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Travel insurance for US travelers over 70

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
The last travel insurance policy I bought was a year-long policy with United HealthCare. I bought the policy in February, 2020. Not one of my smarter purchases.

Between then and now, I have apparently aged up into a much riskier demographic. Once you hit 70, coverage decreases and prices go up.

I am ready to bite the bullet and buy another year-long policy but am having trouble finding good options.

Any advice on a good year-long policy covering multiple trips for someone over 70?

Buen camino, Laurie
 
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Robert Long

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Sept 2016
Camino Portuguse Oct 2018
I use Allianz or USAA travel ins. I’m over 70. Since cost of trip (airfare only) is very low premium is low. And good coverage
 
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crhutch

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2010) March/April SJPP to Santiago and hence to Finisterre
(2016) Hospitalero Grañón 15-31 March
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Viggo

California
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
The last travel insurance policy I bought was a year-long policy with United HealthCare. I bought the policy in February, 2020. Not one of my smarter purchases.

Between then and now, I have apparently aged up into a much riskier demographic. Once you hit 70, coverage decreases and prices go up.

I am ready to bite the bullet and buy another year-long policy but am having trouble finding good options.

Any advice on a good year-long policy covering multiple trips for someone over 70?

Buen camino, Laurie
I do mine with AmEx for each trip, if you have the card check it out. https://aeti.americanexpress.com/travel-insurance/home.do?inav=menu_travel_protection
 

TrvlDad1

Covidyard Bob
Year of past OR future Camino
2017 Frances from Saria
2018 Finnisterre & Ingles
2019 Portuguese from Valenca
2020 Assisi(cancel.)
The last travel insurance policy I bought was a year-long policy with United HealthCare. I bought the policy in February, 2020. Not one of my smarter purchases.

Between then and now, I have apparently aged up into a much riskier demographic. Once you hit 70, coverage decreases and prices go up.

I am ready to bite the bullet and buy another year-long policy but am having trouble finding good options.

Any advice on a good year-long policy covering multiple trips for someone over 70?

Buen camino, Laurie
I fit your profile :(
I bought the airline offering (Delta-Allianz) for two recent overseas trips. They changed their terms a couple of months ago and say it covers COVID (I think that speaks to the lower risk). It's a bad deal, I think, as insurance but OK for peace of mind right now. It's the first time I've bought travel insurance in 50 years, and I've needed it.
 

andycohn

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF (12-15); Muxia (15); Portuguese, Primitivo (17); Norte, Ingles, VF partial (18), Le Puy (19)
The last travel insurance policy I bought was a year-long policy with United HealthCare. I bought the policy in February, 2020. Not one of my smarter purchases.

Between then and now, I have apparently aged up into a much riskier demographic. Once you hit 70, coverage decreases and prices go up.

I am ready to bite the bullet and buy another year-long policy but am having trouble finding good options.

Any advice on a good year-long policy covering multiple trips for someone over 70?

Buen camino, Laurie
Have you checked the medical coverage you already have? Regular medicare will not cover medical expenses incurred abroad, but most medi-gap plans will. My Kaiser medi-gap plan does, for example. There's no exclusion for covid. Also, as I'm sure you know, most of the higher-end credit cards will offer some kind of coverage, and reimburse you for the cost of cancelled flights, hotel reservations, etc. Check the fine print, of course.
 
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I go to squaremouth.com. Once you put your age in it only shows the ones that cover us older people. I have credit card insurance and my secondary does cover but I want insurance that will fly me home if hurt or sick and one that will fly someone to me if I would be unable to fly home. A medical flight home could cost more than$100,000 alone. The cost of the insurance is based on how much you say you are paying for your trip so I always put that the cost is very low. I figure I can absorb the flight cost as I just want the medical part.
 

BigT

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2020)
We have used GeoBlue, an Anthem company, for international health insurance for international trips.
We also have a reasonable EA+ plan for emergency assistance, accidents, for US and out of country. We are over 70.
 

