The Real Insurance Expert?� Our Client

Spring 2002 CSANews Issue 42  |  Posted date : Apr 05, 2007.Back to list

In our July 2001 issue of CSANews, our annual survey asked you to give us comments and suggestions to improve the Medipac Travel Insurance Program. Our staff has read every single suggestion and documented your comments in our computer system. We have now been able to sort them by category and the results are "enlightening", to use one of your words.

By far the most common suggestion was "simplicity". The words "easy to purchase", "clear language", "easy to understand" and "plain English" were repeated many times. After reviewing our application from this perspective, we decided that we could design a much clearer, and simpler application for our Preferred Plus clients. Our staff is now working on a revised "short form" application and, if it is not ready for the Early Bird plan, it will definitely be introduced for our main season launch in early September.

The Pre-existing clause was next on the list. This is still one of the most misunderstood areas of travel insurance and the entire insurance industry is to blame for not standarizing, and clarifying, this very simple concept. In previous articles we have explained that medical questions on the application are there only to determine what rate you pay or, in some cases, whether you are eligible to purchase the insurance. That's it!

The Pre-existing clause, on the other hand, tells you what coverage you have for any prior, or existing, medical condition. A pre-existing medical condition is either "stable" or "unstable". A stable condition IS covered; an unstable condition IS NOT covered. If your existing medical condition is stable, the Medipac Insurance Plan covers emergency medical treatment for that condition. The word "stable" is defined in every policy, and you must read this definition very carefully. Some insurance companies have such restrictive definitions of "stable" that most pre-existing conditions are not covered. This is where much of the confusion arises. For instance, they may define "stable" as requiring NO MEDICATION. We estimate that 90-95% of pre-existing conditions require medication. Why don't they simply say - "If you take medication for your pre-existing condition - you are not covered". Your comments indicate that some of you purchase from other companies. We suggest you read and completely understand their application and their policy, before you make your purchase decision.

We were pleasantly surprised by the third largest grouping of suggestions. You said we were doing a "good job", "OK as is", "keep up the good work", "I am satisfied" and "CSA covers us well". We always pass these comments on to our hard-working staff and they love to know that their efforts are appreciated. Every person at Medipac takes pride in their ability to serve our clients, but we can always improve, that's why we ask for your suggestions.

Specific comments were also made on many different, individual health conditions. Medipac knows that some people pay higher rates than they should, and that every person is different and unique. We have investigated "high risk" underwriting, but have found that premiums are far too high at this point in time. For example, we saw a quotation for $24,000 to insure a five month trip. What we ARE doing this year, is attempting to open our best rate category to more people. We are reviewing "tamoxifen" (a preventative treatment for breast cancer), the misdiagnosis of angina and cancer, medication reductions and stoppages, lower "waiting times" for various illnesses, and several other options that are intended to help lower your costs.

We are also reviewing your suggestions concerning "loyalty discounts", "claims free bonuses" and "special plans for co-insurance coverage" and are very close to bringing our "annual plan" to market.

The last item I want to mention is "freedom". With Medipac you are "free to choose" your own doctor and your own hospital, period. We don't force you to go to a "specific hospital" or force you to see "our doctor". We can, and will, refer you to doctors and hospitals, if you ask us; but the choice is always yours.

To answer some of the many other questions you posed:
  1. Medipac will "pay health providers, up front," in almost every circumstance;
  2. We do "publish" our rates and our policy wordings;
  3. You can "purchase over the phone", and you can "use a credit card";
  4. We do "collect from OHIP" on your behalf;
  5. We believe that The Medipac Plan is the most "comprehensive" and "value-driven" travel insurance available on the market
All of these quotations are taken directly from our survey. We listen, we learn, and we will continue to strive to meet, and hopefully exceed, your high expectations. After all, we believe that we have the best and most knowledgeable clients in the world. Thanks for your help.