When you go abroad there is a slim chance that your current insurance will cover you in the country you visit. If you had a medical emergency of any kind, from a heart attack to a car accident this could be both life threatening and financially disastrous. A medical emergency can have many costs associated with it, from the evacuation, transport, and hospital care; not to mention the end to your vacation, study abroad or work trip. Even in countries of the developing world where medical care is inexpensive an evacuation can cost up to $20,000 USD, even if you can pay for the evacuation it may not happen in time, as with the story below. Short term insurance is a way to protect yourself away from home.
In December 20143 a little girl was playing on the sand in San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico. Some horses were coming down the beach and for whatever reason, she ended up getting trampled by the horses. They were only hours from the border, but she was badly injured and needed to be life-flighted back to the United States for care. She had no international insurance and no one to help the family coordinate an evacuation. Life flight was forbidden from coming to get her, Mexican officials wouldn’t let them just drive her to the border, in the end the 1st grader form Los Gatos, CA passed away.
This tragic and true story could have been any of us or any of our kids. It is sad but true that without someone on your side to help coordinate a medical or political evacuation it may be impossible to get to life saving care in time.
All short term policies are similar in many ways. They all provide medical insurance, evacuation insurance and repatriation for individuals,families or groups. Many have some benefits for pre-existing conditions, if the pre-existing condition is not ongoing. For example they would cover a second heart attack or stroke, but would not pay for childbirth or kidney dialysis. Some plans have better medical provisions, while others incorporate some of the benefits of a “trip insurance” plan, like reimbursements for flying kids home, trip interruption benefits and some even cover lost luggage. There are some plans that include the option of insuring your “stuff” as well, such as golf clubs, camera equipment etc.
International Medical is the big umbrella for all of the short term travel medical insurance that is available. This page has on it the most common plans that are used by individuals going abroad or coming to the USA. The companies represented are the ones that Health Insurance Services International feels are the best companies to do business with, although in no particular order. Any of these plans can be taken by an individual or family going abroad for 180 days or less.
Plans listed here are geared toward family travel. They tend to offer a little bit more robust coverage to make sure all of your precious cargo is taken care of. Traveling as a family can be exciting, but an accident or illness
These plans are designed for individuals and families coming to the United States, famous for its very expensive medical care. Some of these plans are designed for the budget traveler, while others offer more robust coverage. The biggest difference is if they pay with a schedule of benefits (a fixed amount for every service provided) or if the pay the usual, reasonable and customary charge for that service. For example a scheduled plan will pay 500.00 for an ambulance, while a robust plan will pay the provider what it costs. While we would always rather have a client get a more robust plan, we understand that sometimes its better to have what you can afford, rather than no insurance at all.
Student plans are geared to students, groups of students, grad students and even visiting faculty. They offer specific discounts for using a schools medical clinic and provide benefits that are needed by young people more frequently. Some can be taken for short trips, while others are geared toward studying abroad for a year, or 9 months. Most can be renewed at the end of the time if one were to stay for a longer period of time, or travel around afterwards.
These plans are geared toward short mission trips by individuals and groups. Career missionaries will find plans suitable for long international stays on the long term pages. Many church groups go abroad to do service. It is imperative that if you take your church group abroad that you provide them with medical coverage in case of an accident or emergency.
If you are working in Europe or the Shengen zone you will need a shengen visa and a letter to show you have insurance that qualifies for your shengen visa. We can provide the insurance and of course the letter for the consulate. If you get all your ducks in a row and your Visa gets denied we will help you get a refund, customer service doesn’t stop at the sale of the policy.
Travelling internationally for the purposes of either competitive sports or extreme sports is incredibly fun and rewarding. If something should go wrong you want to make sure that you will have an evacuation and medical expenses covered. Only a few companies out there will insure you for you adventurous hobbies and we can get you a quote to make sure you have medical coverage, no matter what your passion.