Booked a one-night hotel stay on Priceline and bought the travel insurance. Grand total: $79. Got sick and had to cancel the trip. Got a letter from my doctor's office and contacted the insurance company (AIG) through the claims contact info on Priceline. The claim was handled by Mercury Claims and Assistance of Wisconsin. They sent me a claim form that demanded, among other things, that I authorize them to access my entire medical history: past, present, and future. The exact language:
"I authorize disclosure of my medical records and all other records relating to my past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition; health care I receive; the past, present, or future payment for my health care; and any related diagnosis, treatment, or prognosis. This authorization also includes information on the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness and the use of alcohol, drugs and tobacco, but excludes 'psychotherapy notes' as those are defined in HIPAA."
Hmm, Priceline didn't mention I'd have to disclose this when I bought the policy! (Just doublechecked their FAQ; still can't find it.) In any case, seems to be kind of a ridiculous invasion of privacy.
Submitted the claim anyway, with a letter explaining my refusal to provide that authorization - and cc'ed Priceline customer service. So far I've gotten nothing but the runaround from both Priceline and Mercury.
Since my medical history (past, present, and future) is worth more than $80 to me, I guess I'll have to eat the money. I have a feeling AIG / Mercury planned it that way.
Though they're the real ripoff artists here, Priceline is the one selling the ripoff policies, so they're equally responsible.