Help me find the right travel insurance

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Jun 13, 2018
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#1
My wife and I are going to Israel in August. We booked on United tonight and have 24 hours to cancel if we change our mind,

My wife has pre-existing conditions (asthma, diabetes, prone to cellulitis) and is mobility impaired. We have to take a wheel chair if she goes long distances.
Our health insurance is with Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield

I'm looking for a policy that will cover

1) Insurance on the Car Rental so I don't need a CDW
2) Reimbursement for non-refundable airfare and hotel if we have to cancel the trip if my wife gets ill
3) Medical flight back to the US if she has to go into the hospital. I would have to go back to work after the trip and if she falls ill I don't want her to be away from me in a hospital in Israel

I don't know the full cost of the trip yet because only the airfare was booked.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,655
12,680
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
Hi, Manny- we aren’t allowed to recommend insurance here. We can tell you what to look for but can’t recommend policies.

Go to insuremytrip.com. You need to find a company that offers a waiver for pre-existing medical conditions. Or a policy that has Cancel for Any Reason coverage.

You usually have to buy the policy within 2 weeks of making your deposit. Right now you will only Insure the cost of your flights. You need to do this to meet the time frame for pre-existing medical conditions.

When you purchase the rest of your trip just call the insurance company and add that cost into the policy. It’s very easy.

Hope that helps.
 
Likes: jsn55
Jun 13, 2018
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#3
Neil, thanks for the reply. I understand that advocates can't make recommendations but I was hoping that other members can. insuremytrip.com came back with three options but I'm confused. The plan states there is a waiver available for pre-existing conditions but there is a 60 day look back period. Does that mean that any pre-existing condition that was being treated within the past 60 days is excluded?
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Travel Select
Pre-Existing Conditions Waiver
PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITION EXCLUSION WAIVER
The Company will waive the pre-existing medical condition exclusion if the following conditions are met:
(1) This plan is purchased within 21 days of Initial Trip Payment;
(2) The amount of coverage purchased equals all prepaid nonrefundable payments or deposits applicable to the Trip at the time of purchase and the costs of any subsequent arrangements added to the same Trip are insured within 21 days of the date of payment or deposit for any subsequent Trip arrangements;
(3) All Insured’s are medically able to travel when this plan cost is paid;
(4) The Trip Cost does not exceed the maximum Trip Cost limit under Trip Cancellation as shown in the Schedule per person (only applicable to Trip Cancellation/Interruption/ Delay);
This coverage will be terminated and no benefits will be paid under this Pre-existing Medical Condition Exclusion Waiver coverage if the full costs of all prepaid, non-refundable Trip arrangements are not insured.
PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITION EXCLUSION: The Company will not pay for any loss or expense incurred as the result of an Injury, Sickness or other condition (excluding any condition from which death ensues) of an Insured, Traveling Companion, Business Partner or Family Member which, within the 60 day period immediately preceding and including the Insured’s coverage effective date: (a) first manifested itself, worsened, became acute or had symptoms which would have prompted a reasonable person to seek diagnosis, care or treatment; (b) for which care or treatment was given or recommended by a Physician; (c) required taking prescription drugs or medicines, unless the condition for which the drugs or medicines are taken remains controlled without any change in the required prescription drugs or medicines.
For more help, please contact us.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It also says there is Medicial Evacuation coverage of $500,000 but how would I know if a medical flight will cost more than this?

