambulance and one for $250 for our UHC copay. We paid $1350 for the annual policy and the reimbursement was over $120,000. And THAT is why we always insure our trips!!! The loss of the cruise was not that big of a deal but the evacuation was significant. Note that we had to pay for the air evac ourselves and then get reimbursed by the insurance company but we were made whole so we are thrilled.

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Hope hubby is doing well.  

 

You certainly got the "Paris unknown to most tourists" tour.

 

No one needs insurance until they need insurance.  Too many people focus on recovering the cost of the cruise, which is a sunk, known, and limited expense.  They really need to look at the unknown and unlimited expense of medical and evac costs.

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17 hours ago, CruisingAlong4Now said:

Hope hubby is doing well.  

 

You certainly got the "Paris unknown to most tourists" tour.

 

No one needs insurance until they need insurance.  Too many people focus on recovering the cost of the cruise, which is a sunk, known, and limited expense.  They really need to look at the unknown and unlimited expense of medical and evac costs.

LOL!!! Fortunately we had been to Paris before so had seen most of the sights! What was most shocking was that NOBODY at the hospital spoke much English! I had to have the American Embassy call several times just to ask questions for me. Highly recommend Le Dokhans hotel..they were wonderful to me. Yes, the cruise and airfare are relatively minor compared to the evacuation. The hospital cost wasn't even that bad...$17,000 for 11 days that included several CT scans, blood work and other tests!!

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Thanks for sharing your experience. I hope that your husband is doing well. I recently purchased a cruise insurance with Nationwide for a cruise to Alaska this past September. I picked Nationwide after doing my homework. Thank God we did not have to use it but it gave me and my wife peace of mind. Your story reconfirms the need for travel insurance and reaffirms (at least for me) that Nationwide is a good choice for travel insurance. All the best. Bonne chance 

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4 hours ago, sabreline said:

What was most shocking was that NOBODY at the hospital spoke much English! 

I might have left that part out of my story. It kind of screams ENTITLED UGLY AMERICAN HERE!

 

I'm just thinking that you are blessed to be able to take multiple European vacations, tragedy strikes and your husband's life is saved by the medical professionals in Paris. After 11 days the bill is only $17K, and what do I hear? The professionals who saved my husband's life don't speak English.

I'd have been google translating the crap out of things plus doing my Babble and Duo-Lingo and becoming fluent in French for 11 days. It's not on them to speak English to you. Would have been more comfortable though. I would bet a lot of money that some of them do speak some English, but maybe there was some attitude from both parties on expectations.

 

You had a GREAT story to tell, and at the end, this is what I'll remember.  Very glad to hear your husband survived his medical scare.

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5 hours ago, klfrodo said:

I might have left that part out of my story. It kind of screams ENTITLED UGLY AMERICAN HERE!

 

I'm just thinking that you are blessed to be able to take multiple European vacations, tragedy strikes and your husband's life is saved by the medical professionals in Paris. After 11 days the bill is only $17K, and what do I hear? The professionals who saved my husband's life don't speak English.

I'd have been google translating the crap out of things plus doing my Babble and Duo-Lingo and becoming fluent in French for 11 days. It's not on them to speak English to you. Would have been more comfortable though. I would bet a lot of money that some of them do speak some English, but maybe there was some attitude from both parties on expectations.

 

You had a GREAT story to tell, and at the end, this is what I'll remember.  Very glad to hear your husband survived his medical scare.

Wow!!!! Do you know that hospitals in the US are REQUIRED to provide translaters?????? First of all...it was NOT a "tragedy" and they did NOT save my husbands life!!!!!! Quite the opposite.....if they had done a simple urinalysis and given him antibiotics, we would NOT have had to use an air ambulance! Second of all, who the hell are you to presume that I had an "attitude"????  It's pretty hard to have an "attitude" when you don't speak the language!! I guess the pastries I brought them EVERY SINGLE DAMN MORNING offended them??? Lastly, who gives a sh%+ what YOU remember about a post???

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17 minutes ago, sabreline said:

Wow!!!! Do you know that hospitals in the US are REQUIRED to provide translaters??????

Proves my point. Who gives a crap what is required in the US. You weren't in the US. You were in France where people speak French. 

Entitled much?

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16 minutes ago, klfrodo said:

Proves my point. Who gives a crap what is required in the US. You weren't in the US. You were in France where people speak French. 

Entitled much?

You are an idiot. I'm sure you're right...they spoke English but were too damn mean to admit it. They did 2 brain scans, 5 blood tests and an EEG....and he had a UTI but the morons didn't do a urinalysis. Only after we got home was he properly diagnosed and treated. And not only was I NICE to them.....I GROVELED to them!!! I even asked the US Embassy to call the nurse's station and thank them IN FRENCH!! You people with your "ugly American" BS ought to move someplace else!!

