Planning for our upcoming Italy trip and trying to figure out anything new we need to have. Wondering especially about health insurance. Any insights appreciated.
I assume you mean Trip Insurance?
We always take it out - we have USAA, so we always use them. Be sure you are comparing apples to apples for coverage - you want Medical Evacuation for sure and know what you are allowed to cancel the trip for - ie: death, sickness, injury, etc. If you are an USAA member, they have the best policy.
If you're an AAA member, they also have a good policy.
Most of the reputable companies will cover Covid issues.
Travel Insured and Allianz are both good.
Insuremytrip.com is another option.
Becky, it is a little hard to answer this question without knowing what coverage that you currently have.
Here is my thinking. Everyone needs the following:
1. Health coverage that will cover urgent or emergency care. Check what your current health policy covers. If it doesn't cover this overseas, then you will need to find an alternative. Travel insurance can provide this sort of medical coverage.
2.Evacuation coverage. Some travel insurance or even credit cards may have some version of this. Medjet is the provider that I use for this type of coverage, but I know that there are others out there.
When I buy insurance, I am always looking at the "worst case scenario" and what could I afford to pay out of pocket and what insurance would I need to cover the costs that are beyond what I could afford.
If you are Medicare age you will need health insurance, as Medicare doesn't cover you out of the US.
When I called the USAA- affiliated travel insurance co, they told me COVID is considered an illness , and all coverages under illness apply.
If you want pre-existing condition coverage, you need to purchase insurance right after your first booking.
Check the coverage you have with the credit card used for booking.
These policies are 45+ pages, and it's really difficult to read everything online and truly understand your coverage.
I've found squaremouth.com (similar to insuremytrip.com) also helpful in comparing insurance policies. It has handy filters for covid coverage, preexisting conditions, etc. And as mentioned above, your needs will vary by what coverage you already have.
Depending on when and where you are traveling, you may want to verify how, or if, your insurance coverage is impacted when traveling to a country under a State Department travel advisory.
Just a quick clarification on the Medicare comment above. Traditional Medicare doesn't cover you out of the US. Many people, however, purchase supplemental coverage through gap insurance or have Medicare Advantage plans. Those plans may have overseas coverage.
The most important thing you can do is spend the time to read through your existing coverage through all of your health plans and what is offered through your credit card. Only then, do you know what you need to purchase.
As @Pat mentioned, I agree, it is so hard to decipher the pages and pages of 'fine print' associated with policies. I always feel like there is a 'gotcha' clause in there somewhere that will void coverage.
Also, I was surprised to find that there are a couple of policies that come up now with a preexisting conditions waiver, if insurance is purchased before the final trip payment (in my case, Trawick and Itravelinsured).
If you are looking just for medical insurance, not trip insurance, look at GeoBlue. I have not used them yet but plan to next year for an annual policy. Others on the forum have reported good experiences. Use the search feature to find old threads; there are many from June when RS tours opened up. Most comprehensive trip insurance policies will not cover pre-existing conditions if the policy is not bought within a very limited timeframe from your initial deposit. As with all travel related insurance, read the fine print carefully.
You should also consider Medical Evacuation Insurance. If you are COVID Long Hauler, you may want an evacuation policy that will help transport you back home for recovery. See Insure My Trip discussion:
Emergency Medical Coverage: a sick traveler must see a doctor and/or
go to the hospital during a trip.
Emergency Medical Evacuation Coverage: in rare cases, a sick traveler
requires an emergency medical evacuation to the nearest appropriate
hospital or back home for recuperation.
Note that Medicare Supplemenetal policies that cover foreign travel have a $50k life time limit.