IMG denied my application for their Global Medical Insurance plan because of my recent knee condition and treatment. I have a much better understanding of why so many people are frustrated and uninsured in America as a result. It seems unfair that insurers will deny coverage for people who are (or were recently) sick or injured – in short the people who need the coverage the most – because they might have to pay $$$ after any pre-existing condition clauses expire (IMG Global Gold is 24 months – not that I'd still be with them that long). As a result, tens of millions of Americans are without health insurance coverage.
I've had employees who had to choose whether to take their children to the doctor, or themselves, yet I didn't really get the rub until now. The underwriter said I could reapply in 6 months if the knee problem doesn't persist, nor do I seek treatment for it. Of course there's no guarantee they'll cover me then either!
So on to Plan B, paying COBRA premiums month-to-month to maintain my employer-based plan. It's 3-4 times as expensive as the IMG policy, however it also covers a lot more, and I have the added security of knowing if my knee problem recurs, and self-treatment doesn't help, I don't have to assume the whole cost of further treatment myself. I still intend to reapply for an IMG policy after 6 months. Luckily, I obtained all the necessary medical records myself rather than having them sent to the company. I can scan them all, e-mail them to myself, and have them readily available to forward next May. Just don't tell IMG – I'm still mad at them.
While I have access to the BlueCard Worldwide network outside of the United States, it's geared more toward trying to ensure I'm using an “in-network” provider or facility, versus emergency evacuation support. For that reason, I just paid for 6 months worth of travel insurance through World Nomads at a cost of $238.
It still surprises me how many people seem to rely on travel insurance alone. I was recently reminded by a wise man that if I ended up in a worst case scenario (such as a cancer diagnosis) without medical insurance, it's not just me that'd be financially impacted, it'd be my parents as well.
Despite the unforeseen (and souring) cost of insurance for this trip, I'm so close to leaving it's hard to be upset. I quickly passed the anger phase and moved on to acceptance. There are still a few ways I can make up for it along the way:
- Dares! – I know readers are hard at work coming up with weird and embarrassing things for me to do, such as pick my nose in front of the Sky Tower in Auckland.
- Couchsurf – I'm batting 0 for 8 in Tahiti and Auckland, however I know there's a couch out there with my name on it!
- Advertising – I constantly run a full inventory of 10 Text Link Ads, so contact me directly if you'd like to advertise on this popular PR 4 travel blog.
- Donations – While Dares are interactive, I'm fully prepared for a no-strings donation or two! :)