Since the introduction of the new Obamacare health insurance programme in the United States, some hospitals have been demanding up-front payment from patients for medical care. Many hospitals employ specialist firms to manage this billing for them and to optimise revenue by pursuing patients for ever-increasing sums of money. Though not widespread, higher rates of this practice have been reported in the state of Florida. These up-front payments can be as high as US$10,000 and are standardised as part of the admission process. Other providers will ramp up the bill if they know you are insured.
If Southern Cross Travel Insurance customers are asked by a hospital or clinic for payment in advance, we recommend that you contact our 24hr emergency assistance team immediately to negotiate with the hospital on your behalf.
Hospitals cannot demand an ‘advance’ of this kind, and they cannot refuse to treat a patient. They should not put an insured person under pressure in this manner and we advise that you don’t prepay any funds before you are admitted or treated in the hospital or clinic - let our assistance team handle it for you instead.
Our experienced team at Southern Cross Travel Insurance are experts, and we’re here for these kinds of situations. Our travel insurance is specially designed for the things that Kiwis are likely to claim for while travelling overseas, including health care in the United States. Make sure that when you buy your TravelCare from us that you select a policy which covers the United States. That way if you’re heading to the US, you’ll be able to relax knowing you have the right policy and level of cover.