TaijiPilgrim

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2011), Camino Frances (2015), Camino Ingles (2017), Camino Muxia (2017), LePuy(2019)
I'm in the same situation. I have previously bought an annual policy for ages over 70 with Allianz. I have been attempting to do this again ( i hope to be traveling at least 3 times!), and each time the Allianz website at some point says it is having technical difficulties , please try later. If you find another company, let us know because I am beginning to wonder about Allianz.
 

Texas Walker

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Norte (2017-18)
Portugues (2015)
Frances (2014)
Have you checked the medical coverage you already have? Regular medicare will not cover medical expenses incurred abroad, but most medi-gap plans will. My Kaiser medi-gap plan does, for example. There's no exclusion for covid. Also, as I'm sure you know, most of the higher-end credit cards will offer some kind of coverage, and reimburse you for the cost of cancelled flights, hotel reservations, etc. Check the fine print, of course.
My credit card does trip interruption (collected on that once) and says it does the stuff we all worry about, the medical emergencies...I concur, look carefully into the benefits clauses of the card.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I'm in the same situation. I have previously bought an annual policy for ages over 70 with Allianz. I have been attempting to do this again ( i hope to be traveling at least 3 times!), and each time the Allianz website at some point says it is having technical difficulties , please try later. If you find another company, let us know because I am beginning to wonder about Allianz.
That happened to me twice, but on the third time I was told there were no policies available that met my requirements.

Are you looking for annual health insurance for travel outside the USA?
Yes, that’s what I’m looking for. Health insurance only, no insurance for trip cancellation, etc. I have decided I can deal with those costs, I just want to make sure that if something really bad happens (like something requiring medical evacuation) that I’m not on the hook for a huge expense.

And unfortunately, it is not included in my Medigap policy, which is provided by United Health Care.
 

Iriebabel

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Thanks for these suggestions. I really prefer to buy coverage for an entire calendar year rather than by separate trips. Cheaper and much less hassle, assuming of course that travel will be a sensible option for the next calendar year.

I may be doing something wrong when I try to access the quotes, but I haven’t been able to find an annual option offered for people over 70 by any of the companies mentioned here, just insurance for individual trips.

Am I doing something wrong?
Here are 3 hope this helps…the third is a compilation of the two included here and a couple others







A good article with good overview of travel insurance for seniors including a company offering a annual plan

 
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BigT

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2020)
We have used GeoBlue for travel health insurance outside the USA with excellent website, reasonable rates(prior to Covid at least), and good customer service with ease of ability to contact them, again, at least prior to Covid.
 

IowaPilgrim

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (SJDPP to Burgos) - September, 2015; Burgos to Santiago - April, 2016
We have used GeoBlue, an Anthem company, for international health insurance for international trips.
We also have a reasonable EA+ plan for emergency assistance, accidents, for US and out of country. We are over 70.
We have also used GeoBlue. We are over 70. GeoBlue is coverage for international travel. Coverage is for medical treatment and emergency evacuation only. The website provides medical contacts in the areas we have traveled (Europe, Middle East, and South America). I have not had to make a claim so I can’t comment on that aspect of the insurance.
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
As a Canadian, I know that what I say cannot be useful for you, but I hope that it can be encouraging. I tried some months ago to inquire about travel medical insurance. I am now 73 years old. One question was about whether I had had surgery in the past year, including knee replacement surgery. I said "yes" I was rejected by everyone, even by the insurer which had previously covered all my caminos for travel medical. Various kind people pointed me in different directions, but no luck. Finally, today, I tried to again apply online with the company which I had previously used, and was accepted. The medical travel insurance is now more costly than my return air ticket, but it is possible. Two companies accepted me, and both asked if I wanted single trip or annual insurance, and I chose single trip. I do not know why you are having a problem with getting annual insurance. I suspect that the reason why I am now able to get travel medical insurance at all is that so many travellers are my age, and many are, like myself, healthy. We are too big a market to ignore. Good luck.
 

