Since domestic health insurance policies won’t cover you when you leave the country, smart travelers buy a travel insurance policy to protect them while they’re away from home. But there are always a few travelers who would rather take a chance that nothing will happen than to pay another insurance premium. Maybe you know someone like that or maybe you are someone like that! You think to yourself, what can go wrong anyway?
Why Do I Need Travel Health Insurance?
If that’s what you’re thinking, you’ve either never traveled overseas or have been very fortunate to never have an accident. Here are ten examples of what can and does go wrong when you travel internationally:
- It’s 2 a.m. and you arrive at the airport for a connecting flight, only to find that your flight has been cancelled. Who can assist you with finding new flights to get everyone home?
- Your bag was lost with your heart medications inside. You need assistance locating your bag as soon as possible and have your emergency prescription filled. Who do you call?
- It’s your first visit to Africa, and your passport and wallet are stolen. Where do you turn for assistance in obtaining emergency cash, and how will you get your passport replaced?
- You’re walking down a street in Paris and twist your ankle. Who will assist you in finding an English-speaking physician?
- You’re involved in a car accident, and even basic medical treatment is not available. Who will help coordinate a medical evacuation?
- Your spouse becomes seriously ill and you must cancel your trip. What happens to your non-refundable deposits or pre-payments?
- You arrive in Belize, unlike your luggage. If it’s lost, who will help you find it? If it’s delayed, who will reimburse you for covered necessities? If it’s stolen, who will reimburse you for its contents?
- Your tour operator goes bankrupt. Who will pay for your non-refundable expenses? Who is able to assist in getting you to your destination?
- Three weeks before your scheduled arrival, a terrorist incident occurs in the city to which you are planning to visit. Who will reimburse you if you want to cancel your trip?
- You are at a beach resort in Hawaii, and are forced to evacuate due to a hurricane, which has made the resort uninhabitable. Who can assist you in being evacuated? Who will reimburse you for your lost vacation investment?
But what are the chances of these things happening? According to a recent survey for the US Travel Insurance Association, studies show that one in six Americans (17%) say their travel plans were impacted by medical conditions, natural disasters including severe weather, or mechanical or carrier-caused problems. Will you be one of the 17%?
What Short-Term Medical Plan Do You Recommend?
If you’re an experienced overseas traveler, you’ll protect yourself with a short-term medical insurance plan that is flexible and can be customized to fit your needs. This ensures you’re protected but don’t overspend.
Outreach International short-term medical insurance is one of the best, most cost-effective international travel health insurance plans we recommend. Outreach International offers great plans for individuals, families or teams traveling for five days or up to 12 months outside their home country. If you secure at least 30 days of coverage, you can extend your plan up to 24 months. It can even cover brief returns to the U.S.
There is a plan for U.S. citizens traveling outside the U.S., and a plan for non-U.S. citizens traveling outside their home country. Whether you’re vacationing, traveling for business or living overseas, Outreach International provides medical benefits and international emergency care, along with a few extras to help with travel-related challenges.
Does Outreach International Offer a Plan for Teams Traveling Together?
Yes. Groups of people traveling together can save money and simplify their travel by purchasing a plan designed for groups. So, Outreach International supports teams traveling together with their Outreach Group Overseas Travel Plan. It is good for all types of charitable travel, volunteer travel, churches, and educational travel. This plan is designed for all those sending teams overseas for a few days up to 30 days or longer. It is especially helpful to international teams traveling with differing departure dates.
The Outreach Group Overseas Travel Plan has been specially discounted for group travel for Good Neighbor Insurance clients. Although team coverage would normally require 5 or more travelers, the 5-traveler minimum has been waived for Good Neighbor clients. This is because GNI is one of the top 5 international insurance brokers for IMG. In addition, there is no contract required for this coverage. And you can purchase this plan online to get immediate coverage.
Good Neighbor Insurance has maintained a trusted relationship with the insurance company, IMG, which has specialized in insuring volunteers, nonprofits and faith-based groups for many years. Their relationship afforded GNI the opportunity to create this custom short term team insurance plan, which it has offered to short term teams for over 14 years. This customized plan is considered one of the best team plans because of its low rates, comprehensive essential benefits, and ease of applying and using this team insurance.
