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Medical and Evacuation Insurance for Alaska

Medical and Evacuation Insurance for Alaska

Old Jul 19th, 2016, 04:44 PM
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Medical and Evacuation Insurance for Alaska

I'd love to have some thoughts and recommendations about whether or not to get medical and evacuation insurance for a 10-day Alaska cruise in 2017. The cruise departs and returns from Vancouver, BC, so I will be in a foreign country for two days. As a 66 y/o US citizen in good health, living in CA, I'm assuming that my Medicare and Blue Cross insurance will cover Alaska. The quoted coverage from the AAA travel agent is a little under $300. What would you do!??
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Old Jul 19th, 2016, 05:38 PM
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I just got back from a cruise to Alaska and got the extra medical coverage through the travel insurance. I used AAA for planing the trip so it's probably the same company. My son has nut allergies so I wanted to make sure if something were to happen we were covered. A helicopter or tender off the boat is very expensive. Check also with your health insurance carrier but since many of the cruise ships are registered in the Bahamas etc... if you need assistance on the ship it's billed as services in the Bahamas not Alaska.
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Old Jul 20th, 2016, 06:58 AM
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I would certainly want medical coverage for BC and evacuation/repatriation for the whole trip, but $300 seems high for only 10 days. Does it also cover trip interruption and cancellation? I am late 60s and just bought medical and evacuation/repatriation for a three and a half month trip and it was just over $400 (from Seven Corners).
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Old Jul 20th, 2016, 11:41 AM
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Thanks for your replies. I hadn't even considered that the cruise ship is a foreign registry/country! Yes, thursdaysd, the coverage does include trip interruption, cancellation, and some concierge benefits. The Allianz coverage with $500,000 medical transportation is $277; with $50,000 med/evac it's $247. (Which doesn't hit my threshold of pain quite as hard.) I'm talking with the insuremytrip.com people; and will look at Seven Corners, too. This is the first time I'm buying travel insurance, so it's a whole new game. Again, thanks for your input.
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Old Jul 20th, 2016, 01:46 PM
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When you're investigating evacuation policies you need to be very clear about what is covered. Evacuation usually just means that the insurer will get you to the nearest medical facility (hopefully the nearest suitable medical facility). Getting home usually requires repatriation coverage, not to be confused with repatriation of remains if the worst happens. If you are traveling with someone you need to check whether there is coverage for them to stay with you. If you are traveling solo and think you might want someone flown out to be with you, you need to check that. I usually want at least $100,000 coverage for evacuation, but I am usually further away. There have been a number of threads on insurance on the Asia board.

Also, some policies only cover travel outside the US, so you might be covered while you were in BC and on the boat, but not while you were on shore in Alaska. That wouldn't matter for medical coverage, but it would for evacuation/repatriation.
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Old Jul 24th, 2016, 06:06 AM
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We are late 60's and always CONSIDER travel insurance. Generally we take into account how long we will be gone, and as we do transatlantic and european cruises, can be far from land, remote, etc.

I went to europe early, met my husband for the cruise portion of our trip, and then continued on without him. For me, for 3 weeks was about $48. Your quote is way too high.
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Old Jul 24th, 2016, 06:45 AM
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"For me, for 3 weeks was about $48"

Did that $48 actually cover medical, evacuation and repatriation? And if so, what were the limits? Which company?
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Old Jul 25th, 2016, 03:06 AM
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Check and see what the insurance covers and what you want. Health insurance and evacuation - certainly. But trip interruption, cancellation, luggage loss is probably covered by your credit card. If you hunt around on the insuremytrip website you can probably save some money by buying just this. I am guessing the AAA policy covers all sorts of nonsense you don't want or need or could self-insure for.

Many trip insurance policies also cover things you might not have thought of - death or serious illness of non-traveling immediate family, travel for family member to you if you are hospitalized in some distant land.

And evacuation insurance is important, but very rarely usable. Insurance company gets to decide if it is necessary - so if you are worried about that, read the fine print if it includes "I want to be close to home" or just if you fall into a volcano on Mars.

I am thinking you can get it for cheaper than AAA. And don't buy it from the cruise line.
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Old Jul 25th, 2016, 08:57 AM
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"And evacuation insurance is important, but very rarely usable"

That is why you want repatriation (not just of remains!). My tenweb.com policy got me home from Switzerland with a broken wrist. DAN, which some posters here like, told me they would not have covered that.
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Old Jul 27th, 2016, 01:52 PM
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We elected to add a (very inexpensive) foreign travel rider to our Medicare supplement.
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Old Jul 27th, 2016, 02:53 PM
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@abram - that sounds interesting. Which Medigap plan and which company? And does it just cover medical expenses, or evacuation and repatriation?
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Old Jul 28th, 2016, 06:47 AM
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I can only tell you what happened to a friend of my parents. On the last night of her Alaska cruise, she slipped in a hallway and broke her hip. She ended up spending 2 or 3 weeks in Anchorage to recuperate before she could fly home. She purchased insurance, and it covered everything. Otherwise, she would have been covered only for the hospitalization and rehab, not all the related costs that were not directly medical (housing and meals for her husband and herself for almost a month and business class airfare back home because she couldn't sit in coach).

Insurance always seems expensive until you need it. A reasonably priced policy costs up to 10% of the total cost of trip for someone over 65, so you can be the judge about whether or not this is worth it.

You can also get medical/evacuation only coverage for substantially less than full trip insurance. If you put in a trip value of zero when you are calculating the cost and make sure you check off medical-only, you'll get a more accurate quote. You will not be reimbursed for cancellation or interruption, but you will be covered for any health issues.
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Old Jul 28th, 2016, 01:32 PM
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Our supplement is through WPS, but most supplements offer a foreign travel rider.
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Old Jul 28th, 2016, 01:59 PM
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Most of us don't live in Wisconsin and don't have access to that plan.

I don't have time to pretend to live in Wisconsin and get access to the fine print, so I still wonder whether you're getting evacuation and repatriation for that price.

I have AARP-United Healthcare Plan F, which is top of the line Medigap coverage for people in most of the country, and it only covers 80% of foreign medical costs to a lifetime max of $50,000, with no evacuation or repatriation. I have seen nothing about a foreign travel rider offering better coverage in any of the literature.
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Old Jul 29th, 2016, 11:09 AM
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Hallo, i am a new member here at fodors. I think its very important to taka your medical assurance with you everywhere you go.

Have a good healthy summer

Greetings from Holland
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