Healthcare and medical procedures always include some level of risk, and international medical travel is no exception. Benjamin Simons, International Director at Custom Assurance Placements, Ltd. sat down with Elizabeth Ziemba and Irving Stackpole to talk about the role of insurance for both consumers and providers in international medical travel.
“Sometimes there are complications, and sometimes there are simply unanticipated consequences of a consumer (patient) being treated. This is exactly why providers and consumers need insurance!” according to Ben, who has been providing complications insurance and a variety of other risk management products for over 10 years.
“Of course providers who are promoting their services to attract patients are not going to advertise or aggressively describe these risks – that would be counterproductive”, adds Ben, “however, a good insurance provider or broker can not only explain the risk to the consumer but protect the provider as well, from unanticipated, untoward outcomes.”
Even the best medical providers experienced some level of infections and other complications which are in no way the fault of the provider. Recent popular television programs such as “Botched!” emphasize the terrible outcomes that can occur when overly ambitious and ill-informed patients submit to less than carefully selected providers for medical procedures. Mr. Simons adds, “Among reputable providers, problems are very rare, but the appetite for sensational stories is apparently very large!”
And it isn’t only the patient or provider at risk should anything go wrong, but also the agency or facilitators who helped the patient find the provider and make travel arrangements. While not raising any alarms, Ben adds, “Facilitators and agents also need to consider their potential risk should something go wrong, and the patient seeks a remedy.”
The role of insurance in international medical travel is widely discussed, and yet not enough providers, facilitators and patients take advantage of this affordable remedy to protect themselves against the unfortunate outcomes which occasionally occur.