This page contains dozens of short articles that will help you quickly understand international insurance for special situations. For example, terminology, purchasing details and managing your insurance coverage are topics that are all covered within these articles. Choose an Article From the Topics Below
List of Articles
- Ebola Crisis in West Africa and insurance claims from those nations
- Health coverage for the frequent international traveler
- High Limit Accident / Terrorism Insurance
- How Does Medical Evacuation Work?
- Improved multi-trip insurance for repeat travelers
- Insurance Coverage in war zones
- Insurance for single women
- International Dental Insurance
- Kidnap and ransom insurance; disability and liability coverage
- Medical Evacuation Insurance — Do you need it?
- Overseas coverage for American Medicare recipients
- Settling back into the USA after an overseas assignment
- Trip cancellation and medical insurance in one package
- What to do if kidnapped while traveling overseas
Ebola Crisis in West Africa and insurance claims from those nations
“Due to the current ebola crisis in West Africa and Nigeria, we are asking our insurance carriers what they will and will not cover if someone is traveling to one of those nations. The questions we are asking clarification on follow, and we will let you know their response(s) as we hear back:
For more on this issue, please check our blog post at: https://www.gninsurance.com/blog/news-and-helpful-links/ebola-travel-warning/
And our Ebola updates page at http://www.healthinsuranceinternational.biz/travel/security-issues-and-concerns/west-africa-ebola-epidemic-already-deadliest-ever/ ”
Questions we’ve asked on behalf of our clients:
- Are our clients in, or traveling to, West Africa covered under their health insurance? For emergency evacuation if needed?
Often we are told that insurance will not cover a client if there is a current U.S. travel advisory in effect for a nation, and the client goes to that nation anyway. Since there is still not a U.S.Travel Warning on the U.S. State Department site (http://travel.state.gov) for ebola or West Africa (Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone) or Nigeria (See http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings.html),…
But there are CDC warnings on the embassy websites for those nations
as well as http://photos.state.gov/libraries/senegal/328666/emergency/security-message032814.pdf
Does this count as the same thing? i.e. insurance will not cover?
- If insurance will not cover, does that mean they will not cover an incidence of ebola, or that they will not pay for ANY claims coming out of one of those nations (medical or otherwise)?
We will edit this post as we get back responses to your questions. Most issues of non-coverage relate to the political situation in risky nations and not outbreaks so we are seeking clarification as this is clearly unusual but important for many of our clients that serve with relief agencies like Samaritan’s Purse, charitable groups like SIM, and medical volunteers like Doctors Without Borders.
Health coverage for the frequent international traveler
If you are a frequent international traveler, instead of filling out a short-term insurance application for every trip, you can now apply for one plan that will cover multiple trips. For a USA citizen the rate is $240 a year plus $110 for a spouse and up to two dependents. This plan offers $1,000,000 in medical protection, medical evacuation, trip cancellation, $25,000 Accidental Death and Dismemberment, emergency dental, emergency reunion, and repatriation of mortal remains. Like all plans of this type, pre-existing conditions are not covered. If you are interested in this type of plan, please contact Good Neighbor Insurance.p us involved in overseas work. I felt that they had a “right” to expect us to use part of their financial support to purchase international health insurance.
High Limit Accident / Terrorism Insurance
We have discovered a new product that provides permanent year-round protection for sudden and unexpected effects of an accident. This coverage includes the following options: All-risk 24 hour coverage, common carrier (all conveyances that are certified to carrier passengers), air travel only, war or act of war, acts of terrorism, medical evacuation, and repatriation of remains.
Groups or individuals can purchase this coverage. Groups of four or more will receive substantial discounts according to the size of the group. Recent terrorist acts against volunteer organizations throughout the world indicate the wisdom of purchasing such high-limit accident insurance.
How Does Medical Evacuation Work?
The goal of medical evacuation is to save a patient’s life and/or limit the extent of an injury. If the patient’s condition is stable and not at risk from flying, insurance companies will fly him to the nearest adequate medical facility. For example, if he is in Cambodia they would fly him to Bangkok, if in West Africa, to France. Once stabilized, if needed, they will fly him to his home country.
International health insurance companies provide insurance coverage for people all over the world. No insurance company is large enough to have their own fleet of planes available in every country. Instead, they have contact with medical evacuation companies and planes worldwide and can quickly sub-contract a plane for a medical evacuation.
Many international insurance companies have divisions within their company that handle medical evacuation 24/7 for clients. One company GNI works with has 10 nurses and 1 Medical Officer (doctor) in their medical evacuation division.