Please note that if the majority of your travelers are under age 30 and there are at least 5 travelers, you may find that the Patriot Group Travel Plan is more cost effective.
Does Outreach Travel Medical Insurance Offer Coverage Options?
The coverage options are quite flexible, as are many of our other travel insurance plans. There are five limits for medical expenses, from $50,000 to $2,000,000. And there are six choices of deductibles from $0 to $2,500. These options should allow you to tailor this plan to your exact needs.
One of the things that we like about this Outreach International plan is that the additional benefits have their own coverage limits. This means that they are separate from the overall medical expense maximum limit. For example: Medical evacuation insurance is limited to $500,000.
If you need medical evacuation because of a lack of adequate local medical care, you’ll want to call the insurance company. The insurance company will coordinate the evacuation with the medical personnel on the ground and will take the patient to the nearest adequate medical facility for medical care. The cost of the medical evacuation falls under the $500,000 limit. However, any medical expenses after the evacuation falls under the maximum limit of the policy.
Is Outreach Travel Medical Insurance Good for Seniors?
This plan covers seniors up to age 80 and is good for those on Medicare, since Medicare doesn’t cover you overseas. As a short-term plan, Outreach travel medical insurance is a good fit for people without pre-existing conditions, since short-term travel plans only cover new medical conditions while overseas.
Does Outreach International Provide Good Customer Service?
Yes! You’ll have access to international, multilingual customer service centers, and claims administrators who process claims from all over the world, handling virtually every language and currency. You’ll have 24-hour access to highly qualified coordinators of emergency medical services and international treatment. You’ll also have access to more than 17,000 providers through their International Provider Access when seeking treatment outside the U.S.
Some of our team members visited the company’s headquarters and experienced firsthand what the company’s emergency response team is like. They were impressed! I definitely recommend this valuable plan for my own family, as I do for yours.
It’s quick to apply for this plan online, and the information is immediately sent to your email address. This makes getting coverage easy regardless of where a person is, as long as they have internet access or a phone/Skype to call in.
Does Outreach International Cover Medical Evacuation?
Outreach travel medical insurance covers evacuation services. Medical evacuation insurance (also known as medical transportation) is very important coverage to have while you are traveling the world. We don’t want any families or travelers themselves to get stuck with a bill after a medical evacuation.
A medical evacuation occurs when someone has a medical necessity that would result in the loss of life or limb, that cannot be treated locally. Even if you’re in an area with a great hospital, that medical facility may not have the capability to treat a specific condition that may happen.
This plan automatically includes up to $500,000 for medical evacuation to the nearest adequate facility for life threatening medical conditions. However, it’s limited to $25,000 for pre-existing conditions.
How Do I Request Medical Evacuation with the Outreach International Plan?
If a medical evacuation is medically necessary, you, someone with you, or your doctor, must contact the insurance company. All evacuations must be approved in advance and coordinated by the insurance company.
The company will communicate with the medical personnel on the ground and take you to the nearest adequate place for treatment, either by air or by ground transportation. The reason this is so important is because medical evacuations can cost a lot of money.
It’s important to note that the medical evacuation will not take you back to your home country if that’s not the best immediate health option. Decisions are made by the insurance company, in consultation with the doctors and patient’s needs. After a medical evacuation occurs, you then have the option to be taken back to your destination, or back to your home country.
Can I Get Evacuation Coverage for Non-life-threatening Conditions?
The optional Medical Evacuation Plus rider provides an added benefit for non-life-threatening medical evacuation and evacuation for natural disasters. Without this rider, the medical condition must threaten loss of life or loss of limb to be considered for medical evacuation.
With this added rider, evacuation can be considered if certain conditions are met. The medical provider must be approved by the attending physician who certifies the need for continued hospitalization and the condition is not life threatening. The coverage is limited and separate from the policy’s medical evacuation provision. This rider costs an additional $40/month with a minimum 3 months purchase.
Does Outreach International Cover Political Evacuation or Terrorism?
Political evacuation and terrorism coverage are provided under this plan. Political Evacuation insurance is limited to $10,000. Terrorism insurance is limited to $50,000. Political Evacuation and Terrorism coverage is not available in countries that have a current travel warning in effect on or within six months prior to your arrival in country.
