Anyone who has traveled in the last month or so we all know there’s a demand for travel unlike we have seen in a long time. Unfortunately, many airlines are not prepared for this as they still struggle due to staffing issues. Still, it has not stopped people from wanting to travel as people are braving their way through the lines, the flight cancellations, and missed connections.
With this surge in travel, people are getting more comfortable. For many, that means going overseas and, unbeknownst to them, losing any non-emergency health coverage the second they leave the country. Even the emergency coverage you get overseas isn’t great. It often requires you to pay 100% out-of-pocket and then fight with the insurance company to get paid back upon your return (not to mention getting everything translated if you were in a non-English speaking country.)
I didn’t initially plan on writing this article for this month’s newsletter, but over the last 30-45 days, we have seen requests for international travel insurance go through the roof. On a personal note, I am getting a policy for my family as we will be visiting friends who retired in Honduras (Hi Monica & Bryan – we love you guys!!). So, I thought now would be a great time since most people probably don’t realize these policies are so robust in what they offer and are so affordable.
The biggest thing, especially if you are going to be traveling overseas for a good amount of time, is that your insurance will NOT work as it normally does when you are back in the states, if at all. The benefits of the international health plans are many, but here are the main things I like about them:
1. You have a built-in concierge team helping you out behind the scenes. If you get sick or hurt and need help finding a provider, you call the insurance company, and they help direct you. You’re not stuck on your own trying to navigate the health system in a foreign country.
2. Most have evacuation benefits built-in. Suppose something goes wrong and the place you visit does not have adequate medical facilities to treat you or a family member. In that case, the insurance company will help you get to a location (or home) where you can be treated in a facility that can handle the problem.
3. Flexibility. Depending on how long you are traveling and the level of coverage you need, there’s lots of customization allowed. Like with plans here in the states, you can choose your deductibles, from $0 up to $10K or $25K in some cases, but unlike here in the states, you can also choose the policy maximums. Some policies start at a $100K max payout, whereas others go up to 8 million dollars. They also have specialized policies for the following:
- People who are traveling long term can renew annually
- Those that travel a lot but may not necessarily be gone for a full year at a time
- For crew members on boats
- For people who are traveling INTO the United States from other countries.
- Policies specifically for seniors who travel
- Policies geared more towards accidents but have trip protection reimbursement features built-in
There are also benefit riders you can add in for extreme sports enthusiasts and extra evacuation benefits if you think what is included isn’t enough.
4. Certainly, last but not least, pricing. The pricing on the international policies is affordable. To show you what I mean, I will show you some pricing examples I am looking at for our eight-day trip to Honduras later this summer. I usually get a $0 deductible plan and then max out the benefit by at least 1 million dollars, if not more, but as mentioned above, you can customize. Regardless of the plan combination, you get for yourself or your family, these policies are more affordable than health insurance here in the States. Now that I know how affordable they are, I never leave the country without getting one of these for myself or my family, even if it’s a dialed-down version.
PRICING EXAMPLE FOR FAMILY of three – 2 ADULTS and 1 CHILD FOR AN 8 DAY HONDURAS TRIP
Please keep in mind the pricing shown below is NOT per person and is all-inclusive for all three family members:
As you can see, these are not too expensive for the family coverage you are getting, especially on the lower end. Now consider adding higher deductibles to these, and the pricing would be even lower.
The point of this article is not to try and sell a bunch of nonsense that nobody needs. It is to inform you that if you or someone you know is traveling and has a risk, policies similar to this one can help eliminate that risk.
We make a whopping 10% on these policies, so we’re certainly not setting ourselves up for retirement with these, but that is not and has never been my intent. We want to help our clients protect what is important to them, most commonly their families, businesses, and employees. I have included two links below for the brochures for the two policies we often do. As mentioned in bullet 3, several other policies are specific for certain situations.
Many large insurance companies sell these as well, but we prefer to use International Medical Group, simply because this is all they do. We work with the other big insurance companies regularly, so we know how difficult they can be. In super-specific situations like this, we prefer to partner with someone who knows this space and has been doing it for a long time, not someone who sees this as another profit center.
Below are two of the most popular travel insurance policies that we look at most often.
If we can help you with any of these, or you know anyone headed overseas and would like some help looking at international travel insurance, please contact us. We’d be happy to help them look at their available options.