Travel Select
Emergency Medical Evacuation
EMERGENCY EVACUATION and REPATRIATION OF REMAINS
The Company will pay for Covered Emergency Evacuation Expenses incurred due to an Injury or Sickness that occurs to You while You are on a Trip. Benefits payable are subject to the Maximum Limit shown in the Schedule for all Emergency Evacuations due to all Injuries from the same accident or all Sicknesses from the same or related causes during an overnight Trip with a Destination of at least 100 miles from Your Primary Residence.
Covered Emergency Evacuation Expenses are the Reasonable and Customary Charges for necessary Transportation, related medical services and medical supplies incurred in connection with Your Emergency Evacuation. All Transportation arrangements made for evacuating You must be by the most direct and economical route possible and required by the standard regulations of the conveyance transporting You.
Expenses for Transportation must be:
(a) ordered by the onsite attending Physician who must certify that the severity of Your Injury or Sickness warrants Your Emergency Evacuation and adequate medical treatment is not locally available; and
(b) authorized in advance by the Travel Insurance Administrator. In the event Your Injury or Sickness prevents prior authorization of the Emergency Evacuation, the Travel Insurance Administrator must be notified as soon as reasonably possible.
The Company will also pay a benefit for reasonable and customary expenses incurred for an escort’s transportation and accommodations subject to the Escort Maximum Limit shown in the Schedule if an onsite attending Physician recommends in writing that an escort accompany the Insured.
Special Limitation: In the event the Travel Insurance Administrator could not be contacted to arrange for Emergency Evacuation, benefits are limited to the amount the Company would have paid had the Company or its authorized representative been contacted.
Emergency Evacuation - means:
(a) Transportation from the place where You are Injured or sick to the nearest adequate licensed medical facility where appropriate medical treatment can be obtained; or
(b) Transportation from a local medical facility to the nearest adequate licensed medical facility to obtain appropriate medical treatment if the onsite attending Physician certifies that additional Medically Necessary treatment is needed but not locally available; and You are medically able to travel; or
(c) Transportation to the adequate licensed medical facility nearest Your home to obtain further medical treatment or to recover, after being treated at a local licensed medical facility, and the onsite attending Physician determines that You are medically able to be transported; or
(d) Transportation from an adequate licensed medical facility to an adequate licensed medical facility of Your choice for further Medically Necessary treatment if the onsite attending Physician certifies that You are medically able to travel.
Advanced authorization by the Travel Insurance Administrator is needed for (a), (b), (c) and (d) above.
ADDITIONAL BENEFITS
In addition to the above covered expenses, if the Company has previously evacuated You to a medical facility, the Company will reimburse You Your airfare costs, less refunds from Your Unused transportation tickets, from that facility to Your Return Destination or home, within one year from Your original Return Date. Airfare costs will be based on medical necessity or same class as the Insured’s original tickets.
If You are hospitalized for more than 7 days following a covered Emergency Evacuation, the Company will reimburse You, subject to the limitations set out herein, the expenses for:
1. Return of Children: Return of Your Children, who were accompanying You when the Injury or Sickness occurred, to Your residence in the United States, including the cost of an attendant, if necessary. Such expenses shall not exceed the cost of a one-way economy airfare
ticket, or same class as the original ticket, less the value of any applied credit from any Unused return travel tickets for each person.
2. Bedside Visit: To bring one person chosen by You to and from the medical facility where You are confined if You are alone. The payment will not exceed the cost of one round-Trip economy airfare ticket.
3. Bedside Traveling Companion: The Company will reimburse You for reasonable expenses incurred for Hotel and meals shown in the Schedule for the Traveling Companion to remain near You. For an insured Child, a bedside companion is available immediately upon Hospital admission. Receipts must be submitted. Coverage for this benefit ends on the day You are discharged from the hospital. For purposes of this benefit, Traveling Companion means the person is Insured under this plan and accompanies the Insured on the Trip.
If you or a Traveling Companion are Hospitalized due to an Accidental Injury or Sickness that first occurred during the course of Your Trip beyond the date Your coverage ends, coverage under this benefit will be extended until You or Your Traveling Companion are released from the Hospital or until the Maximum Benefit as listed in the Schedule is paid.

