Missionaries and volunteers are doing important work overseas, often saving lives or making them better. But, they often don’t get paid or get paid minimally for their work. Like everyone else, they need good health insurance to protect them in case the unexpected occurs. What if there was an international health insurance plan designed just for them?
Is There a Medical Insurance Plan Designed for Missionaries?
International Medical Group (IMG), who has protected millions of people in nearly every country since 1990, created the Global Mission Medical Insurance (GMMI) plan with the faith-based community’s well-being and finances in mind. IMG’s GMMI health insurance is a long term career overseas plan that is designed for missionaries or those who work with humanitarian, NGO’s, nonprofits, churches, and faith-based organizations. Allow us to tell you why we like this plan and why it’s one of our top international career insurance plans for expatriates.
How Can One Medical Insurance Plan Fit My Exact Needs?
One plan can’t fit each person’s specific needs, unless it offers different coverage options. The GMMI health insurance plan offers four coverage options: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The Bronze and Silver are economy plans, the Gold is the high coverage, and the Platinum is the top-of-the-line protection in missionary insurance. Each level of coverage, going upward, will have lower caps on benefits, shorter waiting periods, more coverage and benefits (and slightly higher premiums).
Here are a few of the specific benefits of each coverage option:
The Bronze option is designed for the budget-conscious consumer who primarily wants emergency global medical insurance coverage. It has a unique design specifically for areas of the world with low medical costs. If you are looking for highly affordable insurance, this international medical coverage is great to have. There is a lifetime limit of $1,000,000.
The Silver option provides affordable medical security designed for the more budget-conscious consumer. With $5,000,000 of lifetime coverage, Silver offers a wide range of scheduled benefits equipped to meet your essential needs. For pre-existing conditions that are not specifically excluded from the plan, the waiting period is 24 months. Medical evacuation is covered up to $50,000.
The Gold option is suited for those who want full medical coverage, but for a limited period of time. Gold provides comprehensive benefits for the first three years of coverage and then certain benefits are reduced starting in the 4th year. This plan is best for those who are going to be outside the U.S. from 1 to 3 years. Child wellness is covered and adult wellness is covered for those over 30 after a 12-month waiting period. For pre-existing conditions that are not specifically excluded from the plan, the waiting period is 24 months. Medical evacuation is covered up to $250,000.
The Platinum option provides the superior benefits package for the most discerning global consumer. Platinum offers enhanced benefits and services with $8,000,000 of lifetime coverage. It’s designed for the client who wants the convenience of comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits in one plan. This plan offers members access to their exclusive Global Concierge and Assistance Services.
Child wellness is covered and adult wellness has a 6-month waiting period and no age limit. Pre-existing conditions not specifically excluded from the plan are covered as any other illness. Medical evacuation is covered up to $250,000. Maternity coverage is included automatically as a rider and it starts after a 12-month waiting period.
How Much Does the GMMI Health Insurance Plan Cost?
The cost of each level of coverage will vary based on several factors. Our recommendation is to apply for a free quote on a Gold plan as GMMI health insurance is already a pretty affordable plan for missionaries and their families compared to most missionary insurance being offered on the internet. Then you can adjust up or down from there, after having some idea for your budget.
How Long Does the GMMI Health Insurance Plan Cover Me in the U.S.?
You have up to six months of coverage in the U.S. per policy year. At the start of the policy, you have up to 30 days of coverage in the U.S. before you have to leave. If at renewal you will not be spending at least six months of the next year outside the U.S., you are not eligible to renew. In the U.S., there is coinsurance after the deductible, so utilizing Network Providers is highly recommended.
Is There a GMMI Option to Exclude U.S. Coverage?
Overall, these missionary insurance plans are designed to cover you throughout the world, though they do offer an option to have coverage everywhere except the U.S., Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Singapore, and Taiwan. Of course, without coverage in those countries, your premium will be much cheaper. Many of our clients who use this coverage are residing long term in countries away from their birthplace and nation.
Does the GMMI Health Insurance Plan Require Pre-certification?
When you have a medical emergency or operation, you must pre-certify with the insurance company. The term is known as “pre-certification.” Some examples of what you need to pre-certify for are: inpatient medical treatment or supplies, major operations, MRIs, CAT scans, and surgeries. If you or someone with you does not pre-certify, there will be a reduction in the benefits.
Does the GMMI Plan Include Dental or Vision Coverage?
You may add the Dental/Vision rider when you renew your policy for preventive dental care. With the purchase of this rider, you don’t have to use a particular network of providers within the U.S. or abroad. You may visit the dentist of your choice.
Why is Medical Evacuation Coverage Important?
Medical evacuation is very important for international travel. Even if there is a great hospital in your destination, they may not be able to handle certain medical conditions. If one of the specific conditions happened, you would need a medical evacuation to a nearby facility that can treat you. To reiterate, medical evacuations occur when there is a medical necessity that cannot be treated locally, and it would result in loss of life or limb.
You or someone with you needs to contact the insurance company if a medical evacuation is needed. The reason is because the company has all that is needed to arrange and evacuate you or your family member to the nearest place with adequate medical care. Otherwise, the entire evacuation and bill would be yours.
A couple of our team members here actually went to that insurance company. There they were shown the emergency team and the process of how they handle a medical evacuation. They were really impressed! We have worked with them for many years and we recommend many of their plans for our guests’ protection.
Why Should I Buy Insurance from IMG?
You’ve heard many of the reasons we like the GMMI plan and here is one more. IMG has created a special billing program for hospitals throughout the world. One example of this is in Bangkok, Thailand. There are currently six multi-specialty hospitals in Bangkok that have billing agreements with IMG.
Bumrungrad International Hospital is one of those six Bangkok hospitals and is one of the best providers that we work with. We have a very good relationship with them and they know our polices extraordinarily well. We just had one of our organizations, who use our IMG group insurance plan, in the office the other day and the group administrator for them raved about the service her associates received there. They advised that the care was better there than in the U.S..
The other five multi-specialty hospitals in Bangkok are:
- Bangkok Adventist Mission Hospital
- Bangkok Hosptial (BMC)
- Bangkok Hospital China Town
- Kasemrad Prachachen Hospital
- Phyathai Hospital Two
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For more questions on the GMMI plan, please connect with one of our professional international health insurance specialists here at [email protected] or at our toll free number – 866-636-9100. Or you may call our office in Arizona at 480-813-9100.
Have amazing and safe travels!