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Re: travel medical insurance
What Richard wrote is mostly correct about Blue Cross Travel-med insurance differing from Medoc travel-medical, and is true of every other travel medical insurance company, including BCAA, CARP, RBC etc. And Joan's comments are also useful.
But I used 'mostly' because right now, because one of our Board members is having a struggle with his Blue Cross travel medical insurance over a small bill, which they are trying not to cover, instead wanting to charge it against his Extended plan, so they are treating their own travel medical insurance as if it is a 'second payer". I believe his struggles with them are not yet over. It is true that they give us a discount for Travel medical because we are already members of their Extended plan, but their health criteria are different from competitors.
Our exec has learned thru intensive examination that travel medical insurance is a nightmare in terms of comparing plans, not only because of the 'first or second' payer thing, but because they all have variations in rules about pre-existing conditions, exclusions, and other fine print. Medoc-Johnson for example will serve as 'first-payer" if the customer's Extended medical insurance plans tops out coverage at $100,000 lifetime, and will only turn into "second-payer' if the customer's Extended medical insurance has a greater lifetime limit.
Some years ago the Board of SFURA agreed to allow Medoc to use our mail list once each year in conjunction with the retirees associations at UBC and UVic. We don't 'endorse' them, simply allow access to our list. Our own individual experiences with different travel medical insurance plans have led us to understand that there is no one best plan for all our members, not in terms of cost, or pre-existing conditions, "first-payer', or anything else.
I routinely collect health insurance horror stories from the NY Times re the giant US 'health" insurance companies and now have a considerable file, so I know they are all full of nasty tricks. Insurance companies re health care by definition are classic cases of 'conflicts of interest" because they are trying to make money for shareholders, in effect by being very tough against their 'customers". Often not a pretty sight.
I would be interested in knowing if any insurance-savvy person within our membership can identify any true 'First-payer' for Travel medical insurance. It seems to me that all Travel medical insurance companies will first of all try to get $ out of our BC basic MS insurance plan, then will try to get other bits of $$ out of any personal Extended health plan their customer has, so that the Travel-medical will deign to cover only the residual that meets their criteria. That would make business sense for them. Does anyone know?