When you travel one of the important things to include is travel medical insurance. It needs to be on everyone’s travel checklist. No one plans to be injured or sick while traveling or spending time in another country but it can happen. If you are in another country and are in need of medical attention, typically the doctors and hospitals want to be paid. They know that if they are not paid then, there is almost no chance they will be paid seriously. This means a traveler needs to take this seriously.
Travel medical insurance is not the same as trip insurance. The two are often confused. The plans may have similar and overlapping benefits but the purpose of these plans are not the same. Medical plans are to cover medical expenses with some trip and travel benefits. Trip insurance is to cover the trip cost in full or in part if a person cannot be on the trip. The reason for not being on the trip could be due to a car accident on the way. It could be due to a strike on a cruise ship. Trip insurance is to cover the loss of monies spent for the trip or cruise if certain covered events happen.
Travel agents typically offer trip insurance. Insurance agents that offer international medical insurance may also offer trip coverage plans as well. An insurance license is required to offer International travel health insurance. International health and medical insurance is a specialty in insurance industry. Few agents handle this. As with any specialty finding an agent that is knowledgeable and experienced with international insurance is very important as all plans are not the same. International travel health insurance plans are for traveling outside of a person’s home country.
Travel medical insurance plans typically fall into two types. These are indemnity or a scheduled benefit plans which have specified dollar benefits for specified medical services. For example, a scheduled benefit program might pay $50 for a doctor and $1000 a day for hospital expenses. Scheduled benefits plans are used frequently by visitors to the US as this type costs less and with older age visitors, over age 70, actually covers more than more comprehensive plans. Comprehensive plans are the best choice if possible for visitors to the US are under age 70.
There are also plans that are like major medical health insurance plans. These plans offer a wider less restricted coverage. Both types of plan usually exclude pre-existing health conditions or have limitations on pre-existing health condition coverage. It is best to consult an agent that is experienced and handles international insurance plans daily so can give you good advice that fits your situation.
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A good travel health and medical insurance plan would include the following policy benefits.
o Policy medical maximum – Plan choices may range from $50,000 to $1 million. The medical maximum available is usually limited to $50,000 or less for persons age 70 or over.
o Deductibles – these are typically per policy period and may be limited to 3 per family. Deductibles can be $0, $100, $250, $500, $1000 or $2500
o Coinsurance – is the amount an insured pays of eligible medical expenses before the insurance coverage pays benefits. Coinsurance might be 0%, 10%, 20%, 30% or 50% of the next $5000 to $10,000 of medical expenses after the deductible has been met. After that is met, the plan then would pay 100% of the eligible medical expenses up to the medical maximum selected.
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