Don't get caught in the trap

Don't get caught in the trap

We often hear about horror stories about travellers who have seen their travel insurance claims denied for multiple reasons, or that the insurer has refused to reimburse medical expenses due to incomplete health declarations or non-disclosure.

How to avoid getting caught?

According to the Travel Health Insurance Association (THIA), there are approximately 500,000 claims of all kinds per year. Of this 500,000 approximately 15,000 claims are denied. Personally, I find that this number could have been reduced by following these few tips.

  • Declare all your medical conditions, do not hide anything, you think you might save a few $, but truth is if you have require medical care abroad and you have made an incomplete or false declaration, your claim can be denied and your policy could become null and void.
  • Know your medical conditions, if in doubt, consult your doctor and pharmacist for a picture of your medical situation.
  • You have prescribed medications in your medical file that you are not using, for example a Nitro pump, or a Ventolin pump that you have in your possession in case the next bronchitis crisis arises during your stay? Be aware that even if you do not use it, the insurer's question is; In the past.... have you.... taken or been prescribed a prescribed medication? Yes, the word to remember here is prescribed, even if you did not use it in the last year.
  • Follow the medical treatments prescribed by the doctor, not following a treatment or ignore it can not only have serious consequences on your health but may also constitute a reason for denial on the part of an insurer.
  • Same thing if you have any investigation exams, for example, an electrocardiogram with abnormal result, your doctor asks you to follow additional exams and you refuse or postpone a few weeks or months so that it does not to interfere with your trip, seems to be a good idea? Contrary to popular belief, you are currently being investigated and the majority of insurers excluded all conditions that are currently in investigation. Some insurers categorically refuse to issue a travel insurance policy as long as the client is in investigation or is awaiting tests or even surgery.
  • Consider any changes in your health condition, even a change in dosage even the decrease in dosage of a certain medication should be reported to your insurer before your departure.
  • Refer to the stability clause defined in your policy. This definition guides you either in the number of days or months to which you must be stable and under control, i.e. no change, no investigation, no new treatments, etc. To know more about this topic, please see the article, Tips on stable and under control.
  • Ask questions, feel free to talk to your broker about your medical file, he has the responsibility to find you not only the best product available for you, but also the product that best fits your medical situation.
  • Know your policy, I know, it's long and maybe you'd like to go to the dentist for a root canal treatment rather than going through this! If you are like me, take at least a few moments to go through the eligibility section of the policy, also the exclusions and limitations section and go over the what is covered or the benefits section in your policy.
  • Keep your assistance card at all times with you, when abroad after your Passport, this is among the most important documents to have with you. You can always save your printer's ink by keeping your travel insurance policy in your inbox and refer to it if needed. Your assistance card is the document that a doctor, clinic or hospital will ask you first.
  • In case of emergency, always contact Emergency Assistance services after 9-1-1 and if the services of 9-1-1 are not required, contact the Emergency Assistance services, not only will they guide you to a facility with appropriate care, it also ensures that the necessary care is provided to you. It will also guide you to its network of recognized physicians, clinics and hospitals so that quality care will be as if you were in your province of residence.
  • A final tip follow the instructions and requests of your Emergency Assistance company, your neighbor may know all the tricks and tips of life, but remember that the bill for medical care is in your name and of your insurer not in the name of your neighbor!