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Multiple Travel Insurance Policies?

I'm taking several cruises in the next year. I'm on Medicare with a Plan F supplement, and I've purchased the cruise line's insurance for each cruise I'm taking. I'm increasingly-concerned, however, that my Plan F (primary insurance) plus the cruise line's insurance (secondary insurance) may not be enough to cover a severe illness, especially since the cruise line medical benefit in each case is only $100,000. I'm considering buying an additonal Geo-blue Trekker policy as a back-up, but I haven't been able to find out if that policy would pay after the benefits of the other two policies are exhausted. (Geo-blue will only say that their policy is "secondary," without addressing the issue of having more than one secondary policy.) Does anyone have knowledge or experience with this situation? I see conflicting information when I Google this question, and I'd appreciate any advice I can get.

Posted by
6383 posts

It's not your primary issue, but I found that my travel insurance would not consider a claim unless I provided a Medicare-refused claim as part of my submission. Does the cruise company insurance cover evacuation and companion evacuation? I don't know what Geo-blue is, but if it's not a product that is designed (from the ground up) to be a tertiary coverage, I would expect the insurance companies to fight over who has to pay, not a good thing for you.

In some cases, the "product" provided by a tour company may be (for regulatory reasons, like some auto CDWs) be specifically labelled as "this is not 'insurance'". Any chance that's the case?

I'd also make sure that one cruise company cannot claim that another company's coverage is still in force when you make a claim against their policy! You may know that most travel insurance will only cover actual financial losses, implying your advancing the money. Now, I would expect a cruise company product to be laxer on you than an open-market product.

I have bought from both sources of insurance, and it's worth remembering that insurance from the trip/tour/cruise provider is not likely to cover default or bankruptcy of the provider. (I know that's not what you asked about.)

Posted by
7138 posts

I don't the exact answer to your question, but I would like to propose an alternative. If you are hurt or extremely ill while on your cruise what you really need is to get back to your home hospital and get treatment there. As soon as you are in the US, your worries over the cost of the illness are mostly eliminated with Medicare.

A Medjet policy might be the best solution for you. I've included a link below. If you are hospitalized overseas and doctor confirms, you are transported to your home hospital via air ambulance at no additional cost. There are some requirements so you will want to read through it, but I think it would be the solution. Get home before any medical bills get up to $100,000.

Posted by
366 posts

Since it looks like you will be traveling a lot, you might want to consider an annual plan rather than a patchwork of insurance from different sources on different trips. I am 71 and paid about $500 for an annual plan with Allianz. It will cover all my trips, including any domestic trips (for instance, it provides insurance on rental cars domestically.). The most important part of travel insurance is medical evacuation, and the annual plan covers that on every trip.

Posted by
3041 posts

I'm no expert on European health costs, but I do know that they are substantially less than the inflated costs we are accustomed to here in the US. Friend had a dog bite ( their own dogs had a tussle) that became badly infected on about day two of their trip, before boarding a European river cruise, (I think in Amsterdam). Because they came in from out of the country, he was isolated in am intensive care type setting for three days. The wife had to lay a credit card down, expecting the worse....
The bill was around $3000.00 total! In the US, it would have been at least ten times that. And Kaiser did cover it, once they were home.
Safe travels!