O Peracha

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago (2014)
Annapurna Base, Nepal (2014)
GR 5 - Holland to Pompey, France (2015)
Lisbon to Finesterre (2016)
I just checked squaremouth.com and it shows 4 options for annual coverage for people over 70. On the surface, annual coverage seems significantly cheaper.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I just checked squaremouth.com and it shows 4 options for annual coverage for people over 70. On the surface, annual coverage seems significantly cheaper.
Thanks so much! I found four options, though two are from the same company, GeoBlue (looks like a Blue Cross Blue Shield company). Also, Seven Corners, and MedJet Assist. I’ve ruled out MedJet assist because it doesn‘t cover covid medical costs.

I’ve attached screen shots for those who are also interested.
 

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TaijiPilgrim

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2011), Camino Frances (2015), Camino Ingles (2017), Camino Muxia (2017), LePuy(2019)
That happened to me twice, but on the third time I was told there were no policies available that met my requirements.


Yes, that’s what I’m looking for. Health insurance only, no insurance for trip cancellation, etc. I have decided I can deal with those costs, I just want to make sure that if something really bad happens (like something requiring medical evacuation) that I’m not on the hook for a huge expense.

And unfortunately, it is not included in my Medigap policy, which is provided by United Health Care.
peregrina2000, I just purchased an annual multi-trip plan from Allianz as did my husband. We are both in our 70s. Took multiple tries to contact them, but finally I called and quicklt reached a service rep. Good luck!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks for all the info. I now have some comparisons, remember this is for a 71 yo female. Being on the other side of 70 has had a very big impact on my travel coverage options!

UnitedHealthcare Global - $384 — policy cost for annual trip coverage
covers $50,000 medical costs, $1,000,000 evacuation

Allianz - $500 — poicy cost for annual trip coverage
covers $50,000 medical costs, $250,000 for evacuation

GeoBlue $265 — policy cost for annual trip coverage
covers $100,000 medical costs, $500,000 for evacuation

GeoBlue (which looks like a new generation of Blue Cross, Blue Shield) seems to be the best combination of coverage for higher medical costs and evacuation.

Do the experts out there suggest that there are other important features to compare?
Thanks, buen camino, Laurie
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I ask myself, when looking at the overall medicall coverage. Is $ 100,000 enough and $250,000 evacuation coverage sufficient? This would not likely be your situation, but I have read of it costing over a million dollars for some medical evacuations.

Once one hits 80, policies are even more limited!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Del Estrecho, Ruta Fray Leopoldo,
Vía Serrana, Camino Francés
In an email I got from Allianz this week, they pointed out that their annual trip insurance is a good deal for older travelers:

Who Should Buy Annual Travel Insurance?​

Older travelers: Here’s a secret many travelers don’t realize: Annual travel insurance is an especially good deal for people 65 and up. That’s because, unlike single-trip insurance plans, the cost of multi-trip plans is not affected by the traveler’s age. A 71-year-old traveler will pay the same as a 41-year-old traveler.

> Read more: What Factors Affect the Cost of Travel Insurance?
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
In an email I got from Allianz this week, they pointed out that their annual trip insurance is a good deal for older travelers:

Who Should Buy Annual Travel Insurance?​

Older travelers: Here’s a secret many travelers don’t realize: Annual travel insurance is an especially good deal for people 65 and up. That’s because, unlike single-trip insurance plans, the cost of multi-trip plans is not affected by the traveler’s age. A 71-year-old traveler will pay the same as a 41-year-old traveler.

> Read more: What Factors Affect the Cost of Travel Insurance?

The Limit of medical coverage for Allianz’s annual plans is $50,000. IMO,overall is not enough coverage for someone who incurs a really seriously injury.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Be sure sure the coverage is Primary Coverage. I am sure that those are but that is very important.
Wow, thanks for that. I saw that the GeoBlue coverage is only available to people who are enrolled in a primary health plan (and they exclude VA coverage and Medicaid). So I called to ask what that meant, and I hope, @grayland, that you understand this because I don’t.

