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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 25 Apr 2015
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Northern Colorado USA
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Health Insurance for Int Travel - US Citizen

Hello all,

Long time lurker and occasional moto traveler here - starting to think in terms of longer term international travel. Although I'd like to leave trip details much looser - one thing I'd like to be plan for and research is health insurance options. I think this is one thing that arranged properly adds to the peace of mind during travel.

I'm a dual citizen - US and CA - but have never lived or worked in CA. Born, raised, and lived in the States my whole live. I only bring that up - because I don't know if that makes any difference really in obtaining int health insurance. I only hold a US passport, but plan to a apply for a CA passport as well.

I've searched this site - and others - but was hoping to hear more from folks (US Citizens in particular) that have direct experience with any health insurance companies contracted for a up to a year - maybe more (spending most of that time outside US borders) for insurance plans.

Ideally I'd like to spend a some time in the western US, before departing the country south - and it already looks like most insurance companies don;t offer coverage both inside the US borders, continuing internationally. With the new mandates in place - I know I'd be required to have it stateside - before departing.

Anyways, looking for general feedback, direct experience, alternatives maybe I haven't thought of?, etc…

I do plan something like a MedJet Evac plan (either separately or if there is a company that offers both medical and evac).

Thanks all!

Last edited by mtncrawler; 26 Apr 2015 at 00:48.
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  #2  
Old 25 Apr 2015
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: NSW Australia - but never there
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we use World Nomads - but that is not really health insurance, just emergency medical insurance/travel insurance.
'One advantage over most other offerings is that you can take it out and renew it even when you are travelling. Most others require you back home to renew.

Yes, very few plans will cover you back in your home country. At least in Australia, when we get dumped back on home soil, we have universal free medical and hospital to take care of us.
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  #3  
Old 26 Apr 2015
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Northern Colorado USA
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Thanks Tony - I have heard some feedback re WN. Looking for medical insurance specifically. Seems to be more options for evac insurance.

Yes, universal (not free) healthcare. What a concept. Even though I support O'Care (a step forward?) seems to have done nothing (yet) for our outrageous per capita medical/insurance cost, but alas I stray from my original post intent.

Just looking for others to chime in on alternatives to WN for international medical insurance. Thinking I'll most likely have to buy one plan for when I cross the border, and tack on a couple months for US coverage.

My dilemma is this; Say I quit my job (losing existing health care), sign on to purchase health care here in the states to cover my first couple months of travel, then leave the country for my trip - covered under another international only policy. What happens if I do run into trouble, need an evac (which I would have a policy for) to the US for continued care. How do I cover myself - insurance wise - once back in the hospital/continued care in the states? I don't think I can just sign back on when the time comes. This is where the individual mandate under O'Care, and coverage is pretty cloudy to me.
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Old 25 May 2015
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I had this discussion with my private insurance agent. You need to purchase US private health insurance that will cover you for emergencies globally. Mine does. I have Blue Cross, but there are others. Evacuation insurance gets you back home, a second policy. I have MedJet for emergency repatriation, but there are others.

You have a bad accident, you are in a foreign hospital, and you want a US policy that covers you for the emergency care and treatment to stabilize you. My Blue Cross does this for me. You probably want to have further hospitalization in the US, and emergency repatriation gets you back to the US. This is where my MedJet takes over. Once in a US hospital, your health policy takes over once more.

I see you have/had employer provided health insurance. Since you quit your job, you will have to join the rest of the US citizens who have no employer provided health insurance and buy it on your own. That's how it's done in the US. Have this discussion with your insurance agent for full details of how coverage works outside the US. It varies from policy to policy. If you are purchasing insurance through the exchange, make sure you have a local agent who you can add to you policy. You can also purchase health insurance outside the exchange, directly through an agent. For me, I want a local agent whose office is near by so I can sit in front of him/her and ask questions or have them fix problems for me. Health insurance and high quality medical care are not a right, they are commodities you purchase.

Last edited by LD Hack; 25 May 2015 at 05:36.
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Old 25 May 2015
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Join Date: May 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LD Hack View Post
I had this discussion with my private insurance agent. You need to purchase US private health insurance that will cover you for emergencies globally. Mine does. I have Blue Cross, but there are others. Evacuation insurance gets you back home, a second policy. I have MedJet for emergency repatriation, but there are others.

You have a bad accident, you are in a foreign hospital, and you want a US policy that covers you for the emergency care and treatment to stabilize you. My Blue Cross does this for me. You probably want to have further hospitalization in the US, and emergency repatriation gets you back to the US. This is where my MedJet takes over. Once in a US hospital, your health policy takes over once more.

I see you have/had employer provided health insurance. Since you quit your job, you will have to join the rest of the US citizens who have no employer provided health insurance and buy it on your own. That's how it's done in the US. Have this discussion with your insurance agent for full details of how coverage works outside the US. It varies from policy to policy. If you are purchasing insurance through the exchange, make sure you have a local agent who you can add to you policy. You can also purchase health insurance outside the exchange, directly through an agent. For me, I want a local agent whose office is near by so I can sit in front of him/her and ask questions or have them fix problems for me. Health insurance and high quality medical care are not a right, they are commodities you purchase.
Thanks for those comments - I'll have to check further regarding US medical policies covering abroad - first I've heard.

Yep, it'll be through a local agent (private) or the exchange. Funny, my initial discussion with the agent, she pushed me to look at GLobal Underwriters (they represent them) and she then quoted me a US policy (while still in country) - but made no mention of a US based policy (like BCBS) covering internationally.

In terms of evacuation - yes I was planning MedJet - though coverage through some companies like GLobal Underwriters requires to use their own emergency evac/repatriation policies.

It's hard enough finding policies that are transferable across state lines - much less borders..

Can you point me directly to the medical insurance plan that covers you in the States and internationally under one umbrella??
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  #6  
Old 25 May 2015
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: South of the border (MN)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtncrawler View Post
It's hard enough finding policies that are transferable across state lines - much less borders..
You recognize the complexity of it very well. BCBS has "in the group providers", and "out of the group" providers. Out of the group providers are accepted, but with limits, primariy to emergency and stabilization care. After you are done bleeding and re-gain consciousness, you need to address who is caring for you and if they are in or out of the group. The card gets you in the door for critical care, which is the first hurdle to cross. You want to call your agent or provider soon after you are in the hospital, no matter what. Contacting your evacuation provider at the same time is critical.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtncrawler View Post
Can you point me directly to the medical insurance plan that covers you in the States and internationally under one umbrella??
I live in the US near the Canadian border and ride there regularly. I also travel to Mexico periodically. My inquiries with my agent were with that in mind. It's coverage under the out of group providers and emergency care clauses. I'm on Medicare as of this year, with a BCBS supplemental plan. For a long and extended trip, I may need to get different coverage. For a week or two month trip, I'm good to go following my queries to my agent.

If I'm in a hospital out of country, there may be complications and unknown issues. My goal is to get stabilized, get evacuated back to my home area, and continue care at that location at an "in the group" provider.
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