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I'm guessing this thread gets taken down, for at least one reason, OP's language!

My goodness.

 

But back to the Ugly American.

 

Yup, when in the USA, things tend to work the way they do in the USA.

In France, like in France.

In <name of country>, like in <name of country>.

That's, um, sort of WHY there are "different countries":  there are differences in the cultures, and that includes, yes, LANGUAGES.

 

How would you (or others) feel if someone from France (or any other country with another language) came here and starting ranting and raving that we - GASP! - spoke ENGLISH!

Double gasp!

 

You really go to other countries and get upset when they speak their OWN language?

 

😱

 

GC

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11 hours ago, GeezerCouple said:

I'm guessing this thread gets taken down, for at least one reason, OP's language!

My goodness.

 

But back to the Ugly American.

 

Yup, when in the USA, things tend to work the way they do in the USA.

In France, like in France.

In <name of country>, like in <name of country>.

That's, um, sort of WHY there are "different countries":  there are differences in the cultures, and that includes, yes, LANGUAGES.

 

How would you (or others) feel if someone from France (or any other country with another language) came here and starting ranting and raving that we - GASP! - spoke ENGLISH!

Double gasp!

 

You really go to other countries and get upset when they speak their OWN language?

 

😱

 

GC

You must have missed the part where it was a HOSPITAL!! You know what happens when someone from any other country in the world comes to the US and is hospitalized? They are provided an INTERPRETER!!! They do NOT have to call their Embassy to get information And what started as a helpful post about my great insurance experience deteriorated when someone who wasn't interested in the subject decided I must be an "ugly American". Didn't care what language they spoke in hotels, restaurants, taxis, shops.....but a hospital in one of the biggest tourist cities in the world??? Yeah, I expected a little more.

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On 10/25/2023 at 12:26 PM, klfrodo said:

It kind of screams ENTITLED UGLY AMERICAN HERE!

no, it doesn't. As an immigrant with immigrant parents who barely speak English, I am very happy that the doctor's offices, clinics and hospitals here in the US provide interpreter services absolutely free to all who need it. Multiple languages too! Yes, the actual medical care is super expensive, but at least my parents can understand the doctors and the doctors can understand them, since I can't go to every appointment of theirs.

Even if the medical staff can't speak your language, they have an efficient way to communicate with you.

Calling someone an entitled ugly American is ugly.

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2 hours ago, Itchy&amp;Scratchy said:

 

Calling someone an entitled ugly American is ugly.

Yes it is. And for that, I apologize.

Let me rephrase.    While the hospital standards in the US require the availability of interpreters, it is an unrealistic expectation to think that all hospitals in every country around the world has the same standard. Therefore, understand what services are available to you from other sources. Other possibilities are from simple translations apps on your phone, to your embassy, to hiring a translator on your own dime. Also know what services are available from your travel insurance to include coverages available from annual medical assistance providers such as Medjet Assist, International SOS, Global Rescue, et al.

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On 10/31/2023 at 12:57 PM, klfrodo said:

Yes it is. And for that, I apologize.

Let me rephrase.    While the hospital standards in the US require the availability of interpreters, it is an unrealistic expectation to think that all hospitals in every country around the world has the same standard. Therefore, understand what services are available to you from other sources. Other possibilities are from simple translations apps on your phone, to your embassy, to hiring a translator on your own dime. Also know what services are available from your travel insurance to include coverages available from annual medical assistance providers such as Medjet Assist, International SOS, Global Rescue, et al.

Just FYI.....I ysed 2 different translation apps on my phone....they do not always translate correctly, especially for complex discussions like medical issues. Secondly, I have had MedJet for many years. My husband has Global Rescue. Because the hospital in Paris couldn't come up with a diagnosis, Global Rescue would NOT provide evacuation, although they said I could "send a written request for an appeal"!!! We had been in a Paris hospital for 8 dats at that point so had no time for written appeals! So, as your post illustrates, you need several layers if protection just to be sure.

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On 10/24/2023 at 6:05 AM, sabreline said:

We had 2 trips planned for 2023 and for the first time, I bought an annual policy. My thought was that we probably wouldn't use it (we never have filed a claim) but if we did use it on the first trip, I would just purchase another policy for the second trip. Our first trip was to Paris, in April. We arrived at 6AM and by 3PM my husband was in a Paris emergency room. He was admitted to the hospital where he stayed for 11 days. The doctors advised against traveling commercially so we chartered an air ambulance. We missed our cruise of course and the second half of our first class ticket. Our hospital bill was reimbursed by our United Healthcare policy because he was admitted as an emergency. Yesterday we recieved 4 checks..one for each of us to cover our cruise and flight, one for the air ambulance and one for $250 for our UHC copay. We paid $1350 for the annual policy and the reimbursement was over $120,000. And THAT is why we always insure our trips!!! The loss of the cruise was not that big of a deal but the evacuation was significant. Note that we had to pay for the air evac ourselves and then get reimbursed by the insurance company but we were made whole so we are thrilled.

