Overseas Health Assistance

By Wayne Wirtanen
This item appears on page 34 of the July 1994 issue.


A travel-insurance company recommended by Robert and Miriam Bacon of Lake Worth, FL, is Amex Assurance Co. (800/541-3522 in San Diego, CA).
They wrote of the company, “Their insurance is low cost; for example, $87 family coverage for one to eight days or $127 for up to 31 days.
“After our trip to Australia and New Zealand and after another trip to Morocco, our modest claims were processed quickly and to our complete satisfaction.”

Tour-operator-supplied travel insurance

BerkleyCare of Mineola, NY — a supplier of the insurance policies sold directly through over 200 tour/cruise operators — wrote to us with the following information: because of volume purchasing, some 80% of tour/ cruise-operator-supplied insurance policies are less expensive than a policy purchased individually at “retail.”
More importantly, these tour/ cruise-operator-supplied policies have had their coverages “beefed up” with higher limits and more tolerant “pre-existing condition” language. Emergency medical-evacuation features are commonly being supplied, as well.
I think that this type of policy has an additional advantage. If you have a problem with a claim, you’ll get improved service, with your tour op¬erator backing you up if some nego¬tiation or clarification is required.

Emergency medical assistance in Viet-Nam

The Vietnamese National Admin-istration of Tourism announced the launching of SOS TOURIST ASSISTANCE. The program provides all visitors to Viet-Nam, holding valid tourist visas, with emergency services during their stay.
All costs for a complete range of medical services including emer-gency evacuation and medical repatriation are covered by the program
through a sister company of INTER- NATIONAL SOS ASSISTANCE (of Philadelphia, PA).
Upon arriving in Viet-Nam, visi-tors will receive a special card which gives details of how to use the ser-vices. For further information, call Michael Kelly at 215/244-1500.

Specialized travel insurances

• Council Travel, a travel division of the not-for-profit Council on Inter¬national Educational Exchange, of¬fers travel-insurance coverage for students or other budget travelers. They have branches well distributed around the U.S.
For further information, call Tam¬my Ryan Barker at 415/693-8761.
• Scuba divers are offered specialized medical insurance that can in-clude payment for potentially very expensive transportation and treat-ment for the bends or air embolism.
Basic membership, which provides for medical evacuation whether or not it’s diving related, costs $25 for one year; additional coverages for payment of medical expenses up to $30,000 are available.
For more information, call DAN (Diver’s Alert Network) at 800/446- 2671.

Medical kits

International SOS Assistance of-fers travelers to relatively remote areas a selection of unique medical kits.
Suppose you have a medical emergency in an area (China, Russia, Mexico, Africa, South America—you name it) where you don’t trust the local doctors or medical facilities to have sterile instruments, assorted bandages, medical dressings, oint¬ments or other common medications.
The kits put together for just this eventuality are not first-aid kits. They include sophisticated supplies and equipment that are to be used only by local medical personnel.
The three different kits available include an increasingly comprehen-sive variety of medical supplies and cost from $39.95 to $109.95.
For additional information and description of contents of the medical kits, contact International SOS Assistance c/o ITN.