What happens if you are away on vacation and you have a heart attack, a car accident or a medical emergency that takes you to the hospital? DO YOU KNOW THE CORRECT STEPS TO MAKING A CLAIM FOR YOUR EXPENSES WITH YOUR INSURANCE PROVIDER?
WHEN A MEDICAL EMERGENCY OCCURS:
- Know your emergency medical assistance phone number. You should be able to phone toll-free or make a collect call.
- IF POSSIBLE contact the emergency medical assistance before seeking treatment. If you are unable to do so, have someone else make the phone call for you. Some policies have a penalty for failing to contact them within a set period of time unless it was unavoidable.
- The travel insurance company will work with the medical facility to help get you the emergency treatment you need, even if that means moving you to another medical facility that can provide the right care for you. It may be that you are stable enough to travel so you may be brought back home to a local hospital by air ambulance. Let them do the work. Let them guide you, not you guide them.
You all know that travelling without emergency medical travel insurance is NEVER a good idea. It could cost you thousands of dollars if an emergency occurs. But when you need to use your insurance, do you know the steps to take in making a claim? It is extremely important to know these steps…
There are many different insurance companies and insurance policies available to you. The information provided in this blog is a guideline to help you deal with your claim and get the bill paid, and/or you reimbursed as quickly as possible.
- Submit your claim as soon as possible. Submitting it within 60 days of your treatment date will prevent delays. However, you can submit the claim later as long as it is received within 1 year of the treatment date (confirm this with your travel insurance provider).
- Keep in mind that the claim involves the coordination of a number of different parties.
- The faster the claim form and all supporting documents are submitted, the faster the claim will be processed, and the faster all the bills will be paid.
- All the medical information regarding your claim is confidential. If you want your spouse or another person to have access to the details of this claim, you must give written permission, which you would normally do on your claim form.
Your travel insurance provider will not be the only party involved. They will check your provincial health care records to make sure your medical issue was not a known problem when you traveled (subject to stability requirements). Reports from doctors, hospitals, clinics, possibly other insurance providers and more will be obtained. Your travel insurance provider must make sure your claim is valid. Do you have travel insurance coverage for the whole of your trip? You, the traveler, need to keep the documents or receipts that show when you left your province and when you arrived back.
What Do You Submit:
You are required to provide ORIGINAL documents. Copy these documents and then mail the originals documents to your insurance company. Things like credit card statements and non itemized bills are not acceptable. HOWEVER sometimes you may be requested to provide the credit card statement showing payments you made so that the insurance company know the correct amount to refund you based on the exchange rate you paid at that time.
The billing practices of hospitals and medical facilities around the world vary. Some will accept direct payment from the travel insurance company, but some won’t. You may be required to provide a deposit to the medical facility. BE PREPARED TO DO THAT AND CLAIM BACK LATER. The best way to deal with your medical emergency is for you, or someone on your behalf, to contact your travel insurance provider so they can coordinate your care, treatment and payment for everything.