Depending on the physical location of the patient, medical evacuation can happen quickly, often within 2 to 3 hours. Here is the general procedure:
- The insurance company is contacted concerning a needed medical evacuation.
- The Medical Evacuation Division in the company makes a quick and complete evaluation of the illness or injury. This is generally done in consultation with a physician that works with the insurance company and medical personnel that are on the ground stabilizing the patient.
- Evaluation of the physical/geographic location of the patient, e.g., nearest airport and nearest adequate medical facilities, is considered.
- The patient is evacuated to the nearest adequate medical facility, and if necessary, once stabilized, evacuated back to his or her home country.
- If the medical condition is not overly serious, they will use a common carrier for the evacuation, often sending along medical personnel to assist the patient in flight. If very serious, they will charter a plan from a medical evacuation company in the region.
Improved multi-trip insurance for repeat travelers
Now you can take unlimited trips outside the USA for up to 70 days per trip and have access to contracted doctors in 160 countries. The plan provides medical evacuation and $250,000 of medical coverage, and requires that you have domestic health insurance in the USA. This is a very good plan for those 50 years and older who plan to be outside the USA for two months. It is much more cost-effective than purchasing a regular short-term plan. Of course, if you plan to be away more than 70 days then it won’t work for you. It is important to remember that this plan is only available for individuals in 36 of the 50 US States. Please contact GNI for further information.
Insurance Coverage in war zones
Almost all international policies have a line in their “Exclusion” section something like: This medical plan does not cover…. any consequence, whether directly or indirectly, proximately or remotely occasioned by, contributed to by, or traceable to, or arising in connection with: (a) war, invasion, act of foreign enemy hostilities, warlike operations (whether war be declared or not), or civil war; (b) Any act of any person acting on behalf of or in connection with any organization with activities directed towards the overthrow by force of the Government de jure or de facto or to the influencing of it by terrorism or violence . . . .
I think you get the picture. So, if you are caught in the cross fire, you are not covered. But what if you are walking down the street, trip and break you ankle? In that case you are covered for it had nothing to do with a “war.” So we can write insurance for people in war zones, but with the exclusion as listed above.
Insurance for single women
Often we hear the question, “Why do young single women pay such high rates for health insurance?” Because they are paying for maternity coverage. Even if they are single? Yes! Some companies are finally providing career health insurance for single women that does not include maternity. This means it is less expensive, cutting health insurance costs in some cases by as much as 35 percent.
If you are a single woman, you no longer need to buy career insurance that covers maternity. Now you can save a good deal of money and have the highest quality, long-term career medical insurance. If you would like a health insurance quote for yourself on these unique plans, please contact us.
International Dental Insurance
Although most international plans do not provide dental insurance, we now have one individual plan that offers this coverage. Here is what they say about their dental insurance: “Optional Dental Rider: The Dental Rider provides important benefits for families including preventative care for children and basic and major dental benefits for both children and adults. Benefits include: routine oral exams and x- rays, cleaning and fluoride treatments, Periodontics, Endodontics, extractions, fillings, crowns, bridges, and dentures.” If you are interested in this coverage, which is offered as an add-on to regular international medical insurance, please contact us.
Kidnap and ransom insurance; disability and liability coverage
We get occasional requests for Kidnap and Ransom insurance, and we can provide this kind of coverage. Please note that if you are purchasing K&R you must not inform your staff that you are doing so. Most K&R policies are cancelled if the staff being insured is aware that they are covered with K&R. The rates on K&R are influenced by several factors, including the residence of the insured.
We can easily get disability quotes for individuals working outside the USA. Disability rates tend to be high because the insured is working outside the USA. Rates are determined by an individual’s present income and the length of coverage requested. Generally disability insurance only provides monthly reimbursement based on 75 percent of an insured’s monthly income.
Although we do not provide liability insurance, we can easily point you to some insurers that can help you in that matter.
Medical Evacuation Insurance — Do you need it?
One missionary tells of a child who fell out of a tree in Cambodia in 1994. The parents thought the injury was serious and medical evacuated him to Singapore for a cost of $25,000. The family did not have that kind of money. So, how did they pay for it? They appealed to their supporters because they didn’t have insurance.
What’s another solution? Be covered by either international medical insurance (if living overseas), travel insurance (if going overseas for less than a year), or with medical evacuation-only insurance. For a reasonable sum a family can have insurance that provides medical evacuation services when they are needed. These companies offer round-the-clock services all over the world. The client is given a call-collect number with which to contact them.
