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Travel Insurance

Looking for a good travel insurance to cover our trip this summer. We will be in France (Provence, Lyon & Chamonix) about 8 days prior to RS tour. I've read a thread about this a while back but could not find it. My husband & I are 59 & 60 yrs old respectively & in pretty good health. Any suggestions? I was going to buy World Nomads until I read multiple negative reviews about them.

Posted by
16683 posts

Travel insurance is specific to your age, length of trip, and most importantly, the state you live in. I use Insuremytrip.com and fill in those blanks to see what is offered. You wil need to supply the trip cost that you want to insure, but you need only include the prepaid, non-refundable costs. The medical and medivac coverage will depend on the policy chosen, rather than the trip cost.

This website will show both consumer and industry ratings. I look for, at a minimum, 98% pproval and an A or A+ rating.

Posted by
8164 posts

they all get terrible reviews. We had Alianz for our 10 week trip this fall. We are in our 70s. It was VERY expensive. In week 5 of the trip I broke my elbow and was hospitalized for surgery. I needed follow up care in Paris 3 weeks later to remove the cast and begin rehab before returning. The insurance paid the hospital directly and I have received notice that a check for the doctors visit, x-rays and PT I had in Paris will be forthcoming. That was about $350. The hospital and surgery was about $4000. This was all pretty straightforward. Most of the bad reviews I see are around trip cancellations and around issues of pre-existing conditions. They actually went through a little song and dance about that with us -- WHEN did we buy it, could we be cleared for pre-existing conditions -- while I am thinking, 'under what circumstances would a broken elbow 5 weeks into a trip so severe it requires surgery, be a pre-existing condition?' but it all worked out and they did pay the hospital or at least agreed with their business office to pay them before I left the hospital.

Posted by
4981 posts

Travel Guard has a number of different plans available. We've had to file one claim with them for a medical situation. Had to supply documentation to get reimbursed, but it was handled very well and have no complaints at all. Another thing to consider is medical evacuation insurance. Most travel policies have medical evacuation coverage. But they USUALLY will only evacuate you to the nearest hospital than can treat you. There is a company named "Med Jet Assist" that has a number of different membership plans. It in NOT medical insurance -- just med evacuation coverage. As long as you are more than 150 miles from home, they will, if medically necessary, fly you back to your home hospital in a medical jet with medical personnel. Google them and see what you think.

Posted by
8164 posts

We have medjet assist but it is important to know that coverage cannot be renewed after age 75.

Posted by
10 posts

Thank you everyone for your helpful information. I did go to InsureMyTrip website a couple of days ago & was overwhelmed with the number of plans available but in reviewing it tonight I feel I have a better understanding of which plan will work out best for our needs. I hope we'll never have to use it but having it certainly gives peace of mind. I was also happy to hear that people have actually had positive experiences with their claims. I also checked out the Med Jet Assist website as suggested & I think that I will give that serious consideration. A friend's husband suffered a heart attack while traveling in Europe recently - I don't know if he had any travel med-evacuation insurance but the incident really drives home the importance of having travel insurance for sure. He did not have any history of heart disease prior to their trip.

Posted by
8164 posts

I know of a local family where we last lived who had to mortgage their house to bring their daughter from Cairo to the US after a very serious auto accident; this was 15 years ago and I think it cost around 50K to air ambulance her home. Losing luggage or even missing the trip is trivial but medical evacuation and emergency care can bankrupt a family. If you can afford to take the trip you can afford to lose the cost of the trip (not like it of course, but it won't ruin you financially.) Medical costs have no upper limit.

Posted by
4981 posts

janettravels44: Med Jet Assist does have a plan for those 75-84 years of age. Called a diamond plan and is available on an annual basis.

Posted by
3240 posts

I self-insure my trips for trip cancelation, luggage...the small issues, but I get some medical insurance through travel guard just to back up my home health insurance (not quite Medicare age) and Med jet assist. Med jet Assist will fly you to your hospital of choice at home. After watching my husband be seriously ill last year and saved...I want my Boston hospital(s). To me the evacuation insurance is the most important. But we each have different priorities so you need to figure out what would be most important to you.

Posted by
10 posts

That is Exactly what I have decided to do for our upcoming trip. I'm considering Travel Guard Basic & then Medjet Assist 1 year membership since we will traveling to Mexico in November.

