GeoBlue Travel Insurance
PLANNING A TRIP INSURANCE OUTSIDE THE US?
Most health insurance plans do not cover you for care provided outside the United States. When you travel outside the US, you never know if you may grow seriously ill, or have a major health event. This could lead to required emergency care, surgery, medical transport, extended hospital or hotel stays for family, trip interruption costs, and other unforeseen expenses.
Fortunately, it is not expensive to purchase a travel insurance package that insures you against these potential risks. Someone once told me "If you can afford to travel, you can afford travel insurance" I always buy a travel plan when I leave the country with at least $100,000 medical coverage.
GET A QUOTE AND ENROLL NOW:
Click on the link to quote the various plans, read the find print, and enroll:
- Ideal for out of country vacations, groups, missionary or business travel, or even students studying abroad.
- Choice of varying medical limits and deductibles: $50,000, $100,000, $500,000 or 1 million.
- For trips up to 6 months for ages 84 or younger.
- Covers pre-existing conditions for medical services and medical evacuation.
- Requires a primary health plan
Do you have a group of at least 5 people taking a trip?
When quoting above, the "Voyager Single Trip" option saves you 10%.
The info below is from the GeoBlue website:
Travel Medical Insurance 101
A record number of Americans traveled abroad in 2018 for leisure, business, study abroad and missionary work- to the tune of 67 million. Given recent epidemics, natural disasters and security threats around the world- coupled with your run-of-the-mill medical issues- travelers have more reason than ever to ensure their health and safety are fully insured prior to embarking on their trips. Americans are dedicating more and more time to preparing for their trips and researching the coverage options available to them, and with good reason.
Why Has Travel Medical Insurance Increased in Popularity?
Americans have in part become more discerning shoppers when it comes to travel medical insurance, because of the limitations placed on their coverage by their existing insurance plans once they step outside of the U.S. A savvy traveler will be well aware that care offered in many remote or underdeveloped areas is just not medically adequate for treating certain life or limb-threatening conditions or injuries. Suppose you need an evacuation to a higher standard of care; most primary domestic insurances will not take on these costs or even assist with the arrangements. This is a big gap you most likely have in your primary policy, and one that shouldn’t be left to chance.
What Will a Good Travel Medical Policy Do for You?
Travel medical insurance policies are designed to pick up where your primary domestic health plan leaves off, and fill in these gaps. The most comprehensive plans will include coverage for big-ticket items such as hospitalizations, surgeries and medically necessary evacuations as well as more basic services like physician office visits, ambulance services, prescription medication and more. The premier plans will also include benefits for injury or sickness due to terrorist events and treatment related to preexisting conditions. The seamless billing between the healthcare provider and insurer that these policies offer affords incredible peace of mind to travelers who have historically had to absorb high medical costs and then claim the expenses for reimbursement. Those planning on using credit cards in case of an emergency should be aware that some providers overseas won’t be able to accept your card.
Global Provider Networks
What good is insurance if you can’t find a doctor you can trust? The best plans give you access and direct pay to the best providers and are rich with primary and specialist resources, regardless of how remote your location may be. In addition, providers are selected based on their medical credentials, language proficiency and more. Always ask the insurer what their vetting process entails and the certifications necessary for induction into their physician network.
For broader and deeper coverage, with fewer surprises at the time of claim, make sure to inquire on whether your coverage includes:
- Pre-existing conditions covered to policy limit
- Terrorism covered with no excluded countries
- Cashless access to profiled physicians and hospitals in 180 countries
- Coverage for medical evacuation
Myths about medical transport and evacuation.
Ample coverage and expedient medical assistance during an evacuation are foundational elements of all GeoBlue plans and products. But are you still unsure about how to answer the most pressing questions about this benefit? Below we help debunk some common emergency medical evacuation misconceptions:
MYTH: Medical evacuation and repatriation are the same.
Reality: Medical evacuation typically means moving a patient from one location where the local care is inadequate to another nearby location that better meets the patient's needs. This does not necessarily refer to moving from the patient’s initial emergency medical transport to the first care setting. Repatriation means transport, usually medically-supervised, back to the patient’s country of residence. There are situations where a medical evacuation is also a repatriation. There are situations where a patient is medically evacuated only to a nearby Center of Excellence (CoE) to receive care and recover, and then the patient continues with their journey. More commonly, the patient has both – evacuated first to a nearby CoE and then repatriated back home for longer term care/convalescence.
MYTH: For a repatriation to be covered, the patient must first have a covered emergency medical evacuation.
Reality: While it is common for an emergency medical evacuation to occur first, not all GeoBlue policies require this for the repatriation to be covered. On most individual policies, the GeoBlue Medical Director may determine a medically-supported transport is required to return the patient to their residence, irrespective of whether a covered emergency medical evacuation preceded it. An example is where the traveler is hospitalized and treated in a visiting CoE city,, but still requires medically-supervised transport to safely get home for further treatment or recovery.
MYTH: Medical evacuation back to the U.S. is always the best course of action
Reality: Based on the situation and treatment needed, the GeoBlue Global Health & Safety (GHS) team works with the treating facility to determine patient stability and the risk and benefits of a move to another facility. These factors dictate whether a member requires evacuation back to the U.S.* In most emergency cases, the patient will first be stabilized then a plan arranged for medical evacuation to the closest Center of Excellence or repatriation. Should transport be recommended, the GHS team then coordinates and arranges direct payment for the best method of transportation – for example, ambulance, helicopter, fixed wing air ambulance – which may require a few days to complete. Uber™ and taxis do not count as ground medical transportation.
MYTH: Evacuation membership programs offer better value than a true travel health insurance plan.
Reality: While there are benefits to having a medical evacuation plan in place, these programs do not typically offer the comprehensive coverage and specialty service that travel health insurance plans provide, meaning that any care not associated with a medical evacuation – such as inpatient or outpatient care – may not be covered. Prompt settlement of medical expenses at each care setting is essential to secure the cooperation of the medical providers in discharging and handing the patient over to the medical transport vendor’s team.
MYTH: Evacuations happen within minutes; after all, it is an emergency situation.
Reality: While emergency medical evacuations involve very serious medical conditions, the patient is usually hospitalized in a setting that can meet their immediate, short-term treatment requirements. In fact, it is critical that the patient be stable enough before an evacuation is undertaken (a determination that is usually jointly made by the treating doctor, the GeoBlue medical team, and the transport vendor’s medical authority). While GeoBlue maintains a global network of medical transport resources, there are also several factors that affect the timeframe for transport, including: arrangements with a receiving care facility, transit time for the transport resources to get to the patient, crew rest, landing permits, seat availability, weather, etc. GHS works to keep the patient and family informed of the timeframes throughout the course of the transport.
MYTH: Emergency medical evacuation by air ambulance is the best method for transport.
Reality: Emergency transportation vehicles have one goal: provide life-sustaining care to patients who need to get from point A to point B. Similar to ground ambulances, air ambulances are packed with life-saving equipment and provide minimal space for travelers. Aside from the necessary travelers – the emergency responder, the patient and possibly one other travel companion – there is usually no extra room for luggage, no extra seats, nor in-flight catering or other amenities. The cabin environment can be loud. Additionally, because of size and range, air ambulances can often only go short distances in comparison to a commercial jet. In some situations, transport by air ambulance is the right course. In others, evacuation by commercial airline is also appropriate. The latter provides significantly more comfort and typically shorter transit times; however, they may not provide sufficient support for the patient’s condition. GeoBlue’s GHS team has experienced medical staff who can make these determinations based on the patient’s condition, needs during transport, distance to the nearest CoE, among other factors