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Author: bad758

Joined: 4/28/2010
Posts: 27
Trips Taken: 20
Traveler Since: 2001

March 19, 2012

While traveling last November on the Romance of the Rhine and Mosel trip,  I had a medical emergency and had to go to the emergency room in Antwerp, Belgium, where I was immediately evaluated, had a CT scan, prescription written, and released.  This time I did not buy the insurance with GCT.  However, I did submit the charges to Medicare and my secondary insurance (Blue Choice) when I returned from the trip.  Medicare, of course, does not cover travel abroad, but Blue Choice will pay all but $50.  We had several discussions on the ship about whether or not such emergencies are covered at home.  So now I know and thought I would share with other travelers.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 962
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

March 20, 2012

Well, you were very fortunate that your secondary insurer covered your medical expenses abroad.  Not every insurer does.  But Trip Mate, and other travel insurance companies, cover a lot more than just medical expenses abroad.  They include trip cancellation insurance, evacuations, lost baggage, transporting bodies home (an unfortunate necessity sometimes), etc.

I would never never travel out of the US without purchasing trip insurance, if only for peace of mind.  Even before I was medicare-eligable.

Author: franally

Joined: 4/9/2012
Posts: 2
Trips Taken: 14
Countries Visited:

63 countries and willing to add many more!! 40 cruises, with 41 in Mar 2011

Traveler Since: 2001

April 12, 2012

On my Jun 2012 trip to Ireland my friend was put in hosp. day after arrival.  After 12 days in hosp. sent back to US with a private nurse.  That plane trip was $18,000, all covered by GCT ins.  Do not go anywhere without ins!!!

 

Author: gobuckeyes

Joined: 7/7/2010
Posts: 157
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2005

April 12, 2012

FWIW, We go on several trips a year and find GCT/OAT's insurance very (lets say) "pricey". We really only want the medical part anyway.

Justy sayin': We buy Travel Guard's MedEvac annual plan. The price is based on your age, currently we paid $372 (total, not per person). It covers us both of us for all the trips we take per the 12 months of the policy. We have no idea how good it is and we hope we'll never have to find out.

http://buy.travelguard.com/tgi2/proc/launch.aspx?br=tgdirect&intcmp=clc-001-Nav-2-ProductList&arc=000329&st=36&cn=1&dn=1&pcode=MEDANN1&plan=166384&prc=008638

 

Author: porkchop55

Joined: 2/6/2011
Posts: 68
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

Great Britain, Israel, Italy, Spain, Turkey, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Tunisia, China, Peru, Canada, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Fiji, American Samoa, Australia, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea

Traveler Since: 2004

June 14, 2012

 

In April we took an OAT trip to Israel with a friend.   On the first night there in Tele Aviv while walking to the welcome diner she tripped and hit her head on a post.  She ended up going to the hospital, getting 10 + stitches for a cut above her eye, and spending the night in the hospital.    Fortunately she had purchased the GCT insurance.  I have taken 8 GCT/OAT trips and always purchased insurance but this was my first experience with anyone having to use it.  Here is what I learned:

 

1.     Your Trip Director will take care of you.  Our OAT TD took very good care of our fiend.  He could not leave the group so he got one of the English speaking taxi drivers that OAT uses to pick people up at the airport to take her to the hospital.  He stayed  with her all night to translate and keep everyone updated on what was going on.   He then took her back to the hotel the next morning.   OAT did not pay for this service, she paid the driver about $400 cash the next day.  A week later in Jerusalem the TD took our friend to a doctor to get the stitches out.  She also had to pay for this and the taxi to get to and from the doctors office.  

2.     You must pay all expensed so bring a credit card.  Luckily the hospital did let her our without paying the bill, so after the group got back to the hotel that evening the TD took me to the hospital to help me pay the bill of about $1400.  I paid it with my credit card because our friend did not bring a  credit card on the trip. 

3.     Keep all your receipts.   You can claim all cost including the taxi rides to pay bill and the doctor’s office, so keep all of you receipts and if they are not in English write what they were for on them.  Our TD also made sure the hospital and doctor’s receipt listed what services they had performed written in English.

