Each year, CSA members saves thousands in travel insurance premium costs
"We Did It!"
That was the headline on the very first CSANews magazine published in December 1992. The Canadian Snowbird Association ( CSA ) had just won their first victory by implementing the Medipac Travel Insurance plan for members. Compared to prices available at the time, members saved more than $25 million in premium costs. That equated to more than $650 per person, or $1,300 per couple.
Medipac International was chosen after an exhaustive search by the Snowbird Steering Committee; 43 different insurers and administrators made presentations to the committee for consideration. Medipac won with a unanimous decision by the Steering Committee members in a straw vote. To be very rigorous, the top three presentations were sent to KPMG, then Peat Marwick, for further review by experts. They wholeheartedly recommended Medipac as "far superior" to the other presentations and the Medipac Travel Insurance Plan was born.
Over the years, many insurers, brokers, administrators and associations (some phony) have tried to duplicate the Medipac program, but they have still been unable to do so. They have had cheaper prices in some cases, but that is normally for very inferior benefits and sloppy medical assistance, if any, and long waiting periods. Some have limits that are too low to pay a simple hospital bill. Some have what we call in the industry a “firm pre-existing condition clause,” which means that if you have EVER had anything, it is not covered by your insurance. Think about that for a second or two...the insurance which they are selling you will not cover you for the most likely cause of your claim. Don’t waste your money!
We received a very nice note from one of our long-term clients stating that he understood why prices have gone up so much due to the dollar, and he questioned whether the medical inflation in the United States had increased. He had obviously spent the time to figure out that the dollar depreciation was not quite enough to justify our rate increases – and he was right. The medical community in the U.S. is a mess under Obamacare. Of the 24 special health-care co-ops set up to insure Americans, 13 of them have shut their doors or gone bankrupt. The new insurance rules allow large deductibles (which is all that most people can afford) and the hospitals are unable to collect many of these amounts without denying service, which is illegal. The whole system will collapse eventually.
But back to the medical inflation. Our average hospital bill, per day, in the U.S. last year was $15,981; this year it is $19,345. A doctor’s office visit (usually with some screening tests) was $2,172 last year; this year, the average bill is $2,498. That’s a ridiculous average medical inflation increase of about 20% in one year . We have not priced in all of these increases as we hope to do better next year in obtaining even better discounts to these bills. We shall see.