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Travel insurance—how to avoid medical claims problems

There have been several threads in the past weeks asking about travel insurance. This article about filing claims popped up on Elliot Advocacy website. Hopefully it will help someone with medical claim problems or to avoid problems. Good learning experience for us all. Filing a claim - what can go wrong

Edit: try this link instead

Posted by
5624 posts

I couldn’t open the link.
However, I have had several medical claims paid 100%, none ever rejected. I will be submitting another one shortly. You need to have a doctor’s letter and details of the medical care they gave you such as diagnosis, tests, medications. Ability to continue on the the trip or tour also should be included. When my spouse had major emergency surgery right before a trip
they wanted the surgical notes. I sent it all. Be very thorough in gathering the paperwork.

Posted by
5486 posts

No documentation, no reimbursement. Keep in mind that typical travel medical insurance reimburses you for your medical expenses. Elliot says:

Keep organized documentation of all expenses

This includes invoices for medical treatments, additional flights,
hotels, food, etc. If you believe your insurance policy will cover the
reimbursement, then you’d better get a receipt. Insurance companies do
not reimburse without itemized receipts. If, as in Brooks’ case, you
can’t get a formal copy of an invoice or treatment explanation, use
your smartphone and take as many scans as you can before leaving.

Posted by
5284 posts

Maybe another piece of advice from that story -- know what your insurance covers ... and doesn't cover. Don't just "assume" ....

Posted by
10888 posts

On a good note, my wife had minor surgery in Hungary once. I filed it with my US carrier and they didn't reject it, but the cost was less than my deductible. In the States would have cost many times more than the deductible. At least it went towards fulfilling my deductible. I get my dental work done there and buy prescriptions there for less than the covered cost in the States. So what you need is coverage for the big ticket occurrences. I have a policy for that and evacuation, etc which I found to be cheaper to buy on an annual basis than by the trip because I usually go 3 times a year.

As for the person in the story, would have been the same in the US with no paperwork to support the claim. Had nothing to do with the insurance company. I see a doctor in the US that refuses to process insurance, I have to file it myself and for that I need a diagnosis, treatment and receipt. Common sense.

Posted by
1009 posts

I've made it a habit to review all my insurance coverage a month or so before I leave. That includes health and rental car insurance. Things change. I was surprised once when I discovered my (former) primary credit card no longer covered rental car insurance. I also discovered none of my credit cards cover me for rental car outside of Canada and the US and my personal car insurance policy does not either.

Posted by
10888 posts

Here's one to keep in mind, because people aren't sue crazy in most of the world you will find few small establishments with accident insurance. If you tumble off the balcony there is no property insurance to cover you and using probably won't be an option ... it's a good thing.