4.     GCT has a report form you should get.  At the end of the trip our TD took all the receipts and filled out a form telling what happened and itemizing all of the expenses and their cost in dollars.  This form is submitted to Trip Mate along with their claim form.

 

I don’t know if all TD’s provide this level of service and support and if GCT would do the same if you had other insurance. 

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 962
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

June 14, 2012

I have reported in the past on both forums about the experience my friend and I had when we had to cancel our Russia Revealed trip in 2007.  She had just been diagnosed with cancer and needed surgery.  We called GCT to cancel and then Trip Mate to get the forms.  When we sent in the completed forms, they were accompanied with documentation from the attending physicians and surgeons.  And we got back all the money we had spent with the exception of the payment for the insurance and a small handling fee.  No problems.  And no voucher.

Now, I have to go through the same process on my own account.  I have just had to cancel my forthcoming trip to the UK scheduled to depart on July 4th.  The person I talked with at GCT canceled my trip and asked if I wanted it put back in my Travel Planner, which I did.  I then spoke with Trip Mate, and they sent me the forms by e-mail.  One is for the surgeon to fill out.

I have never had to use either Trip Mate or Travel Guard insurance because of something that happened on a tour, but on the Tuscany trip one of the women stumbled getting off the bus and suffered a hairline fracture on her ankle.  The PD took her to a clinic where they x-rayed and then put her in a walking cast.  She and her husband were offered the choice of going home at that point, but they were traveling with his recently widowed sister who was not covered to accompany them.  So they continued, and she managed very well.

 

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 515
Trips Taken: 8
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

June 14, 2012

"I don’t know if all TD’s provide this level of service and support and if GCT would do the same if you had other insurance."

That PD sounds wonderful and I don't know either if allother PDs would do the same. However, I can't imagine any GCT/OAT PD refusing to help because a traveler had a different insurance plan.

Pauline,

I'm sorry to read that you've had to cancel your trip. I hope all will be well soon and the problem solved so that you can rebook and travel again.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 962
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

June 14, 2012

Luisa, thanks for your good wishes.  I'm sure I'll be able to travel again very soon.  One of my first thoughts was that I wouldn't be able to report whether that $1,000 I paid for the upgrade to Premium Economy was worth it.

Author: hootie

Joined: 3/7/2010
Posts: 126
Trips Taken: 8
Countries Visited:

China, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Transylvania, Bulgaria, Chech Republic, Slavakia, Bratislava, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Crete, Greece, Turkey, Istanbul, Italy, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Russia, Tahiti & French Polynesia/Society Islands, Hawaiian Islands, Bermuda, Alaska, Costa Rica, Mexico, United States, Panama Canal, Caribbean (extensively), Canada/Nova Scotia, Canary Islands, Gibralter, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Vatican City, France, Holland, Belgium, Tasmania, Australia, New Zealand, Ukraine, Russia.

Traveler Since: 2001

June 14, 2012

Pauline...

Just like luisa, I too am sorry you had to cancel your UK trip.  I know you must have been looking forward to it for a long time & are disappointed, but you have to take care of YOU.  Hopefully, you won't lose alot of money from cancelling.  When you are better, maybe a "last minute deal" will spark your fancy & you'll be off.  I hope so. 

Take care of yourself and keep us, your "forum friends", posted.

hootie

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
Trips Taken: 7
Countries Visited:

43 of the 50 United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, England , France , Italy , Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe. South Africa), Israel, Canada, the Carribbean, Peru, going to Egypt & Jordan in February 2011 ( canceled due to the unrest there, but I will take this trip later!), China, Russia, Kenya, Turkey, Greece, Malta, Sicily.

Traveler Since: 2007

June 14, 2012

I agree with everything hootie has to say. I enjoy reading your postings, Pauline. My middle name almost was "Pauline".  My grandmother's full name was Pauline Margaret Rose ---- ( back in the "day" when Catholics still gave 3 names)....anyway, my first name is Nancy and my maiden name was Anderson. They almost named me Nancy Pauline Anderson, but then they decided, for whatever reason, that that was too "much" of a name, so they shortened the middle name to just Paul. When I was younger, I was appalled that my middle name was a "boy's name", but now I love it, and think it is quite unique. Anyway, Pauline, I, too, hope that your medical issues get resolved or minimized, so that you can resume your worldly travels!! Traveling Mercies in the future!!!

