Author Topic: Health Insurance Question for Non-EU Citizen  (Read 3240 times)

Offline mashoor183

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Health Insurance Question for Non-EU Citizen
« on: August 05, 2015, 02:13:56 pm »
Does anyone know of an insurance provider that will give insurance for an expedition in Austria for a non-EU citizen (which includes rescue AND health care)? I've looked at ADAC and AAC but my understanding is they only provide the rescue part and getting you to a hospital, but not the actual hospital care.

Normally, people who are EU citizens have an E111 or similar to gain access to free health care, but that's obviously not an option for me.

Everything I've looked at doesn't really give a clear indication as to whether caving itself is covered, let alone exploratory caving.

Cheers!

Offline Over the Hill

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Re: Health Insurance Question for Non-EU Citizen
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2015, 03:01:28 pm »
I have recently quizzed the Alpenverein (UK its called the Austrian Alpine Club) and I have been assured that I would be covered for Cave Rescue and Third Party Liability but I will not stick my neck out further and say if that covers every European Country and if I was going all around Europe I would ask further about each country but Austria I assume is OK.

So assuming you go for that if you had serious injuries once at a local hospital for free I guess it comes with a bill for anyone without an E111. You will find in some European Countries like France you can still be charged a percentage of the total cost even with an E111. I was reading about this only 2 weeks ago after a UK guy got a bill for over £4,000 (10%) after a serious heart attack in France using just a E111 and no other insurance. AAC 2015 membership form clearly says in capitals NOT COMPREHENSIVE TRAVEL INSURANCE.
I can ask an American I ski Mountaineer with (they are AAC club trips) what he does to cover any in hospital issues in Europe but it may take a few days to get this info. Once fit to travel with AAC cover you will be (I am fairly certain) sent onwards for free to a hospital in your home Country.

I for one would not go to America and rely on the AAC in a higher Mountaineering (example Alaska) situation and would re-join the UK BMC and use their insurance.

The UK office of the AAC is on email and they have a web site. Nice staff.

Some UK cavers recently going out of Europe may be better placed to give an opinion.  :coffee:

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Offline biffa

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Re: Health Insurance Question for Non-EU Citizen
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2015, 04:46:03 pm »
From the UK AAC's insurance FAQs:
Quote
Is caving covered?

The AAC(UK) is a mountaineering, alpine sports and walking club. The only activities which are covered are those described in the AWS Leaflet , and only includes those caving activities which are organised by the AAC(UK) itself. Caving insurance is highly specialised and if you are a UK resident should be arranged through the British Caving Association or through any bone-fide UK Caving Club.

Offline Over the Hill

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Re: Health Insurance Question for Non-EU Citizen
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2015, 06:04:38 pm »
From the UK AAC's insurance FAQs:
Quote
Is caving covered?

The AAC(UK) is a mountaineering, alpine sports and walking club. The only activities which are covered are those described in the AWS Leaflet , and only includes those caving activities which are organised by the AAC(UK) itself. Caving insurance is highly specialised and if you are a UK resident should be arranged through the British Caving Association or through any bone-fide UK Caving Club.

That it may say in a Section leaflet but that I feel is not up with the the current CLUB Scene. Let me fully explain.

I recently went through all this with a friend and long term employee who works at the Alpenverein head office in Innsbruck and I feel I have it in writing that I as a member would be covered for caving.  The reason I went to Innsbruck was years ago it was on the English Vesion Insurance leaflet.

This was sent to me on 9 June 2015 after being told first I was insured for rescue but for some reason they did not confirm about third party insurance

Dear Mr. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
 
Referring to your initial request of 11-05-2015 to insurance coverage with Austrian Alpine Club insurance for "caving", I would like to make the point clear concerning Third Party Liability insurance:
 
After consultation with the responsible departement of Generali insurance, caving - in your specific request - is an activity of Austrian Alpince Club ÖAV and is also included in Third Party Liability coverage.
 
Please contact us in case of any further questions.

Kind regards,


Stefan Milojevic

The insurance is governed under Austrian Law not UK law and it is as you can see an activity of the "CLUB" (AAC UK is just a section). Can I add after last years AAC UK AGM I was asked if I could organise an underground day at the next AGM in Wales this year. As the nearest point in Wales are the slate mines and with no local experience I could not lead a trip myself and after a few emails trying to find a caver/miner/guide/local to help out I gave up on it (cash was on offer). I would hope next year its part of the AGM weekend to go caving in Derbyshire. Also the next AAC UK newsletter should have an item saying there are some club members going caving in Yorkshire and inviting people to get in touch.
I hope that helps not hinders, I feel I have provided proof enough that Caving is an Alpenverein Activity and fully insured for Third Parties.
If you feel that it is not the case (I assume you are a member) I suggest you contact Stefan Milojevic via the Innsbruck HQ in preference to the UK Section Office for any further clarity.

