International Medical Insurance
Are you planning to travel outside of the United States on vacation or business or just to visit? It may surprise you to know that your major medical health insurance policy may not cover you if you become ill (ever heard of Montezuma’s Revenge?) or injured.
A Couple of Things It Might Help You to Know
If you have a Medicare Supplement policy, it may provide for a Foreign Travel Emergency Benefit. Six of the ten available plans do; the C Plan, The D Plan, The F Plan, The G Plan, the M Plan and the N Plan.
The benefit includes a $250 deductible, meaning that the first $250 of any medical expenses you incur for emergency treatment are your responsibility. After that, 80% of your emergency medical treatment expenses, up to $50,000 US, will be covered. The other 20%, of course, is also your responsibility.
The purpose of this benefit is to get you stabilized to the point that you can be transferred to a Stateside hospital where your Medicare benefits will kick in.
Keep in mind that there is no requirement that a foreign medical care provider has to file your claims with your insurance company so most or all of them will require that you settle your bill with them before you depart for home.
You must keep your bills and you must file the claim for those bills with your Medicare Supplement insurance company.
Foreign Exchange Rates change almost daily so the quicker you get those bills to the insurance company, the quicker you will be reimbursed for any expenses you paid for and the closer that reimbursement will be, in value, to what you actually spent.
But, What if You’re Not on Medicare?
Obamacare is still in its infancy so I’m not quite sure how that coverage will provide for this eventuality. And, if you don’t have Obamacare, your grandfathered health insurance policy will likely not cover you at all outside of the country.
Some people buy medical insurance as a part of their travel package through their Travel Agency but my experience with these plans has not been good. They are very difficult to deal with and they throw all kinds of hurdles at you that you must overcome before they will pay you anything. First, they require that any other insurance you have pay its benefits or deny benefits first.
That’s perfectly fine but, in one case I have worked on for a client, once all of the bills and reimbursements had been sent in, this outfit required proof that the client actually took the trip! You turn to your Travel Agency for help and they look at you with glazed eyes. They don’t have a clue how to get these people to pay the claim.
I still believe it’s a good idea to carry temporary foreign travel medical insurance but don’t get it through a Travel Agency. They are essentially powerless to help you.
There is a company I have worked with for years called International Medical Group and they are true specialists in this field and their rates are really quite reasonable. I have placed a link in the vertical banner to the left for this coverage. You can click onto that link and explore their site to find just the coverage you need and you can even buy it there if you decide it’s what you want or need..
They even offer trip cancellation insurance, lost baggage insurance and a host of other benefits. If you run into almost any difficulty while out of the country and covered by this insurance, help will be only a phone call away. Check it out. It costs you nothing to look.