The customer service guy told me that if I did not have primary health care coverage in the US, their international coverage would exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions. If I have primary health care coverage in the US, pre-existing conditions are covered in my international policy. I told him that I did not understand the connection between these two things, because my US health care plan provides absolutely no coverage abroad. So why would the existence or non-existence of a primary health care policy in the US have any bearing on my coverage overseas? All he told me was, I can’t explain it any differently, that is just the feature of the policy.

Does this make sense?
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I read somewhere recently that some annual policies only cover trips up to x number of days, the example it was either 30 or 40 days so that might be something to clarify.
Good point.

Here are the numbers. They all have unlimited trips, but maximum numbers of days per trip.

United Healthcare — maximum trip is 90 days.
Allianz — maximum trip is 45 days
GeoBlue — maximum trip is 70 days.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF : stages 2008, 2017, 2018 ; completed.
Speaking of age surprises…try renting a car once you are 80.
Many (most) will not rent after 75 or 80. Those that do often have the same extra charges that apply to those under 25. VERY annoying😎
Until recently, I would have agreed with you, having been asked re age (over 70) in 2018/2019 when renting cars in Spain and Germany. In fact, I seem to remember paying a little extra when I was still 69.

However, it now seems that the major companies are concentrating on minimum ages rather than penalising the "elderly" ; default settings are Hertz 27+, Avis "over 30" , Europcar 26+. These are for rentals at Bilbao and Frankfurt Rhein-Main airports via the UK websites for each company.

At least one of these agencies used to have an age question phrased as "driver between 25 and 70" (which latter was actually 69 i.e. the renter needed to be under 70 to qualify for normal costs).
 

TMcA

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Pamplona to Santiago (2013)
Le Puy to Pamplona in segments (2013 - 2016)
Pamplona to León
The customer service guy told me that if I did not have primary health care coverage in the US, their international coverage would exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions. If I have primary health care coverage in the US, pre-existing conditions are covered in my international policy.
I think I would interpret this as meaning...

If you have pre-existing US health care coverage, you would probably have been treated for expensive procedures before going abroad. Let's take a cardiac problem that required insertion of a stint as an example. You would probably have that procedure at or near the time your cardiac problem is discovered. So you wouldn't just travel overseas and present yourself at a medical facility to take care of that problem, thereby placing all the financial burden on your travel insurance.

My guess here. :)
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I think I would interpret this as meaning...

If you have pre-existing US health care coverage, you would probably have been treated for expensive procedures before going abroad. Let's take a cardiac problem that required insertion of a stint as an example. You would probably have that procedure at or near the time your cardiac problem is discovered. So you wouldn't just travel overseas and present yourself at a medical facility to take care of that problem, thereby placing all the financial burden on your travel insurance.

My guess here. :)
BRILLIANT! Thank you.

I think that tips the scale in favor of GeoBlue in my case — it’s a question of choosing between having higher medical coverage and lower evacuation coverage versus the reverse. My sense is that both numbers are very generous, especially given the difference in health care costs between Spain and the US.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
One more update — Seven Corners, which is an affiliate of John Hancock, also has annual policies for old folks.

Their policy covers ages 65-74 (I shudder to think what happens at age 74, especially in light of @grayland’s warning).

Seven Corners — annual policy of $397.21 with a $250 deductible ($495.26 if you want no deductible).
$50,000 medical, $1,000,000 evacuation
45 days for trip maximum (they also give options for 30 days and 60 days trip maximums)

Now I‘m just going to have to decide if it is realistic to even contemplate an annual policy given the state of covid!
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
@peregrina2000 The Basic family plan (geo-blue) might work for you and your husband as well, as it does not appear to cost that much more ( $200 deductible). But my question is, must you all be together on every trip to get coverage? Or, could you go alone on one trip, then go with him and you both be covered?
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
@peregrina2000 The Basic family plan (geo-blue) might work for you and your husband as well, as it does not appear to cost that much more ( $200 deductible). But my question is, must you all be together on every trip to get coverage? Or, could you go alone on one trip, then go with him and you both be covered?
That is a good question and one I will investigate. You’re right that it would only make sense if we could travel on different trips. And I agree that the deductible is not a factor, I’m looking for coverage for those “break the bank” type incidents. Thanks, @Marbe2.
 

