US health insurance coverage abroad??

Dec 20th, 2001, 08:45 AM
  #1  
pj
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US health insurance coverage abroad??

We are leavig for Austria in Jan. We are inquiring on coverage. I was wondering if anyone had a health or accident issue come up. What were the proper way to take care of the bill. Do you pay then get reimbursed? My husband is diabetic so there is always a concern when traveling. Does not stop us though!! Thank you Patricia
 
Dec 20th, 2001, 08:59 AM
  #2  
janis
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The way my carrier does it is I have to pay for any "acute" treatmets needed and they reimburse me after I return. If there was a serious emergency, they pay for my transport back to their hospital. But other plans and HMOs that my relatives have don't have the same provisions - so you need to check before you leave.
 
Dec 20th, 2001, 09:12 AM
  #3  
Christina
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If you have a policy that covers you abroad (and many private plans do), that is usually the way a bill would be handled. However, policy coverage and procedures vary--I really think you should ask your insurer this question, rather than relying on any info on this forum as if it is inaccurate and you don't follow procedures or get the correct documentation, it could cost you. Also, a special claim form may be required and there may be other requirements for coverage (eg, notification within 24-48 hrs of an emergency hospital admission). Some costs may not be covered, alhough basic and emergency medical care should (eg, transport home would probably not be unless you were in a location without appropriate medical care, which wouldn't be Austria). BCBS is actually developing some networks abroad and so if you have one of their plans, you need to know their coverage and requirements and get the proper phone numbers and addresses. Also, some plans may be able to do referrals abroad.
 
Dec 20th, 2001, 09:37 AM
  #4  
Faina
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PJ, you must check with your insurance company. Some offer worldwide coverage, some offer only emergency coverage, some offer none. My son had Cigna HMO worldwide emergency, and he got sick a year ago in Germany. Upon being released from the hospital he had to pay out-of-pocket and later back in USA got reimbursed by Cigna 100%. By the way he said all doctors and nurses spoke good English. I always call my medical insurance carrier before I leave the country and they always honestly answer all my questions.
 
Dec 20th, 2001, 10:53 AM
  #5  
Kenny
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I'm going to say the same thing that everyone has already said: check with your insurer. Also, unless you already have something in writing detailing coverage while traveling, ask them to send you a copy of that section of the policy, so there can be no mistake.
 
Dec 20th, 2001, 10:56 AM
  #6  
Colleen
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If you want worldwide health coverage, go to www.globalems.com
Their Medtrip service should be what you are looking for.

Colleen
 
Dec 20th, 2001, 03:01 PM
  #7  
M&J
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I work for the state of Georgia. I asked this very question to our State Merit Health Insurance. ALL costs abroad must be pain by me. Then I submit those costs to the state merit for "possible" reimbursement.
As my request, they did inform me that emergency medical evacuation is not cover-period. Also, if I should die aboard, repatriation of my body is MY expense in total---no reimbursement.
Because of this, we plan to buy travel insurance.
 
Dec 20th, 2001, 03:17 PM
  #8  
Kay
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I always purchase travel medical insurance for my trips. My insurance takes forever to pay and some countries will not let you leave until the bill is paid. I have heard that Italy is one of those. Why take the chance? I think my last trip insurance cost $50 person for a 3 week trip. It also covered emergency evacuations.
 
Dec 20th, 2001, 04:24 PM
  #9  
Mary Jayne
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Also a good idea to mention that if you are a senior and on medicare, medicare does not cover abroad so it would be imperitative to take out travel insurance. Have been on many trips where folks had to reply on it since they were seniors and thus not covered by medicare abroad.
 
Dec 20th, 2001, 05:38 PM
  #10  
Susan
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My husband is on medicare and of course he has a supplemental policy. He searched to find one that would give him good coverage out of the country since he travels abroad a lot. His supplemental does cover out of country, even though his medicare won't pay anything. Since his supplemental covers anything that medicare won't he actually has better coverage abroad than he has at home. And he has unfortunately had to use it twice -- full payments.
 
Dec 20th, 2001, 07:29 PM
  #11  
Gail
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Will someone please give us the name of a good travel insurance company?

If anyone has had experience with a certain company, it would help all of us to know how things turned out, re: cost, timely reimbursements, etc.

Thanks.
 
Dec 20th, 2001, 07:44 PM
  #12  
Kay
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I use Wallach & Company at www.wallach.com. I have not had to use them on a trip, but I will purchase again for my upcoming trip. I only purchase the medical expense benefits. I choose the highest deductible in order to get the lowest rate per day. I understand there have been changes to this coverage since 9/11, but I think it mostly deals with trip cancellation.
 
Dec 20th, 2001, 08:26 PM
  #13  
gary
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When I belonged to an HMO, they would not cover ANY medical expenses outside thier own network. That included USA as well as abroad. Needless to say I am not part of that organization anymore.
 
Dec 21st, 2001, 06:08 AM
  #14  
Ann
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It depends on the HMO. My HMO covers me worldwide.
 
Dec 21st, 2001, 03:26 PM
  #15  
Grandma
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We have always bought insurance from Access America. Had to file a claim this year(husband got sick in Moscow).... and they were very helpful and prompt in payment when their turn came. My husband's on Medicare (no coverage abroad) but has supplemntal insurance with AARP. AARP covers 30 days abroad. They picked up 80% of the charges he incurred. Access America picked up the remainder and our $5000 airline charge!!
 
Dec 21st, 2001, 04:10 PM
  #16  
M&J
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Travel Insurance Services has a web site at www.travelinsure.com.
To talk with a human, 1-800-937 1387.
And, neither of us work for them!
 

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