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How does medical insurance/evacuation work?

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How does medical insurance/evacuation work?

Old Jun 13th, 2007, 12:55 PM
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How does medical insurance/evacuation work?

We're going to be getting medical insurance/evac. insurance, but i'm trying to understand how it works.
If we were to get sick, do we call the company issuing the insurance, or do we find the nearest local hospital, and hope they understand English? At what point do you get evacuated and not treated locally?
The one i'm looking at is International SOS which seems to be a popular one, but i'm trying to understand generally how they work.
thanks
jason
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 01:08 PM
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Answering my own post....
why is International SOS so much more expensive (3-5 times) than companies i quote through insuremytrip.com ? Similar limits. I can get a $1M medical policy with evac. for about $80 , whereas on International SOS it is about $300.
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 01:32 PM
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Be careful that you are comparing like to like. International SOS offers health care via their own clinincs in selected locations. Their specialty is assistance and clinics. They offer an optional insurance plan that you can buy in addition to buying a membership. If you want or require the sorts of services they offer then they are a very reputable company. Their services are outlined on their website very clearly.

Most travel medical policies are much cheaper than buying a membership in Int'l SOS. With any evac insurance, you get evacuated if and when the insurance company determines that you cannot be treated locally, and you are generally evacuated to where they choose. Evacuation is expensive, so be sure you have enough coverage.

We buy insurance from www.worldnomads.com. It isn't expensive and isn't huge coverage, but covers us for what we want. There are many other companies offering a variety of coverages, which you've found out.

To use your insurance, you need to follow the instructions exactly. There are forms that you need to have the hospital/clinic/doctor complete, and in almost all cases you need to pay first and then make a claim to the insurance company to get reimbursed. This is because few hospitals/clinics have any affiliation with any of the many insurance companies.

We used a local Thai gov't hospital in Takuapa (Khao Lak) and found the care to be of high standard. The price was so low we did not bother to make a claim for reimbursement.
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 01:56 PM
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In all cases, medical evacuation insurance pays for med evac only when it is arranged through the insurance company. Where you get evacuated to and whether they pay for a fellow traveler to accompany you differs from one policy to another.

I don't carry anoy other kind of travel insurance. I get my med evac coverage through Divers Alert Network. I'm not a diver, but by joining the organization I have an excellent and exceptionally inexpensive med evac policy that covers me year around any time I am more than 50 miles from home.

Read about it at www.diversalertnetwork.org Don't look at the insurance section (they do offer other kinds of insurance) but at the membership section.

"As a DAN Member, you automatically receive DAN TravelAssist and up to $100,000 of evacuation assistance coverage. Effective for both diving and non-diving injuries, this benefit is provided by MedAire, a world leader in emergency evacuation services. Your evacuation coverage begins when you are traveling at least 50 miles/80 km from home and call DAN TravelAssist to arrange your evacuation. "
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 05:22 PM
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i also have the dan insurance and thank kathie for having suggested it several years ago...
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 05:22 PM
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cost for two of us: $44 per year
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Old Jun 14th, 2007, 05:44 AM
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Do be careful to read the fine print for any "evacuation" insurance you are considering. Most such policies will evacuate you only to the nearest medical facility capable of handling your condition.
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Old Jun 14th, 2007, 05:52 AM
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Kathie, i have seen your postings on DAN, and have thought about using them, but i'm wondering if i should also get some medical coverage.
If i were to get sick in Vietnam or Cambodia is it relatively clear how to get yourself to a hospital, and which is good/bad, which speak my language? Having the medical insurance i guess would give me the option of calling someone to tell me where i should go
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Old Jun 14th, 2007, 05:54 AM
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Ah, in reading the DAN benefits, it says it has
"24-Hour Worldwide Medical Information and Assistance
Provides 24-hour multilingual assistance and consultation along with non-diving related medical referrals to physicians, hospitals and specialists."

which i guess is what i was asking in my last message.
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Old Jun 15th, 2007, 06:12 PM
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As some suggested, there are two different kinds of medical evacuation coverage -- one evacuates you to nearest adequate/approved facility and the other to a facility of your choice. For diabetic son teaching in China for a year, we purchased MediJetAssist which provides the latter.
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Old Jun 16th, 2007, 01:15 PM
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jasonmolinari wrote: "Having the medical insurance ..."

The DAN and iSOS insurance is "medical evacuation" insurance. It is not medical insurance. DAN can front you $5000 but you will have to pay it back. iSOS will pay for you, but only after you guarantee that you will pay them back.

iSOS provides "access" to the clinics. This is not medical care. The "access" means that they will let you in the front door, sit in the waiting room, and fill out a form indicating how you will pay along with info about you and your medical history.

iSOS provides ten times more coverage than DAN (a million$ instead of $100,000) I have no idea how much is enough. iSOS also provides additional medical insurance. The iSOS has lots of info online, including an impressive list of worldwide offices with multiple phone numbers for each.
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Old Jun 16th, 2007, 01:41 PM
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In addition to the cost of the insurance and the coverage, I want to have an idea of how well the services would be rendered. The company I work for is a global enterprise and it uses International SOS for employee travel. That is an impressive endorsement to me and I expect it would be first rate. If traveling solo and wound up incapacitated in a Bangkok hospital, I would think that there would be a good chance that a hospital admin going through my wallet would actually recognize the iSOS card and call the local office. If I was going to Chad I'd probably go with iSOS. But for destinations that have modern medical facilities I haven't used them or any other.
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