The Best Travel Insurance to Have With Your HSA Plan

by Steve Dasseos, The Trip Insurance Guru on June 1, 2016

The best Travel Insurance to have with your HSA (Health Savings Account) Plan is one with Secondary medical instead of Primary (Primary is also known as First Payer).

HSA plans have a large annual deductibles which means that before the 100% coverage kicks in, the large annual deductible needs to be paid by someone:

  • You yourself, or
  • An other party

“You yourself” is self-explanatory. But, who is the ideal “other party”?

Travel Insurance with Secondary medical, not Primary, is the ideal “other party”.

This is because Secondary medical pays anything your other insurance won’t pay. Even if you have no other medical insurance that will cover you while you are on your trip, Secondary still covers you.

If you already have a Travel Insurance plan that contains primary medical, you can easily cause the Primary medical to be treated as Secondary medical. You do this by stating on the claim form that you are covered by other insurance. If you want to be sure there is no mixup, write a cover letter stating “I am covered by other medical insurance and I want my claim to be processed as a secondary claim”.

Here’s how the paperwork would be processed:

  1. You submit your medical bills to your HSA medical insurance first
  2. They send you an Explanation of Benefits form
  3. You send the Explanation of Benefits form in along with all the other documentation of your claim to the travel insurance company
  4. Whatever amount the Explanation of Benefits form states as “Your Share” gets paid, up to your policy limit, by the travel insurance.
  5. You use that amount to pay your share of your medical claim

How Exactly Does The Secondary Medical Benefit You?

Let’s say you have an HSA plan with a $10,000 deductible. In March you take a trip and on the trip you get it ill for a total of $6,500 in medical expenses.

When time your claim is settled you pay the $6,500 received from the travel insurance toward you bills. This means you now have only $3,500 left to meet your $10,000 deductible. The cost of any illnesses or injuries that are completely unrelated to what happened on your trip go toward yor remaining deductible.

Did you notice that you don’t have your full deductible remaining, but just the balance of your annual deductible?

This is the beauty of having Travel Insurance with Secondary medical when you haven’t already satisfied your annual deductible – another party pays part or all your deductible.

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It’s Good Dolores Took My Advice

by Steve Dasseos, The Trip Insurance Guru on April 14, 2016

As you may recall when we spoke on Friday. I indicated that our children’s travel agent in South Africa was going to book our tickets. You told me that we would need to have proof of purchase that we ourselves bought the tickets for our May 3 – June 1, 2016 trip. My question is: If we buy the tickets through the South Africa travel agent with our credit card would that be adequate for the insurance purposes? Dolores

What Dolores emailed me above was the last in a series of calls and emails we had in February 2016 for her and her husband’s May 2016 trip. In case you want to skip to the answer without reading this, the answer is “Yes”.

Here’s the backstory: Delores and her husband wanted trip insurance to cover them for their trip to South Africa to visit their children. In order to make it simple, their children were going to buy the tickets in Delores and her husband’s name through their travel agent in South Africa. Delores and her husband were going to reimburse their children for the tickets after arriving in South Africa. Delores wanted to buy trip insurance for all the regular reasons to have it.

That sounds reasonable, right? It does, at first glance, until we reasoned out how a trip cancellation or trip interruption claim would work. Had Delores not called us, it’s possible she would have received the wrong advice. Situations like this look straightforward on the surface, but they are not.

The potential problem was how to prove that they had Prepaid, Non-refundable Trip Costs.

If something unexpectedly bad medically happened to either of them and their doctor saw them in person and said they can’t travel, then how would Delores and her husband prove that, they themselves, had prepaid and non-refundable trip costs? They would not have been able to prove this.

Perhaps I would have been able to convince one of my companies that they should not look at the “prepaid” requirement too literally, but why would I want a company that trusts me to bend / break its own rules? That will never happen. All my companies know that we will never sell a policy under false pretenses.

My solution for Delores was to buy the airline tickets through the South Africa travel agent with their own credit card. This establishes a clear paper trail for the money and the trip costs would have been prepaid.

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Renee Should Not Get Trip Cancellation Insurance

by Steve Dasseos, The Trip Insurance Guru on March 16, 2016

Hi Steve, My husband and I are leaving on a nearly $29,000 tour in 9 days. I’ve heard good things about you and I want some brutally honest advice.

My sister-in-law is currently in the hospital with pnemonia on life support in the intensive care unit. I am trying to find cancellation and interruption insurance that would cover my husband and I, in case we needed to cancel our trip or had to return home early to be with her. Can we get a plan from you that will cover her pre-existing medical conditions?

Also, in case it makes a difference, three of your competitors have told me “Yes, you can get a trip cancellation and interruption plan”. Thank you, Renee

Hello Renee,

Thanks for writing. First, I’m sorry to hear about your sister-in-law. I hope she recovers quickly.

Next, while it’s true that you “can buy a policy”, I think it’s deceptive to say it this way because it implies that your claim will be paid.

> Can we get a plan from you that will cover her pre-existing medical conditions?

Ok, here’s my brutally honest advice: No, I do not have a plan that I know will, without question, cover her pre-existing medical conditions. Therefore, I cannot recommend that you get a trip cancellation and interruption plan.

