Travel, Zoomer Report

Travel Health Insurance

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Are you planning on heading south this winter? If so, you could get a nasty surprise when you start shopping around for travel medical insurance. Premiums have increased twice in the last 6 months and the increase is more than 20 percent. For instance, a healthy 70-year-old will pay nearly $600 for 90 days of coverage and that jumps to more than $1300 for 6 months.

Meanwhile an 80-year-old with some health issues will pay between 5 and $10,000 for that period. Industry insiders say it’s not just the low loonie that is driving up costs. But there are ways keep the price in check while making sure you have the coverage you need. Think about getting a premium with a deductible. Until this year only a small percentage of snowbirds used this option, but a $300 deductible could cut the cost by about 10%, a $500 deductible could shave 15% and $1000 could take 20% off the price.

Another strategy is to make sure to buy your insurance ahead of milestone birthdays which come every five years. The insurers look at your age on the application date, even if you take the trip after your birthday. I saw one quote where the price jumped more than $800 between the age of 74 and 75.

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