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J. Ross Quigley
Medipac International Inc.
advising them of my cholesterol
pill and my baby aspirin and my
travel plans. After a short delay, up
came the rate of $731. Wow, I said
to myself, that is much lower than
the Medipac price of $855 (before
our discounts and credits); there
must be something wrong. No
one can charge that little for real
travel insurance at my age and trip
length. After digging much deeper,
I determined that they were, now,
only selling me trip cancellation
insurance. Nowhere along the way
did they tell me that they switched
me to a different thing. How can they
switch me from what I was buying to
a different product altogether? It was
reassuring to know that they advised
me to “read my policy carefully,”
because they would cover nothing!
By the way, that phrase – to read the
policy – was for their lawyers, not for
you. I am a very sophisticated buyer
of travel insurance and I was almost
duped. How many seniors are duped
in a similar way?
We have talked about the many
cases in which a plan will not cover
heart and lung problems, or it will
It always bothers me
when I come
across people who have no idea
about the dangers of improper
health insurance while travelling.
There are still many, many people,
especially younger snowbirds,
who think that their provincial
government health insurance plan
will pay all of their bills. Wrong! The
government normally pays 4-9% of
your bills while travelling and the
rest is your problem. In the case of a
$100,000 bill, this means that you will
have a $90,000+ problem.
We at Medipac routinely monitor
our competitors and often purchase
their policies in order to get a proper
look at what they are selling. Some
of the results are pretty scary if you
find yourself having to depend on
them, and many of us do. One in
particular (from the Internet) really
upset me. I decided to buy “travel
medical insurance” from this very
impressive new travel medical
insurance site using myself as the
guinea pig. I clicked on the “Travel
Medical Insurance” button, then I
clicked on the “Buy Now” button and
then I completed all of the questions
Did I see par?
Yes, I did. It was the
Canadian dollar romping through
that magic inflection point at which
one U.S. dollar is the same as one
Canadian dollar. Almost everything
we do as snowbirds will now be
more affordable while we are away;
and I believe that the dollar will stay
From an insurance perspective, a
par dollar is very helpful to offset
the dramatic cost increases in the
U.S. medical system. We are still
trying to figure out the Obamacare
factor, but does it really matter with
presidential elections coming up in
November? These are very difficult
times during which to properly
assess risk and to predict costs. This
year, we added a modest increase to
our Medipac travel insurance rates
– partially in anticipation of a better
dollar value – but we are finding
that medical prices, especially in the
U.S., are still running far above the
“normal” inflation rates issued by the
U.S. government. Hopefully, you all
took advantage of the
Medipac Early
pricing and are enrolled in the
Snowbird Currency Exchange Program
Dollars and Cents:
Why Every Penny Counts
Travel Insurance:
Make Sure You Buy the
Right Kind