I have major medical insurance, including worldwide emergency coverage, and bought this policy primarily for the medical evacuation and repatriation benefits to cover me on a trip to Vietnam and Thailand. About 3 days before my scheduled return, while in the city of Trang Thailand, visiting my son who's been teaching there, I had a motorbike accident. I went to the emergency room and x-rays showed I had a broken collarbone, as well as being fairly bruised and battered. They admitted me overnight. The treating physician put me in a figure 8 brace (which requires assistance for removal); told me I would have to wear it for 8-12 weeks; and twice told me I could not pick up anything heavy for that period of time. The next morning, I contacted GeoBlue and told them I was requesting non-medical evacuation assistance to get from Trang to my departure airport in Bangkok. All I wanted was to have them cover my son's travel expenses to help me get from Trang to Bangkok, as I had no idea how I would otherwise manage my luggage. I explained to them that my upcoming travel involved a flight from Trang to Don Mueang airport in Bangkok; a shuttle-bus from that airport to the other Bangkok airport; and 12 hour layover at that airport - all with luggage that I could not lift. (In Trang, as with many smaller Asian airports, you have to take a bus from terminal out to the plane on the tarmac - and carry any handheld items up steps to the plane.) I told them about the doctor's advice. The customer service rep. told me to send medical records and the name of the hospital so they could verify if needed. She said their medical team would review. The hospital had provided such records and my son took an image of them and emailed them to GeoBlue. The next day I received notice that they had not approved the non-medical travel assistance. When I questioned them, they told me that it was because the doctor's medical notes had not expressly called out any limitations on my activities. I responded that I was shocked that such limitations had to be called out in light of the unquestioned fact that I had a broken collarbone. They responded that if I had any further documentation to submit, they would consider it. They made no effort to contact the hospital; they did not accept my statement regarding the doctor's advice and my physical limitations.
In my professional life, I work for an insurance company and I was completely shocked by the outcome in my case with GeoBlue. If my company had rendered a decision like that, I would have viewed it as approximating bad faith.
Last point - your star rating system asks for "predeparture experience." I had no predeparture experience other than buying the policy. Suggest you add an N/A option.
Thank you for your feedback and we are sorry to read about the injury you sustained while in Thailand. We did investigate your case with our Global health & Safety Team as well as our Medial Director. The primary reason that the request for a family escort was not approved is the treating physician you were working with in Thailand did not indicate that you needed assistance while traveling. Also - per the bedside visit benefit, you would have had to be admitted for at least 7 days for the coverage to take effect and you were only admitted for one night. We regret that the plan was unsatisfactory to you and wish you safe travels in the future.
We traveled to Sao Paulo, Brazil. My husband broke his toe and we called the 24hs service skype. We got excellent service, including recommendations of hospitals near by. Once we decided where to go, geoblue sent a certificate of payment directly to the hospital and they dealt with payments. We never had to pay anything. It couldn't be better.
I called to get more information and the rep was very helpfull. He answered all of my questions and I was able to make a choice that I was comfortable with.
I thankfully did not need any assistance during the trip.
No claim was necessary.
I was very impressed with the information provided, the web site and the iPhone App
I did not need to use the service during this trip
Did not need the carrier during my trip.
Did not make a claim
no claim filed, so no opinion about insurance during trip...
No claim so no acid test, however, the purchase and subsequent registration were easy and pleasant. I'd use them again.
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Times Staff Writer
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