Review of WEA International Health Insurance

I want to give you a quick update on our WEA International Health Insurance. In 2015, we explored options for Health Insurance coverage in Nicaragua. See my post below:

Part One: Let’s Get Real about Health Insurance in Nicaragua

After much research, we opted for WEA Signature Plan excluding coverage in the United States. See my post below:

Part Two: Let’s Get Real About Expat Health Insurance

We have now completed two years with WEA Signature Plan and are currently renewing for our third year and this is what I have learned.

1. Deductibles
Each year, as we move into a different age bracket, the cost rises, like all health insurance. We counteract the rising cost by increasing our deductible. Our first year, our deductible was $250. Our second year, our deductible was $1,000. This renewal year since we both have moved into a different age bracket, our deductible is $2,500.

Living in Nicaragua, the cost of procedures and hospital care is much less, thus we pay out of pocket for small procedures and apply them to our deductible.

2. Claims
Our second year with WEA ( Nov. 2016-Nov. 2017) was the first time I had to file claims. I had two eye operations at Vivian Pellas Hospital in Managua with a wonderfully competent retina specialist, Dr. Juan Rivers.

After each operation I filed the necessary documents they requested. My first surgery was considered an emergency, so I did not have to be pre-approved. My second surgery, I requested approval and received it before the operation.

Filing the documents was very simple. I took pictures of all the documents provided by Dr. Rivers, including receipts of the costs of the operations. Then, I attached them to an email to the claims department.

I received instant notification that they received my documents and was assured that they would contact me if they needed additional information. So far, so good.

Then, I waited and waited. They say that all claims will be processed within 22 days of receipt. However, that was not the case. I began to worry when we got closer to our renewal date of Nov. 7th because how could we renew and why would we renew if my claims were not approved.

The closer we got to the renewal date, the more I panicked. I sent emails every day to the claims department. Finally, with the help of Robert Tillotson, the Offshore Health Benefits, LTD and my awesome agent, my claims were processed a day before our renewal.

3. Reimbursement

All of my claims were approved and I received almost total reimbursement for everything, except for my initial exam. My exam cost $220, and I was reimbursed for $70 because I had exceeded the maximum benefit for my policy.

My first reimbursement check was sent to my house in the states. All other reimbursement checks are deposited into my bank account.

4. Customer Service

Except for the lateness of my claims, they were efficient, polite, and responsive to my inquiries. If they were not in the office, they responded with an auto message email that said they had received my email. I think the claims department needs  some encouragement to respond to their customer’s requests, but then I had Robert that pushed them into action. Thank you so much Robert!

I know many people interested in getting WEA Signature International Health Insurance asked me about the claims process. Now, I can respond with my assurances that viable and documented claims will be reimbursed, but not with speed! You must keep on top of them.

Overall, I am pleased with their service and grateful to have insurance that can be used in 182 countries, excluding the U.S.


18 thoughts on “Review of WEA International Health Insurance

  1. Great post Debbie, as this has to be the number one question coming from US readers who are looking at expatriating. We carried a very expensive policy through IMG for several years during our travels and our first year in Portugal but always paid out of pocket because of the high deductible so your review of the reimbursement service in particular is very interesting. I’ll add your blog post and review to our list of resources. Thanks!

    • Dean, there are pros and cons to living abroad, health wise. I am relieved that we have coverage in the U.S. with Medicare and also have coverage abroad for catastrophic things or emergencies if we can’t get back to the states. And the best part was finding an excellent doctor in Managua who could do my delicate eye surgery.

    • Julie, it depends on age. Our first year of coverage was about $190 a mo. for both of us. Then, our second year, I moved up into a different age bracket, so it was about $200 a month for both of us. Now, my husband moved up into another age bracket and it is about $300 a month. We keep increasing the deductible so the costs are lower. The younger you are the cheaper the insurance is and vice versa.

    • Glad you found it helpful. Robert, our agent, was so helpful and kind when I was frantic about the delay of our claims, that I sent him this post. He was thrilled and told me that they were making a new website for WEA and asked if he could include my blog. I also suggested that they permit reviews of customers because it was so hard to find reviews of WEA. Hopefully, on their new website they will have reviews. When I wrote my original post, I had several people ask me about the claims process and I couldn’t give them any information.

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