Dad’s sick – why won’t Allianz cover Mom’s claim?

Chris James’ mother cancels her vacation after his father falls ill. Why won’t Allianz cover her insurance claim?

Question: I’m writing about what I believe was an unfair, unethical decision on the part of Allianz, the travel insurance company from which my uncle purchased coverage for a recent trip to the East Coast for himself and his other elderly siblings, including my mother, to visit family.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Squaremouth. Squaremouth helps travelers easily and instantly compare travel insurance policies from all major providers. Only companies that meet the strict requirements of Squaremouth’s Zero Complaint Guarantee are available on the website. Compare policies on  Squaremouth.com to save over 70 percent on your next purchase.

My dad’s health significantly declined from the time my uncle bought the coverage until the time their departure drew near. My mom was faced with a difficult decision: visit family — many of whom she hadn’t seen in years and perhaps would not be able to see again — or stay by my father’s side as his health continued to decline. She decided to stay.

When she filed a claim with Allianz, it decided to classify her choice to treat my father’s hospitalization as a “pre-existing condition.” That isn’t accurate or fair. He has been under a physician’s care for some time, but was rushed to the emergency room and subsequently hospitalized only after my uncle had purchased the insurance.

I hope you will agree that the company’s decision to void coverage for my mother because of a situation she had no control over was wrong and defeats the very purpose of travel insurance. My mom and her siblings are in their 80s and on fixed incomes. This outcome has made a hard and sad decision on her part — staying home with my father — even worse. I think Allianz should do the right thing and cover the claim. Any help you’re able to offer is much appreciated. — Chris James, Chicago

Answer: Your mother’s travel insurance policy came with several named exclusions, one of them being that it wouldn’t cover any existing medical conditions. That makes some sense if you’re an insurance underwriter; you don’t want to insure something that’s likely to turn into a claim.

But your mother assumed she’d be covered, as most travelers do, if something were to go wrong. And your father’s condition took a drastic turn for the worse. The question was: Did this have anything to do with a pre-existing medical condition?

In the future, you can avoid this situation altogether by taking out the right policy. Some conventional policies cover existing conditions when you buy them closer to the time of your booking. Or you can buy a more expensive “cancel for any reason” policy. This allows you to file a claim for any reason, and receive a percentage of your trip back.

When you run into a “no,” you can send a brief, written appeal to the insurance company. If that doesn’t work, you can contact your state insurance commission, or me.

You and your mother contended that your father’s medical condition didn’t exist before you bought insurance. Allianz said otherwise. We exchanged paperwork, and I urged them to take a closer look at your father’s medical records.
Allianz had relied on your physician’s statement that your father’s medical condition was “existing at the time of purchase.”

“However, they then reviewed other documentation which contradicted that report and led them to believe that the claim is covered and payable under Mr. James’ policy,” an Allianz spokesman told me.

Allianz apologized for the inconvenience and processed your mother’s claim.

Should Allianz have honored this claim?

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115 thoughts on “Dad’s sick – why won’t Allianz cover Mom’s claim?

  1. I have seen this on other sites as well.
    If the patent has a “stomach issue”
    the dr gets a letter asking “has this person EVER had ANY stomach related issues what so ever?!”

    basically they phrase it so the dr has to say yes. which is stupid. everyone has been sick with something in their lifetime.

    1. No, they ask if the client has been treated for this since the time of the policy. It does say he progressively got worse, meaning he was probably already ill. That’s why you take out a policy like TravelGuard or TravelEx, which DOES cover a pre-existing condition if purchased within 14 days of trip deposit. Otherwise, continuing medical treatment DOES become a pre-existing condition.

  2. Well, if the policy excludes pre-existing conditions, and the family’s own doctor said that the condition was pre-existing, then the initial denial seems pretty straightforward.

    I never purchase travel insurance that does not include a pre-ex waiver… it prevents precisely this sort of issue.

    1. I also wonder if it is okay for someone to buy travel insurance for someone else’s ticket unless he paid for the ticket. Isn’t that like buying a credit default swap? I can make money if someone else has to cancel their trip?
      I am not sure who paid for the tickets. But if the uncle did, then why does the mom’s income or situation matter? She’s not the one losing money, is she?

