Short-term international health plans focus on providing international health coverage outside the USA. Yet some of them do provide limited coverage in the USA. For example, here is a quote for home country coverage from the brochure of one popular plan: Incidental Home Country Coverage: During the Period of Coverage an insured person may return to their country of residence for incidental visits up to a cumulative two weeks total, subject to:
- The insured person must have left their country of residence
- The total Period of Coverage must be for a minimum of 30 days
- The return to the country of residence may not be taken to receive treatment for an illness or injury incurred while traveling
Most short-term plans provide some coverage for incidental trips to the Home Country while the insured is on an international trip. In most of these cases such as coming home for a wedding, if an insured needs medical care for non-preexisting conditions, all will be covered, including medications, after the deductible has been met. Thus if the individual has a $100 deductible and needs to go to the doctor for bronchitis, everything after the deductible will be covered by the insurance. Of course, medical charges will be subject to co-insurance limits.
When purchasing international short-term health insurance, it is important to remember that this insurance is not meant for coverage in the USA. In most cases, the coverage stops the minute an insured resident of the USA arrives back in the USA. The insurance is meant to be a supplement to a person’s domestic insurance and only provide coverage while outside the USA–something that is not generally provided by domestic health plans.
The “Benefit Period” is the length of time a person will be cared for under a plan if they have an injury. If an individual takes out ten days of coverage for a trip to Mexico, and then breaks a leg on the ninth day, does that mean there will be no coverage for the broken leg after ten days” Generally, insurance companies will pay claims for the broken leg for up to six months from the time of injury. The six months is called the “Benefit Period.”
Sometimes insurance companies will limit both the time of the Benefit Period, and they will also cap reimbursement for medical care received in the USA during the Benefit Period. This is a very important part of short-term coverage, so ask your insurance broker about the Benefit Period when you purchase short-term insurance.
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The information and advice on this website was deemed accurate when it was originally published. GNI cannot accept any responsibility or liability for any actions taken on the basis of the information provided, unless that information is subsequently confirmed in writing. For the latest up-to-date information please call us or check brochures and other published materials for latest revision/date.