Medical Travel Insurance

Back to Forum
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)

  • CathayLoyalist2
    Participant

    I know there is a raft of information on this but a recommendation from the illustrious members of this forum would be appreciated. I have been an Amex Platinum Card Holder since 1994. Having turned 70, Amex no longer covers me for any Medical costs but all the others i.e Missed flight.Lost Baageage etc are still valid. Who should I look at for Medical Insurance please?


    BPP
    Participant

    Hi
    You don’t say which part of the world you are in but in UK there are plenty of options. Ihave used both SAGA and Staysure, both without claming so cannot comment any further. The issue is ANY existing medical condition which MUST be declared and can inflate the premium considerably. Don’t try to ‘cheat’ on this as they will disown you in the event of a claim. What I cannot find is a company that will cover just medical issues without cancellation, luggage etc which I don’t need.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    CathayLoyalist2
    Participant

    Thank you BPP. I am now UK based. As my wife and I both have EHIC cards the medical insurance is probabaly less of an issue within Europe but moreso when we restart travel to Asia and beyond and the USA. Given I may not be able to get medical without all the other travel add ons it might mean I discontinue with Amex. On declarations, up to now I have never had any pre existing but now I do so I will declare.I will try the two you mentioned


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    I now take a slightly different view and as I have always said, I do not select my travel insurance based on cost. This may not answer ALL of your question, but could assist for part of your question, depending on where you are travelling to.

    For Thailand, I now buy individual MEDICAL cover each time I go with a local Thai based insurance company. Generally Axa, but there is a good choice of a range of internationally recognized providers.

    Agreed, not the cheapest option and it’s important to do your research. The big advantage I found when I needed to visit a Dr/hospital/xrays/physio – for a sports related running injury, was there was no need to make any phone calls back to UK, no hold listening to music and no…. “we will get back to you”.

    Simply ask the hotel staff to speak to the insurance company, they let you know who their associated hospital is and they confirm what they will and will not allow. Any day case is pre pay, in stays are pre approved.

    BUT do your research first… and as BPP confirms, declare everything because for something serious, they will check your records.

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    theflyingnurse
    Participant

    Hi there. I am not an illustrious member but I am a flight repatriation Nurse as well as working in Critical Care. I have worked for many insurers over the years and some use underwriters who are extremely tight when it comes to spending money on their customers for medical or repatriation costs.

    If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, I would use a company that specialises in dealing with these. You then need to consider whether you want single trip or annual multi trip, worldwide including USA or just European and whether you may need Cruise cover.

    Most online insurance quotes use the same screening tool but prices can vary hugely betwenn insurers depsite this.

    Trustpilot is a good resource for reviews.

    I have seen some cases where insurers will not pay out because there has been medical information witheld from the traveller when purchasing the insurance so if you do have any pre-existing conditions please list all of them.

    I have used the same insurer for several years, Staysure, and they are a very fair and decent company to deal with. I have done many repatriations for them and they have never been difficult to deal with. I have also advised the underwriters with regard to medical conditions the traveller has declared any connection to the presenting illness. They have always listened to any medical advice in my experience. I am biased though as I have done repatriations for them, but they have always been very easy to deal with and also very safe in their approach to managing medical cases and repatriations in my experience.

    The following link which lists insurers who deal with pre-existing condtions and over 70’s might help.
    https://www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en/everyday-money/insurance/use-our-travel-insurance-directory/

    5 users thanked author for this post.

    GeorgeJ
    Participant

    CL if you are happy with Amex (where cover is actually from Axa and Chubb) there is actually no need to change supplier. Like you I am now 70 and have been very happy with Amex since they have been very fair with regard to claims over the years (the only real test for insurance). However I have the International Currency Card, platinum, which is available in US$ or Euro, this is similarly priced to the Sterling card but gives cover to age 80. This also covers activities like skiing and sailing through to that age (important in my case) which is itself somewhat unusual. The period of cover is also better than the Sterling card, it will cover individual trips of up to 120 days for a max of 240 days in a year (i have on occasion used this fully since it also covers domestic trips).
    The only potential downside is whether you actually need a dollar or Euro card (i can justify it for the insurance and other benefits benefit alone, though I do have regular dollar usage, and the need to pay off the balance in those currencies.

    4 users thanked author for this post.

    Johnnyg
    Participant

    A further question is how far back do you go to state pre existing conditions? I am a healthy 69 year old but over the years I have had cancer, which I declare as well as post cancer depression which I also declare but over the years I have played many active sports and broken many bones. I have had scans for conditions that didn’t exist. A disc problem 0ver 30 years ago as well, so how far do I go back? What if the dates cannot be recalled? So many questions

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    A further question is how far back do you go to state pre existing conditions?

    You need to answer exactly as the question asks. Some questions will ask specifically about the last 5 years, some will ask about have you “ever” had….

    I have heard recently of claim being denies for back surgery for non disclosures which bore no relation to the actual illness. For example, a claimant for a back operation failed to disclose he had throat surgery 30 years ago. This was a known international professional cricketer.

    I tend to invite the underwriters to contact my UK GP for my records pre approval. However, travel insurance is generally underwritten based on disclosures and then investigated at point of claim. hence you need to be extremely careful how you complete the application form.

    I tend to have voluntary blood tests at least once a year – I am also very privileged to be part of a research study group at the Royal Marsden Hospital for prostrate cancer.

    I know that I am completely safe in NOT disclosing on any application form that I take part voluntarily in the research group for prostate cancer. But I do need to disclose that I voluntarily have annual comprehensive VOLUNTARILY blood tests. Further I am happy to send the results to the underwriters, which only complicated matters because of GDPR.

