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Question: Has anyone purchased special travel/medical insurance before?


Ski Diva Extraordinaire
So all these inbound avalanches have got me thinking about the costs associated with big ski accidents. I am referring to the type of accident that would requires life flight and ambulance evacuation followed by ICU and trauma unit treatment. I am not sure that my California medical insurance would cover out of state expenses. Yes, I plan to call and ask. Has anyone ever purchases additional insurance for ski trips before? If so, what company did you use?


Ski Diva Extraordinaire
When I buy travel insurance I typically use Travel Guard. I have not made a claim on it though, but typically insure trips not so much for the medical benefits, but for the event I get sick or injured prior to the trip and cannot go.
If you are looking for medical transport you might look into a company such as MedJet Assist--you can buy a yearly membership or short term/per trip.


Staff member
I did went we went to France years ago. It was available through the travel agent and specific for skiing.

But your post has made me think about what does my company group insurance really cover....have to look into that. Good thing..the agent is a skier...she'll understand the question. Also is the fact that a ski buddy crashed on Thursday...mild concussion and hairline fracture in his ankle.


Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Yes. Nationwide Annual Travel Pro Plan https://travel.nationwide.com/plans/annual

I think they just raised it to $59 a year includes spouse/family on base plan which would cover what you describe. Its a bargain. If you want more for trip interruption / cancellation they have two other levels of coverage, but his is such an amazing price for the coverage you get. Another $20 gets you higher policy limits for emergency medical and evacuation.

Basic rules: To qualify for reimbursement, your trips must be at least 100 miles away from home, must either originate or include a stop in the United States, and must be 30 consecutive days or less in duration. Domestic and international leisure travel is covered. Travelers 81 years old or older are not eligible for this plan. This plan is available to you, your domestic partner (spouse) and your dependent children traveling with you. Certain other eligibility requirements apply. Please see your plan document for complete details.

They ask that you submit your medical bills to your primary health insurance provider first before submitting a claim. They pay what ever is not covered up to policy limits. I've had this plan for the past 4 years. I figure it covers any incident that could occur away form home and basically covers my deductible/ out of pocket as well as additional emergency evacuation coverage that my regular insurance won't cover. Also covers international. I did turn in a claim a few years ago, easy to deal with and was paid promptly. I will be turning in a claim again in the next few weeks since Mammoth doesn't have an urgent care, anything that needs even minor medical attention requires a trip to the ER which can can be costly.

Read the exclusions and you might want to check to make sure "regular recreational skiing is covered" but it seems like it would be since they specifically exclude: Mountaineering; heliskiing; extreme skiing.
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Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@WaterGirl thanks. We are taking quite a few out of state ski trips this year. I have Kaiser Permanente (employer paid for retirees) and don't trust it to pick up out of state stuff. That kind of emergency evacuation can pretty much bleed someone dry.

I'll phone them tomorrow to make sure that in bounds skiing, including off piste, is covered and then I'll report back. If so, I'm definitely getting this and hoping I never need it!
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^ Thanks for this! It looks very interesting. I plan to check them out.
I was looking as well. First, we should find out what our personal insurance pays. Silly me (the accountant) didn't even check into it and was injured in Kitzbuhel in 2017. I took out the "ski" insurance at about 5 CHF per day (swiss francs but about $5 US per day). So after getting injured, snowmobiled off mountain plus $600 at dr (all paid up front) I tried to get reimbursed and was told to check with my personal insurance. Surprisingly, I was covered internationally for emergency treatment. Swiss ski insurance said collect what you can from your personal insurance and we'll pay whatever is not covered. Took several months but 100% paid - about 80% personal insurance (I didn't even know I was covered internationally) and 20% Swiss insurance (included taxi, $25 deductible plus $150 cost of being snowmobiled off mountain.) Yes it took about 6 months but was all covered. Moral of the story is check to see what your personal insurance covers. I never did until was told to try to collect first. Now I know.
By the way, my insurance is United Health Care for CAL PERS retirees. Retired from local government in California. Yay for CAL PERS. I do pay for this though. But very good benefits!


Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I clicked on the link and when I put in NYS it says 'not available for residents of New York due to pending licensing approval ' NYS is a PIA

if anyone has other resources please share.
I think I wrote similar info up in another post earlier this year. Check you credit card for what kind of travel insurance is included when you use to card to purchase your trip or itinerary. My United card until recently gave up to 10K worth of travel insurance as a perk at no extra charge. The benefit is quite extensive and include air travel, lost luggage, trip cancellation due to illness etc. Last year we file a claim for a dive trip we had to cancel due to illness and had zero issues with the claim.

For medical, you should be covered at a minimum for emergency treatment. More than that will depend on your plan. Even my crappy exchange plan covers emergency only treatment out of state and country. That is going to be a fun argument to have with your insurer: where emergency treatment ends and regular treatment begins.

Evacuation by helicopter or ambulance is horribly expensive and health insurers are notorious for not paying much of the billed cost. We have purchased a regional "lifeflight" plan $120 (ish) for two years of regional helicopter evac. In addition to that, we have a DAN (Divers Alert Network)plan that covers any sort of evacuation if we are more than 50 miles from home including internatonal.
I have more info to add about travel insurance but I understand OP was looking for medical info.
Yes. Nationwide Annual Travel Pro Plan https://travel.nationwide.com/plans/annual

Read the exclusions and you might want to check to make sure "regular recreational skiing is covered" but it seems like it would be since they specifically exclude: Mountaineering; heliskiing; extreme skiing.
No sh*t better read the fin print on that one.


Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@geargrrl fyi they paid a "ski" related claim 3 years ago. I don't remember the extra "ski" or "mountaineer" language in the posted agreement currently on line. I also want to check with them to see what "extreme" means -- i.e. does it exclude back country skiing?

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