Posted by
8164 posts

We have friends who travel a lot who told me they couldn't get medjet assist past 75 -- good to know -- maybe they require health clearance they couldn't meet or something.

Posted by
4981 posts

janettravels44: One does have to undergo a medical screening and have a doctor sign off on it. That's probably what prevented your friends from getting it beyond age 75. But if one is in good health one should be able to get the diamond plan.

Posted by
1062 posts

This doesn't apply to you, but I am amazed by the number of people who are on Medicare that don't realize that Medicare does not cover you when you are out of the country. The Medicare supplement that I chose covers $60,000 over the life of the policy for out of country medical needs.

Posted by
8164 posts

I would be surprised at someone who would do international travel and NOT realize that medicare doesn't work outside the US. We also have a medigap policy that covers 60K outside the country but we also have a high deductible and it only covers for 60 days at a time. Our last 3 trips have been closer to 90 days each. This past trip I for the first time got comprehensive travel insurance and this was the trip where I managed to end up in the hospital with surgery on a badly broken elbow. The travel insurance came through (although the costs were still comparatively low to a similar problem in the US. My US orthopedic surgeon tells me that for what was paid $4000 in France would have cost over 50K in the US. So this time, having the insurance was a wash but I could have been more seriously injured and needed airlifting and more costly care and it would have been a lifesaver then.

I think if you read reviews of insurance they all sound terrible. Apparently letter of the law and fine print rule the day and lots of people are unhappy at not having covered what they thought was covered. We were lucky in that our non-refundable bookings in Brittany and the Ardeche were not enforced. I called the hotel in St. Malo, the resort near Paris and the hotel in Pont d'Arc and explained the situation and none of them charged us for the rooms. We did rebook with the same hotel in the Pont d'Arc just later and lost the value of the tickets to the caverns and bought new ones. So we only claimed medical expenses and those were all paid without hassle by Alianz.

Posted by
606 posts

If you don't want to take out a separate MedJet membership, you can also customize a TravelGuard policy to cover medical evacuation to the hospital of your choice.

Posted by
8164 posts

The advantage of medjet is that it is a yearly policy so if you travel several times a year e.g. we do at least one long European trip and a couple of trips to visit one of our kids on the other coast each year and so we are covered for those stateside trips as well. This was not something we worried about at 30 or 40 or 50 or 60 -- but at 70 we know it is increasingly likely that we will need such service. I also had this as part of my health insurance when I worked (for me but not my husband) but it is not included in my medigap policy.

Posted by
323 posts

We traveled to France Sept and Oct. 2016 and got travel insurance from USAA, that someone said was good. We are both in our mid to late 70's and had not ever purchased travel insurance, but like Janettraveles44 we thought we should get it this time. Didn't realize that medical evacuation only covers you to the closest hospital, (not that we wouldn't trust a hospital in Europe). We did not have to use it even though I did see a doctor to confirm I had the flu(what a bummer). We both had flu shots before we left.

Sorry to hear you had an accident, Janettraevles44, we enjoy your posts very much. Glad it turned out OK, but I'm sure it put a snag in your travel plans. We only had to cancel one stop and it wasn't a "confirmed with no refund". We will look into buying insurance to getting us back home, as we also travel across the US to see our children and grandchildren on both coasts.

Posted by
6619 posts

Not to go off on a tangent (very far at least), I don't really see the value of a MedJet type policy for travel in places like France, where health care is at least as good as here. Why wouldn't I expect as good care in a Paris hospital as at home?

I do appreciate this discussion, especially Janet's recent experience. We went to a Budapest doctor a few years ago for something much less serious. Once we found the clinic, well outside the tourist areas, my wife got good care for a low price (no insurance involved). Thankfully that's the only medical attention we've needed abroad over the years. Knock on wood.

Posted by
8164 posts

If you break your hip and need extended hospitalization, you may want to get home. If you have some other very serious illness or injury, again you may want to go home. I was happy, since I had 5 weeks to run on my trip, to have surgery in France and follow up care in Paris and lugging around a cast for a broken elbow is annoying but doesn't prevent one from enjoying say a month in Paris, but if I had broken my neck which might well have happened I would have wanted to be flown to a hospital at home. Medjet claims to transport you from a hospital anywhere in the world to a hospital of your choice generally your home hospital. I have no idea how well they do this and hope never to find out.