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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:19 am 
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My husband Rick and I were set to enjoy three weeks in Aruba while a contractor began a remodel of our kitchen and family room. Three days after arriving on the island Rick was admitted to the hospital after having difficulty breathing. He spent six days there and was discharged on Thanksgiving day. Because of the holidays I couldn't find a flight off the island that had two empty seats. Two days before athe return flight I was able to secure, Rick was readmitted after being diagnosed with hospital aquired pneumonia. Finally on December 2nd he was discharged at 11AM. We were at the airport by noon. We arrived home in Erie PA at 11PM. Rick was admitted to our hospital within the hour.

I share this story because the experience was eye opening. Thank God I had purchased travel insurance and also had a credit card with no balance and a very high limit. Before he was even examined in the ER I had to produce payment.. When they admitted him they asked for my card again and charged several thousand dollars to cover several days of inpatient care. The hospital still uses the "ward" system.Rick initially was in a ward with five woman before being moved to a ward with three men and a woman.

I'm still proving an endless amount of verification to the travel insurance in hopes of getting them to cover part off the medical costs. The hospital wouldn't accept Medicare or our supplemental insurance.

English is not the first language of the majority of the medical staff. While most spoke English it became clear quickly that it was vital to insure everyone was really being understood.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:18 am 
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Robin, thank you for sharing the information. Hope your husband is recovering nicely nw that he is back home.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:36 am 
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I wish Rick a speedy recovery! It can be very nerve racking when something like this happens at home let alone in another country! From past experiences, I have found it to be very helpful to get all medical and or police reports translated to English before leaving if possible. It really helps when dealing with insurance companies once you get back. They look for any excuse to deny a claim.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:46 am 
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Wow! Wow! And double WOW!

Certainly eye opening.
I truly hope, first that both you and your husband are doing much better now that you're back home and settled in with proper, predictable health care and, second, that your expenses were (or will be) covered by your insurer.

But your story does prompt me to ask in the hope that you won't mind answering a few questions.

Which travelers's insurance did you have?
Did it include a medi-vac service for a flight out of Aruba to the US?
If so, does that mean a flight on a regular commercial flight or on an emergency flight on a non-scheduled jet?
And, lastly: What was the total dollars you paid to the hospital?

We always purchase the insurance offered by Allianz whenever we travel. With that and especially out of the country, we were of the understanding that we would pay the hospital/doctors ourselves and when back home we would seek reimbursement for expenses from Allianze. Is that not how your payments etc. worked.

I think you've experienced a traveler's worst nightmare. I sincerely hope you are both all right and that you get satisfaction from your insurance carrier. It's tough enough to see your vacation get destroyed but worse to suffer long term effects when the trip is done.

Be well, and try to recover to have a healthy and happy new year.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:00 pm 
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I received hospital emergency room treatment while in Aruba a few years ago. It is important to get all the bills and diagnosis in English. My insurance company refused payment until I had everything in English.


Last edited by Ron on Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:50 pm 
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If you don't have travel insurance, will your regular USA insurance plan or Medicare cover medical expenses incurred outside the USA? I think not, but was wondering if they would cover anything.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:31 pm 
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My Medicare Advantage plan covers emergencies worldwide after a $90.00 copayment. Even with this coverage we do purchase travel insurance.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:39 pm 
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May I add....as we age...it is important to upgrade the regular travel insurance to cover pre existing conditions....insurance companies can make almost anything preexisting :wink: It is not that much more $ for peace of mind. A recommendation ten years ago from my mother's internist. He said she was in excellent health (she was...lived until 95!) but insurance companies, blah blah. We always upgraded her insurance when she traveled with us.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:05 pm 
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comet07 wrote:
If you don't have travel insurance, will your regular USA insurance plan or Medicare cover medical expenses incurred outside the USA? I think not, but was wondering if they would cover anything.


Actually many will after you pay your copay, especially in true emergencies. I had really bad food poisoning requiring 2 trips to ER years ago and was refunded everything but my copay. They will definitely not refund anything for evac if ever needed so that is why I get the trip insurance.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:08 am 
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Arubadan wrote:
comet07 wrote:
If you don't have travel insurance, will your regular USA insurance plan or Medicare cover medical expenses incurred outside the USA? I think not, but was wondering if they would cover anything.


Actually many will after you pay your copay, especially in true emergencies. I had really bad food poisoning requiring 2 trips to ER years ago and was refunded everything but my copay. They will definitely not refund anything for evac if ever needed so that is why I get the trip insurance.


Same here. We made two trips to a local doctor over the years and both cases our home insurance reimbursed us for everything except the co-pays. That included the office visit ($50.00) and prescriptions.
Paid the Doctor directly in the examination room, in cash, and got a receipt.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:36 pm 
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When I go to Aruba or any other Island, I make sure I get travel insurance with a high Medical Payment and is primary where the travel company guarantees payment to the Hospital. A lot of policy's the medical is secondary after all other insurance pays. They will not pay the Hospital directly.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:11 am 
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Anyone have any first hand experience with using an Allianz travel plan? I always go for the mid level plan with $100000+in emergency air evac coverage.
I had no problem a couple years back making a claim for disrupted travel. I would hope a bigger claim would be handled well.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:03 pm 
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My only experiences with Allianz would be just with their CSR's on the phone. Very helpful and interested in what they're doing.
"Knock on wood", we've never had to use the coverage so I cannot comment on its good or not-so-good outcome thus any after-the-fact dealings.

Here's a tip: when booking our flights on the Jet Blue website there is usually an offer for Allianz coverage right there in the JB site. I cannot quote numbers but four years ago, after declining the coverage offered in the JB site my wife and I reconsidered and wanted the plan. So we called Allianz directly and learned that the same or slightly better coverage was, say, 10-15% cheaper buying it directly from them over the phone AND the rep sent me an email that outlined all of our coverages right after our call. That email also included a summary page with all our particulars and the necessary info on what to do in the case of an emergency. VERY handy!

Both ways, either via JB or over the phone, the premium costs were one price for traveler #1 and about 30% cheaper for traveler #2. Again, please don't quote me exactly as I could be off a bit either way.

As we are both in our mid 70's we will not travel without that coverage.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:11 am 
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I am still trying to get the travel insurance to pay. My husband died last week and now the company wants to claim pre-condition even though he had not been diagnosed with cancer prior to getting since while in Aruba.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:47 am 
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rla wrote:
I am still trying to get the travel insurance to pay. My husband died last week and now the company wants to claim pre-condition even though he had not been diagnosed with cancer prior to getting since while in Aruba.


My heartfelt condoleances. This is hard enough for you without having to fight the insurance company.

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