      1. Uncle was probably the arranger of the trip and each traveller paid for their own part of the total. So she is probably out a few dollars.

        My family does that all the time (or used to anyway when all of us travelled together) where one of us would make all the arrangements through a single travel agent and then each individual would receive a bill and pay their own part.

      2. Well, we can’t score any points with Elliott.org Card Deck of Misery without knowing that somebody involved is old, “on a fixed income” (I love that particular card in the deck! Who, exactly, doesn’t have a “fixed income”?) , etc.

        Anybody can buy an insurance policy for anybody else, but I believe the check will always go to the traveler, (or, I suppose whoever the traveler says the check goes to) no matter who paid for the trip or the policy.

      3. Generally, money goes to the insured, unless a waiver is signed off — have had a grandma buy for everone, and her grandson took ill, so he signed the waiver so she could get back the money, as she was the one who paid – but if he had not, he would have received the funds.

    2. Depends what question the doctors quoted words were made in response to.

      Allianz doesn’t deserve much benefit of the doubt because they have a dubious history in precisely this area, and it dates all the way back to when they were called Access America.

      “A roadblock to collecting travel insurance benefits”

      Allianz insurance bends over backward to get the medical answer it wants to deny payment.

      http://articles.latimes.Com/2013/apr/23/business/la-fi-lazarus-20130423

      1. But they sponsor this site, don’t they?
        And btw, Expedia’s travel protection plan today does not have the pre-existing medical condition exclusion anymore. They switched to another carrier.

        1. The problem is the plan sold by Orbitz (using Allianz) does not cover pre-existing medical conditions. But if you buy the one directly from Allianz, it does if you buy within 14 days of ticket purchase.
          So buyer beware.

          1. Well, I have to disagree.
            In a positive way, I think we need to have more travel suppliers sponsor this site and become more proactive with our “complainers”. We don’t always have to be at odds with the travel industry. We can work together to bring faster and fairer handling and resolution of VALID* claims.
            Case in point is yesterday’s mother who complained in the FORUM about her prepaid debit card’s problem with Hotwire.
            Chris’ contact with Hotwire at least got them in a hotel for that night. (Of course it does not resolve the actual problem of why Hotwire says the charges were declined but the card company says it was not. So her money is tied up in limbo.)

            * I must emphasize why I said VALID claims. There are folks who just want to whine and get away with their own scams or stupidity. They just pollute and cheapen an advocacy pipeline with suppliers.

          2. In addition, Expedia’s travel protection plan does NOT have a pre-existing medical condition exclusion. So maybe the correct approach is to convince or pressure Orbitz to negotiate and sell the Allianz insurance that has the better coverage (after all Allianz own site has it).
            Bear in mind most insurance is pitched BEFORE you click to buy a ticket. So it seems like a no brainer to remove this stupid exclusion for passenger who are older (since they will more likely have medical conditions). Or remove it for everyone.

          3. You assume consistent motives and create a false dichotomy.

            Advertising in support of a good cause is not a basis for ignoring the shenanigans of the advertiser/benefactor.

  3. Oh please, what the heck does this really mean?

    However, they then reviewed other documentation which contradicted that report and led them to believe that the claim is covered and payable under Mr. James’ policy,”

    Other documentation?

      1. ” actually reading what was provided” ????? Surely you jest?

        Who does that? I’ve written to firms where they ignored what I wrote at least two times, until I became less than sweet and a bit forceful in directing them to the original correspondence.

          1. out smart them. file the claim with the exact language describing what’s covered.
            My mom was sick, and the military medical system was denying claims. That was because the government stopped giving civil service exams so they could hire the mentally and educationally handicapped who couldn’t pass the tests. If the claim didn’t say exactly what the regulation said, they denied it. I got dad the regulations, and told him to fill in the claim with the exact sentences in the regs. BINGO! No more rejects.

          2. When we moved to Sacramento (where my wife grew up) I failed the CA DMV test. I knew I aced it. So I asked the young woman to take a look again. She inverted the answer code sheet and never figured it out until I protested. Now if that’s hard enough think about insurance.