What is End of Trip Home Country Coverage?
Outreach International offers a unique feature called End of Trip Home Country Coverage. It entitles you to use the last month of your coverage (after your overseas trip has ended), as insurance protection in the U.S. That one month begins the moment you return to the U.S. Once that one month is exhausted, the policy is considered expired. If and when you return overseas, you will then want to purchase a new travel insurance policy from Good Neighbor Insurance.
After every five months of continuous coverage, one month of coverage can be added for time in your own home country. The most time of Home Country Coverage one can select is two months. This plan is primarily designed to cover you outside your home country. But with this add on, you can have coverage at home.
This is very useful for people who travel for many months and don’t keep their long-term insurance. With this benefit, when they return home, they have medical coverage as they either prepare to leave again, or find a long-term health insurance policy.
Does Outreach Travel Medical Insurance Cover Pre-existing Conditions?
The Outreach travel medical insurance plan is not designed to cover pre-existing conditions. However, there is potential coverage for sudden and unexpected recurrence of pre-existing conditions. Basically, if you have a pre-existing condition that has been stable for at least 30 days without treatment prior to the effective date, and you are not expecting nor intending to obtain treatment for it, there may be some coverage for you.
If you are over age 65, there is a $2,500 maximum coverage for pre-existing conditions. U.S. citizens with a U.S. primary insurance plan that covers your pre-existing condition, your coverage for that condition is up to the maximum limit. If you don’t have primary insurance, you have up to $20,000 total coverage. Non-U.S. citizens, regardless of their primary insurance, have up to $50,000 total coverage.
For medical evacuations related to the pre-existing condition, the limit is $25,000 regardless of citizenship.
What Other Benefits Does Outreach International Offer?
- Outreach International offers other important benefits as well, including:
- This policy is renewable for up to two years at a time. It can continue to be renewed as long as you are living or traveling outside your home country.
- This plan includes a Universal Rx Prescription Drug Discount Card.
- Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) is included at a $25,000 limit. Optional Enhanced AD & D is available for those traveling three months or more.
- Return of Mortal Remains is covered to $50,000.
Does Outreach Travel Medical Insurance Offer Additional Riders?
There’s an option to add trip cancellation coverage to this plan. Although it covers the event of a non-traveling family’s member’s unexpected death, it doesn’t cover a non-traveling family member becoming ill.
The standard Outreach International policy provides basic international sports insurance. It covers sports considered recreational and non-contact, such as downhill skiing or pick-up basketball or volleyball.
In addition, this plan offers a rider for international extreme sports insurance, named the Adventure Sports rider. This rider will provide coverage for many extreme sports, such as surfing, with coverage up to $50,000 to age 59. After that age limit, the overall coverage has lower limits.
Neither the standard policy or the Adventure Sports rider cover injuries sustained while participating in amateur or professional sports. This applies to any athletic activities that are organized or sanctioned, or involve regular or scheduled practices, games or competition.
How Do I File a Claim with Outreach International?
As for claims, most times you will pay out of pocket for any medical expenses, submit the claims, and the company will reimburse you for all eligible expenses after your deductible. However, there may be international providers in your country and city, which the carrier can pay directly, saving you from paying upfront. This is why it is always good to notify the carrier in case of medical necessity to find out.
If there are international contracted providers, or “in-network” providers, the facility or doctor may provide this option of direct billing with the insurance company. Claims need to be submitted within 90 days of service. Please allow 30 business days for claims to be processed.
The claims process can take longer if additional medical records are needed. You must collect receipts and medical records at the time you receive treatment in order to be reimbursed. You should also be seen overseas, as soon as possible, to ensure coverage and to keep things from getting worse.
Does Outreach Travel Medical Insurance Have Coverage Exclusions?
This Outreach travel medical insurance policy excludes certain medical procedures from its coverage. Examples include elective surgery that’s not required to save a patient’s life and eye surgery or vision-related treatment. You’ll want to review the policy certificate to become fully aware of the exclusions.
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Good Neighbor Insurance has been providing the Outreach International Travel Medical Insurance benefits since 1999. To connect with Good Neighbor Insurance, please email us at [email protected] or call us here in our Gilbert, Arizona office at 480-813-9100.
Have amazing and safe travels!