There are many reasons you might need to look into international health insurance companies. Many people who travel to other countries for their job know that their regular health insurance is only available to them within their home country’s boundaries. Students who are studying abroad will need to seek out international health insurance in case they become ill or injured while away from home.
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According to the U.S. Department of State it’s always a good idea to check with your health insurance company to see if your policy will cover you in foreign countries. It’s also a good idea to see if your policy will cover emergency expenses, like medical evacuation for example, in the unlikely case that you’ll need it.
Who might need international health insurance?
Many times students who are participating in study abroad programs will need to supplement their health insurance with international health insurance. Texas A&M University strongly recommends that all participating study abroad students sign on for international health insurance coverage. Most health insurance companies do not cover the necessary health insurance needs of students studying abroad. When health insurance is supplemented with international health insurance you will have coverage for several health needs such as visiting a doctor or hospital while studying abroad.
Many overseas hospitals will also require you pay for your services upfront. With your supplemental international health insurance you can file a claim once you return to the U.S. in order to receive your reimbursement. Those who are traveling abroad may also need to purchase some type of supplemental international health insurance.
How should I choose an international health insurance plan?
It only makes sense to purchase international health insurance if you don’t have coverage with your current policy. Check with your health insurance company to see if your current policy will cover you and your family if you travel abroad.
While not common, some insurance policies will extend coverage when customers travel outside of the U.S. boundaries. There can be some limitations to the location and the type of coverage, however. Even if they offer some type of coverage it might be a good idea to get supplemental health insurance just in case.
Before you seek out international health insurance estimate what you’ll need for coverage and the factors that will contribute to which type you choose. These factors can include:
- how long you’ll be staying abroad
- where you’ll be staying
- high risk activities you’ll be participating in while abroad
- preexisting conditions
- your overall health
After you’ve decided what kind of coverage you’ll need, it’s wise to start doing your research. Examine all health insurance plans that offer supplemental international health insurance. Be sure to check out the health insurance company’s rating and reputation as well. Know how much coverage and what type of coverage each plan will provide, and know whether or not the companies guarantee their payments abroad.
What other things should I consider?
Do a health insurance comparison – it could save you money! It’s always a good idea to research with your state or federal travel agency. The U.S. State Department can help you with research into international medical insurance. They also issue warnings and vaccination requirements for traveling to certain countries.
It’s also important to know that most supplemental international health insurance covers emergencies only. This means that you will be covered for all emergency room visits and also if you are moved to a recovery room. However, depending on the health insurance policy it might not include anything thereafter, like tests, prescriptions, or follow up appointments.
In many cases a trip to the doctor will be paid for by you out of pocket. Then you’ll have to send in a reimbursement request when you return home to the United States. There is also the chance that in order to receive coverage you’ll have to check with the insurance company beforehand to receive approval.
For those who are 70 years of age and older, Medicare does not provide coverage outside the U.S. boundaries. For this age group, cheap supplemental international or travel health insurance is probably a pipe dream. It’s often a good idea to look into comprehensive trip cancellation insurance in order to get your medical needs covered without having to pay a hefty bill.
Finding the right international health insurance company to work with can be easier than you think. Search for health insurance rates online by entering your ZIP code into this FREE search engine box!