As with all travel insurance plans, your short-term coverage only becomes the primary coverage when you do not have USA- based insurance. If you have domestic health insurance, that company will be considered the first and primary insurer; and your international policy, for medical coverage, will function as supplemental coverage. Of course, the special benefits for international health insurance, e.g., medical evacuation, repatriation, medical reunion, lost luggage, and trip cancellation will generally be the first responsibility of your international plan.
A person in the claims department from one international insurance company explained it: Travel insurance always becomes the secondary carrier if a person has a domestic medical insurance policy. Thus our company will pay claims that the primary carrier will not cover. If there is no primary carrier, then our travel policy will kick in immediately and cover up to the max of the policy. So the insured will always need to get an EOB (Explanation of Benefits) from the primary carrier and submit that to our company in order to get reimbursement for claims.
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