Travel insurance question

May 7th, 2007, 02:55 PM
  #1  
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Travel insurance question

I'm a UK passport holder but I live in the US.
We have medical insurance provided by my husband's company.
I am taking a trip to Europe where the travel company requires $75K medical insurance and $75K emergency evacuation insurance.
My questions are:
1. Do most American healthcare providers cover overseas trips at this level of insurance cover? Although I have phoned them I can't get a clear answer from them.
2. Should I shop around for extra trip insurance? Any recommended insurance agencies?
3. Is it usual for American healthcare companies to not provide a contact phone number other than an 800 number? It seems to me a very cumbersome method of dealing with them.
Sorry if all this is obvious to some of you, I'm completely unfamiliar with the American system. Any advice will be appreciated. I am already in touch with my husband's company hoping they can shed some light, but you guys will probably have first hand experience and be more straightforward. Thanks in advance.
gertie3751 is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 03:25 PM
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Only your husband's employer can tell you what coverage you have. There is no such thin as "standard" regarding employer-provided anything in the U.S.

If you need additional coverage for travel outside the U.S., look to websites such as insureytrip.com, which offer policies of about a dozen different insurers and tables to help you compare the various offerings.

Good luck.
kayd is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 03:27 PM
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I would go ahead and get trip insurance. A good site to go to is www.insuremytrip.com, as it lets you choose from numerous companies to find a policy that suits your needs.
I've used CSA and TravelGuard in the past. In fact I just received a check for expenses incurred in Paris from a lost passport fiasco, and this was from TravelGuard. I'd never go on a big trip without insurance again.
Hagan is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 03:51 PM
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Insurance provided by employers almost never covers overseas travel (notice I said almost...) Try to confirm, but if you can't, to be safe you should get travel insurance. I've also used travelguard and been happy with them.

Yes, it is common for healthcare / insurers in america to only provide an 800 number, which goes to centralized call centers. For some reason I always get operators in North Carolina!
Toucan2 is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 04:14 PM
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As the others have said - there is absolutlely no way to know if you are covered. My own ins covers me anywhere (though I have to pay and they reimburse me upon return to the States) - but I have very generous coverage and that is not the norm.

BTW, what travel company is requiring you to have insurance? What sort of trip are you taking? I have traveled to the UK and Europe many times and never had a healtrh insurance requirement. Sure, it has been recommended by various travel vendors - but usually when they sell insurance themselves.
janisj is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 04:19 PM
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Yes janisj, this seems to be the case. It's Explore and they are doing a hard sell. They tell me an 800 number is not acceptable because it can't be used from outside the US. I have travelled extensively, usually on my own and have never bothered with insurance before.
Our health insurance is worldwide unlimited so should be appropriate but I am finding it hard to get something other than an 800 number out of them.
Not sure if I'm going to do a tour again!!
gertie3751 is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 04:54 PM
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On one point I can tell you this. NO standard health insurance company in America provides coverage for emergency evaucation.

There are several companies that sell this coverage as a membership plan. The one we use is Medjet. You can cover just one trip or buy it by the year for just a few dollars more. If you have an emergency, you call Medjet and they send their plane & staff for you. I think it costs around 300.

The other option is the travel insurance policies suggested by the others, Travelguard is one that I hear used most often. I believe they either reimburse you or may even contract for an evacuation flight but they don't own the planes like Medjet.

I think your travel company is trying to pull a fast one. I've never heard of one requiring this for adult travel. If they absolutely will not take you without it, I'm certain you can find it cheaper (and more reliable) on your own than what they would sell you.

Since it appears you are buying a package tour, you are probably better off with a standard travel policy like Travelguard, where it would also cover things like the tour operator obsconding with your money, having to cancel due to illness, lost baggage, etc.
Linda431 is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 05:04 PM
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Mind telling us what sort of tour it is? If the company is this difficult, I might have real reservations about the rest of the operation . . . . .
janisj is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 05:16 PM
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http://www.exploreworldwide.com/
They are very well-known in UK. Not so in US apparently.
gertie3751 is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 05:35 PM
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gertie: I understood the name of the company from your earlier post - and yes I have heard of them. I meant which specific tour are you taking? Maybe it is a "special case" adventure tour w/ more risk -- or maybe they just jack up their profit by selling insurance.
janisj is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 05:42 PM
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I'm taking a very routine tour of the ancient Greek sites in Turkey. There is nothing remotely adventurous or difficult about it. We are travelling a well-known tourist route.
I'm beginning to think the US agent for the UK company jacks up the cost by specifying such unreasonable insurance.
There must be a way round it, I'm wondering how to do it!
gertie3751 is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 10:05 PM
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<<< If the company is this difficult, I might have real reservations about the rest of the operation . . . . . >>>

They are a VERY respectable operation in the UK and they do REQUIRE everyone to have insurance - it's not just a US thing
alanRow is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 10:07 PM
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As for touring Turkey - it may be a well worn trail but what happens if a rock does fall on your head?

Do you fancy being treated in a Turkish public hospital or are you independently able to pay for a private hospital, private transfer and possibly a medical flight back to the US?
alanRow is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 10:16 PM
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alanRow: gertie says she already HAS insurance which Explorer won't accept. They also say they won't accept other insurance coverage if contact is via an 800 number. So while they may be a reputable company, it does seem they are strong-arming re the insurance.
janisj is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 11:05 PM
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gertie3751,

I'm a Irish passport holder but live in the USA.

We have medical insurance via my wife's company.

Your questions
#1. NO, outside the USA your on your own, that is a general statement as there are some exceptions, check with your insurance company.
#2. Yes, our last trip approximately a month ago, insurance was offered by priceline which I think cost about $30 for the two of us. Evacuation insurance is not offered as a standard option by any American insurance company.
#3. Yes, frustrating.

Now why is your travel company requiring 75k medical/evac insurance?

Where are you traveling to?

Turkey? Interesting country and depending on where your traveling while there. Istanbul, Izmir its interesting but going towards the borders with some of the countries having political difficulties, could be the reason for the insurance.

Something does not feel exactly right when a travel company requires insurance. I have traveled to some off the beaten track places but to have a travel agent/company "require" insurance, why?
Stormin280 is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 11:09 PM
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I frequently dial 0800 numbers from Europe (the UK), and it's simply not true that you cannot do so. In each instance a recording tells me that the call is not free, and to hang up if I don't wish to pay the charges.

Even if your US health insurance policy covers you for overseas treatment, you will almost certainly have to pay up front and claim back when you return home. That is because health providers don't want to go through the hassle of submitting a claim themselves, or that they simply don't trust a company they have probably never heard of.

I would recommend taking out a separate policy for your trip. You can get the best deal by shopping around, but one advantage of buying insurance through the travel company is your tour rep should be able to give you better assistance in finding medical care that accepts the policy. It's up to you to decide whether that small advantage is worth the extra cost.
Heimdall is offline  
May 8th, 2007, 04:33 AM
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Thanks all for very interesting input. I knew you guys would have firsthand experience. However, so far the situation remains unresolved!
gertie3751 is offline  
May 8th, 2007, 08:30 AM
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janisj as there's only an 0800 number it strongly suggests that the insurance isn't valid outside the US thus Explore's concern.

If it is valid outside of the US then OP will have to prove that the 0800 number is phoneable from outside the US or provide another number that is

Explore don't require you to take their own insurance but they do require that everyone travelling with them has insurance that is valid in the countries they are touring.
alanRow is offline  

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