The reason for this is that all insurance is based on covering unforeseen losses. In your case, your sister-in-law has a condition that is not unforeseen, so if you did have to cancel or interrupt your trip, it’s unlikely that your claim will get paid. I cannot say for certain that it will be denied, but the odds of your claim being paid are too low for me to ethically sell you a policy.

If you go here (https://tripinsurancestore.com/about-tripinsurancestore-com/), you’ll see that my advice is part of my business philosophy:

I say “You will get the truth from us. We will tell you if travel insurance won’t work for you and your situation. We won’t sell you a policy just to let your claim get ‘sorted out later’.”

Even though we cannot do business today, keep us in mind when you’re planning your next trip.

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I hope this makes sense. If you want the right travel insurance advice, call us at 1-888-407-3854 and we'll help you figure it all out.

Now, a word from our sponsor: TripInsuranceStore.com (Travel Forums' Most Recommended Travel Insurance Website)

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Travel Insurance and Terrorism

by Steve Dasseos, The Trip Insurance Guru on November 19, 2015

How Does Trip Cancellation Travel Insurance Cover Terrorist Incidents?

Like much of the world, I am angry at the recent terrorist attacks in Beirut, the downing of the Russian airplane over Sinai and the Paris attacks.

And, as you can imagine, we are getting calls from our clients who want to know how their Trip Cancellation Travel Insurance plan will cover them. And, also from people we’ve never worked with who want to know how a Trip Cancellation Travel Insurance plan will cover them for a future trip.

Like everything insurance, it comes down to the event being either unforeseen or already known.

Trip Cancellation Travel Insurance only covers losses resulting from sudden and unforeseen perils. Trip Cancellation Travel Insurance does not cover events that, on the date you buy the insurance, are known to You.

Here’s typical policy wording: “A Terrorist Act which occurs in your Scheduled Trip Departure City or in a city to which you are scheduled to travel while on your Trip, and which occurs within 30 days of your Scheduled Departure Date, provided the city has not experienced a Terrorist Act in the past 30 days prior to the effective date of your coverage. The Terrorist Incident must occur after the Effective Date of Your Trip Cancellation Coverage.”

Some policies don’t include this wording: “provided the city has not experienced a Terrorist Act in the past 30 days prior to the effective date of your coverage”.

For example, if you are going to Beirut or Paris soon and you did not already buy a Trip Cancellation Travel Insurance policy before Nov 12th, there will be no coverage for trip cancellation, trip interruption or medical treatment due to a Terrorist Act at your destination.

On the other hand, if you are going to Beirut or Paris soon and you bought a Trip Cancellation Travel Insurance policy that includes Terrorist Incident coverage before Nov 12th, you are covered according to the terms of your policy.

Go to this page if you want to see more about Terrorist Incident coverage: https://tripinsurancestore.com/travel-insurance-terrorist-incident-coverages/ from the few companies I have pre-screened and I trust.

What If I Don’t Feel Safe Going Somewhere?

Not feeling safe at your destination is one good reason to have a policy with Cancel For Any Reason coverage. Cancel For Any Reason adds about 50% to the price, it has to be purchased by the same deadline as the Pre-existing Conditions coverage (14 – 30 days after your initial trip deposit date) and you have to insure 100% of your Prepaid, Non-refundable Trip Costs.

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I hope this makes sense. If you want the right travel insurance advice, call us at 1-888-407-3854 and we'll help you figure it all out.

Now, a word from our sponsor: TripInsuranceStore.com (Travel Forums' Most Recommended Travel Insurance Website)

PS - If you liked what you read, please Subscribe to my Blog.

Don’t Round Your Insured Trip Cost Down

by Steve Dasseos, The Trip Insurance Guru on November 12, 2015

I took a call a few weeks ago on one of the Saturday mornings I was working (yes, I work on weekends, too) from someone who wanted to be sure they had Pre-existing Conditions coverage. I asked, “What is your per person prepaid, non-refundable trip cost?”

She said “It’s $4,000 each”. I asked “Really, it’s exactly $4,000 each?” and she said, “Well, it’s really $4,009 but I don’t want to insure the extra $9 each.”

You might be wondering why I did not let her statement “It’s $4,000 each” go unchallenged. It’s because she wanted Pre-existing Conditions coverage. In fact, even if she never said anything about it, I still would have challenged her response since it’s unlikely that she would have known that many plans require you insure at least your trip’s full prepaid, non-refundable cost. In other words, you can’t round it down.

I am fully aware of the fact that she could have gone to any of my adversaries competitors for travel insurance advice. Since she came to TripInsuranceStore.com, I assume that she wants the truth about how trip cancellation travel insurance works. Besides getting the truth from us, she also gets to experience first-hand what it’s like to receive personalized service and an intelligent conversation about how travel insurance works.

I do not mean to imply that any of the other copy-cat websites give sub-standard advice, nor fail to ascertain exactly what a traveler needs. I’m sure they know what works for them.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

I hope this makes sense. If you want the right travel insurance advice, call us at 1-888-407-3854 and we'll help you figure it all out.

Now, a word from our sponsor: TripInsuranceStore.com (Travel Forums' Most Recommended Travel Insurance Website)

PS - If you liked what you read, please Subscribe to my Blog.

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