|We loved seeing this flower growing in our yard in Campanario, Madeira, as it broke free from its pod.|
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At the end of this month, our world travel health insurance policy expires. Generally, we purchase a 90-day policy from United Healthcare Global Safe Trip from this online site.
Prior to COVID-19, it was a breeze to choose our preferred policy and purchase it online, taking less than 10-minutes to complete. The documents arrive shortly thereafter, leaving us with 90 additional days of coverage.
|Colorful steps, located at an elementary school in Campanario.|
At the time, purchasing a year-long policy wasn’t possible when the requirement stated we had to return to the US every 90-days. However, the cost of the 90-day policy was no higher in shorter increments than an annual policy. It simply meant we’d have to visit the company’s site, enter some general information and pay online.
Fortunately, my previous pre-existing condition hasn’t been an issue, providing I haven’t had any recent additional treatment or significant medication changes within the prior 90-days.
|This house appeared to be unfinished, as frequently observed everywhere we’ve traveled.|
As of this date, we have not made a single claim since we began purchasing these two individual policies (one for each of us) with this reliable company. Years ago, we had United Healthcare as our insurance provider for several years and all was handled well without incident, giving us confidence in using them for our world travel policy.
The only drawback to the policy is the fact that we are not covered when visiting the USA. Yes, it’s possible to purchase an add-on for short visits to the US, but the cost was and continues to be prohibitive.
|A stairway to a cave.|
Thus, when we visit the US we only have Medicare, Part A. We’re not willing to pay the additional INR 90426, US $1200, a month going forward for Part B plus supplements.
If and when the time comes that we’ll return to the US to live, when we cannot continue to travel, we’ll sign up for full Medicare insurance and accompanying supplements. Once one commits to the full Medicare package, you’re locked in for life.
We haven’t wanted the burden of this big expense while continuing to travel the world, although some new supplemental insurance provides some coverage while traveling. Instead, we pay INR 31122, US $413 a month for both of us combined with an INR 15071, US $200 deductible. Additional features may be found online.
|We didn’t see any reason to enter this cave.|
Currently, due to COVID-19, United Healthcare Safe Trip website doesn’t allow making a purchase without calling the company or sending an email requesting information. They are quick to respond.
With the current policy, which we’d renewed while in India in April, expiring on July 28th, I was a little concerned that COVID-19 and the lack of international travel may mean they no longer offer this type of policy. A few days ago, I sent an email requesting we renew the policy for the next 180 days to see how they’d respond.
|Most likely, kids in the area played in these caves over the years.|
This morning I received an email from the company authorizing the new 180-day period, asking if they could charge our credit card on file. I couldn’t respond quickly enough, thrilled they’d provide us with an extended period.
With over 2,000,000 US citizens losing their health insurance since the onset of COVID-19, for a variety of reasons, we didn’t want to take a chance and wait another day to find out if they’d renew us.
|These are the pods growing in the garden that finally bloomed as shown in the above main photos.|
During our last visit to the US from November 8, 2019, to January 30, 2020, (when we first arrived in India), I had a few medical appointments, all of which we paid out of pocket; one a visit to a cardiologist for a check-up and another to an urgent care facility when we both had an outrageous cough and flu that wouldn’t go away.
Had that cough and fever occurred a month later, we may have thought it was COVID-19 when we both coughed for over six weeks. We’ve often wondered if, in fact, it was, after sailing on a 15-night cruise from the UK to the US arriving on November 8th.
|Gina, our property manager, explained that the number of cloudy days we’d experienced while there was unusual.|
Hopefully, we’ll continue to be able to avoid making claims on the policy. After our prior insurance company failed to pay for my emergency heart surgery in South Africa, which included four surgeries and follow-up, all of which we paid out of pocket, we now feel at ease to be working with a reliable company.
That’s it for today, folks! Stay safe and healthy!
Photo from one year ago today, July 14, 2019:
|Cow grazing by the fence along our driveway in Connemara, Ireland. Please click here for more details.|