Thanks, Patsy!

Fall 2002 CSANews Issue 44  |  Posted date : Apr 09, 2007.Back to list

I was speaking with Patsy Clyke, Medipac's Vice President of Operations, today, and I was trying to determine what questions were being asked of our staff, on the phones. She is the first person who, almost immediately, can identify any problems our members and clients may be having. The reason, of course, was to see if there were any issues this article could address, that could help to explain things that may not be clear in our Insurance Guide and other documents.

Patsy's comments were "Everyone seems very happy and the telephones are very positive." This is amazing, since we all know that buying insurance is one of our more unpleasant tasks in life. We are receiving between 500 and 1000 calls every day and most of them have to do with help in completing applications, interpretation of medical questions and, surprisingly, a large volume of calls requesting new travel insurance kits. Today we sent out 1600 new packages to snowbirds and, although this may be for two days' calls as opposed to one, it shows a significant number of new people are hearing about our Medipac Program. We have done very little advertising so far this year, and that means our existing clients are telling their friends about us. May I take this opportunity to thank you for your loyalty and support.

There are two or three new plans around this year and, after reviewing them, they certainly do not have much to offer. The prices are slightly lower on at least one of them but they are missing a key ingredient ­ proper coverage. I must admit, though, that some of our telephone calls are actually duplicates. The first call was made to compare prices and the second one was to buy.

We also had ten new claim calls today. This is somewhat surprising as we thought everyone was at home busily packing their bags for the winter migration. But, of course, we do provide travel insurance to the many people who travel during the summer. Teachers and students are two groups that use Medipac extensively during the summer months and many people take extended vacations to Europe during this time. This is something I would love to do, but the pesky Canadian dollar can be a daunting challenge to overcome. Many of the European and Asian currencies have strengthened by over 10% when compared to the US Dollar but the ever-suffering loonie is still mired in the basement. Perhaps someone can explain to me how this can happen when we have one of the best economies in the world; or perhaps our third world currency IS the reason we have such a strong economy. I recently noticed that our economists, who always told us that our currency was related to commodity prices (oil, gold, iron ore, copper, wheat, etc.), have now changed their minds. It now seems to be based on "cash flows" coming in to, and leaving, the country. They still almost unanimously agree, however, that the Canadian dollar will get stronger. Let us all hope that this will start happening, today. Perhaps that trip to Europe may yet be possible.

A last item of interest is that we have received many calls from snowbirds who have already crossed the US border, and generally they are reporting very low waiting times and border guards who appear to be more organized and more helpful than in prior years. We do know that staffing at border points has been increased, and this seems to have made crossing easier, rather than more difficult, as we had expected.

Ellen White and Paul Jenkins of the CSA and, indeed, all of our directors are to be congratulated for their tenacity and excellence in bringing our border crossing issues to the INS and to the halls of Congress. Obviously, based on our early reports, their message has reached the border, itself. I sense the beginnings of a wonderful travel year ahead.

For information on Medipac's excellent Travel Medical Insurance Program please call us toll-free at 1-888-MEDIPAC (633-4722).