Sometimes, You Should Refuse to Wait

Fall 2009 CSANews Issue 72  |  Posted date : Sep 22, 2009.Back to list

There is not much that is more frustrating than waiting in a doctor's office to have your appointment…you know, your appointment that was booked for half an hour ago or perhaps even an hour ago, or longer. No! I spoke too soon, how about waiting for hours and hours in the emergency room of a hospital to have your emergency treated? I have waited for many, many hours in both of these situations for both myself and other family members and it drives me to the edge of insanity. Why should we have to sit with all of these other sick people for extended periods of time and expose ourselves to other illnesses and sicknesses that we do not have? The hospitals, in particular, are filled with dangerous bacteria and viruses that can be far more potent than what we actually have. There must be a better solution than these endless waits in crowded conditions. They say that they are triaging you, but you have to wait for extended periods to be triaged, too. A lineup formed to see where you will be in the next lineup! And then they put you into a little room or cubicle and make you wait some more!

We may not be able to directly impact these waiting periods, but there are others that can have a dramatic effect that are under our own control. There has been a disturbing trend developing among a small number of our snowbird clients, while they are away, to wait before seeking medical treatment or advice. We reviewed many individual claim cases and our investigations had surprising results, at least to us. People said that they waited to seek medical attention because:

  • They thought that they would not be able to buy insurance next year, if they had a claim;
  • They did not want to lose the claim-free discount on their insurance;
  • They worried that the foreign doctor would not understand their condition;
  • They worried about the cost because of their high deductible;
  • They worried that the insurance would not cover any of the costs at all; and
  • They worried that they would be forced to go home if they had a claim.

This is a terrible strategy, no matter what the reason! It all came to our attention after finding several very complicated hospital procedures that we thought were unusual. They were unusual because there appeared to be no warning before these major complications arose. We now know that there was lots of warning, but the early signs of trouble were ignored or suppressed for one of the above reasons.

Russian roulette, I am sure, is an exhilarating game to play, but none of us would ever even consider participating. These "waits" to seek treatment or advice are very similar in nature and are just as dangerous. Medipac is at the end of your phone line 24 hours a day. Call us! There is no cost and there is no risk. Our medical staff deals with this every day. All of the above reasons to wait are nonsense and your health and your life are far, far more important. If we can catch a symptom early, there is a very easy fix, most of the time, and you will not have to worry about what "it" is, either.

So…we have to deal with this list of "wait" issues with real facts. Of course, you can buy insurance next year. Fewer than 1% of people cannot buy Medipac and they should not be travelling anyway. It may be a little more expensive next year, but that is a small price to pay for your health. And your claim-free discount will remain the same if you purchased MedipacPLUS. In fact, in many cases, your discount will increase by 1% because you have one more year of our Loyalty Credit.

Medipac's doctors and nurses are very aware of foreign, and especially U.S., health-care systems and their protocols. We are here to help you through this maze and to get you the proper care on a timely basis. In the U.S., the longer you stay in hospital the more money they make, the more tests they can run, the more drugs they can sell and the more likely you are to catch something else. We are great believers in fixing your health problem properly, and allowing you to get back to enjoying your life.

If you purchased a high deductible, such as $1,000, $5,000 or $10,000, you usually had other coverage or were very confident that you would not have a problem while you were away. Delaying investigation of a health symptom can be far more costly. Calling Medipac is FREE. We can discuss your symptoms with you, although we may also advise you to visit a doctor or clinic, and we may even advise you to call 911. What can seem a minor symptom to you and me can be an emergency alert to a highly trained doctor or nurse. While we are on the topic of saving money, I should point out that we have excellent rates at many doctors and hospitals due to the many medical claims which we handle. We will undoubtedly save you money if you call us first.

Medipac insurance pays your bills! On the rare occasion that someone lies to us, and it usually happens to save money, we will then not pay your bills or perhaps, not all of them. This is not you, and you can therefore be assured that any bills which you get will be covered and paid.

The last feeble excuse to wait before investigating a medical symptom is, "I don't want to go home." Are you crazy? You may need immediate hospitalization in the U.S. or at whatever destination you have chosen. To wait is simply playing that Russian roulette game we agreed we would never play. Medipac does not send people home, we pay to fix them! If there appear to be extraordinary complications and/or a long recovery period involved then "yes," you are going home. That is where you should be when very serious medical conditions arise. Forget that warm weather and forget that vacation; you have to concentrate on getting healthy again so that you can enjoy warm weather and vacations for many years to come. My father had a heart bypass at age 89 and is now 96, and he and my mother spent about two months in Florida last year. You can go home and then you can go back, until you stop believing that you can.

I have to leave you with the "Go Home" facts that everyone seems to fear the most. Medipac had something more than 30,000 people insured last year. We air evacuated 79 who had severe problems, many of whom had already had life-saving operations at their winter holiday spot. Another 50-ish received first-class air tickets to come home to see their own doctors. If these are the horrible statistics which keep you from making that call, I believe that you have nothing to worry about. I guarantee you that almost every single one of the evacuees whom we took care of was very happy to be home. Medipac, also, always pays for your spouse to accompany you home and I think that even they were happy to see things resolved.

Did I mention that Medipac was different than other insurance plans? I bet you are getting tired of hearing that one, but it is true in so many ways. As you probably know, once you have had a claim on your trip, there is a recurrence clause in many other policies that will deny coverage for treatment of the same condition as the claim. In other words, you're stuck and out of luck. Medipac has a different philosophy. If we believe the risk of another claim to be too high, then we will pay your way home. If you refuse to return home, only then, as a condition of continuing your policy, will we give you a note stating that further costs for treatment of the same condition will not be covered. That's fair! That's Medipac!

There is an old advertising adage which says that you should say things three times to make sure that the other person gets the point. If you feel poorly or if you have an unusual medical symptom…sometimes you must refuse to wait…just call Medipac!




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Medipac Travel Insurance