I'm curious to know if your United Health Care policy was an Original Medicare Supplement (not connected to a Medicare Advantage Plan)  and what the hospital bill was. I ask this because my Medicare Supplement (Plan F, so top of the line) has a $50,000 international lifetime limit.  I know $50,000 wouldnt go very far in the US.   I am looking at GeoBlue which offers a single trip plan for one for about $200 that has 1,000,000 medical expense limit and 500,000 evac.   Interestingly, their multi trip plan only has 100,000 medical expenses.  Its not that much more than the single trip plan but you can see it has much lower medical expense benefits.  Why do these decisions always seem to require extensive research?

 

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40 minutes ago, Smitheroo said:

I'm curious to know if your United Health Care policy was an Original Medicare Supplement (not connected to a Medicare Advantage Plan)  and what the hospital bill was. I ask this because my Medicare Supplement (Plan F, so top of the line) has a $50,000 international lifetime limit.  I know $50,000 wouldnt go very far in the US.   I am looking at GeoBlue which offers a single trip plan for one for about $200 that has 1,000,000 medical expense limit and 500,000 evac.   Interestingly, their multi trip plan only has 100,000 medical expenses.  Its not that much more than the single trip plan but you can see it has much lower medical expense benefits.  Why do these decisions always seem to require extensive research?

 

Our United Healthcare is a Meducare Advantage Plan. The hospital bill was surprisingly low.....11 nights, 2 CT scans, 1 EEG, multiple blood tests......$17,350!!!!!! And we were billed only after we get home. Study what they mean by "evacuation"....most just mean to the nearest acceptable hospital, not to your home hospital.

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On 10/25/2023 at 6:14 PM, klfrodo said:

Proves my point. Who gives a crap what is required in the US. You weren't in the US. You were in France where people speak French. 

Entitled much?

I hope whatever your poor attitude is from can be solved by taking a vacation. Goodness!

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On 10/24/2023 at 5:05 AM, sabreline said:

We had 2 trips planned for 2023 and for the first time, I bought an annual policy. My thought was that we probably wouldn't use it (we never have filed a claim) but if we did use it on the first trip, I would just purchase another policy for the second trip. Our first trip was to Paris, in April. We arrived at 6AM and by 3PM my husband was in a Paris emergency room. He was admitted to the hospital where he stayed for 11 days. The doctors advised against traveling commercially so we chartered an air ambulance. We missed our cruise of course and the second half of our first class ticket. Our hospital bill was reimbursed by our United Healthcare policy because he was admitted as an emergency. Yesterday we recieved 4 checks..one for each of us to cover our cruise and flight, one for the air ambulance and one for $250 for our UHC copay. We paid $1350 for the annual policy and the reimbursement was over $120,000. And THAT is why we always insure our trips!!! The loss of the cruise was not that big of a deal but the evacuation was significant. Note that we had to pay for the air evac ourselves and then get reimbursed by the insurance company but we were made whole so we are thrilled.

 

Dear sabreline:

Thanks for sharing valuable info.  Hope your DH is fully recovered.

 

When traveling, we rely on our regular health insurance from our employer and the trip insurance from an expensive credit card, but perhaps it is time for us to start thinking about buying additional insurance.

 

The key takeaways I learned from your experience:

1) There are year-long policies, not just trip-by-trip policies.

2) Need to check how medical air evacuation is considered in my policy. Need to check definition of evacuation in any plan.

3) Nationwide is an insurance company I should at least consider, based on your good experience. (Note to self, look for info on other companies to compare).

4) I should downsload a translation app when I travel, as I am reminded that some places may not speak English.

5) still not on Medicare but sounds like I will have to start looking at the different policies.

 

Did I miss anything?

 

I speak several languages and/or I have been fortunate to travel to places where I have always found folks who speak English.  In France, I found people who spoke English everywhere outside of Paris.  In Paris, folks appeared to resist speaking English, and laughed at my basic French pronunciation.  I am making it my goal to learn more French, although it's a language that is spoken in countries I'm not planning to visit in the near future.

 

Finally, I think it is inappropriate to chime in on "Ugly American" opinions.  I come here to find and share useful info, not to engage in divisive and unnecessary conversations.  I ask the OP to kindly try to ignore any further comments on this (i know it's hard to ignore).  Some folks like to insult others online or even in person.

 

 

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Thanks for your kind words! I think you have all the points covered. I guess the number 1 thing I would recommend to anyone would be..........make sure you have access to $100k in some way.....savings account, crecit card, IRA. Even then, I had over $100k in cash available but the issue was getting it from my account to the provider's account. And yes, my husband is much better......but we will NEVER recover from that experience.

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