“INTERNATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE INSIGHTS”
JANUARY – FEBRUARY – MARCH, 2011
Published by Good Neighbor Insurance, Inc. (GNI)
Editor: Jeff Gulleson
01. Variations in Rates between Group & Individual Insurance
02. Road Accidents–Number One Killer of Americans Abroad
03. Questions to Ask About Long-term Individual Overseas Insurance
04. Working Overseas and Approaching 65–What Insurance is Needed
05. Good Short-term Plan for Coverage in USA
06. USA Medical Insurance & the American Consumer
07. Travel Tips for International Airports
08. Book of the Quarter: Joker One by Donavan Campbell
09. Health Insurance While You Are Waiting for Medicare
10. English Teaching & Work Opportunities outside the United States
11. Insurance Products Carried by GNI
12. Who Can Be Covered & Information Needed for an Insurance Quote
13. Insurance Brochures for Individuals and/or Teams
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1. VARIATIONS IN RATES BETWEEN GROUP & INDIVIDUAL INSURANCE
?I want individual coverage. It is less expensive then our group policy.? ?We prefer group insurance. Individual policies are so expensive.? Are these just two opinions? Or are there some reasons for the difference?
If a young couple is joining an NGO that has lots of older employees, the young couple?s insurance will be more expensive. The group insurance is based on average age. If the average age is in the fifties, the young couple will be spending more than they would for individual insurance.
The opposite is also true. If an older couple joins an NGO that has a lot of younger employees, their insurance will be lower. If the couple is 63 and the average age of the group is 33, they will be paying rates equivalent to a 33-year-old.
So both are right! Yet group insurance is better. Why? The increase in group rates is generally slower. Rates don?t go up because you move into another age bracket. You have better long-term protection since group insurance companies will provide a “Certificate of Insurance.” This enables you to always get insurance when you are switching to a USA domestic insurance plan. Also, usually group plans are more comprehensive than individual plans.
TWEET-ABLE – Are you a repeat traveler? Only buy international travel coverage once a year! [Tweet this]
2. ROAD ACCIDENTS– NUMBER ONE KILLER OF AMERICANS ABROAD
About one third of all Americans who die while outside the USA do so due to road accidents. On average one American dies on a foreign road every 36 hours. That can be compared to one American dying every 15 minutes from an automobile accident in the USA. Obviously, the number of Americans traveling overseas is not even near the 308 million Americans living in the USA.
We tend to think of terrorism, plane crashes, and crime as the killers of healthy Americans traveling abroad. That is not the case. A USA Today analysis of State Department data for the past seven 1/2 years shows 1,820 Americans died during that time (see http://travel.usatoday.com/news/2010-10-21-1Adangerousroads21_ST_N.htm)
In late December 2010, we learned of a serious accident of an American family visiting their family members in China. The father was killed in the accident and a sister and sister-in-law were seriously injured.
If you have a trip-insurance plan, you will be covered for medical care in the case of an automobile accident while overseas. These plans also provide Medical Evacuation, Repatriation of Mortal Remains, and Accidental Death benefits.
3. QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT LONG-TERM INDIVIDUAL OVERSEAS INSURANCE
(1) Will the insurance plan put “riders” or “waivers” on pre-existing conditions? Please note that generally the rates will be lower if the company users ?riders? to exclude coverage for some pre-existing conditions.
(2) Will the plan provide permanent coverage in the USA when I return to the USA? Some career plans will provide up to one year of coverage when returning. Others will provide permanent coverage in the USA.
(3) Is maternity coverage included at the onset of the plan, or must I add that as an extra benefit? Remember–every time you add a benefit the cost increases.
(4) Will the plan cover me long-term overseas and also in the USA? We have one plan that will do this.
4. WORKING OVERSEAS & APPROCHING 65–WHAT INSURANCE IS NEEDED?
If you are an American citizen, you want to apply for Medicare coverage. GNI provides Medicare Updates, information about Medicare Parts A, B, C and D and other information concerning insurance in the USA.
