Traveller Insurance
September 30, 2012 10:20 AM   Subscribe

Has anyone had any experience with TravelGuard Insurance? Or just general advice on traveller's insurance? I am primarily interested in the medical coverage rather than trip cancellation.

I don't have health insurance. I am 22 years old and female. I am from the U.S.

I am undertaking a trip across North America (mostly the US) on public transit. This is supposed to be an eight month trip (I started last month) and I aim to be done around May of next year.

I looked at individual health insurance plans but since I'm bouncing around from city to city, I won't receive in-network benefits (I was looking at Carefirst Blue Cross Blue Shield before, a MD provider).

Since I'm doing my trip across North America on train and bus, I usually buy tickets as I go. Bus tickets are pretty cheap and unlike airfare, it's not as difficult to cancel/change train tickets. So I don't really care much about the trip cancellation benefits.

But since I don't have health insurance, I would like to be insured on my trip particularly for any medical emergencies. Travel Guard has a number of bad reviews, but it seems like they're mainly from people who didn't read the fine print and from people who care a lot more about travel cancellation than I do. I've read the exclusions and I am OK with them.

Right now I'm using a quote comparison site called squaremouth. Here are my results if interested:

posted by bluelight to Travel & Transportation around United States (3 answers total)
If you're looking for coverage in emergencies, and not regular primary care, the BCBS may be fine as long as you're maintaining an address/home of record in MD. Most insurance plans will cover emergent care out-of-network when traveling, and BCBS in particular has tons of plans nationwide and thus a lot of billing compatibility.

You might confirm this with your insurance agent or broker.
posted by charmcityblues at 10:41 AM on September 30, 2012

I did some googling and can't figure out what the medical portion actually covers. The descriptions I found were very vague. I worked for an insurance company for five years and can claim the spiffy title of "certified life and health insurance specialist", which basically means I have about two college semesters worth of classes and a certificate from a technical college.

My opinion: If you want medical coverage, also look at supplemental health insurance instead of just major medical or travel insurance. Generally speaking, supplemental insurance pays less than major medical for routine care but, depending on the policy and details of your needs, may pay more than the amount listed on this travel insurance for "a covered event" (ask a lot of questions and make sure you have some idea what events are covered). If you are specifically concerned about accidental injury, you can get accident only coverage for probably a lot less than the quotes in the link you provided.
posted by Michele in California at 11:20 AM on September 30, 2012

$1000 for $10,000 of coverage? I personally would not take a 10% insurance bet....

My previous policy was a short-term 6 month policy which I paid approx $300 for and it had a $2500 deductible... no concept of in-or-out-of-network... It was essentially a medical debt insurance plan, it covered no doctors visits, no prescriptions, and you paid 100% until you hit the deductible... after that luckily there was no 80/20 or anything of the sort. Can't remember the provider at this point, but it was definitely an underwriter and not a major carrier.

The concept is to guard against the possibility of $100k in medical debt, not provider 'medical coverage'....

That is of course if you don't value the emergency evacuation portions of the plan... if so then it may be of value for you.

YMMV... I'm just a consumer and know nothing of the intricacy's of the chances of getting screwed by this type of plan... never had a claim.
posted by anthroprose at 11:21 AM on September 30, 2012

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