Subject: Insurance coverage abroad (incl. Medicare)
Having taken groups of students all over the world for 22 years, I can wholeheartedly recommend that ALL of your group have good travel insurance, covering medical problems, trip cancellation, trip interruption, etc. It will save you a lot of problems, believe me! Everyone in my groups is required to take out insurance! Regarding Great Britain--free medical care is available for non-citizens only on an emergency basis. I once had to pay $100 (U.S.) cash for a simple office visit to an English doctor, plus cost of all prescriptions. (My problem was not considered a medical emergency.) My travel insurance covered all of this and I was reimbursed quickly and with no hassle. Re: Pre-existing conditions -- many travel insurance companies now cover pre-existing conditions IF you buy their insurance within 7 days of paying the FIRST deposit on your trip and if you cover the whole cost of the trip. Otherwise, pre-existing conditions are usually not covered (some companies do not cover them at all)--so read the fine print carefully and do buy the insurance quickly after making first deposit. Also, are you working through a student travel company to take your Girl Scout group or through some organization that is providing liability insurance for you as a leader? This is very important for you to consider. Again, that is the ONLY way I would every take groups--the company I use provides over 30 millions dollars worth of liability coverage for me personally. In this litigious world, this must not be forgotten. Cheers, Pat in Baltimore