21 Nov It won’t happen to me
How many times have we heard this assertion and yet, unfortunately, it turns out that these things really do happen.
« Are you sure », the hospital receptionist asked. « Yes », the bewildered RVer said. « We have travel insurance to protect ourselves. »
« Why does your policy read no coverage for preexisting conditions relating to an illness you were being treated for 90 days before you began your trip? »
« Well », the RVer said, « I figured out there was not much chance of blood pressure causing us a problem so I took the least expensive premium to cover us. »
« Sorry », the receptionist said. « The emergency heart measures we performed on your wife were life-threathening and related to her elevated blood pressure and we could not wait to perform the procedure. You owe us $60,000 in US funds. Your insurer has denied coverage. How will you be paying for that? »
That’s the reality of the U.S. healthcare system. Time and time again, Canadians face this scenario thinking : It won’t happen to me. In many cases, life savings are wiped out and homes are sold to pay the daunting bills.
Here are five tips to make sure this never happens to you:
Price should never be a factor in buying a top-quality travel insurance coverage.
Make sure you ask your broker what the pre-existing clauses mean in your policy before you leave the country. You may find the extra few dollars you spend will make the difference between peace of mind or a devastating unpaid claim.
Buy from an independant broker who can offer you more than a few companies so he can shop your medical condition to a company who can not only cover you for that condition after you leave the country, but look for the best price as well.
Most large group plans from large associations do not shop if around but offer their off-the-shelf plan only.
Ask the broker how your claim will be paid outside the country so there are no surprises. Does the company pay the claim directly to the hospital or doctor or do you pay up front and get reimbursed when you get home?
You will need a large limit on your credit card if it is the latter as most hospitals won’t perform treatment until they know the claim will be paid.
Ask how you extend your trip if you decide to stay longer. How is that done and does your policy even allow it?
This is the most important: What does your medical history say at your family physician’s office in Canada? What you think it says and what is actually says can be two different things.
When your insurance company checks for any pre-existing stability to substantiate a claim, the company writes your doctor to verify what you told the broker over the phone. If it differs from what was reported, it’s that simple: Claim denied.
It’s consumer beware. Follow these tips prior to leaving and you will enjoy your holidays, assured your coverage will be there when you need it.
Happy and safe travels!
Jackie Beaudoin, Leclerc Insurance and Financial Services
Source : Canadian RVing – November , 2018