  4. Cancellation for any reason is the only way to get 75% of a trip cost refunded. Plus it avoids all the nonsense. Insurance co’s will try to wriggle out of anything. And the reason Allianz paid out eventually was because they knew the story would appear on here. Hence the review of ‘other documentation’. That’s what it looks like.

    1. No, looks like the doctor said he was already treating him, but didn’t specify it was new treatment. Happens sometimes.

      1. It’s still stuff people could do without having to deal with. The last time I dealt with an insurance company on medical grounds I was told the person in question had to be in hospital or dead. He was in and out of hospital and then died. That doesn’t count. He had to be actually IN hospital OR dead on the day I was traveling. On another occasion I had to be IN hospital on the day I was supposed to be traveling.

  5. Allianz IS an unethical company. They didn’t want to honor a claim of a friend of mine solely because he paid for her trip in cash. He had the proper documentation from a doctor, he had an invoice from the travel agency…but “when did you take the money from the bank?” Where in the policy does it state that one has to pay from a bank account? Never heard of people who keep moneys at home in a safe, or have been screwed once too often by a bank or financial “planners” and therefore look after their own savings plans? Lots of people earn cash off the radar…so they’re not supposed to travel or buy insurance? Screw Allianz. Glad they paid these people, but I will never deal with them in my lifetime. Just another case of a financial “services” company that fails to provide any “service”, and whose employees are arrogant, sanctimonius blowhards. Hope that they encounter the same level of “service” when someone in their family has to file an insurance claim.

    1. To be fair, any company dealing with financial products, including insurance, is likely to question cash payments. And no, cash in a safe is far outside of their paradigm. Once, in a bankruptcy proceeding, I had to educate the skeptical government attorneys that certain ethnic groups in the SF Bay area tend to transact business in cash and that carrying thousands in cash was normative and not intended to hide income.

        1. Middle east, Indians, and asians. Most of them come from cultures and societies were modern banking practices either do not exist, are available only to businesses and the wealthy, or the region has a history of the government raiding account holders deposits.

        2. my guess is newer immigrants – my grams felt the same way – cash only, no matter what the cost. Folks feel pretty much the same, and pay off any charges every month, and never like to use cards when cash will do.

          1. I wonder how these certain ethnic groups would manage to buy an airline ticket AND travel insurance with cash, unless they walk in a brick and mortar travel agency like we have here in Chinatown (Manhattan and Queens).
            Selling a ticket for cash is already a pain in the *ss for travel agencies but we are forced to do this for face to face customers. I have never sold a Travelguard insurance in CASH (always credit card). So I would not know how to do this.
            Anyway, I don’t think this is the case for the LW, is it? I have to assume they used plastic.

          2. The accommodations selected gave a preferred price if paid in cash. The travel agency marked the invoice as paid in cash. Since their policy did not say “you must pay for your travel with a credit card for this insurance to be valid”, it was none of their business as to how the cash was acquired. The 2 parties to the transaction, travel agent and accommodations, accepted cash. As another poster stated, they only want to deny claims and then will only pay when the crap hits the fan. In my friend’s case, the accommodations gave them a credit note while at the same time telling all of their clients NOT to buy from Allianz, and Allianz refunded the premium paid. But, again, to the day that I die, I will not be dealing with them. As for the poster above, travel agent near me said that insurance is sold by cash/check all the time…no different than credit card, the monthly sales report just says 1 party owes the other or vice versa.

          3. If the supplier gave them a credit, then what was the remaining damage (loss) for the insurance to pay out on?
            Added: this sounds like a travel agency malfunction to me. They sold the travel insurance.

          4. The supplier gave them a credit AFTER the insurance company basically told them to FO, that their lives were worthless because they paid with cash. The supplier felt he gained PR points by doing so and uses every opportunity that he has to tell his new clients NOT to use Allianz.

          5. Insurance is usually the last to pay. So it the travel supplier will or may give a credit, the insurance company will balk at paying first.

