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Saturday,  May 25, 2024 1:44 PM 

GlobalCare 365: A new revenue source for travel agencies?

  • Air
  •   11-27-2014  11:40 am

GlobalCare 365: A new revenue source for travel agencies?

As margins become slimmer and travel agencies are forced to find unique value propositions for their clientele, GlobalCare 365 is one business hoping to gauge the attention of the industry.

The business is a travel health clinic for Canadians to connect with its own doctors and nurses for coaching and consult on any medical issue, before, during and after they travel.  

“Essentially, we’re a healthcare management company,” said CEO Skip Schwarz, emphasizing that the service is completely unique from travel insurance; while insurance is a reactive business, GlobalCare provides a supporting role throughout the travel process, based on being proactive and anticipatory.

The CEO explained that travel insurance is often there to cover traumatic events such as a car accident or heart attack, which typically only applies to one in 10 travel-related medical emergencies. The remaining 90 per cent often relate to food poisoning, mosquito bites or other relatively minor situations.

“Both the trade and consumers have this perception of insurance as actual health care, and that’s not really the case; insurance is in the business of claims management,” expanded Angela Balagtas, travel industry representative, Chago Travel Group. “What we’re providing is the actual care and coordination that goes with it – before, during and after something happens.”

While three package options are available, the process generally begins with a pre-departure medical assessment, either online or by phone, as a means for GlobalCare to collect the medical history of a client. If there are any existing conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol issues or the like, an action plan will be established to ensure this client maintains good health during his or her travels.

From there, if the client has a medical issue while in-destination, they can reach out via phone or video chat. If a hospital visit is required, GlobalCare will forward medical records, along with a triage report, to that facility. Schwartz explained that without this connection, travellers are often left unable to provide accurate accounts of allergies or medications which can make it difficult for health care professionals to deliver optimal care, which is one way the service helps to mitigate the stress of an illness while abroad.

GlobalCare will also follow-up with the client as they continue their travels, and if need be, set up an appointment with their family doctor upon return. In addition and if required, the company will contact a client’s travel insurance provider (with their consent) on their behalf so that the claims process can begin; this way, there is only one phone call that the client has to make.

The business has been in operation since 2010, and is now reaching out to travel partners for the first time. Balagtas, who has worked in the travel industry since 1997, said travel counsellors should see it as a means of offering peace of mind to their clients with minimal work on their behalf; all an agent needs to do is send GlobalCare a client’s name and contact information, and they take it from there. Plus, a commission structure of 13 per cent has been established to attract the market to the service.

While offered primarily as a benefit to corporate travellers, the team also sees opportunity for sales amongst adventure travellers and backpackers, plus the senior’s market.

“It’s the grannies and the granddads who generally have a lot of things going on,” Schwartz said, referring to health issues. “They’re finally getting the chance to travel, but they are nervous. It’s nice to have a service that’s with them all the time, whenever they need it. A lot of it is anxiety and stress and often, you just need someone to talk to. There’s a nurse who you get to know – who knows about you, and who has your medical information.”

The GlobalCare packages, which begin at $35, are structured to support different needs depending on if a client is healthy versus if they have existing medical conditions.

To further introduce the service to travel partners, an event is scheduled to take place on Dec. 2, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., as an opportunity to meet the GlobalCare 365 team. The event will take place at 1867 Yonge Street, Suite 905, Toronto ON. To RSVP, contact Balagtas at angela@chagotravelgroup.com or 416-669-1660.

PHOTO: Angela Balagtas, principal, Chago Travel Group; Andrew Clarfield, VP Operations; Dr. Vera Kohut, Medical Director; Skip Schwartz, CEO; Michelle Colenutt, Senior Care Coordinator; Matt King, Manager - Accounts and Projects.

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