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  #1  
Old 03 May 2014, 10:43 PM
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WildaBeast WildaBeast is offline
 
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Airplane Don't Count On Travel Insurance To Cover Mental Health

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It's bad enough to be sick at home in your own bed, but so much worse when on vacation.
People often buy travel insurance so they don't lose the money they spent on airfare and hotels if they can't travel due to illness. But if that illness happens to be a mental health issue, don't expect travel insurance to cover it.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014...-mental-health
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  #2  
Old 04 May 2014, 07:15 AM
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The first example was knocked back not because of a mental health problem, but because the event was pre-existing. If the son had a long-term heart condition it would be the same result.
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Old 04 May 2014, 08:02 AM
Onyx_TKD Onyx_TKD is offline
 
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The first example was knocked back not because of a mental health problem, but because the event was pre-existing. If the son had a long-term heart condition it would be the same result.
Not only that, but both of the people actually scheduled to go on the trip were perfectly healthy! They chose to cancel the trip due to the health of another adult who was never scheduled to travel with them. Would travel insurance cover that for any type of health problem? The wife said:
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If I fall down and break my leg I can get my money back, but if I have an anxiety attack and fall into depression, forget it
She'd get her money back if she broke her leg, but would she get her money back if she canceled because her adult son (who wasn't involved in the trip) broke his leg? I assume the insurance provider would refuse, on the grounds that there is no need for the parents to cancel their trip because another adult broke his leg. I could see expecting travel insurance to cover a cancelled trip due to their minor child being injured/sick, or maybe a close relative being in critical condition, but a 30-year-old changing his medication? I don't see how that's the travel insurance provider's problem.

Also, the insurance provider said:
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The insurer, CSA Travel Protection of San Diego, Calif., responded in a letter: "Please note that while your policy offers coverage for sickness, injury or death, it does not provide coverage for the risk of a sickness."
So it sounds like they didn't deny it because it was a mental health problem, but rather because there was no actual health problem at the time they chose to cancel. There was merely the potential for a problem to develop during the planned medication change.
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Old 04 May 2014, 09:21 AM
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Not only that, but both of the people actually scheduled to go on the trip were perfectly healthy! They chose to cancel the trip due to the health of another adult who was never scheduled to travel with them. Would travel insurance cover that for any type of health problem?
Yes, of course, I missed that point.

At work, we get lots of unusual things that people think they are covered for with their travel insurance. Dogs dying, forgetting your passport, car breakdown, traffic delays, having to work. Insurance is not a magic wand.
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  #5  
Old 04 May 2014, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Onyx_TKD View Post
Not only that, but both of the people actually scheduled to go on the trip were perfectly healthy! They chose to cancel the trip due to the health of another adult who was never scheduled to travel with them.
I'm sure it depends on the policy, but the last time I bought travel insurance I checked the policy and it said the illness or death of a family member in your care was covered, not just the people who are traveling.

Quote:
there was no actual health problem at the time they chose to cancel.
There son did have a health problem, it was just kept under control by medication, the same as how a diabetic might keep their symptoms under control by taking insulin, but they still have diabetes.
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Old 05 May 2014, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
I'm sure it depends on the policy, but the last time I bought travel insurance I checked the policy and it said the illness or death of a family member in your care was covered, not just the people who are traveling.
But would a 30-year-old adult count as "in [the parent's] care"? I would assume that the son is an independent adult, since nothing in the article indicated otherwise. I expect that insurance coverage regarding a family member "in your care" would have specific limits on who counted as "in your care." I doubt it's strictly limited to minor children and legal wards, but I also doubt that it extends to all relatives with any illness.

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Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
There son did have a health problem, it was just kept under control by medication, the same as how a diabetic might keep their symptoms under control by taking insulin, but they still have diabetes.
True, poor phrasing on my part. Perhaps I should have said "There was no new health problem at the time they chose to cancel." My point was that they were not canceling the trip due to a new medical issue cropping up, they were canceling because of the potential for a medical problem. The insurer's position seems to be that cancellation for potential medical issues that have not yet arisen is not covered, which seems pretty reasonable. Similarly, if someone with diabetes booked a trip, then canceling because they might have a problem that has not yet arisen would not be covered.
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Old 05 May 2014, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Onyx_TKD View Post
But would a 30-year-old adult count as "in [the parent's] care"? I would assume that the son is an independent adult, since nothing in the article indicated otherwise. I expect that insurance coverage regarding a family member "in your care" would have specific limits on who counted as "in your care." I doubt it's strictly limited to minor children and legal wards, but I also doubt that it extends to all relatives with any illness.
I'm sure the insurance company would like to define it as narrowly as possibly, but as a consumer if I read that I would take it to mean any family member who I provided care for, be it a child, an elderly parent, or an adult offspring with special needs.
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Old 05 May 2014, 07:55 PM
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Based on the insurance company's response, the definition of "family member" wasn't relevant to the denial. But if "family member" does not include adult children, the policy should explicitly say so.
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Old 05 May 2014, 08:18 PM
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Based on the insurance company's response, the definition of "family member" wasn't relevant to the denial. But if "family member" does not include adult children, the policy should explicitly say so.
I agree that it's not relevant to the denial in this case. However, if it were relevant, the question would be the definition of "family member in your care," not just "family member." I'm sure the company would not deny that an adult child was a family member. However, I think they might argue whether an adult child living independently counted as "in your care." To me, "family member in your care" tends to imply an ongoing caregiver relationship, e.g., for a minor child or an adult unable to live independently. Thus, I wonder whether the insurance would cover cases where an independent adult not going on the trip suddenly needed temporary care, as it would be much less obvious why the people who booked the trip had to be the ones providing that care.

Maybe I'm just paranoid, but if I had reason to believe that type of situation might come up (e.g., because of an adult child's ongoing health issue), that's the kind of thing I'd want to clarify before getting the travel insurance.
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