The big question is what kind of coverage is provided on your credit card. Some offer basic assistance benefits, while others will build in a medical evacuation program. Remember–the devil is always in the details!
“Trusting your credit card travel coverage over an overseas health insurance policy is like trusting a canoe to get you to the Cayman Islands.”
Here are questions to ask about your travel insurance coverage on your credit card:
1. What are the details? Always read the fine print. Remember: The big print giveth and the small print taketh away!
2. Who do I contact if I get sick or injured and need coverage? The last thing you want when you are in need of medical care and/or evacuation is a voice message. You urgently need to speak to a live person who specializes in your concerns, not someone in the company who only knows how to cancel stolen credit cards.
3. Do I know how much coverage I will need? This is vital since credit card companies are not in the international health insurance business. Using a well-known international health insurance brokerage firm that specializes in overseas health insurance plans will give you much needed peace of mind.
4. Who pays for my health-care bills? Does your credit card company take care of your bills upfront, or do you have to put your bills on your credit card and get reimbursed later.
5. Will I get reimbursed if I have to pay upfront for my medical care? Remember, the overseas medical staff is not going to wait until your credit card company pays. The evacuation team and the medical staff overseas want their money when service is rendered!
6. Will my credit card company provide me with the best hospitals and doctors for my medical needs, or will I go to the “general” population hospital that may not be “A” rated? By going with one of our short-term travel plans you will be routed to the best hospitals/medical facilities available. One international insurance company we work with bypassed a hospital in inland China and evacuated a patient to Bangkok, Thailand so they could get the right medical care for his injuries. They did this in spite of the extra cost to themselves, the insurance company. Would your credit card company do this for you?
7. Will I pay a deductible on my credit card benefits? We have plans that have no deductibles and some with deductibles. Our evacuation plans have no deductible or co-pays.
8. Will my pre-existing medical conditions be covered? Our Excursion and Trip Protector plans cover pre-existing conditions. You can see these plans at www.overseashealthinsurance.com . Most other plans we carry provide some coverage for pre-existing conditions.
9. Will my credit card coverage bring my mortal remains back to the USA and pay for the red tape and government paperwork? Our international health plans do this without a penny out of your loved one’s pocket. Most credit card companies, even when they offer it, offer limited medical care and evacuation coverage like medical evacuation which is often capped at $20,000 or less, and medical care is capped at $10,000. On average medical evacuation costs from Brazil to the Mayo Clinic in Florida is around $26,000, and this is not for a major emergency. Another client in 2009 was evacuated from Algeria to Italy for a cost of $82,000. Medical evacuation may not always be this expensive, but we see very few evacuations that are below $20,000. Peace of mind is what you are purchasing when you purchase a travel plan from a brokerage that specializes in overseas health travel insurance and we do that here at Good Neighbor Insurance. Would you buy a pair of flip-flops to run a 10k marathon? Of course not! What you want is the right amount and right type of travel insurance coverage. The last thing you want to worry about is how you are going to pay your medical bills while you are fighting to recover your health.