REPATRIATION OF REMAINS

The Company will pay Repatriation Covered Expenses up to the Maximum Limit shown in the Schedule of Benefits to return Your body to the City of burial if You die during the Trip.
Repatriation Covered Expenses. include, but are not limited to, the reasonable and customary expenses for:
(a) embalming;
(b) cremation;
(c) the most economical coffins or receptacles adequate for transportation of the remains; and
(d) transportation of the remains, by the most direct and economical conveyance and route possible, subject to the Transportation Maximum Limit shown in the Schedule.
The Travel Insurance Administrator must make all arrangements and authorize all expenses in advance.
Special Limitation: In the event the Company or the Company’s authorized representative could not be contacted to arrange for Repatriation Covered Expenses, benefits are limited to the amount the Company would have paid had the Company or its authorized representative been contacted.
For more help, please contact us.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,655
12,680
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#4
If your medical conditions have been stable and you purchase within 21days of making your deposit you should be fine BUT you must call the company you are considering and ask them your questions. We are not licensed insurance brokers and it’s actually illegal for us to tell you what is and isn’t covered. You must be well enough to travel on the day you buy the insurance for the waiver to be effective.

Call the insurance company they are the only ones who can give you the right answer.

I have never heard of Travel Select but if you are concerned, do a google search for “complaints about Travel Select” or what ever company you are considering.

We sell several different companies and Travel Select is not one.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,617
6,628
113
San Francisco
#5
I use a broker in Omaha, Travel Insurance Center. I have found them very helpful in helping me pick the right coverages and of course they answer all my questions.
 
May 16, 2018
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#6
Perhaps I'm a bit late jumping in here, but I want to report a great experience purchasing travel insurance from Squaremouth. I looked up some policies on their site and then when I called an agent with questions she actually found me a better policy for my needs for less money, and went digging through the certificates to make sure that it covered certain things that were important to me. I hope I don't have to use it, but the research and purchasing experience was excellent.

Since I myself have had plenty of things that would potentially qualify as pre-existing medical conditions, I was curious as to how one could prove after the fact that he or she was indeed healthy and able to travel on the precise date the insurance was purchased. (In order for pre-existing conditions to be covered, you must be able to prove that after the fact.)

The way I decided to solve this was to get a letter from each family member's doctor on the date I bought the insurance that stated that the individual was healthy and able to travel on that date. I threw those in a file, and hope that we never have to use them. I am sure this sounds like overkill, but it was so easy to do, and will save me the hassle of fighting with the insurance company if anyone becomes ill with something he or she has been treated for in the past.
 
Likes: jsn55

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,655
12,680
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#7
Perhaps I'm a bit late jumping in here, but I want to report a great experience purchasing travel insurance from Squaremouth. I looked up some policies on their site and then when I called an agent with questions she actually found me a better policy for my needs for less money, and went digging through the certificates to make sure that it covered certain things that were important to me. I hope I don't have to use it, but the research and purchasing experience was excellent.

Since I myself have had plenty of things that would potentially qualify as pre-existing medical conditions, I was curious as to how one could prove after the fact that he or she was indeed healthy and able to travel on the precise date the insurance was purchased. (In order for pre-existing conditions to be covered, you must be able to prove that after the fact.)

The way I decided to solve this was to get a letter from each family member's doctor on the date I bought the insurance that stated that the individual was healthy and able to travel on that date. I threw those in a file, and hope that we never have to use them. I am sure this sounds like overkill, but it was so easy to do, and will save me the hassle of fighting with the insurance company if anyone becomes ill with something he or she has been treated for in the past.
You don’t have to go to that extreme. If you have to file a claim, all that info is asked for on the claim form. If the dr wasn’t treating you for a condition atbthe time you booked, he simply fills out the date you first saw him for the condition.

And many conditions you think are pre-ex aren’t really considered pre-ex. My wife has Lupus that hasn’t been active in years. Not considered pre-ex.

Someone diabetic what has had no change in meds innrhe last six months and who has been stable - not considered pre/Ex.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,617
6,628
113
San Francisco
#8
Perhaps I'm a bit late jumping in here, but I want to report a great experience purchasing travel insurance from Squaremouth. I looked up some policies on their site and then when I called an agent with questions she actually found me a better policy for my needs for less money, and went digging through the certificates to make sure that it covered certain things that were important to me. I hope I don't have to use it, but the research and purchasing experience was excellent.