Our international insurance plans all include medical evacuation in their coverage. But you could also purchase a stand-alone medical evacuation insurance plan. Which is best for your situation? It depends if you are living overseas or traveling. If you are an expat and are eligible for nationalized healthcare. Or if traveling, if your domestic plan will cover claims overseas, you may just need evacuation benefits.
That’s always the deal with insurance. Once you have it you hope you never need it. And you may never need it.
As a foreign worker for 30 years I always thought I must have insurance, even though it wasn’t provided by the organization we volunteered with–first of all, in being responsible for my family. And second (since we had to raise our own funds to continue overseas), as an act of responsibility to those supporters who gave sacrificially to keep us serving in charitable work overseas. I felt that they might expect us to use part of their financial gifts to purchase international health insurance for medical needs overseas. This was better than surprising them with an urgent request letter needing to raise a lot of money on short notice. (Especially since domestic health plans and domestic life insurance wouldn’t cover our overseas claims if something bad happened while abroad.)
Overseas coverage for American Medicare recipients
If you are an American on Medicare, you are probably aware that Medicare does not cover Americans traveling abroad. Some Medicare recipients have contacted us about coverage for short-term trips.
Instead of getting separate international coverage you may want to purchase a Medicare supplement plan (C through J) from a local agent. This supplement will cover you for the first 60 days of a trip outside of the USA. There is a $250 deductible. Then the insurance will cover 80 percent of all billed charges up to a lifetime maximum of $50,000. The premium will be between $100 and $150 depending on your age. This “Foreign Travel Emergency” benefit is just one of the benefits in the supplement package. If you want information about Medicare supplement insurance or about an agent that can help you select a Medicare supplement, check out www.mutualofomaha.com , or find an agent in your local phone book. (If you already have a Medicare supplement, you may only need to add $9.00 for overseas coverage.)
If you are not interested in taking out Medicare Supplement insurance, then you will need a good short-term plan that you can apply for online at www.overseashealthinsurance.com.
Settling back into the USA after an overseas assignment
It is surprising how many USA insurance companies will not provide health insurance coverage for a person who has been overseas. Many health insurance applications have a question like this: Have you been a residence in the USA for the past 12 months? The reason for this question is insurance companies are wary of insuring individuals who may have picked up a tropical disease. How then are people to get health insurance?
Here are three options:
- If you can get on group insurance when you first get back to the USA, you will automatically receive coverage.
- If the organization you were with had over 20 employees, they probably offer COBRA; and you can then be covered on a COBRA plan for up to 18 months in most states and 36 months in California.
- To take out an individual plan that will accept you for coverage.
Good Neighbor Insurance carries a long-term plan that will not decline you if you have been out of the country. This can also be used for American citizens who have been overseas but are returning to the USA with or without plans to return overseas in the foreseeable future. Please contact us about this option.
Trip cancellation and medical insurance in one package
Sometimes we are looking for a good trip cancellation plan that also includes good medical coverage. Generally short-term international plans have very weak or no trip cancellation coverage. And generally trip cancellation plans have very little medical or medical evacuation coverage. Two good plans that provide both trip cancellation and medical insurance are “Trip Protector” and “Trip Protector Preferred.” These plans provide total coverage for the cancellation of your trip and also medical coverage up to $100,000 and medical evacuation up to $250,000. These plans are available to both Americans and Canadians. You will have access to 3,300 contracted doctors in 160 countries of the world with these plans. This is probably the largest international PPO in the world. All care received by any of these doctors will be invoiced directly to the company in the USA. If you are interested in this plan, please visit www.overseashealthinsurance.com and click on “Find Out More” under “Trip Protector.”
What to do if kidnapped while traveling overseas
Do you know what to do if you’re ever kidnapped while traveling overseas? The first few minutes are the most critical for the victim’s safety. In most cases do not resist. We say “in most cases” because sometimes resisting works. I have a friend, in his sixties at the time, who resisted being kidnapped in Kabul, Afghanistan and was left by the would be kidnappers, certainly shaken, but safe and free.
You can avoid being injured by controlling your natural desire to act impulsively. Make a real effort to prevent losing valuable personal items like eyeglasses. Obviously it is not easy to stay calm at such a time but nevertheless force yourself to be calm. Avoid giving information concerning your profession and income to your kidnappers. Of course you may be forced to hand over ATM cards and PIN numbers. If sick or hungry or need medication always inform your abductor. If they are kidnapping you for money they want you to stay healthy and alive.
If you are covered with Kidnap and Ransom Insurance you will have confidence that a crisis response team will quickly move into action to handle your situation.