Trip Cancellation VS Travel Medical Insurance
As if International health insurance is not complicated enough… Today most people really do not understand the difference between one international plan type versus another so I hope to clear up a few things within this post. First there are two types of global travelers. One is considered a short-term need by the insurance industry and the other is considered to be a long-term need such as the typical Expatriate living outside the borders of their home country. For those with short-term needs you really have two distinct choices when it comes to the product type. Short-term is generally defined as traveling outside your home country’s border for 6 months or less. This post is specifically addressing short-term needs for International cover. So lets talk about these two product types.
Single-Trip “Travel Medical Insurance”
Travel Medical Insurance is generally designed for the individual and family that will be leaving their home country and traveling abroad. This type of policy is primarily an International Medical plan that is focused on the potential medical needs of the traveler. If you become sick or injured these types of plans are designed to pay for covered medical expenses thus giving you in effect major medical protection while you are abroad. This is the primary focus of the Travel Medical Plan.
To be clear Travel Medical plans or what we sometimes refer to as Single-Trip plans which are specifically intended to meet the needs of the traveler whose primary concern is insuring their health and not the investment in their trip. Included in these Single-Trip plans will be benefits such as Professional Services, In-Patient Hospital Services, Emergency Medical Evacuation, coverage for Pre-existing Conditions, Prescription Coverage, Repatriation of Remains and more. In addition you will find some limited benefits that address things such as lost passports, lost baggage, lost airline tickets and other areas of cover but primarily Travel Medical plans are a short-term major medical plan designed to cover you globally with the exception of the United States.
GeoBlue is the leader in U.S. based plans for out-bound U.S. Citizen planning to travel abroad for 6 months or less. In fact they are one of the only U.S. based insurers that will not only cover you for medical necessity but it will also cover you for the cost of medical services provided as the result of a terrorist event. The GeoBlue Voyager plan will even cover your pre-existing conditions as long as you have a current U.S. domestic plan. One other tidbit is that if your travel plans exceed the 6 month window and you decide to extend your stay abroad even longer you have a one-time option to renew this type of coverage from abroad.
Trip Cancellation or Trip Reimbursement plans
The other type of short-term International Cover is the Trip Cancellation or Trip Reimbursement plan. This is probably the most misunderstood plan type of the two. The Trip Cancellation, Trip Protection, Trip Reimbursement, Travel Insurance – these are all the same thing – and they are international plans that are designed to first primarily insure your up-front investment in a trip you will be taking at some point in the future. In addition there is value added benefits and health related benefits all built into a single plan type. This includes Emergency Medical Evacuation as well.
Should you prior to your trip have to cancel for legitimate reasons or if your trip becomes interrupted during your travels these types of plans are helping to mitigate the financial loss that one can experience. In short with this type of plan you are really insuring your investment more than your need for health insurance and the premium costs reflect this. As a simple guide you can plan to spend anywhere from 8% – 10% of the amount you pre-paid for your international trip. For Example – you are going on a cruise overseas and the cost that you have pre-paid is $10,000 your cost to insure this portion of the trip will be in the range of $800 – $1000 and in some cases with some insurers it might be even more. It is important to note that these types of plans are much more expensive than just the Travel Medical plans which are more comprehensive in scope of coverage. The major cost here is the insuring of the actual pre-paid trip investment.
One of the newest additions to this plan type is the newly updated TripProtector plan from HTH Worldwide, the parent company and owner of the GeoBlue Brand. Like the GeoBlue Voyager above the HTH TripProtector also provides cover for Pre-existing conditions as long as you enroll within specified times and Acts of Terrorism. The Emergency Medical Evacuation benefit is one of the highest limits available coming in a $1,000,000 per insured. And, there are three affordable plan options to select from.
Should you have the need to access your insurance benefits you will be pleased with the concierge level of service provided by HTH. The bottom line is that if you are planning a vacation at some future date and you are planning to pre-pay all or a portion of the cost the reality is travel plans can change for any reason.
Call With Questions
As always I am here to help you through the maze. If you have questions or you are just a bit confused just reach out to me by phone (619) 435-6700 or by email to “firstname.lastname@example.org”. If you are looking for International cover that will meet a longer term need click here and read up on the GeoBlue Xplorer Premier plan – the plan of choice for out-bound U.S. Expats or expats working and living abroad with a U.S. connection.