Since I myself have had plenty of things that would potentially qualify as pre-existing medical conditions, I was curious as to how one could prove after the fact that he or she was indeed healthy and able to travel on the precise date the insurance was purchased. (In order for pre-existing conditions to be covered, you must be able to prove that after the fact.)

The way I decided to solve this was to get a letter from each family member's doctor on the date I bought the insurance that stated that the individual was healthy and able to travel on that date. I threw those in a file, and hope that we never have to use them. I am sure this sounds like overkill, but it was so easy to do, and will save me the hassle of fighting with the insurance company if anyone becomes ill with something he or she has been treated for in the past.
A very clever way to deal with this pre-existing condition stuff, Jane.
 
Likes: Nancy
May 16, 2018
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#9
You don’t have to go to that extreme. If you have to file a claim, all that info is asked for on the claim form. If the dr wasn’t treating you for a condition atbthe time you booked, he simply fills out the date you first saw him for the condition.

And many conditions you think are pre-ex aren’t really considered pre-ex. My wife has Lupus that hasn’t been active in years. Not considered pre-ex.

Someone diabetic what has had no change in meds innrhe last six months and who has been stable - not considered pre/Ex.
Neil, I appreciate what you are saying but it isn't quite applicable to all situations. It's true, they won't bother you about diabetes if you had no change in meds, but if the doctor changed your dose of insulin around that time, the insurance company would declare it a pre-existing condition. If, for example, I have been treated for high blood pressure and the doctor simply changed the dose of my med on or around that day, they would then consider it a pre-existing condition if I later had something heart-related, even though I was fine to travel on that day.

The insurance companies specifically give a change in meds as an example of something that would be then considered a pre-existing condition, including the cessation of a med that was taken for some months or longer. A change in meds doesn't mean you are unfit to travel--sometimes it means you are healthier-- but it does mean it's a pre-existing condition to these insurers.

I have unfortunately had a little too much experience with medical insurance issues. You would be surprised what can come back to bite you after the fact. In my opinion it is much easier to get a letter from my doc than to engage with the insurance company in any arguments about it later. The letter took less than a minute for me to request and for my doctor to write. The terms of the insurance are that pre-existing conditions are covered if your doc says you are healthy on the day you buy the insurance. Makes sense to me to give them proof of exactly that.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,655
12,680
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#10
Neil, I appreciate what you are saying but it isn't quite applicable to all situations. It's true, they won't bother you about diabetes if you had no change in meds, but if the doctor changed your dose of insulin around that time, the insurance company would declare it a pre-existing condition. If, for example, I have been treated for high blood pressure and the doctor simply changed the dose of my med on or around that day, they would then consider it a pre-existing condition if I later had something heart-related, even though I was fine to travel on that day.

The insurance companies specifically give a change in meds as an example of something that would be then considered a pre-existing condition, including the cessation of a med that was taken for some months or longer. A change in meds doesn't mean you are unfit to travel--sometimes it means you are healthier-- but it does mean it's a pre-existing condition to these insurers.

I have unfortunately had a little too much experience with medical insurance issues. You would be surprised what can come back to bite you after the fact. In my opinion it is much easier to get a letter from my doc than to engage with the insurance company in any arguments about it later. The letter took less than a minute for me to request and for my doctor to write. The terms of the insurance are that pre-existing conditions are covered if your doc says you are healthy on the day you buy the insurance. Makes sense to me to give them proof of exactly that.
It also depends on the policy. Different companies have different terms about the pre-ex condition as well as different look back periods. Some are 60 day but some are 120 days.

That’s why it is imperative that anyone considering insurance calls the company they are considering and ask the experts there. They don’t hold it against you - you don’t even have to give your name to ask questions. But get the name of who you spoke to!
 
Likes: Jane4321
May 16, 2018
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#11
It also depends on the policy. Different companies have different terms about the pre-ex condition as well as different look back periods. Some are 60 day but some are 120 days.