          6. The accommodations website and tour voucher clearly said Non-Refundable…nobody disputed that…but the insurance company wanted to know why it was paid in cash. After the fact, another friend, who is an attorney, said that he would have told the insurance company, in no uncertain terms, to pay up or go to court and try to dispute why cash is not allowed as a payment method. They would have lost that court case in a second. No terms of the insurance policy indicate that one has to prove to them how the cash was attained. They are not the IRS.

          7. Still not the insurance company’s problem as to how the hotel was paid. The amount paid per person was under $10K/each. Therefore, while the total of the family exceeded $10K, each person did not. The attorney questioned said that they would have been laughed out of court by a judge because their conditions of purchase did not say one could not pay by cash for the travel arrangements, and how one acquired the cash is not a reason for rejecting a claim…if the cash was given to the travel agent, then a contract was entered in to, period.

          8. I still know local retailers here in the States that give a cash discount so they can avoid the processing fees for debit or credit cards. Makes it worth my while to get 3%-10% off something by stopping at my fee-free ATM on the way.

          9. Cash doesn’t give you the same protections that your credit card will. Many purchases should be make with a credit card. Travel is one of them. Cash is a pain in our industry.

          10. Yes, because cash can’t be disputed with the bank, and hard currency is preferred as a local investment product in rural areas over Baht.

          11. Cash to traveler’s or cashier’s check would work, wouldn’t it? Send them to the nearest Wally World for the services if they don’t have a bank that will do it cheaper.

          12. How do you get a cashiers check or money order to Expedia, etc? Even the airlines would just direct you to go to the airport, and you could just pay in cash then.

          13. Well you can use a TA, but a number of overseas carriers actually have remittance services you can use that let you pay in cash at a convenience store or other POS servicer, the secret is you have to use that countries website and you have to have to have a means of paying the funds. A number of agencies and providers will accept western union, etc. You would be surprised how much you can do in cash outside the States.

      1. Question cash payments?

        “How come you paid in cash?”
        “For the same reason that a dog scratches his back.”

      2. Though cash is a lot easier to hide for a business than anything else. The easiest way to cheat on taxes is a cash based sole proprietorship.

        1. It is not the insurance company’s role to be a tax collector. They allowed the policy to be issued without asking, up-front, what the form of payment was. If they didn’t want the arrangements to be paid in cash, then they are discriminating against a valid form of legal payment….but it has to be disclosed in the policy. Furthermore, it is not the insurance company’s role to state that a merchant MUST accept credit cards with their 5%+ fee. The travel agent’s invoice said paid in cash…the accommodations’ website said that certain discounts and promotions only applied if paid in cash.

          1. The insurance can impose nearly any conditions that it wants on the the TA. The TA can always elect not to sell the insurance company’s product.

            I suspect the issue was that the money was not remitted to the insurance company prior to the claim thus they are concerned that the insurance policy was actually purchased post incident.

          2. In the “old days” of handwritten policies, that might have been the case. However, with web-based purchases, they know which date the policy was issued, and then settle with the TA after, usually just an overlapping line of credit…some months one owes the other, but unless the amounts are $1K+, they just rollover and balance out over time. Thus, they knew that the policy was issued within 72hrs of the payment of the accommodations. They were arguing over where the funds came to pay for the accommodations.

          3. I suspect the insurance does not trust the travel agency and would like to see it actually paid for hotels, tours, etc. that are not refundable. Sometimes an agent’s receipt is bogus because they can connive with customers in some scheme.

          4. The vendor said that Price $A with applicable returning guest and birthday/anniversary discounts did not apply if paid with a credit card. Thus the vendor said what he would accept as payment. Nowhere did the insurance company say in their policy that one had to only pay for the travel with a credit card. Furthermore, the amount of commissions that anyone earned is immaterial…be it 10, 20, 50%…the travel agency commission is also non-refundable, why should they give back their commission in order to “save” a multi-billion dollar company pennies…I would surmise their CEO’s “club memberships” and visits to “gentlemen’s relaxation lounges” exceeds the amount of the claim.

