Travel Health Insurance
Travel health insurance is primarily geared toward medical emergencies when traveling, temporarily living or living for extensive periods in a foreign country. It may also be referred to as International Medical Insurance or Travel Medical Insurance, but the focus is still the same, to provide the policy holder with medical coverage when outside the country of his or her citizenship. Each policy is different and there are a number of optional coverages which can be added by endorsements.
What Does Travel Health Insurance Cover?
While most people traveling abroad do have healthcare insurance in the United States (or in their home country), those insurance policies are not often set up to cover emergency or routine healthcare while in another country. The basic policy that most travelers carry is a Major Emergency Medical plan that can provide coverage, depending on the underwriter, up to $2 million USD. This would cover such expenses such as emergency services and/or surgery along with extended stays in hospital. Many countries overseas have social healthcare services for their own citizens, but these services are not available to U.S. citizens which makes Travel Health Insurance necessary when traveling.
Travel health insurance includes plans that provide coverage for such things as unforeseen illnesses, accidents, emergency reunion, medical emergency evacuation, AD&D (Accidental Death and Dismemberment), repatriation of bodily remains and other travel related services on a 24/7 basis. There is also coverage for sporting event participation in every sport except motor racing and this coverage is also provided for other hazardous sports-related activities such as mountain climbing and high altitude trekking.
Travel Health Insurance Variables
Plans will undoubtedly vary from company to company, but there are some variables that you should consider when choosing an insurance company. The first thing to consider is the term of the policy. Some policies need to be carried for a minimum of 90 days while others can be in effect for as long as a 2 year maximum. Then there are deductibles and maximums to think about. When thinking about deductibles, remember that the higher your deductible (more spent out of pocket) the lower your premiums will be. Maximums work exactly the opposite. The lower your maximum coverage, the lower your premiums will be and vice versa.
While we tend to think of travel health insurance as a policy for Americans traveling abroad, there are insurance companies that provide products for foreign nationals traveling or temporarily living in North America. Some plans provide coverage for non US citizens traveling through the US and/or Canada with ‘coinsurance’ up to the first $5,000 in either Canada or the United States if expenses are incurred within the PPO network services. After that, the deductible must be met before the plan kicks in with coverage. Some of these plans exclude preexisting conditions while others don’t have such a clause. This type of insurance is great for international students enrolled in North American universities and foreign nationals working here on work visas.
Whether you are an American citizen intending to travel, study or work abroad, or a foreign national who is going to be traveling or temporarily living in North America, there is a Travel Health Insurance plan designed to meet your needs. Premiums (rates) will be based on several factors including maximum coverage and deductibles, but there are a wide range of products available. Finding a plan that fits your medical needs as well as your budge should not be difficult. Simply compare companies and products online to find a healthcare policy that is affordable to you but at a price that is within your budget.