    It is important to deal with a company who will speak to you so you can explain your exact position.

    Never been as issue for me, as long as you have a degree of patience….. with the underwriters

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    EruditeSheep
    Participant

    Having been diagnosed and treated successfully for neck cancer in early 2020 at the height of the COVID pandemic, the topic of travel insurance has been of some concern to me. I can only underline the comments made by BPP and others in relation to the need to declare any existing medical conditions. This becomes of particular relevance when seeking insurance to cover travel plans that include air travel and ocean cruises involving several overseas ports of call. The costs of repatriation can sometimes be considerable – one example I had witnessed in the past whilst en-route from Los Angeles to Auckland required the ship to sail at maximum speed for two days to allow a seriously ill passenger to be air-lifted within helicopter range of a suitable port. This alone would have cost several hundred thousand dollars. Then there would have been specialist helicopter transportation charges etc etc – all before the cost of any required medical/hospital procedures themselves.

    For my recent and future travel plans, I have compared costs of suitable insurance from several UK agents, including SAGA, Staysure and AllClear. Most are flexible, offering products ranging from single trip to annual cover even for those with significant existing medical conditions, with comprehensive on-line toolsets to generate accurate quotations quickly (although having a summary of medical records to hand helps in the completion of the questionnaires). In the case of single trip cover, I would stress that it is particularly important to have a policy in place once travel reservations have been made, rather than risk waiting until the last minute before travel to have any hope of recovering non-refundable cancellation costs.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    Travelfoot
    Participant

    I also lost the medical travel cover from Amex Platinum after turning 70. There was an alternative available with similar benefits from the NatWest Black card that provided cover up to 80 for around 2/3 rd the annual cost of Platinum. To qualify one had to have either a mortgage or a savings account in excess of 100k which excluded me from exploring further. However my research and suggestion was useful to a friend who was in a qualifying position and is enjoying the benefit.

    In my case I discovered the Co-operative Bank Everyday Extra account most suitable. The joint account provides annual cover for 45 days each trip for both account holders individually at a cost of £15 per month (£180 pa) with an online medical screening for pre existing medical conditions. We are both fortunate not to have any significant medical past except myself on mild BP and Colesterol (never exceeded the tolerance) medication (half of UK adult population is on it!!) that is regarded as controlled. In the screening process there is a huge list of conditions that are pre excluded and any declarables may attract additional premium that can be discussed beforehand. I still have the platinum card that benefits my additional card holders. Co op account provides me the lost medical coverage quite economically by comparison subject to no major changes becoming declareable until 80.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    BPP
    Participant

    Martyn -For information can you please post contact details for AXA Thailand.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    This is AXA Thailand – all done on line.

    https://www.axa.co.th/en/axa-sawasdee-thailand-travel-insurance

    This is the Thaiger an ex-pat news agency that advertises inbound travel insurance

    https://thethaiger.com/covid-19/thailand-re-entry/#packages

    Google search will bring up some others – but do undertake research on benefits and claims. If you have existing cover, you should discuss with existing insurers, if it will have any effect on their policy, especially where claims are concerned.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    theflyingnurse
    Participant

    Hi @ Johnnyg. Don’t be overwhelmed by the thought of what you need to disclose. Insurers and underwriters are only interested in issues that will increase your financial and clinical risk to them.
    Broken bones are not an issue if treated and healed. However if you currently have a recent fracture and wanted to travel, that could perhaps be an issue. With cancer, I do not know of any insurer that will provide cover for terminally ill customers. If someone is currently undergoing cancer treatment they may get cover but personally I would wait until I was cancer free before going on a holiday. One way to cover your back is to actually contact your GP and ask them what conditions you have that you should declare to the insurer. In the event of a medical claim by you, insurers will often contact your GP for your past medical history. There should be a note of your call and what the GP said to you. If not, your GP can tell the insurer when and if they are contacted by them what the conversation was.
    If you have any medications that you take, declare the illness you take the medication for. So for example, statins for high cholesterol, blood pressure medication, tablets or insulin for diabetes – but if you are a diet controlled diabetic still declare diabetes.
    The questions you are asked online when applying for cover are quite intuitive so will generate further questions if necessary.
    If you prefer, you can call a sales agent prior to purchasing the insurance as all calls will be recorded. This can be really useful for multiple pre-existing issues.
    One thing I would say to members who have automatic insurance through their bank or credit card provider, please check that you are covered for any pre-existing conditions and what your level of cover is. In the US especially, bills can be huge if you are unfortunate enough to be admitted to intensive care and perhaps need an air ambulance to repatriate you home.
    If in doubt, contact the insurer. Safe travels.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Johnnyg
    Participant

    I tend to have voluntary blood tests at least once a year – I am also very privileged to be part of a research study group at the Royal Marsden Hospital for prostrate cancer.

    Thank you for that info, I have also recently completed the 5 year follow up study for prostae cancer but never thought of including that, lesson learned

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    ASK1945
    Participant

    One way to cover your back is to actually contact your GP and ask them what conditions you have that you should declare to the insurer. In the event of a medical claim by you, insurers will often contact your GP for your past medical history. There should be a note of your call and what the GP said to you. If not, your GP can tell the insurer when and if they are contacted by them what the conversation was.

    …………… and, in the UK, best of luck with that!

    1 user thanked author for this post.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Business Traveller December 2022 / January 2023 edition
Business Traveller December 2022 / January 2023 edition
Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription
To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below
Polls