      1. I do that all the time. Found a quarter, two dimes, a nickle and 2 pennies in the washing machine after I removed the clothes.

        1. I find cash in the dryer all the time because *someone* is a flake about emptying the pockets of his work slacks. 😛

    2. Seems to me that if the company felt the cash was good enough for payment for the policy itself, it should be estopped from claiming the same cash wasn’t good enough to justify a payment under that very policy. Did they provide insurance or not? If they did, pay the claim; if they did not, refund the premium. Can”t have it both ways….

  6. Most companies will cover pre-existing conditions if purchased within a certain time frame- usually 14 days but some up to 21 day- after a deposit has been made on a trip. If the policy was purchased after that time frame, situations like this are not covered. You don’t always need to purchase Cancel for Any Reason unless you have already gone past the time frame for a pre-ex waiver.

    However, everything also depends on how the paperwork is completed by the physician as well. Often a declination can successfully be challenged by asking the insurance company to relook at a claim. We’ve gotten involved a few times for clients and had successful challenges.

    It is important the whoever is buying insurance makes sure they purchase within the proper time frame for a pre-ex waiver – it includes current health conditions for immediate family members, not just the traveler.

    1. Even Allianz’s BASIC plan has this:

      We define an existing medical condition as an illness or injury that exhibited symptoms or was treated for any time 120 days prior to purchasing your plan.
      Coverage for an existing medical condition is excluded unless:
      you purchased your plan within 14 days of making your first trip payment or first trip deposit;
      you purchased trip cancellation coverage that covers the full cost of all your non-refundable trip arrangements;
      you were a U.S. resident and medically able to travel on the day you purchased the plan; and
      the total cost of your trip is $50,000 per person or less

      Perhaps Uncle should explain when he bought the travel insurance and what the sick guy was experiencing 120 days prior the trip.

  7. I told you so, didn’t I?

    When airlines steal from passengers with their silly rules and rental car companies charge some easy-mark previous renter for damage just done, the universal response from company reps in here is, “You should have have bought travel insurance.” In an unbundling world, travel insurance was supposed to be your way of buying the customer service that is missing elsewhere in the industry.

    But in the absence of strong legal protection for travelers, it’s just kicking the can down the road. Who knew that travel insurers would eventually start emulating the policies of other travel companies?

      1. And ensure the claim is properly filed – always go over what is needed with the doctor, or have the client do so, so this does NOT happen!

    1. Well the LW could have availed themselves to the legal system, and filled in small claims court. Domestic tickets may have likely met the limits on claims.
      Insurance companies are in the business of collecting premiums and denying claims, that’s how they make money, they aren’t a charity.

      1. I had some scumbag insurance beach tell me that they weren’t in the business of handing out money. I told her I wasn’t in the business of having my car hit by a reckless jerk who was insured by her company, and that if she wanted to play hardball, I’d let my insurance company put her “nose” into the meat grinder. They paid.

        1. I’m going through the grinder now. A woman decides to turn right from the left turn lane and hits my son driving our prius. It happened when I was in Asia. My wife called and said he was taken to hospital and the whole left side of car was damaged. Due to stupid med pay rules, we ended up paying medical bills or else collection agencies will begin to hound us. Her insurance already paid for the prius repair but we are still out more than 2k for the ambulance and hospital visit. We have insurance but with CT med pay rules, they all wait for the other guy to pay first. Meantime, the hospital and doctors send your bills to collection agency. I thought obamacare should have fixed this. Wrong.

          1. Let ’em hound you. Tell ’em the other party is at fault, and to stop bothering you. Didja see the Bank of ‘Murica hadda pay a guy $1.2 MILLION or so for harassment? I wouldn’t let it bother me. Let the call screening machine pick it up. Let ’em put a note in your credit rating, and you rebut and they must post that also. Counter sue. Write to the state insurance commissioner. Go on the offensive when these scumbags bother you.

