By Wendy Perrin
There is no less sexy topic than travel insurance. But, considering how much you can lose by purchasing the wrong policy (from hundreds of thousands of dollars to your life), I want to keep you posted on the latest:
Travel Guard International just unrolled a new program called My Travel Guard that lets you choose which hospital you end up in, should you require medical evacuation during a trip. When you suffer an accident or injury midtrip, normally it's the insurance company that decides which medical facility you'll go to. It chooses the nearest facility that it considers adequate for treating your problem. With My Travel Guard, you can pay a little extra in exchange for control over which hospital you end up in. You can go to "your hospital of choice," even your hospital back home.
Before this new program, a much more expensive policy from MedJetAssist was the only way to get coverage for medical transportation to your hospital back home, should you end up hospitalized overseas.
Exactly how do these programs differ? I talked to both companies this morning in an attempt to figure it out. Travel Guard said that MedJetAssist doesn't cover the medical or hospital expenses you incur; it covers only your transportation (with the necessary medical staff and equipment) from hospital to hospital. MedJetAssist said that Travel Guard will move you to your "hospital of choice" only if the attending physician finds it medically necessary to move you. In other words, you don't really have control over which hospital you end up in.
Confused yet? Join the club. I invite both Travel Guard and MedJetAssist to clarify their programs by posting a comment here.