If you’re a Crew Member working onboard a cruise ship, we have some important information for you regarding insurance claims. As you know, Crew Insurance is different than your typical health insurance policy, which means there are some points you need to consider and be aware of when it’s time to go use it.
One of the more common questions we receive is “When should I pay a medical bill and when would a provider bill the insurance company directly?” Generally speaking, all claims incurred outside of the United States will likely require you to pay for the services upfront. In some cases, your provider will have a direct billing agreement in place with your insurance company and will bill them directly, but this is not the norm so it’s best to assume that you will be paying upfront.
That process and expectation is usually different when inside the United States. Typically, in the U.S, you should provide your insurance ID card to your doctor, who will then call your insurance company to verify your benefits and bill the insurance company directly. It is important to note that you may be asked to pay co-pays, deductibles, or items that are not covered at the time of services.
Something to note is a Guarantee of Payment (GOP). A GOP is an option for services provided overseas with international providers. It is requested by the provider to the insurance company. Usually, a GOP is arranged when charges will be high. It is also good to know that it is solely up to your provider to accept a GOP. If you have further questions regarding when a GOP is used, feel free to reach out to us at the contact details below.
Filing a Claim
Filing an insurance claim is necessary if you have paid for services up front that you believe are covered under your policy. Knowing where to go and what is required ensures that the claim will be processed without delays.
Once you are enrolled for coverage, make sure you set up your online account and upload the mobile app if available. That way, when/if you have a claim, simply log into your account, and access the claims section. The process of uploading the claims is usually very straightforward. If you have questions about filing your claim, as your insurance broker, MHG is always here to assist.
Be sure to have an electronic copy of your documents before you get started. This helps streamline the filing process. Include all invoices, itemized bills, and receipts showing proof of payment so that the claims examiner has everything required to process your claim. Once you have filed your claim, it will go directly to your insurance company. You will also be able to view its progress in your personal account. If something is missing, or the claims examiner needs additional clarification, it will be listed in your online personal account.
When Problems Arise
Sometimes, you can take all the right steps, be proactive, and yet there can be an issue. If your claim is not processed and you do not know why, or it is denied and you have a question as to why that happened, it is best to call the insurance company’s service department. That number will always be listed on your ID card. Their customer service department has direct access to the claims system for the insurance company and will be able to see exactly what is needed to finalize the claim. At any point, as your broker, MHG is always here to assist and guide you through any issues or hurdles you may face.
MHG Insurance offers different insurance solutions for many areas of business. Our experience and role in the cruise industry is something that we hold in high regard. Our plans for officers and crew are tailor made to fit the maritime industry. If you have any questions regarding your existing employer group plan, or are interested in purchasing individual marine crew insurance, contact us at mhginsurance.com or call us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668. Our insurance specialists have the knowledge and experience to assist and guide you to the best coverage for your budget.