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Blue Card WorldWide - travel health insurance
Old 02-22-2017, 07:00 PM   #1
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Blue Card WorldWide - travel health insurance

I have been looking at medical insurance options when I travel.

From what I read, if one has coverage from one of the "Blues" - Blue Cross or Blue Shield - and your policy provides for travel coverage - one is in good shape and does not need to buy additional coverage for travel in most 1st world countries.

https://bcbsglobalcore.com/Account/Login?ReturnUrl=%2F

BlueCard Worldwide has a list of hospitals and doctors that contract with the Blue insurance companies. Just pick one of them and you have coverage.

Has anybody ever actually used this service? It seems reasonable on the surface and would be far less expensive than buying travel insurance to cover medical costs. The only gap would be medical evacuation insurance, and that can be covered with a separate and cheaper policy.
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Old 02-22-2017, 10:57 PM   #2
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What good timing, this is the type of thing we found out as well.
So then I looked for travel insurance, and found a good one for $69 for 1 trip, $95 for another
And then decided upon the one below, as it has basically just medical coverage, and we will use a CC with a bunch of travel benefits for delay/cancellation etc.
And we plan to take 3 trips out of the USA this year

This coverage supposedly fills in all the stuff our regular insurance fails to cover (like if they consider a doctor out of network in Germany, and from my reading should cover even our insurance deductibles) This coverage does have a $50 deductible itself.


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Old 02-22-2017, 11:04 PM   #3
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We did phone our health provider and talked to them, and had them send us a letter stating we had medical coverage outside the USA.

The health plan should call it TravelCard instead of the vague BlueCard , we didn't find it at first on the site as we were looking for something "...... travel ..... "
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Old 02-23-2017, 02:50 AM   #4
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Our travel insurance all the time I worked and after I retired was BC/BS with world coverage and it was great to have it even though we never had occaision to use it despite many months abroad. Before going a long trip I would go on the website and look up the doctor's and hospitals in the cities we were going to spend two or more weeks and there were always plenty listed. I would make copies of the details for each city in my travel folder and the only time we took out travel insurance was for a week in Vanuatu as BC/BS didn't list any doctor's or hospitals.
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Old 02-23-2017, 11:13 AM   #5
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When we were traveling in Austria, DW fell and broke her kneecap. We have a Blue for our Plan F and used Worldwide to process claim. Plan F only pays 80% on international claims and approved rates are pretty conservative. Getting stuff process was a bit of a grind--probably close to 6 months before we got our partial reimbursement.
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Old 02-23-2017, 11:30 AM   #6
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Remember you need coverage for more than medical costs. If you need to be evacuated from a remote area, if your travel companion needs accommodations while you spend a week in the hospital, if you need to fly home in Business Class to accommodate a cast- that's all extra. I'm in good health but I buy the travel policy for the extra medical protection as well as the non-covered expenses of a serious illness or injury.
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Old 02-23-2017, 12:13 PM   #7
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Remember you need coverage for more than medical costs. If you need to be evacuated from a remote area, if your travel companion needs accommodations while you spend a week in the hospital, if you need to fly home in Business Class to accommodate a cast- that's all extra. I'm in good health but I buy the travel policy for the extra medical protection as well as the non-covered expenses of a serious illness or injury.
That is why I'm planning to buy the $200/yr GeoBlue plan, for evacuation and non-covered expenses. Not sure it covers companion accommodation but that is a small expense compared to out of network medical.
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Old 02-23-2017, 02:11 PM   #8
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That is why I'm planning to buy the $200/yr GeoBlue plan, for evacuation and non-covered expenses. Not sure it covers companion accommodation but that is a small expense compared to out of network medical.
How long is that good for? Just one trip? All year?
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Old 02-23-2017, 11:59 PM   #9
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How long is that good for? Just one trip? All year?
It's good for a year, all trips as long as each trip is less than 70 days.

It came up on https://www.insuremytrip.com/
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Old 02-24-2017, 05:30 PM   #10
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Many credit cards provide some medical insurance while traveling if you paid with the card. Chase Sapphire Reserve (lots of discussion of that one here) will reimburse you up to $2500 and also provides evacuation and repatriation if need be.

The insurance I have right now, through Cigna, will cover incidents while traveling internationally at the same rate as in-network once they get the paperwork. Many countries will provide medical attention to travelers with little or no upfront cost required. Check your own insurance to see what their policy is,
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:40 PM   #11
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Good topic. Boy are we finding out about insurance issues, even here in the US.

We have a plan out of Mass, but are on the west coast for a month or so. DH got a nasty case of bronchitis or pneumonia, and because he also has asthma we have to jump on that. Well, no Urgent Cares in this area would take our insurance OR cash. Not their policy they tell us. We ended up driving about an hour to a CVS Minute Clinic where they would be happy to take only our co-pay but our insurance company is calling it "out of network". What? Anything outside the Boston area will be out of network and when you go to the insurance company's website they say "any urgent care across the US will take your insurance with a small co-pay" which is of course not true.

So we paid 129, which is way better than the $700 co-pay on an ER visit that we really didn't need.

Since we are planning to be on the road for 6 months of the year, really need to figure this out. We are 62 and 60, so will be a bit before medicare.
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:41 PM   #12
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Have to say we were really impressed with the CVS Minute Clinic we used.
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Old 02-27-2017, 06:46 PM   #13
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We have a plan out of Mass, but are on the west coast for a month or so. DH got a nasty case of bronchitis or pneumonia, and because he also has asthma we have to jump on that. Well, no Urgent Cares in this area would take our insurance OR cash. Not their policy they tell us. We ended up driving about an hour to a CVS Minute Clinic where they would be happy to take only our co-pay but our insurance company is calling it "out of network". What? Anything outside the Boston area will be out of network and when you go to the insurance company's website they say "any urgent care across the US will take your insurance with a small co-pay" which is of course not true.
You in an HMO plan? Sure sounds like it - basically no in-network outside your home area.
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Old 02-27-2017, 08:27 PM   #14
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Yes, Tufts HMO. We did not think that would preclude us from seeing an Urgent Care and paying cash. But the two urgent cares in our area only took insurance, no cash.

Basically we consider the insurance to be catastrophic only.
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Old 02-28-2017, 01:03 AM   #15
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We have a grandfathered non-ACA plan. The insurance company told us that ACA plans are state-specific. So even if you were in a PPO, I think you might have the same issue when away from your home state.
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Old 02-28-2017, 02:51 PM   #16
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My husband called them this morning - they said if we go to a Cigna affiliated Urgent Care they will take the insurance. the ones where we are staying are packed though - 6 hour wait times. So he headed to another one out of network.

They told us all we have to do is mail in the receipts and we will get reimbursed for anything over the co-pay, even if out of network. That is fair. They don't want us to go to ERs....
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Old 03-01-2017, 10:29 AM   #17
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You in an HMO plan? Sure sounds like it - basically no in-network outside your home area.
This HMO thing, is why we are buying medical insurance for trips, because I sure all the docs and stuff in other countries are not in-network.
Besides it's too hard to ask in foreign languages about places when I have no idea where anything is located.
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Old 03-01-2017, 10:29 PM   #18
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Yes, we will need to do more research.
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