TaijiPilgrim

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2011), Camino Frances (2015), Camino Ingles (2017), Camino Muxia (2017), LePuy(2019)
Some further points to add to this muddy situation for over 70s. peregrina2000, the Allianz policy you cite seems to be the premier version, and I think it covers trips no more than 90 days in length. The GeoBlue looks like a good policy, but I read and understood qualifications to mean that you had Medicare coverage in the US. I have health coverage, but it is not Medicare.
Definitely check to see if the coverage is primary and if it pays upfront for services. Do you have to contact the insurance company before arranging services like evacuation?
Isn't this fun?!!!
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Some further points to add to this muddy situation for over 70s. peregrina2000, the Allianz policy you cite seems to be the premier version, and I think it covers trips no more than 90 days in length. The GeoBlue looks like a good policy, but I read and understood qualifications to mean that you had Medicare coverage in the US. I have health coverage, but it is not Medicare.
Definitely check to see if the coverage is primary and if it pays upfront for services. Do you have to contact the insurance company before arranging services like evacuation?
Isn't this fun?!!!
Thanks, TajiPilgrim,

The GeoBlue excludes people who are on Medicaid, not Medicare. So I’m ok on that issue.

I spoke with someone at Allianz about trip length and he told me 45 days, but he may have been looking at the wrong policy. That’s not an issue for me, because I will not take a trip longer than that. I am leaning away from Allianz just because their evacuation limit is so much lower than GeoBlue, but I think $250,000 is likely to be adequate in all but the most catastrophic of what would be a catastrophic situation.

I am not sure about payment up front but I am more concerned about the extent of coverage, so I am focusing on whether the $50,000 is enough or whether I should go for $100,000. And yes, all of the policies require getting in touch ith the company when something bad happens. So it’s important to carry the information with you. They all have phone numbers.

I appreciate the reverberations, this is a pain in the neck but it’s great to have input from similarly situated members.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
@peregrina2000 The Basic family plan (geo-blue) might work for you and your husband as well, as it does not appear to cost that much more ( $200 deductible). But my question is, must you all be together on every trip to get coverage? Or, could you go alone on one trip, then go with him and you both be covered?
I have gotten more information, drilling down on your questions.

First of all, one surprising tidbit was that this policy is available to people up to age 95!

Second, we don’t have to travel together to have the policy, we just have to sign up together.

I think I have done my due diligence and it makes sense to me to sign both of us up for the more expensive plan, which was about what one of the carriers was going to charge me as an individual.

When I asked about evacuation coverage and the wide range of limits I see ($250,000 - $1,000,000), she pointed out that if my travel is going to be in Western Europe, it will be a rare evacuation that covers more than several hundred miles, since on the Camino I am usually within spitting distance of a hospital that could treat me. She also pointed out that evacuation coverage does not typically bring me home, unless there is some specific reason why I can’t be treated at a hospital near where the incident occurred. I’m assuming all reputable companies use similar criteria to make these decisions, and since the final decision is always going to be up to the medical director of the insurance company, I don’t think there’s much point pursuing this angle and all the gruesome possible things that could happen.

Thanks everyone for your input, I think I’ve got a good option now. And one I can use for the next 24 years! ;)
 

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Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
@peregrina2000 Thanks for the update-that is a great option! Both are on the same policy, but both do not need to be on the trip!
I agree that the evacuation amounts for Western Europe would likely not exceed $250,000-500,000. But If someone took a cruise and required an airlift it easily could be more expensive…..Or if someone was being airlifted from a remote location in S. America it could be quite costly. Thanksagain!
 

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