Many overseas workers want to supplement their USA Medicare coverage with Medicare Supplemental insurance. Medicare Supplemental coverage will fill in the gaps that Medicare misses. GNI provides several Medicare Supplemental options. We can only get you a Medicare Supplemental quote after you have applied for Medicare Part A and Part B.
Most overseas workers drop their international individual or group health insurance once they are on Medicare. That is reasonable, for there is no sense in being over-insured. However, if you are overseas, you still will need some medical evacuation coverage with a minimal amount of medical insurance. We usually recommend taking out a three-year plan with a high deductible such as $2500 and with a maximum coverage of $50,000. These plans usually have a medical evacuation benefit of between $50,000 and $100,000. The rates for such a plan for a 65-year-old will run about $130 a month. If you are not interested in any medical coverage, then you can purchase a medical-evacuation plan for around $200 a year.
Adding up the premiums for these three plans will be much less than you would be paying for a good international medical plan.
5. GOOD SHORT-TERM PLAN FOR COVERAGE IN USA
(a)You quit your job because you are going overseas–you will need short-term insurance to cover you before you leave. (b) You have returned from overseas–you need short-term insurance while looking for a job. (c) You are out of college–you need short-term insurance while looking for work. (d) You lost your job and your insurance–you need short-term insurance. (e) Or maybe you don?t have insurance, but do want to get cost-effective insurance for your child.
GNI has a cost-effect plan offered by an ?A+ Superior? rated carrier with $9 billion in assets. There is no ?decline? question on the application. You will have a co-pay of $50 for any Urgent Care Facility. No Social Security number is required. Any legal resident of the USA can get coverage. In most states you can get a full 11 months of coverage. It is available in ALL states except: MD, MA, MN, NJ, NY & VT.
6. USA MEDICAL INSURANCE & THE AMERICAN CONSUMER
In 2004 American consumers and health insurance providers paid nearly $800 billion for health care. Today that number is certainly over one trillion dollars. This covers the cost for over 40 million hospital stays. Insurance premiums are increasing twice as fast as wages.
The top five conditions treated based on medical cost: Coronary atherosclerosis, mother’s pregnancy and delivery, newborn infants, acute myocardial infarction, and congestive heart failure. For Medicare, the highest medical costs were for pneumonia and osteoarthritis. Medicaid’s top five most expensive conditions also included pneumonia, schizophrenia, depression and bipolar disorders.
The average cost for family coverage is now $12,000 per year. As costs of insuring individuals go up, the number of companies providing insurance goes down.
7. TIPS FOR USING INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS
Try to handle your own baggage if possible. If you do hire a ?Red Cap,? check to see if they are wearing some sort of uniform. This is a sign that they are working under the supervision of airport management. You might want to ask someone before you go what a standard tip would be–it is better to be generous and not stingy.
Sometimes thieves work in pairs to steal luggage. Always be aware of your luggage and position it so that it is in physical contact with your body, and position important pieces of luggage between your legs. Sometimes one thief will strike up a conversation with you to distract you while the other takes your luggage. (Of course, just because a person is friendly and talking to you does not mean he is a thief.)
Do not argue or become belligerent when talking with airline, immigration or customs officials. Everyone appreciates patience, kindness, and politeness. These qualities will help you through difficulties you may face.
When using toilets, avoid placing carry-on purses/computers, packages, and luggage in front of you, as it is so easy for someone to reach under the door and take them. If you have too much luggage to fit beside the commode, take turns using the restroom and leave it with your companion.
Make sure the person meeting you at the airport is the right person. There have been cases where people have been picked up under false pretenses and robbed. You need to know what the person who will be greeting you looks like. It would also be good for the person meeting you to hold a sign with your name on it. (Adapted from Global Underwriters newsletter)
8. BOOK OF THE QUARTER: JOKER ONE by Donavan Campbell
Joker One was much better than I expected. You follow a Princeton graduate, Marine Lieutenant Campbell, and his 40-man infantry platoon from California to Iraq for a six-month deployment. The Lieutenant had just a few months to train ?Joker? (the code name for his platoon) into a fighting force.
