Medi-Quote Blog

Our Medi-Quote Story

Our story begins in September of 2012. My husband had a serious paralyzing stroke and was rushed to the hospital, was treated, recovered remarkably and was released less than 48 hours later. It was a very scary near death experience but with wonder drugs he had a full recovery.

We have a home in Phoenix and the thought of travelling without medical insurance was a risk we would not take. We personally knew of a couple that had an emergency heart surgery incident while travelling through USA and their story was horrifying. They thought they had insurance, but found out that they had a medical bill of over $100,000.00 to pay. We purchased our travel insurance from Medi-Quote and they were willing to accept all our medical information and reassured us of medical coverage knowing the details of my husband's experience.

We went back to Phoenix in November and on December 26th my husband got out of bed in the morning and we knew something was seriously wrong. Within minutes we determined these were the symptoms of another stroke. I phoned the assistance company on our wallet cards and they gave me instructions to seek medical help immediately.  I drove him to the nearest emergency hospital within 15 minutes and he was taken in and assessed. About 20 minutes later the staff informed me they needed to fly him to downtown Phoenix to the heart and stroke specialists.

I felt so alone, not knowing where he was going and how to take care of all the details for the moment. Within minutes the medical staff was in touch with assistance company and I was assured all was taken care of. I found my husband later in the day at St Joseph's hospital in downtown Phoenix, his condition had stabilized and was going through a series of tests. Our concern was again the cost of all this, but the hospital assured us they were in touch with the insurance company and all was well. 

My husband was released on a Saturday after only two days. On Monday morning a phone call came from the insurance company. We were expecting we would have to leave for Canada and now we knew we had 48 hours to be on our way. We were offered plane tickets and transfers to get home and were offered to have our vehicle shipped home. We chose to drive, but were told to keep track of all receipts of meals, gas and hotels and out of pocket medical prescriptions. We were reimbursed within a few weeks, very generously. 

When we saw the copies of the medical bills from Phoenix and the medical helicopter ride we were so grateful to have purchased from Medi-Quote after having saved many thousands of dollars.
     
When back in Canada, our medical doctor discovered that the strokes were caused by a heart problem that was corrected by surgery shortly after our return.

We appreciated the interest and concern and the manner in which our situation was handled by Medi-Quote and the insurance provider.

L. Heringer

My wife and I recently had to cancel a trip we planned for a year as she broke her foot and under Doctors orders she couldn't bare weight.

We immediately contacted  Pam at Medi-Quote who gave us the phone number for the insurance company's claim office.

The individual who answered the phone at the insurance company was sympathetic to our dilemma. He then took the pertinent information from us without being intrusive. Upon receiving the required information, he gave us claim numbers and arranged for us to get claim forms.

We completed the forms, had some medical form completed by my wife's attending physician and sent them in with relevant documents with respect to the money that the cancellation cost us.

This morning my wife asked when do you think we will hear from the insurance company, expecting them to ask for more information in order to delay our claim. She was a bit pessimistic based on problems others had in making insurance claims. I laughed at her skepticism and told her to stop worrying and that it was to early for a review of our claim to be completed.

Guess what, when I brought the mail in this morning there was a response from the insurance company. It was payment of our complete claim. All this happened in less then 3 weeks  

Thank you Medi-Quote for placing my insurance with a first class company

 

E. Winters

The following story was sent to us from a client after we had put out a call for positive stories about travel insurance in our annual newsletter. While positive stories about travel insurance are not uncommon, they aren't likely to end up on the evening news. Usually we only hear about times that things go wrong. We'd like to change this imbalance by sharing positive stories through the Good News Club. This story involves the type of accident that could happen to anybody, and gives us a glimpse into what it's like when travel insurance has your back.

If you have a story of your own you'd like to share please email goodnews@mediquote.ca, and if we use your story, we'll send you some thank you gifts in exchange for your story.

 

The Broken Pelvis

Although this happened a number of years ago, it is a good news experience with our travel insurance.

My husband was helping out a neighbour mend his trailer roof and upon descending, he slipped and fell off the ladder, landing on his hip pocket where he had his chisel. He was in a lot of pain and we decided he needed to go to the hospital. We headed out, not thinking of the insurance implications.

While at the hospital, while the husband was having tests, I called the insurance company. That year, we were covered by a company out of Montreal. They were so sympathetic and understanding and gave me a claim number. This number was presented to the hospital administration.

Turns out, the husband had fractured his pelvis and ended up in traction.

