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How Does Primary and Secondary Medical Coverage Work in a Travel Insurance Plan?

Steve Dasseos

Visitors: 180

Contrary to popular belief Secondary Medical Coverage in a travel insurance plan has a big advantage over a Primary Medical Coverage in a travel insurance plan. Here's how they work:

What Do Primary or Secondary Medical Coverage Mean and How Do They Differ?

Primary Medical Coverage means your medical bills are paid from the first dollar. No “coordination of benefit" claim forms need to be filed.

This works best if the medical claim's less than the coverage amount. That's because even though you had insurance pay for part of the claim, when the Primary benefits are exhausted, your other insurance won't consider any deductibles or co-pays to be satisfied.

For example, here's what happens if you have a $70,000 medical claim with a travel insurance plan that has $50,000 Primary coverage:

1) You submit the $70,000 medical claim to the travel insurance. It pays $50,000 (its maximum)

2) You submit the remaining $20,000 to your medical insurance plan. Let's say it has a $5,000 deductible with a 20% copay.

3) Of the remaining $20,000 your medical insurance plan will pay $12,000 and you will be liable for $8,000.

Secondary Medical Coverage means your medical bills are paid after any other coverage you have pays their share. This means that Secondary coverage will pay any deductibles, out-of-pocket expenses or co-pays up to its coverage limit.

Here's a little detail that's good to know: You probably will have to pay your medical bills yourself while on your trip. That's because travel insurance plans are “indemnification" plans (you will be reimbursed - indemnified) after your trip by the insurance company. Travel insurance is not a “pay on behalf of" plan. You don't just give the medical facility a card. In some cases, a few companies can guarantee payment to the medical facility, but it's on a case-by-case basis.

Steve Dasseos is the CEO of , the world's most informative travel insurance comparison website. You can compare reputable travel insurance plans, get person-to-person service & advice. Contact Steve here .


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