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Travel and medical insurance

Posted August 05, 2015 in Advice Column, Johnston

There are basically two types of travel when it comes to travel medical insurance; Domestic and International.

Domestic Travel: Domestic travel is when you leave your home in the United States, however remain within the continental 48 states, Alaska and Hawaii. Very often, even care needed in the Bahamas and Puerto Rico could be processed as if domestic. During domestic travel, coverage offered through an employer or purchased individually will typically cover urgent and emergency care needed. Urgent is explained as ‘what a prudent person would deem urgent’ and emergency is explained as ‘life or limb threatening’. What classically is NOT covered outside your home network, would be ‘routine’ care. This would be care such as medication review appointments. These are appointments routinely set with a ‘local’ family doctor or specialist. It is not a regular occurrence to have this type of visit while traveling.

International Travel: This is travel outside of the continental United States. During this type of travel, a plan may have limited coverage, if any care, so before going overseas a quick policy glance or call to your agent might be in order. If a policy shows limited or no coverage available internationally, it may be time to purchase a short term medical travel insurance policy.

This policy is purchased for the period of time from leaving the United States to the day of return. It can have no deductible and a minimum of covered expenses of $60,000 or a deductible as high as $2,500 and covered expenses of up to $1 million. There are important additional reasons to purchase coverage when traveling abroad.

Travel medical coverage for the time outside the country can cover things like getting someone out of a country that erupts in political turmoil, as well as repatriation of remains. This means that if an individual dies while out of the country, this plan would include coverage to return the mortal remains back to the United States.

Usually, our minds are on enjoying our vacation and the excitement of travel. Enjoy the rest of summer and if it does involve travel, find out what your health insurance plan covers. If you need assistance give us a call, we look forward to talking with you!

Information provided by Janis Van Ahn, Health Insurance Advisor LLC, 5335 Merle Hay Road, Suite 2, Johnston, 515-225-9994, jvanahn@health-insadvisor.com.

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