That night, I received a call at the trailer from the insurance company. Lord knows what time it was in Quebec. It was late in California, after hospital visiting hours. They asked about my husband’s condition and reassured me about his coverage. It was so nice to have someone caring about my situation, because at that time I was feeling pretty alone, in spite of all the support from friends in our camping park.

My husband was three days in hospital, in traction. He was stable and his life was not threatened in any way, so the insurance company decided to fly him home to Canada. Now, this was a bit of a problem because what do we do with our truck and trailer? And what about our little dog? And what do we do once we’re home, with no vehicle?

The insurance company was willing to pay to have someone else drive the rig home and the medi-flight would include me, but not the dog. (We found afterwards that they probably would have taken the dog, too). But we chose to have me drive the rig home with our dog, all expenses covered, including gas, food and motels. I kept all the receipts and submitted them to the insurance company for a full refund.

As well, I never saw any bills from the hospital. I did receive a bill from someone, but after calling the insurance company, they assured me they had a copy of that bill already and for me to disregard it.

Husband recovered nicely and we are still travelling south every winter, insured through the same broker, if not the same company. We didn’t see any appreciable increase in our rates the next year.

I have recommended this broker to many, many people and have related this same story many, many times. I would never travel south without insurance just because you never know what might happen, like falling off a ladder.  I’ve also heard many insurance horror stories and am so glad we were insured with Medi-Quote.

Sincerely,
Jackie and Brian Stroud

Our goal at Medi-Quote Insurance Brokers is to make sure Canada Post's potential service disruption has minimal impacts on the services we provide to our customers.  According to a statement made by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, as of July 2, Canada Post will be in a legal position to lock out its postal workers; and postal workers will be in a legal position to strike.

While the decision is yet to be determined, in the event of a mail service disruption, we want to make sure you have what you need to take with you on your trip.  

As always, you can opt to have your policy documents delivered in one of the following ways other than mail:

1)Via email – ask your broker!

2)Via our Client Portal.  Click here to go to our login page.

No email or printer?  No problem!  The minimum information you need to take with you on your trip is your policy number and the phone number to the insurance company so you can report your claim.  You can write this on a piece of paper and put it in your wallet.  The insurance company will look up the rest!

Not comfortable with any of those?  You can always have the documents sent by courier to your home.  Unfortunately, there is a charge for that service!  While we don’t feel it is absolutely necessary to have all your documents printed when you are in a pinch, if you feel better with all of your documents in hand, you might feel that charge is worth it.  Ask your broker for a price for that.

We will do what we can if there is a postal disruption.  We appreciate your patronage.

When it comes to travel insurance and pre-existing conditions, there is a lot of misinformation floating around about how pre-existing conditions are not covered at all. Sometimes people incorrectly assume that their existing conditions would not be covered by a policy. However, most of the time pre-existing conditions will be covered, as long as you disclose the condition to your broker so you are put on the proper plan, and the condition meets the plan's stability criteria.

What is stability?

Stability refers to the requirement of a policy, that there be no changes in a medical condition for a period of time. A change means a change in treatment or symptoms, including:

  • Being hospitalized;
  • Being put on a new medication;
  • An increase in a prescribed medication dosage;
  • Reducing or coming off a prescribed medication;
  • A flare-up, or worsening of symptoms.

Coming off a medication or having your dosage reduced is considered a change in stability even if it seems counter-intuitive

People are often surprised to learn that a reduction in dosage or being taken off a medication altogether is considered a change in stability. The reason is that you won't know right away what effect coming off a medication will have. It may mean your condition worsens, but you won't know until some time passes.

Coverage is available for conditions with as little as 7 days of stability

Different providers and plans have different requirements to qualify. A certain condition with 12 months of stability may qualify for a less expensive plan than the same condition with only three months of stability. For people with very recent stability changes, we offer a 7 day stability buy-down. Meaning, that as long as your condition and the treatment of that condition hasn't changed for 7 days before departure, your condition will be considered stable.

Medical testing affects stability

If you've had medical tests and are awaiting results, that is considered not stable. If you have tests scheduled, it's the same, you would not be considered stable.  If your doctor has told you that you will need testing, but no test have been scheduled yet, that may or may not be considered stable, depending on the insurance company. It can be complicated, so just let us know what is going on and we'll let you know what it all means.

Your doctor is not a travel insurance broker

If your doctor says something will or won't affect your travel insurance, take it with a grain of salt. They are not experts in insurance. Trust your doctor for medical advice, but leave the interpretations about the insurance side of things to us!

Track your medical changes, exact dates are very helpful

Knowing the exact date that a change was made can make getting on the right plan easier. And even though it may cost more, getting the right insurance can save you a lot of money in the long run. Keep track of your doctor's visits and whether you have changes to medications and other treatments. You can use our client portal at MyMediquote.ca to track these changes in your medical history. And when it comes time to quote your travel insurance we'll have the exact information because you've updated the information as it happened.

Don't put off doctor's visits

Go to the doctor now. If you've got travel coming up, give yourself plenty of lead time in case any medication adjustments are made. You'll have more time between the change and your departure date, which means a longer period of stability. Don't avoid the doctor for fear a change will affect your travel insurance costs negatively. Your health is the most important thing you have!

This Form informs the IRS that you should not be treated as a U.S. resident for tax purposes because you have closer ties to Canada. It is an important form to file if you want to avoid more detailed and expensive disclosures to the IRS.

  • You should file this if you are spending more than 4 months a year in the U.S. on a recurring basis. Don’t forget to count those shopping trips across the border too. Any portion of a day in the U.S. counts. Run your 2013, 2014 and 2015 through the test to determine if you have to file.
  • You must file the Form by June 15th each year. No extensions and no late filing allowed.
  • You do not need an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) to file the form.
  • If you need help remembering when you were in the U.S., use this website: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/request.html
  • The form can be access here: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Form-8840,-Closer-Connection-Exception-Statement-for-Aliens

 Talk to a tax advisor to discuss your options if you were required to file this form, but failed to in the past.

This information appears courtesy of Christina Walkden of 49P Tax Services

 

We are happy to see that our friends who were displaced by the fires in Fort McMurray are finally starting to come home now. We know you have a long road ahead, but we know that as Canadians, you have what it takes. Good luck and a speedy recovery to you, Fort Mac!

Click here to donate!

 

Last year we unveiled our DIY ("Do-It-Yourself") quoter, which allowed you to enter your information online and have our system automatically find the best available price and coverage based on your answers. And over last few months we've worked on some improvements to make it even better. 

For people without any medical conditions, the process has been streamlined, with fewer questions to answer. And for those with more serious conditions, our system can handle a greater variety of health conditions, without the intervention of a broker. Even if you tried it last year with limited success, you should try it again this year. You can always save your quote and call our office to discuss any questions you may have about the quote with one of our qualified Brokers.

You can try the DIY quoter out yourself. Or watch the video presentation below that talks more about what makes our DIY quoter different and how to use it to get a quote.

Click here to go to the MyMediquote.ca Client Portal to try the DIY quoter

All of us at Medi-Quote Insurance Brokers would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to everyone that is affected by the wildfires in Fort McMurray. Whether you are directly affected or being consumed with images that are reflected in the media, we know this is a difficult time for many. We will continue to hope for rain and thank all of the emergency workers and volunteers for their tireless efforts to battle the flames and ensure continued safety of everyone.
#albertastrong #albertahelps #helpymm #ymmfire #canadianstrong #ymm

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Purchasing baggage insurance for your trip is a great way to get extra piece of mind when traveling. But, unless you've been through an experience involving lost or stolen items and tried to make a claim on baggage insurance, there's a lot you might not know. That's why we've put together a few tips to help you cover your personal belongings while traveling. Here's just a few suggestions:

Check coverage limits for high value items - When purchasing baggage insurance with the intention of covering high value items like laptops and cameras, you may not be getting full coverage for the value of those items. Check your policy wording, or find out the coverage limits with your broker when purchasing the coverage, to see how much you would be reimbursed if expensive items were lost or stolen.

Use your home insurance to cover high value items –  You can contact your home insurance provider to get additional coverage for these items under your home insurance policy. You will likely be able to get more coverage for high value items than you could with traditional baggage insurance alone.

Take care of your stuff - Insurance companies expect you to take "reasonable care" of your belongings, and a claim could be denied if you leave something unattended in a public space or a shared hostel.

Document your gear with photos - If your baggage is lost or stolen, you will need to prove what items were lost when filing a claim. Taking photos of your items while packing, and keeping a list of what's in your possession, can serve as proof of what was lost. You could even save your photos in the cloud so they can be accessed even if you lose your camera or smart phone.

Cover your cash - The loss of cash can be covered if proof is given, however all policies have a limit to how much they will reimburse for lost cash during a theft or robbery – the maximum is usually $100, however some policies exclude coverage for cash entirely.

Watch for exclusions - Review the exclusions of any baggage insurance before purchasing. Some typical exclusions include common personal items like contact lenses, prescription eye glasses, artificial  teeth, and hearing aids. Other common exclusions include art, antiques, and fragile or brittle items.

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