We have an update to our article about purchasing travel insurance. You can read the entire article at this link: Travel with Confidence When You Purchase Travel Insurance. But for this update, here’s a brief recap:
For our recent two-week trip to the U.S., we opted to purchase travel insurance when we were buying our airline tickets on American Airlines. Shortly thereafter, we received a policy from Allianz Travel Insurance which outlined our coverage and confirming the prices we paid — all of $61.10 for both of us. Here is what our policy covered: At the time, we thought it was a great deal, not realizing that we would soon need to actually use it.
We were pleased with the coverage limits in general, but, to be frank, we were most interested in the emergency medical coverage. Should something happen during our visit to Baltimore, Paul could use his VA benefits and was also covered under Medicare Part A, but I had no other health insurance. Here in Costa Rica, medical costs are more reasonable and we are also covered under the Caja, the national medical system. But if something happened while we were in the States, we knew that it could end up being very expensive if we had to pay out-of-pocket. Purchasing this travel insurance policy gave us peace of mind, and the low cost made it a bargain, even if we never had to file a claim.
As for the update, we have finally received reimbursement from Allianz but it took some time, effort, and expense. Over the last five months, we have been in contact with their customer service department on numerous occasions. Even though we specified on our claim paperwork that we live in Costa Rica and do not have any health insurance in the United States, they needed proof. We sent them copies of my passport with entry stamps, residency card (cedula), Caja card (carnet), and even my Costa Rica drivers license. But this was not enough. They required a notarized letter (which I wrote) stating that I have no health insurance in the U.S. We had to take the letter to the U.S. Embassy to have it notarized, which cost $50 and several hours of our time. It took me a while to realize that the notarized letter becomes a legal document of sorts in case they were to find out at a later date that I did have have health insurance (I don’t). If I were lying about it (I’m not), they could use the notarized letter to get their money back. Once I submitted the notarized letter to them, they promptly issued a check to pay my claim. It is now my responsibility to pay the providers. One good thing that came out of it is that I still have the original of the notarized letter in case I should need it again at a later date. Here’s how the numbers all shook out: