So you've purchased your travel insurance and are enjoying your vacation, until you find yourself with severe dehydration, or maybe a broken leg. It's time to get some emergency medical treatment. You're in a foreign country, everything's in a panic, you don't know where to go, how much it's going to cost, or how it's going to be paid. Now what?
Well, if you purchased Emergency Medical travel insurance through Allianz Global Assistance, here are the steps you should take in the event of an emergency medical issue. First, call the toll free number that’s provided in the confirmation of insurance you received when you purchased coverage. Allianz Global Assistance also accepts collect calls via a direct line if you’re outside of the toll-free calling area. If you're unable to call yourself, you should have someone else [i.e. a family member or travelling companion] make that call as soon as possible. That initial call is going to take a lot of the confusion and guesswork out of your trip to the doctor.
First, Allianz Global Assistance can put you in touch with an appropriate facility via their network of providers. They have contacts with medical providers globally and in most cases can find someone local to where you are. They may already have contacts locally that speak your language and who already have an existing billing arrangement with the care provider. They'll also be able to provide advice as to what treatments will be covered, so you're not left guessing. Having a medical contact that bills the insurance company directly, who knows your coverage, and who speaks your language is going to help remove some of the serious causes for panic during a medical emergency.
Wherever and whenever you seek medical treatment, you still need to contact Allianz Global Assistance as soon as possible. At a minimum, this will allow them to contact the provider you did use to see if they can arrange direct billing. They'll also ensure that you receive the correct level of care. Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that your visit to the hospital be emergent and unforeseen in order for it to be eligible for coverage.
If that trip to emergency fixes you up, great! Enjoy the rest of your vacation [but keep your receipts!] However if there's something more substantial going on that will require a longer duration of treatment, Allianz Global Assistance has nurses on staff who can coordinate your care with the local provider at your destination. If you're travelling with others, and your treatment lasts beyond your vacation, Allianz Global Assistance provides coverage of up to $150 per day for your travelling companion to help defray food, hotel, and taxi expenses as they wait for you to recover. They'll also assist with coverage of any charges for an airline change fee if travel arrangements need to be reorganized around your release from the medical system.
If your treatment lasts longer than a very short period of time, your insurance provider may make arrangements to fly you home via an air ambulance so you can complete your treatment and recovery in your hometown with the added support of family and friends.
Once you're home again, you can then submit your receipts for any covered charges incurred that Allianz Global Assistance was unable to arrange direct billing for.
It's that easy – and it all starts with that first call. From there, expect the travel insurance company to help verify that your treatment will be covered, assist you in finding the right provider, coordinate the right treatment, to attempt to arrange direct billing to the insurer, to provide assistance with your treatment, and to make sure you and your travelling partners get back home safe and sound.
Travel insurance is provided and underwritten by Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Company [Canadian Branch].
Allianz Global Assistance is the registered business name for AZGA Service Canada Inc. and AZGA Insurance Agency Canada Ltd.