Global Health Insurance
Traveling abroad requires that you have a health insurance plan. Instead of just getting the bare minimum coverage, getting better coverage will help to ensure that you are covered for most health problems and emergencies – no matter where you travel.
Annual plans providing medical coverage outside USA (and inside in some cases)
Global Medical Insurance offers a customizable insurance plan that works with your medical history, and may help you get coverage for those issues. The plan is offered by the International Medical Group (IMG), and helps you to save more than 50% of your out-of-pocket costs and deductibles. The plan ensures that you can get treatment at the best medical centers outside of the United States.
This plan offers five different options for coverage to meet your budget. The five different levels of coverage include the Bronze, Silver, Gold, Gold Plus, and Platinum plans. Each plan provides for coverage inside the U.S. and worldwide, and they allow you to obtain medical treatment at any facility.
Medical counsel is available through the Medical Concierge program which provides information on non-emergency situations, and gives you medical provider ratings and the general cost of the service – while in the United States. Other programs, such as Teladoc, provide you with professional medical counsel for diagnosis, treatment and prescriptions. Maternity coverage is only available on the Platinum Plan, or after 10 months of coverage.
GeoBlue Xplorer insurance provides coverage for the individual or families who are abroad for extended periods of time. Plan options are available if you only want coverage outside of the United States (the GeoBlue Xplorer EXP Plan).
The GeoBlue Xplorer insurance plan lets members choose any provider when outside of the U.S. without receiving any kind of penalty. The resources available through the Internet are unsurpassed, including profiles of health facilities in more than 200 different countries. You can also find around 400 brand names of prescriptions and over-the-counter medications. It also includes the translation of medical terms in 10 of the most common languages.
How to buy?
When you are ready to buy, or learn more about Global Health Insurance, there are three ways to do it. The first way is through private health insurance companies. They can be contacted either online or offline. A second way is to go to the individual plan websites and compare them. The third way is to go to a health insurance comparison website, and then you can purchase the coverage online.
How long does it take to get policy in hand?
Individuals or families can apply. A family can include all dependents who are 18 or younger, and they can apply on a single application. All applications will be required to go through the underwriting process. This may require additional medical records before approval can be given, and premium is quoted based on the information provided.
How to pay for the policy
Payments can be made with a credit card or check. Payment needs to be sent for the first month with your application. If the application is not accepted, the money will be returned.
What information is required? How to apply
You can easily download the application online, and then print it. You will need to fill in the information by hand and then mail it to the company. It will be necessary to fill it in accurately. Missing information will likely mean delays in approval, or possible rejection.
When to buy
It is advised that you submit your application to the insurance company between 30 to 45 days prior to when you need the coverage. It will take the insurance company that long to process the application. Time is also needed to validate your health condition, as well as any pre-existing conditions.
Who are the main players? Organizations involved?
The plans providing worldwide health coverage are administered by HTH Worldwide, the PA Group, and IMG.
Underwriters for include: Cigna Global Insurance, Premier Health, International Medical Group, GeoBlue Global Medical, Allianz, Aetna International, BUPA International.
Why do you need it?
When you are out of the United States, you will find that it is a different culture. This means you may be exposed to bacteria you have never been exposed to before that can cause serious illness. Accidents can also occur, and often do, which will involve medical treatment.
This insurance coverage pays for medical services such as doctor visits, hospitalization, ambulance service, prescription medication, emergency medical evacuation, repatriation, and more.
Is the company reliable?
The GeoBlue Xplorers policy is backed by a solid insurance company, the BCS Insurance company. This company has an A- rating from A.M. Best for its financial strength.
The Global Medical Insurance policy is backed by Sirius International and has a rating of A excellent from A.M. Best for its financial strength.
Will it cover pre-existing conditions?
Whether or not the insurance will cover pre-existing conditions depends on the plan you buy. There could be a waiting period of six-months to 24 months. A pre-existing condition sometimes may be covered if you had health insurance previously that covered it – called Credible Coverage.
Who needs the coverage?
Basically anyone who will be travelling abroad is in need of this type of medical insurance, whether going abroad for a short or long term. It includes expats, foreign aid workers, missionaries, and any U.S. resident who is travelling outside of the United States.
How to use it?
By going online and accessing the website, you can locate a medical facility and physician that is within your provider network. Communicate with your insurance company and get approval for treatment. After treatment, be sure to keep all of the bills, records, and other documents. Be sure to double check that all of the information on the documentation is accurate. Pre-Certification may also be needed for certain treatments or medications, if the insurance company is going to pay.
When does it not work? Are there exclusions?
Every insurance plan has its own particular set of exclusions. In order to find out which ones apply to your plan, you will need to read the policy certificate, or contact the company directly. Here are some of the most common exclusions: Treatment for mental or nervous conditions (in-patient or out-patient); Maternity or care for newborns; organ transplants; Hearing or vision aids; Treatment for injuries in amateur or professional sports; Treatment for relatives or other non-covered person; Treatment for injuries obtained from war, terrorism, riot, or other illegal activities; Services eligible for payment from government or other insurance companies; Drug and alcohol treatment; Treatment and supplies not deemed necessary, or not ordered by a physician; Cosmetic surgery or weight modification; Treatment for impotency or contraceptive medication and treatment. Dental treatment is usually only available as an optional rider.
Some insurance plans offer special riders for Terrorism, Sports, Dental and Vision. There is also a life insurance rider. Maternity benefits with the Global Medical Insurance (available only with the Platinum policy) can be available after a waiting period of 10 months of continuous coverage or with the GeoBlue Xplorer policy, maternity can be applied for, once there has been 364 days of continuous coverage.
Other Tips and Information
People over the age of 75 are not eligible for coverage, unless already covered when they turn 75. Everyone 74 and under can apply if they are a legal resident in the U.S. and live in an approved state. Employees of a U.S. company may also apply, if the company is in an approved state and if the company is paying for the insurance coverage.
Most medical plans typically do not renew automatically, but the application process is simple. You simply tell the company that you want to re-enroll. No medical questions will be asked, and the premium rates do not change as a result of claims you made previously. They will change, however, based on your age and medical inflation.
Medicare cannot be used outside of the United States. If you have the Medicare Advantage Plan, it does provide coverage in the following countries: American Samoa, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In some cases, it may provide coverage in Canada and Mexico. Travelers who are planning to retire in another country will need to buy a health insurance plan.
This medical plan, although usable in the United States and abroad, is not a substitute medical plan for the Affordable Care Act. It does not meet the Minimum Essential Coverage requirements.
When dealing with providers who are not contracted with the company, you will be required to pay them for services, and then submit a bill to the insurance company.
Get global health insurance before moving abroad
Before you go on your next trip, or when moving overseas, be sure to get covered with a plan that works wherever you go. Proven coverage with a great plan and solid companies can help protect you and your loved ones. Contact us now for any questions you have, or download an application and get started.