They were sent to Ramadi, the capital of the Sunni-dominated Anbar province. Shortly after the platoon arrived, the city mosques broadcast over their loudspeakers, ?Jihad! Jihad! Jihad!?. You follow their six-month battle bullet-by-bullet.
Lt. Campbell does a great job of telling their story. At the end you are amazed, not only at their courage, but at the love these Marines developed for one another. A couple of incidents moved me to tears. And you will get a good picture of leadership in action. This is a very moving book and a great read!!
9. HEALTH INSURANCE WHILE YOU ARE WAITING FOR MEDICARE
You have been a resident of the USA for at least five years. Now you are 60 years old, and you plan to go on the USA Medicare plan when you turn 65. But maybe you are finding it difficult to find insurance that will cover you until you can go on Medicare. We now have a ?Bridge Plan? that will work for you.
The plan is intended for persons between the ages of 60-95 who are waiting to be accepted in the Medicare system. It is for both USA citizens and also USA residents. Please note that Foreign Nationals are eligible to participate in the Medicare program five years after becoming a USA resident.
This ?Bridge Plan? pays medically necessary expenses incurred that are not related to pre-existing conditions. Study this plan at https://www.gninsurance.com/internationals-living-usa/.
10. ENGLISH TEACHING & WORK OPPORTUNITIES OUTSIDE THE USA
We are in touch with many institutions outside the USA that are looking for English-speaking teachers. Most of these positions provide some reimbursement beside lodging and meals. If you would like further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, we have a NGO working in Afghanistan that is looking for a City Planner and also an Organizational Management Advisor.
11. INSURANCE PLANS CARRIED BY GNI
 Long-term health insurance for individuals working outside their home countries
 Short-term plans from five days to three years for individuals
 Flight insurance
 Disability insurance
 Individual and group insurance for most states in the USA
 Kidnap and ransom insurance
 Property & Casualty Insurance (Auto, Kidnap/Ransom, Liability, etc.)
To access all of the options, please go to our corporate web site: www.gninsurance.com.
12. WHO CAN BE COVERED & INFO FOR AN INSURANCE QUOTE
The following can be covered: Long-term and short-term workers, furloughing Americans in the USA, Americans returning permanently to the USA after an overseas assignment, foreign nationals working or studying in the USA, non-Americans working cross-culturally in another country other than the USA (e.g., Japanese working in Zaire, Indonesians studying in Australia), career overseas workers, and non-Americans who wish to purchase ?private health insurance? instead of using their government-run health care system.
If you want a quote on insurance, give us the age of each person to be insured, country of residence, citizenship, where you plan to go, and how long you plan to be there. State plainly all your outstanding chronic medical conditions.
We will also need your E-MAIL, TELEPHONE, and FAX numbers, as well as your postal addresses. If you want coverage while on furlough in the USA, give the state and zip code of your USA billing address and the type of work you do. If you are presently in the USA or plan to furlough shortly, PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR USA TELEPHONE NUMBER.
NOTE: We can also provide health insurance for Americans living in most of the 50 states in the United States.
13. INSURANCE BROCHURES FOR INDIVIDUALS AND/OR TEAMS
Are you organizing a short-term team for overseas travel? If you would like brochures on insurance for each team member, let us know how many you need. We can also provide ?group? insurance for your short-term team so that they will not need to apply individually.
Please feel free to photocopy any brochures you receive from Good Neighbor Insurance. It is good to remember that insurance companies are always producing new materials and applications. If your brochures are two years old, they are probably outdated. Please contact us for a new supply. If you want an electronic (e-mail) brochure and application, please let us know.
Insurance Policy Information: International Travel Insurance with International Health Insurance