Author: grammyflo

Joined: 3/15/2010
Posts: 168
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2002

June 14, 2012

Pauline, so sorry you had to cancel UK.  Life happens when we are planning something else.

Just got our visas back for Russia Revealed and I remembered your comment on your pictures.

Well, if we get into Russia with these pictures I will again think of you.

Hope all goes well.  Keep up the good fight. 

 

Flo.

 

 

Author: kba

Joined: 6/19/2010
Posts: 65
Trips Taken: 5
Traveler Since: 2009

June 15, 2012

Pauline:

I so enjoy your posts and you are full of good ideas.  Get well, be well and let's hope we all travel together in the future. 

Kim

Author: dbielanski

Joined: 6/7/2012
Posts: 4
Trips Taken: 1
Traveler Since: 2012

June 15, 2012

It's great to hear that the trip insurance paid well for those of you needing to use it.  I am concerned about the direction "gobuckeyes" took, especially since none of us seem to have claims experience with them. We all know the adage, "You get what you pay for." Does anyone out there have claims experience with that insurance?

Author: jayge

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 145
Trips Taken: 10
Traveler Since: 2004

June 15, 2012

Pauline and trip to the U.K

Sorry to hear about your trip having to be canceled and hope things go well enough for you to go soon.

Best wishes, Jayge

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2007

June 16, 2012

 Insurance is a big topic for most travelers.  There are some things one needs to know about insurance, so as to avoid paying for coverages one does not need or want, as well as purchasing the policy that will give one the least aggrevation should one have to make a claim.

1-Is the policy a primary or secondary payer?  Many policies are secondary insurers, meaning they will pay only after any other insurance you have will pay.  In some cases, that means having your homeowner or even auto insurance paying for some things before they will pay.  Secondary coverage increases the time it will take for a claim to be paid and certainly increases the amount of paperwork.  Trip Mate( the insurance Grand Circle provides ), is primary for their cancel for any reason, but secondary for other coverages.

2-Do you really need all the coverages you are paying for?  Many top of the line policies will offer coverages that you will never have a need for depending on your trip.  A good example is evacuation insurance.  If you are going to a first world, and even some third world countries, will you really need $1,000,000 evacuation insurance, for example?  Likely not, so why pay for something you don't need, when a lses generous coverage limit will be more than adequate. Another goodexample is the 'cancel for any reason clause.'  We have found that to be a luxury which is rarely needed.  Examining the policies that do not offer this, one discovers that most of the covered reasons( natural disaster, illness, death, transportation delay of more than 24 hours for example ) are really the reasons one would have to cancel a trip, so why pay for something you will never need.  In short, decide that you're going on the trip and will cancel, essentially only if an Act of God requires it, and those acts are universally covered reasons.

3-Do you need only medical insurance and not a package policy, or only trip cancellation or baggage insurance and not medical?  The package plans sold don't give you that opportunity, but a knowledgeable travel broker will.  Dan Drennan Managing Director of the Travel Insurance Center, 1-866-979-6753 is a travel insurance broker frequently mentioned in International Travel News, a travel publication written by travelers for travelers, with no professional writers getting freebies to take the trips they write about.  Of course, there are other travel brokers you can call, but we mention his name because we've heard it so much by so many pleased clients.  If you simply want medical insurance, ask him about the Betty James policy, a bare bones policy offering good coverage at a rock bottom price.

4-Shop your policies, if you do it yourself and don't go through a broker.  All policies are not created equal, and all certainly do not cost the same.

Author: kba

Joined: 6/19/2010
Posts: 65
Trips Taken: 5
Traveler Since: 2009

June 17, 2012

Thank you Svncontinents. What a good and informative response.   I have, in the past, just accepted the cost of the insurance as presented.  I am going to start researching. 

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
Trips Taken: 7
Countries Visited:

43 of the 50 United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, England , France , Italy , Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe. South Africa), Israel, Canada, the Carribbean, Peru, going to Egypt & Jordan in February 2011 ( canceled due to the unrest there, but I will take this trip later!), China, Russia, Kenya, Turkey, Greece, Malta, Sicily.

