The impact of possible healthcare reforms in the US on international travel insurers is being hotly debated in the industry, but what could the true knock-on effects be? Milan Korcok analyses the potential for change
Providing deeper investigation into current issues, ITIJ’s News Analysis features allow us to expand on some of our top news stories to get to the heart of the most pressing matters affecting the industry.
In May 2009, a letter was written by assistance company MIA Online to the Turkish Embassy in London. MIA’s complaint centred on disputes it was having with Turkish hospitals over their medical bills. One case involved a UK traveller with lung cancer who was admitted to hospital after feeling unwell. The man was detained for four days and a series of tests were run on him including ECG, X-rays and ultrasounds. The discharge notes advised oxygen on the flight home with a nurse escort even though the patient and his wife advised there was no need. The subsequent bill, which included removing wax from the patient’s ears, came to a staggering €5,107. A previous patient was also charged a huge amount for diagnosis of heart failure, MIA wrote. On returning home his GP could find no evidence of this. MIA asked the Turkish Embassy whether there was a Turkish body that regulated prices charged and where bills could be submitted for scrutiny, and also warned that holidaymakers would shun trips to Turkey if they were faced with losing a large part of their holiday unnecessarily detained in hospital and being faced with large bills.
A lack of clarity and consumer education is leaving many British holidaymakers unsure of what medical care they are expected to pay for while on holiday within Europe. David Craik asks if this is a UK problem, or if other European consumers are also unsure about what exactly the EHIC provides
After rattling travellers, tour operators and insurers, the dreaded swine flu has unquestionably tested the preparedness and resolve of those involved in the travel and insurance markets. Milan Korock investigates what he describes as a ‘wake up call’ to the industry
The tragic death of actress Natasha Richardson following a skiing accident has renewed a transatlantic debate over whether ski helmets should be made mandatory. Jenny Sims examines the arguments
The recent publicity of the case concerning the McGrade family versus AmEx/ACE has served to bring to the fore some important industry issues. Dr Chris Peach, who spent 20 years working in the assistance industry, now works as a GP in the UK NHS and gives his take on the case
The bailout bonanza - David Craik recaps on the turbulent past few months for America International Group
ITIJ often publishes articles about travellers heading off without insurance, and the latest one has sparked off some debate about whether or not governments should make travel insurance compulsory. David Craik looks at both sides of the coin
The type of claims resulting from winter sports holidays have changed over the years, but have things got better for travel insurers? David Craik analyses last year’s claims figures for British skiers and asks what might be in store this season
Andy Juggins, vice president of travel for AIG UK, details some of the issues the company is facing as a result of the credit crunch
As the 44th president of the United States is elected, healthcare has its usual place at the top of the agenda. Milan Korcok asks whether travel insurers can hope for relief under ObamaCare