That’s why it is imperative that anyone considering insurance calls the company they are considering and ask the experts there. They don’t hold it against you - you don’t even have to give your name to ask questions. But get the name of who you spoke to!
I am in total agreement! You have to read and inquire into the specific policy. For me, personally, well, I didn't want to worry about the details. I told the the very helpful agent that I actually don't care to know what constitutes a pre-existing condition. I have them. I want to buy insurance that covers them. I'm happy to pay for it.

The policy I chose states the following:

Waiver of The Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion
The exclusion for Pre-Existing Condition will be waived provided:
1. Your Payment or Deposit for this Policy and enrollment form are received within 20 days of the date Your Initial Payment or Deposit for Your Trip is received and;
2. You are not disabled from travel at the time Your premium is paid.


The policy additionally states the following in the exclusion section:

The Pre-existing Condition Limitation does not apply to:
(a) Emergency Medical Evacuation, Medical Repatriation and Return of Remains coverage; or
(b) to coverage purchased within 20 days from the time the initial Covered Trip deposit is paid and the Insured is medically able to travel when payment is made for the insurance.


So, in order to be covered for any and all pre-existing conditions no matter what they are and no matter when they started, I just had to buy the insurance within 20 days of purchasing the air tickets (in our case), and be able to prove that I was not disabled and was medically able to travel on the day that I paid for the insurance.

I guess for me the letter from the doctor was a bit of idiot-proofing. I don't have to understand what constitutes a pre-existing condition. I'm covered.

(And....since I bought this proverbial umbrella, no one will get sick!)
 
Likes: Neil Maley

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,617
6,628
113
San Francisco
#12
I am in total agreement! You have to read and inquire into the specific policy. For me, personally, well, I didn't want to worry about the details. I told the the very helpful agent that I actually don't care to know what constitutes a pre-existing condition. I have them. I want to buy insurance that covers them. I'm happy to pay for it.

The policy I chose states the following:

Waiver of The Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion
The exclusion for Pre-Existing Condition will be waived provided:
1. Your Payment or Deposit for this Policy and enrollment form are received within 20 days of the date Your Initial Payment or Deposit for Your Trip is received and;
2. You are not disabled from travel at the time Your premium is paid.


The policy additionally states the following in the exclusion section:

The Pre-existing Condition Limitation does not apply to:
(a) Emergency Medical Evacuation, Medical Repatriation and Return of Remains coverage; or
(b) to coverage purchased within 20 days from the time the initial Covered Trip deposit is paid and the Insured is medically able to travel when payment is made for the insurance.


So, in order to be covered for any and all pre-existing conditions no matter what they are and no matter when they started, I just had to buy the insurance within 20 days of purchasing the air tickets (in our case), and be able to prove that I was not disabled and was medically able to travel on the day that I paid for the insurance.

I guess for me the letter from the doctor was a bit of idiot-proofing. I don't have to understand what constitutes a pre-existing condition. I'm covered.

(And....since I bought this proverbial umbrella, no one will get sick!)
Thanks so much for the additional info on pre-existing conditions, Jane. It's so helpful to know this stuff. A change in meds - wow, who would think? I just assume that an insurance company will not pay a claim unless they cannot think of a single reason to deny it. So any and all ammunition is a good thing.
 
May 16, 2018
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#13
Thanks so much for the additional info on pre-existing conditions, Jane. It's so helpful to know this stuff. A change in meds - wow, who would think? I just assume that an insurance company will not pay a claim unless they cannot think of a single reason to deny it. So any and all ammunition is a good thing.
Another example they gave was if you have had some diagnostic test within the look-back period. But for me, all of these examples were ridiculous. If I am buying insurance that covers pre-existing conditions, then I should be covered for all of them, no matter what they are.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Oct 10, 2016
111
83
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Huntley, IL
#16
For traveling to Europe, we have always used Travelex Travel Select. I fell in Japan and fractured my femur. Not only did they cover a week in the hospital and surgery, they flew me home Business Class (we had flown Coach) along with a nurse. They are a Primary Insurer so that you don't need to shell out money up front and get reimbursed, as with some Travel Insurance plans.

That being said, I agree with Neil and the others that you should read the policy VERY carefully and call them and ask questions.
 
Likes: Neil Maley