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Do I need to purchase more medical insurance for overseas travel?

Discussion in 'International Timesharing' started by glenmore, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. glenmore

    glenmore Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    We are heading to Edinburgh and London in September. I purchased TravelGuard insurance for the trip. It has $50,000 per person for accident and sickness medical expenses. It has the $1,000,000 emergency evacuation and repatriation of remains.

    Since we are on Medicare, I am wondering if I need to purchase more medical insurance, and from where.

    Thanks for any help you can give.
     
  2. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Not unless you have pre-existing and expensive conditions. Check with your Medicare Supplement carrier. Ours says they will cover up to what Medicare covers (by reimbursement) as long as they are provided an itemized billing in English. Where you are going, English is generally spoken and medical care costs a great deal less than in the US, so (IMO) you should be just fine with how you are set up.

    We had TravelGuard covering a European river cruise last Fall. We had to cancel for health reasons at the last minute. There were lots of hoops to jump through, passport copies (age verification) letters from doctors, invoices from airlines/cruise line/hotels/etc.etc., but eventually - close to 2 months, a check for well over $10,000 arrived. Travel insurance is expensive, but if you ever have a claim it makes all those premiums where you didn't need it, worthwhile.

    Jim
     
  3. Jimster

    Jimster TUG Member

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    Aren't you covered by the National Health system? Most countries that have socialized mediicine take care of travelers for free. This is so ironic since the USA is so stingy by comparison.
     
  4. vacationhopeful

    vacationhopeful TUG Member

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    My sister's mother-in-law suffered a stroke on a cruise which left Argentina in early March day. I was in Ft Lauderdale and hosted them for the night before they flew down to Argentina to catch the boat. I was back home when the stroked hit her and she was taken off the ship in one of those 'oh, so cute .. fishing villages' 800 miles SOUTH of their large cities ... whose medical hospital would be a back woods clinic with a 70 midwife missing most of her teeth (at least, that was the story I got).

    Without the Travel Insurance they had brought for the trip ... they would NOT have had the private US operated Med-Evac jet complete with a trained "Paramedic/Nurse or Doctor" type to bring her (and her husband) home to the DC area. Due to the stroke, they had to fly lower in the atmosphere .. to keep stresses DOWN on the brain problem .. which then required multiple refueling of the plane.

    She survived with minimal brain & health issues ... AND the older I get, the more likely I will keep my travelling in the USA or definitely buy the "good travel" insurance where they come get me....giving me the BEST possible outcome.
     
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  5. glenmore

    glenmore Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    "Traditional Medicare does not provide coverage for hospital or medical costs outside the United States (although Medicare does cover residents of Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands). In rare cases, Medicare may pay for inpatient hospital services in Canada or Mexico. (For details, click here.)"

    I know my supplement covers what Medicare does, but this sounds as if Medicare does not cover you abroad



    Some
     
  6. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    This is correct. Medicare does not cover you abroad. So pick up the phone and call that number on the card you got from your supplement and ask what their policy is. If they duck out, you'll either have to rely on the TravelGuard, or pay out-of-pocket and get reimbursement from them- which is how TravelGuard works. You will not get a card that for instance will gain you admittance to Great Britain's Nat'l Health System- though THEY WILL TREAT YOU.

    Unless you have some underlying health situation that you expect to need care for while on this vacation, I think you're making a mountain out of a mole hill. Millions of Americans travel to Britain every year confident that their own resources and an underlying travel insurance policy will get them home safe and sound.

    Jim
     
  7. mpumilia

    mpumilia Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    When we traveled to Scotland we never got any additional medical insurance, just a travel insurance plan through CSA. We are not on Medicare but have health insurance through my husbands' employer.
     
  8. Jimster

    Jimster TUG Member

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    Depending on the insurer, your husband's coverage may not have been valid if you had to use it. Some companies specifically exclude coverage in foreign countries. Blue Cross-Blue Sheild is one company that is pretty good about coverage overseas.
     
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  9. glenmore

    glenmore Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    We do have several pre-existing conditions that could be an issue if one of them decides to flare up. We have TravelGuard that covers pre-existing conditions.

    I didn't know if Brexit might affect coverage for some travelers
     
  10. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Brexit won't affect Britain's Nat'l Health Service as far as travelers are concerned.
     
  11. ibcnu

    ibcnu Guest

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    We have Cigna and they do not cover overseas. My dad has blue cross blue shield and medicare and when we went on a cruise to 5 islands in the Caribbean, I purchased insurance for him for pre-existing conditions (because he had them). I believe it was called CSA Insurance.

    My daughter spent her winter break at college in Vietnam, even though she has insurance, we had to purchase a separate policy for this trip.

    I would NEVER travel outside the USA without medical insurance.
     
  12. JudyH

    JudyH TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I buy travel insurance to protect the trip cost. Travel guard provides some medical coverage. My secondary BCBS with the Fed Govt says they reimburse up to reasonable costs. I also have a yearly plan with MedJet Assist primarily to provide the medical evacuation type of transportation home that Vacation Hopeful mentioned in the above post. Especially since we have started traveling to more isolated places.
     
  13. x3 skier

    x3 skier Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I have the Fed BC/BS. My wife came down with pneumonia in Germany in 2005. I had to pay 500 Euros to get her out of the Hospital but was reimbursed by BC/BS when I got home. Lots of paperwork but no cost to me. I assume the coverage exists today.

    Cheers
     
  14. SMHarman

    SMHarman TUG Member

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    Getting sick in the UK vs the US is like winning the lottery. Your $50,000 should buy a lot of doctor and nursing.

    Sent from my E6603 using Tapatalk
     
  15. glenmore

    glenmore Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Thanks to all. I have the travel insurance--just didn't know how much to get. Hopefully all goes well. We are so looking forward to our trip!
     
  16. Laurie

    Laurie TUG Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    This is one area where the usual rules applying to whether expenses are covered by Medigap plans (ie that you're not covered unless covered by Medicare) don't apply.

    I called Mutual of Omaha before our recent trip to Europe, and was told that over the phone that yes, basically they would cover 80%, and if necessary I would be transported to the place of their choosing, which might not be back to the US (eg, to Germany from Switzerland). BCBS said the same thing for another traveler. I don't know whether/how this differs for pre-existing conditions, but that wasn't mentioned as a factor by my agent. Since expenses are so much lower outside the US, additional insurance seemed unneccessary.

    This is standard and required by our government - from https://www.medicare.gov/supplement-other-insurance/medigap-and-travel/medigap-and-travel.html :

    Medigap coverage outside the U.S.
    If you have Medigap Plan C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, M or N, your plan:

    • Covers foreign travel emergency care if it begins during the first 60 days of your trip, and if Medicare doesn't otherwise cover the care.

    • Pays 80% of the billed charges for certain Health care services or supplies needed to diagnose or treat an illness, injury, condition, disease, or its symptoms and that meet accepted standards of medicine.
    Foreign travel emergency coverage with Medigap policies has a lifetime limit of $50,000.

    Find out before you go
    Before you travel outside the U.S., talk with your Medigap plan or insurance agent to get more information about your Medigap coverage while traveling.
     
  17. glenmore

    glenmore Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Thanks for this information. We have Mutual of Omaha also and I will call them.
     
  18. Laurie

    Laurie TUG Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    And, now that I think about it, coverage during international (and even domestic) travel was a big reason we decided traditional Medicare + Medigap was better for us than those seemingly (and at least initially) less expensive all-inclusive plans sold and administered by private insurance companies.
     

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