            I had one gang constantly calling for some guy who went overseas. Told them he ain’t at this cellphone number, and to stop calling me – take me off their harassment list. Guy said “I can’t do that.” I said, “OK, be advised. I’m recording this call. Next time you call me, I’m going to abuse you verbally in a manner which you have likely never before experienced. You will get that treatment until you stop bothering me. It’ll be my costs of entertainment to insult you until you get the hint.” A few treatments of that therapy did the trick – they stopped calling me. 95% of what I said to those toads cannot be posted here; use your imagination.

          2. When someone is interfering with your ability to go about your daily life over nonsense like that and refuses to handle the situation appropriately and in a professional manner, you do what you have to. It’s not pretty, but they didn’t give you a lot of options.

  8. Simple solution to the insurance problem is to purchase it at the same time as the deposit is made for the trip. Most policies cover pre-ex if purchased within 14 days, as somebody already stated earlier. In this situation the travelers are of advanced age, I am surprised they were able to obtain coverage at all. Credit cards still cover flights whatever age you are, no?

    1. Re:I am surprised they were able to obtain coverage at all
      Sure you can for an 80 year old. But it will be a lot more expensive. The costs begin to escalate from 60.

      1. Actually, that’s pretty true, with one exception. I’m mid-70s, and in the past always came out ahead on my travel insurance by purchasing it directly from the insurer (TravelGuard). However, in the last year or so, the rate through the tour company – which is based on the cost of the trip and not age – came out lower. So now, I get insurance from the tour company (Odyssey).

  9. Nothing tho see here. This is standard procedures for an insurance company. Deny the initial claim, and see who is willing to fight it out.

    1. Not true at all. Some like Travelguard are a lot better to deal with. I hear Travelex is also good. There’s a ton of documentation required so be ready.

        1. Not if they paid within 14 days of ticket purchase and at least they purchase a plan that had the waiver.

          In my experience, many of those who buy travel insurance are sick people because they know they have a problem.

          1. Yes, they do but sounds like my excuses, proviso’s, addendum’s, conditions, limits, exclusions, and other assorted fine print and legalese designed by insurance companies to take money and keep it.

          2. These items are designed to make sure that people don’t scam them or take advantage of them. You are going to pay $ 1 for coverage and the insurance company is going to pay $ 100 to you with a 100% probability of occurrence? If that wasn’t the case then people will wait until a fire starts at their house; they had a car accident; they are on their death bed; etc. before buying insurance.

    2. I must disagree. There are ‘good’ insurance companies and there are ‘bad’ insurance companies.

      Allianz Global Assistance is formerly Access America. The reputation for Access America wasn’t the great. Access America sold ‘CHEAP’ travel insurance policies and ‘CHEAP’ travel protection plans to travel providers (a travel protection plan from Access America iswas used at US Airways). Their claims experience was horrendous at best.

      Allianz Travel Insurance is an underwriter of this blog. Personally, I do NOT think that they should be an underwriter because of their past (Access America). In the past 3 to 5 years, I remember an article about Access America where Chris gave them a free pass in my opinion.

      I buy my travel insurance policies from Squaremouth (also an underwriter of this blog). At Squaremouth, you will find several travel insurance policies from several insurance companies. I have been buying policies from them for years and have no issues with them.

      1. I like to buy insurance from Two Goombahs of East New York. They offer a wide array of coverages, and their service department is top notch!

      2. That’s like saying that there are better levels of Hades and worse levels of Hades. I never met an insurance company that didn’t prefer taking money than paying money. It’s like gambling without rules where the house decides arbitrarily if you win or lose.

        1. I’ve done a little personal civil litigation injury, maybe five cases total, and there were definitely some stand-out insurance companies and others which where less honorable.

      3. Although, in Chris’ defense, he freely allows criticism of Allianz in posts like these. And he openly discloses his relationship with that company. I think that’s really pretty fair.

      1. Thanks, Tony. Same at ya.

        Maybe funny, but sometimes you have to do it.

        My Dad, 89, had a doctor for many years. Cardiologist. Gave cursory examinations; said come back in a month. First instance: Dad’s foot was bad. Podiatrist treated him, but couldn’t do more. Cardio didn’t even look at the foot; prescribed some meds; dismissed him. Another doc saw the foot, sent Dad to emergency room, stent installed.

