Travel Insurance – Health Insurance and DAN Insurance
Times are changing, we all know this. 2015 brought us all many changes this past year, hopefully most were all positive. We have had some huge changes again in our health insurance to start off 2016. If you are a business owner, many of us had to change health insurance plans at year’s end, and most of us had huge surprises. Of course we know most every year health insurance pretty much increases like clockwork, unfortunately. But don’t worry, this is not political in any way.
While I think I spent almost a month going through countless policies searching for the best health insurance plan we can afford for all of us at Ultimate Dive Travel, it was a tiring exercise to say the least. It also felt like a huge waste of time.
In past years, we were normally able to find a plan that covered us while we were out of the country. Today it seems insurance companies went out of their way to give us as little as possible for more money than last year. We struggled to find a plan that paid something. Over past years anything prior to hitting a $6,000 deductible meant you had to pay up quite a bit. The majority of plans paid little to nothing before the huge deductibles were met. Neither office visits nor prescription meds were covered in the majority of plans prior to meeting deductibles.
We did find a plan that met our needs without having to hit the huge deductibles, but we had to pay quite a premium over 2015 and years past. So now we have our office visits paid, and prescription meds from day one, but, in my opinion, the cost is insane and borders on criminal. It’s robbery without a gun. What we have found was the vast majority of offered plans subtracted any coverage when traveling outside of the country. This was not good since all of us travel to go scuba diving around the world, just like most of you.
So, time to do more research on insurance…. Didn’t I just spend a month doing this? I found a few options, all of which will cost extra. I found you can buy very short term health insurance for visits outside of the country and the price is not totally crazy, even though our regular health insurance should cover this. After all, you are the same person they cover in the USA! Plus, medical care outside of the USA is normally much less expensive than here at home. It really doesn’t make sense, but it’s their game and their rules – we have no say in this.
Now, I am sure many of you are thinking “I have DAN insurance, so no worries there!” Think again, I called DAN, as that was my first thought also. DAN explained that I have medical coverage outside of the USA with their policy, but for accidents only! If you have a heart attack or catch pneumonia, which I got a few years ago in Ecuador and spent 3 days in the hospital, DAN pays zero.
I was leaving in less than a week after all this insurance shopping, so I needed to make a quick decision. I decided to buy trip insurance mostly because it offered medical benefits while out of the country. Plus I could have the coverage for my luggage, any snafus with the airline, liveaboard issues, and several other benefits.
So, the reason for this blog is to remind you to call your health insurance company before you leave on your next trip. Make sure you have coverage, and if not, at least buy travel insurance and have a little extra peace of mind and coverage.