Traveler Since: 2007

June 17, 2012

In response to svncontinents:  Your point #1:  I have used the TripMate (GC) insurance for other than "cancel for any reason" reason (deat in family, illness of traveling partner), and there was never any request or suggestion from them to file with a primary provider first and they would be the secondary. Just the paperwork, and the refund was quickly taken care of.

Your point #2: The evacuation part may not be needed often (thank goodness), but it only takes once, and you might wish you had it. I know someone whose mother died while over in India, and it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars (and tons of paperwork and red tape) to get her body back to the United States. They didn't have any trip insurance for this.Also you stated that the "cancel for any reason" is rarely needed and is a luxury. Maybe for you. I have had to cancel two GC trips for "uncovered" personal reasons, and thank goodness I had the insurance, so I got credit to use later, rather than losing the entire trip money.

 

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 515
Trips Taken: 8
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

June 19, 2012

Edwatts: "I agree with Nancy about evacuation insurance...I can afford to lose my deposit much easier than I can afford to pay for medical evacuation expenses or return of body in case of death"

I agree. On my last trip I took just the medical and evacuation (about $100), but it was to Europe, not sure what I will do when I go to Africa. I told my son that If I died there to leave the body. It was a joke, but I wonder if it's possible to be cremated or buried in a foreign country.

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2007

June 20, 2012

 kimarmondo- glad to have been of service.  Travel insurance can be daunting if one is not necessarily educated about some of its nuances.  We got most of our 'education' from reading articles in International Travel News, a magazine written by travelers for travelers.  They have various departments, of which travel insurance is one.  Most of the advice we post is simply repeating what we learned from that publication.  You can write for a sample copy, and if you like it, subscribe.  We generally shop insurance ourselves, after arming ourself with the information we gleaned from ITN, but even still, it can be a daunting task.  ITN has recommended on numerous occasions, that Dan Drennan, managing director of the Travel Insurance Center is a good resource.  They are brokers, and what they can do is both explain policy differences, and get you a policy with exactly what you want.  Call them at 1-866-979-6753.  We don't get kickbacks or anything from them, but they do know what they're doing, and they'll get you a policy that you want and need, for the best price.

 

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2007

June 20, 2012

 to all who replied and took exception to our initial comments about evacuation insurance, it may have been misunderstood.  We wern't recommending that one do without the insurance; just that one pay attention to the covered limits.  For example, do you really need $1,000,000 evacuation insurance for a trip either to Eastern or Western Europe?  Likely not, but many package policies will give you a set amount that may be quite higher than you will ever require for your trip, should you need it.  After all, where are you going to be evacuated to if you're in Eurpoe?  Not likely very far.  But go to Antarctica, why that's another whole story.  So you likely will not want to pay for $1,000,000 evacuation insurance if you're going to Eurpoe, when no more than $25,000 or $50,000 will cover you just fine.    And know the difference between Evacuation and Repatriation Insurance.  They're not the same, but most people think they are and that's a mistake.  Also, where will you be evacuated to?  Many policies will indicate in your coverage that they'll evacuate you to the nearest appropriate facility.   We booked a trip to Nepal, and we avoided such policies like the plague, for obvious reasons. Some policies give you, not the insurance company the choice.  But you pay for that.  But you have to know so that you can make an intelligent decision.  Read your policy before you buy blindly.  And the best advice we can give is for you to shop policies BEFORE you book your trip, so you'll know those answers.  Hardly anyone we have found does that.  We got that advice from reading ITN.  Which is why we usually don't take the Grand Circle Policy, among other reasons.  Not that they're bad policies; there are just better ones available for less, in consideration of the coverages offered.

And know whether your policy is primary or secondary.  Simply because someone may have had a claim with a secondary insurer that gave them no problem for that particular coverage does not mean every coverage of that policy will be the same.  Be forewarned.  You do pay more for primary coverage.  Whether or not you need it or want is your decision.  All we're saying is that you should know.

As a final comment. the broker we mentioned to kimarmondo, Dan Drennan, has created a policy called the "Betty James Policy," named after the person for whom it was created.  It's a very creative and very inexpensive policy that just provides for medical coverage.  Cheaper than anything offered in a package plan.  We have never taken it, because we wanted the other coverages, but someone may find it attractive.

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