Regards  :coffee:

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Offline cavermark

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Re: Health Insurance Question for Non-EU Citizen
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2015, 08:31:35 pm »
I've asked ADAC whether they cover non EU residents as I have an interest there too - I will let you know the response.
(The ADAC travel-health insurance covers all medical costs after sickness or accident without limit and rescue costs up to 2.600 EUR. Helicopter evacuation counts as "primary transport", which is unlimited.)

ADAC, Dogtag and Snowcard all understand caving and have provided written assurances that they cover exploratory/expedition caving in the past (and cover for caving outside Europe too).
Not sure if they cover Non EU residents though. I suggest giving them a ring/email (i'm interested in the response too :) ).

I take it you weren't asking about 3rd party liability, but if you were, BCA's 3rd party insurance covers you worldwide too if that helps (don't know if they cover non EU members though....?)

Offline Over the Hill

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Re: Health Insurance Question for Non-EU Citizen
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2015, 09:24:50 pm »
Interesting about the ADAC, look forward to hearing more.

Just to give a bit more info the UK AAC (Alpenverein Section Britannia) has around 10,000 members and quite a few are overseas members, example North America. The whole club a year ago was hovering at around 500,000 members. Most UK members just join for the insurance of course and have no interest in caving or even top flight mountaineering or doing anything as a club. There are a lot of Ski Bums just looking for cheap off piste cover.

Further upside for members are cheap hut rates in far flung places and 15% off at Cotswolds. AAC helicopter recovery and rescue is up to Euro 25,000, I know someone who has tested that in France and no bill. My take is you would get maximum Euro 10,000 towards a medical issue after a rescue but the repatriation would have no limit. Euro 10,000 could soon go in intensive care so in Europe that E111 is gold.
Reason I am selling it is they have sunk a lot of money into training us UK bods and I have had quite a few reduced cost trips around the hills with a great guide ski mountaineering.
Even cavers can benefit from the Alpine huts discount if nothing else.  :coffee:
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Offline Ouan

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Re: Health Insurance Question for Non-EU Citizen
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2015, 03:07:41 am »
This is probably not relevant to the OP, but a non-EU citizen would have to be resident in the UK to buy a policy from a UK company. UK travel insurance companies insist on covering for ALL your time outside of the UK, not just the caving part.

A few years back I contacted Snowcard about a trip where I was going to work for a month, cave for a month, work for another month before returning to the UK. They wanted a premium for 90 days. And when they found out that I would be working (and where I would be working) they declined to give cover.

Offline caving_fox

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Re: Health Insurance Question for Non-EU Citizen
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2015, 09:00:20 am »
This is probably not relevant to the OP, but a non-EU citizen would have to be resident in the UK to buy a policy from a UK company. UK travel insurance companies insist on covering for ALL your time outside of the UK, not just the caving part.

A few years back I contacted Snowcard about a trip where I was going to work for a month, cave for a month, work for another month before returning to the UK. They wanted a premium for 90 days. And when they found out that I would be working (and where I would be working) they declined to give cover.

I was going to suggest Snowcard. They do explicitly cover caving expeditions at their higher adventure levels. I guess if you're not working then it'll be fine. You'll have to check with them regarding the health care aspect though. How are you covered at the moment?
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Offline cavermark

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Re: Health Insurance Question for Non-EU Citizen
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2015, 12:22:09 pm »
Reply from the ADAC on whether cover extends to non EU residents:

"No, Only if the ADAC member lives in one of the EU-States or in one of the following states: Andorra, Channel Islands, Färöer, Isle of Man, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Norwegen, San Marino, Staat der Vatikanstadt, Gibraltar, Schweiz ."


Offline Ouan

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Re: Health Insurance Question for Non-EU Citizen
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2015, 02:47:29 pm »
How are you covered at the moment?

My employer's travel insurance covers caving worldwide, as long as it is not done on an "expedition" and I am outside my country of residence.

Offline Over the Hill

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Re: Health Insurance Question for Non-EU Citizen
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2015, 02:56:00 pm »
Just a thought, the Swiss Alpine Club has a UK section. No idea whats on offer though but I understand an old ULSA member is the Geneva section president or similar.  :coffee:
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