        Dad didn’t wanna dump the doctor – “He’s treated me for a long time. How can I tell him I’m leaving?”

        I spoke with the doc, and he was arrogant and condescending. As he wasn’t MY doc, I didn’t beat the snot out of him as I might have were he MY doc.

        Just this week, Dad’s blood pressure was very low [80/30]. Family doc responded to phone call and said to go to hospital. Treated him there. Re-set all the meds the quack gave him [one on top of the other].
        I asked the family doc to assign a new cardiologist, and get the medical records from the quack. Family doc got dad a cardiologist, and will get the records from quacko. Fired; no conversation, no nothing. History.

        Dad is being tested today; should be out today or tomorrow; to rehab 2 blocks from home.

        This is a very fortunate turn of events. I didn’t want to go to prison…..

        Interestingly: My sister-in-law used to work for quacko. She said he’s the part of the horse which went over the fence last.

          1. Thanks. I think he’s getting much better. He kvetched that the tomato sauce my son made and we gave him over ravioli was not up to his exacting standards. [Nothing wrong with it. Ha ha.] Good thing there are Honeycrisp apples and upscale cookies…..

            He wants to get outta there, and they’ll probably spring him after they contemplate the results of some tests done today, and also line him up with the new cardio doctor.

        1. Ha ha Joe, my dad will have to fire his son-in-law. Thank goodness he is a top urologist and took care of my dad’s prostate cancer.
          Hope your dad’s fine now. Mine is as old as yours and after talking to him in the phone for new year’s made me feel guilty we weren’t with him and mom. Having old parents when we are getting old ourselves really changes one’s perspectives.

          1. I hope he ain’t the kinda urologist who checks your prostate with both his hands on your shoulders……

            Dad’s getting better. He’s complaining about the chow. He got to see my granddaughter, and it cheered him up.

        2. I’m so sorry to hear that. My grandfather was being treated by a clueless doc too. I mean…the man didn’t have the common sense of an elementary school kid. It was painful. My mother, the RN, I thought her head was going to explode dealing with him. But both grandparents absolutely could not tolerate the idea of seeing another doctor. I’m pretty sure it’s the reason that we didn’t realize what was wrong with him until it was too late. I’m hoping with all my heart your father has better luck.

  10. A friend had a similar problem with another insurance company last year. But his was actually not a preexisting condition–kidney stones. But the insurance clerk at the doctor’s office wrote the date wrong when completing the insurance form. She inverted the date—instead of the October date 10//2/2014 she typed 02/10/2014 as initial consultation date. Claim declined. The doctor’s office produced records showing the consultation and first treatment was in October with surgery scheduled later in the year. But the claim was still declined as my friend had seen the doctor for a digestive issue in February. The doctor now requires all dates on forms be written out with the month and actually paid my friend back for the expenses not refunded for his trip.

  11. Can’t imagine why anyone would say “no” on the survey. Allianz apparently agreed that it should have paid. If it agreed, why answer “no”? What’s the logic?

  12. I question the judgment [or lack thereof] of the family physician. If the insurance company, after looking at the patient’s medical records, agreed with the claimant that
    the illness was not a pre-existing condition [and remember they have every incentive not to pay the claim], then the physician has made an error of judgment, or was just sloppy in filling out the form.

  13. I had the same issue with Assist Card. I bought cancellation insurance when I booked a cruise with RCI. My mother had a health problem one month prior to our sailing date and we couldn´t go. Even though her physicians said it was not a preexisting condition, according to Assist Card it was. Because or this, I will never again buy cancellation insurance.

  14. So now we have learned to obtain a copy of whatever the doctor sends to insurance company. Seems as tho there’s no end to administrative incompetence in the medical field. My health care insurer just sent out a letter, they’re all proud of their new electronic records scheme which will make my life so much easier and allow instant access to my medical records by the professionals. When I queried whether I would have access to the information, it was a flat NO. If you don’t opt out of this wonderful electronic plan, you could find yourself in the ER getting the wrong treatment based on what it says in your electronic record. Other than a spouse or a formal caretaker, nobody else could possibly know if all your records are right or not.

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