When to Call

Fall 2006 CSANews Issue 60  |   Posted date : May 30, 2007.Back to list

Bird talk - Le Jaseur
Dear Bird Talk,
I am concerned about Medipac travel insurance. The policy on page 2 states as follows:

“You or someone on Your behalf (if you are unable to do so) MUST call Medipac Assist BEFORE You seek Medical Treatment.”

If my wife or I suddenly had an emergency, such as on of us collapsing, we would want to call 911 immediately. But the policy says that we must call Medipac Assist first! This could be a life threatening situation and such a time delay is not acceptable.

I do not wish to have such a policy requirement in my travel insurance.I think that the CSA should start providing its members with a more balanced assessment of all the major health insurance plans that are available, as well as just Medipac.

Gordon Ford

Response:
The first thing to do in any medical emergency is to call 911. Hopefully this will work in the area in which you are travelling. If not, Medipac Assist will find you an ambulance and/or a facility to address your problem. The Medipac policy requires that you call before seeking medical treatment. This “medical treatment” is defined in the policy as“prescribed by a physician” and does not apply to getting to the hospital or to the doctor. This clause is there for two reasons. The first is to prevent people from jumping the wait list in Canada and going to the U.S. to get treatment on the insurance companies “nickel”; the second is to prevent extensive and unnecessary testing and sometimes even an unnecessary operation. As you are probably aware, the U.S. health-care system is somewhat predatory when it comes to billing for tests and other procedures. Part of Medipac Assist’s job is to prevent abuse in these areas.

This clause is in every policy that I have read, which includes most of the insurance providers.

So, now I want you to read any other insurance policy. You may have trouble finding one, though. Is it not strange, that of the seven Early Bird plans in the market this year, Medipac is the only one to send you a policy. Medipac’s policy says that only 75% of covered charges will be paid, if we are not notified in advance. (This is of course waived [by Medipac] if you were unconscious or unable to call). Almost all other policies

DENY your claim or limit payment to $10-25,000. Not much use for a $400,000 hospital bill. I believe our clause is one of the most generous in the insurance industry.

CSA could never compare every policy, and every clause, and every plan, and every assistance company, and every price, and every attitude to payment of a claim, in every year. Most companies change their plans every year, and effective, hard hitting advice and comments would likely be construed as slander.

At Medipac, we are very passionate about our business. We care about our clients and we try to educate them to avoid the pitfalls of poor travel insurance. We see almost 100,000 snowbirds face-to-face at our many meetings in the US and Canada who tell us what they think in public. Although I am obviously very biased, I believe that Medipac is the only insurance policy you should buy, even at twice the price of other company’s plans. Fortunately, our prices are among the best. Hope this helps and thank you for writing.

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