When helping someone choose a health insurance plan, I am often asked if this coverage will extend to them when they travel abroad. The answer is usually either “maybe a little, depending on the situation” or “absolutely not”
If you have a limiting HMO plan, coverage only extends out of network in a medical emergency in the territory. There is no coverage outside of the US.
If you have a PPO plan, the territory might (depending on the carrier) extend outside of the US, but if it does, you would need to pay the doctor or hospital out of pocket and that time, and then submit for reimbursement. The reimbursement would only apply after your out-of-network-out-of-pocket maximum was reached. This could range from $10,000-$40,000 per person depending on the plan.
I always recommend purchasing a travel medical plan in these situations, whether it be for a vacation, a student traveling abroad, or a missions trip, there are a variety of different plans tailored to protect you in your specific situation.
Travel medical plans are very inexpensive with a variety of deductible and maximum limit options. Some also offer special riders for things like evacuation coverage and coverage for extreme sports and adventures.
When an emergency happens in a country that doesn’t speak your language, panic sets in. Travel medical plans come with a dedicated customer service department to direct you in case of an emergency. They can direct you to doctor or hospital that speaks your language and practices Western medicine.
Purchasing a travel medical plan will give you invaluable peace of mind when traveling and is available for all ages. Have questions about what travel medical insurance might look for you? Contact us! We can’t wait to help you navigate this.