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Staying Healthy on the Road Medical info, e.g. malaria, vaccinations, travel medical tips, medical insurance, where to find a doctor.
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  #1  
Old 24 Feb 2006
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Long-term Health Insurance coverage for Americans

This problem is most likely related to Americans specifically. It has to do with the American system of health insurance - as in no national health system, get your own damn insurance from a money-sucking for-profit provider! (now I feel better)

Does anyone have any direct knowledge of this insurance?
http://www.internationalcitizens.com/

Most specifically, this plan (IC Platinum)?
http://www.internationalcitizens.com/ic_usa/

The problem I have as an American is obtaining affordable health insurance for long-duration (3 or more years) travel outside the United States.

For the most part, paying a U.S. health care provider doesn't help - at best, they'll cover 50% (co-pay) of medical expenses incurred outside the U.S., after the annual deductible. My annual premiums for such coverage (under CORBA rules) is over $3600. So I pay nearly $4000 per year (with deductible), just to have insurance, and then I pay 50% co-pay on top of that for any and all expense claims. After 18 months, CORBA coverage expires and I'm forced to obtain another medical plan at "individual plan" rates which is likely to be less coverage or higher annual premiums.

The only benefit of maintaining American medical insurance is if I am seriously hurt or sick and have to be evacuated back to the U.S. Then a hospital will accept me because I have health insurance to pay the bills (with a 20% co-pay on my part, which if I'm that sick or injured, is undoubtedly a few thousand dollars at the least). I'm not sure what would happen if I didn't have insurance - could I even find a hospital to accept me that I could be evacuated to. Anyone have experience here - having to be evacuated to the U.S. - no insurance other than travel (med-evac) insurance?

My RTW trip is being hijacked by health insurance.

So the above referenced plan provides me, an American, with a reasonable, affordable medical health insurance plan that covers me primarily outside the United States. Currently, the annual premium for my age is $2000, with a $1000 annual deductible. Then its an 80/20 co-pay for most claims. Additionally, it also includes coverage during "visits" back to the U.S.

The two major additional features of this plan are
1) it includes med-evac benefit at no additional cost
2) it provides the same 80/20 co-pay benefit for U.S. hospitalization.

For me, that's coverage for extended travel outside the U.S., which pays a predictable share of expenses (better than what I would get under most U.S. insurance plans) and additionally, should I be seriously injured/sick, I can be transported back to the U.S. and likely admitted to a hospital for treatment because I have an insurance plan that pays the bills.

Has anyone found similar coverage? Anyone have any suggestions, ideas, opinion?

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quastdog
Seattle, Washington USA
F650GSDakar

[This message has been edited by quastdog (edited 24 February 2006).]
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  #2  
Old 3 Mar 2006
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I am using these folks, I am also American:

http://www.mnui.com/

Haven't been able to put it to the test though!


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www.mototrekker.com
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  #3  
Old 4 Mar 2006
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Quote:
Originally posted by davidmc:
I am using these folks, I am also American:

http://www.mnui.com/

Haven't been able to put it to the test though!

Dave:
Same "plan" - it appears to be a different underwriter and mnui is about 24% cheaper premiums than the one I referenced.

Thanks

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Old 4 Mar 2006
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Quote:
Originally posted by Flying Gringo:


That´s a real problem. You might want to consider just staying home.

It´s safer there.
Gringo:
I'm guessing you're in your 30's. In another 20 years or so, you'll be my age. Your thoughts about your own invincibility, your health and mortality, and what you need to do to preserve your ass will take on totally different meaning as you grow older. Lots of opinions you hold now will change as you age.

For me, insurance is important; without it, if I get seriously hurt, I loose my retirement savings. You've got retirement savings, right?


[This message has been edited by quastdog (edited 03 March 2006).]
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Old 20 Apr 2006
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For South America would nonemergency medical care be relatively cheap.

If you need to be evac to your home countries it doesn't seem like these plans apply except for an optional home return period in some cases.

Have you confirmed that they will cover injuries as a result of 'dangerous' activities such as motorcyles.

Do you know what evac company they use, I assume they contract this out.
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  #6  
Old 25 Apr 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BklynDakar
For South America would nonemergency medical care be relatively cheap.
I'm assuming that while in SA, I wouldn't come close to meeting the $1000 deductible, but the point of getting the insurance would be in case something serious happened.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BklynDakar
If you need to be evac to your home countries it doesn't seem like these plans apply except for an optional home return period in some cases.
The platinum plan seems to apply. The plan includes MedEvac insurance, and health care coverage back in the U.S. (otherwise, where would one be med-evac'd too if not your home country?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BklynDakar
Have you confirmed that they will cover injuries as a result of 'dangerous' activities such as motorcyles.
They list dangerous activities as scuba diving, hang gliding, skydiving and some others. Since when is travel by motorcycle considered dangerous (other than by our mothers)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BklynDakar
Do you know what evac company they use, I assume they contract this out.
No, not an issue for me to wonder about. Maybe if I was choosing from 1/2 a dozen similar plans, then the med-evac company might become a factor. But since this program appears to be about the only option for what I need, then it doesn't become a factor.
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  #7  
Old 25 Apr 2006
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I found this site through www.bmwmoa.org regarding insurance: http://www.insuremytrip.com It does not list some of the companies mentioned in this thread but has some others.

Some companies have options for motorcycling and this is not necessarily the same as a dangerous activity plan. The important thing is confirm this with the company.

Some evac plans take you to the nearest hospital that has the necessary equipment regardless of where you want to go. This is not necessarily your home country. Evac plans may be contracted out to other countries, if this matters I don't know.

I would like to know if anyone has had an insurance company actually pay out for medical expenses in a foreign country due to a motorcycle accident.
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Old 29 Apr 2006
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Check out Allan Karl's blog on www.worldrider.com. Allan broke his leg in Bolivia a couple months back and was evacuated back to the USA. He writes about his insurance experience and what they do and do not cover. Some interesting lessons.

You might even email him to get some advice...
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Old 30 Apr 2006
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I am going to try to do a little review of all insurance companies and report back. I was wrong about the Plat plan, btw.

Also, insurance companies, besides mothers, are convinced motorcycles are dangerous.
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  #10  
Old 15 Feb 2007
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I wish there were some followup reports

I especially wonder about getting US coverage so medevacs are covered. Seems to double the rate on most plans, the one I found that didn't double had a motorcycle exclusion. Feh.
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  #11  
Old 8 Jul 2008
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Isuremytrip.com is more expensive

I just did a comparison of the MNU coverage, and it was about 50% more expensive through insuremytrip.com than it was directly through MNU. It pays to shop!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BklynDakar View Post
I found this site through BMW Motorcycle Owners of America regarding insurance: Travel Insurance - InsureMyTrip.com It does not list some of the companies mentioned in this thread but has some others.

Some companies have options for motorcycling and this is not necessarily the same as a dangerous activity plan. The important thing is confirm this with the company.

Some evac plans take you to the nearest hospital that has the necessary equipment regardless of where you want to go. This is not necessarily your home country. Evac plans may be contracted out to other countries, if this matters I don't know.

I would like to know if anyone has had an insurance company actually pay out for medical expenses in a foreign country due to a motorcycle accident.
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