Travel Medical Insurance: When Is It Necessary?
Hello, our fellow travelers! Welcome to Insured Nomads. We are a travel insurance company founded on a passion and love for international travel and discovering all the diversity of beauty, culture, and enlightenment that it has to offer.
Like you, we are global citizens, connected to one another through our shared experiences. We know that traveling leads to the discovery that we are all more alike than we are different, and therein lies the beauty of being a Nomad!
We wholly accept that insurance is not something that you wake up excited to go out and purchase and that’s okay.
Trust us, you are not hurting our feelings by admitting it. However, our level of excitement typically does not dictate the importance of a subject, and when it comes to insurance, this is very much the case.
Perhaps the most significant benefit of insurance does not dwell in the words of the policy contract or lie summarized on the declaration page that lists our insurance coverage’s exclusions, deductibles, policy limits, and term dates. We believe the greatest benefit of insurance is the peace of mind it provides us, especially in times of our greatest need.
American Express once had a marketing slogan where they encouraged you not to leave home without it. This is especially true of travel medical insurance. You do not want to leave home and set out on a global adventure, whether that be for work or pleasure, without it.
Travel insurance offers comfort and confidence in moments when we are susceptible to deep hopelessness and fear caused by catastrophe and worsened by our distance from home. Fear’s greatest nemesis is hope. Hope leads to confidence. Confidence leads to peace of mind.
Is Travel Medical Insurance Worth It?
To put it simply: ABSOLUTELY! Medical insurance benefits that are part of a travel insurance plan, like the packaged plans offered by Insured Nomads, are perhaps the most important of all the benefits that are included.
All of your pursuits, passions, desires, ambitions, dreams, goals, hobbies, and way of life depend on your good health. With so much on the line, it is important to protect yourself from a medical catastrophe that can leave you financially crippled while in a foreign nation with travel health insurance.
Let’s face it, traveling — even a single trip in the USA — is not the most inexpensive of hobbies or endeavors. In addition to the costs of airline, bus, and train tickets there are costs for food, taxes, lodging, souvenirs, currency exchanges, pet boarding, babysitters, house sitters, and this list could go on and on.
We realize it is important that you spend your money wisely when choosing your expenses for traveling, but travel insurance should never be left off the list. For a fraction of the cost of bearing a catastrophe on your own, you can set sail around the world with a travel insurance plan that insulates your finances, assets, and future earnings. In fact, travel insurance typically only costs a fraction of the price of your total travel expenses, with plans from Insured Nomads starting at less than $30.00.
Let’s Consider the Costs of Good Health
To understand the importance of travel health insurance you need to remember the costs of staying in good health. Sometimes those costs come in the form of a personal commitment to healthy habits, sometimes in the form of the costs of receiving medical treatments, and also in the costs of health insurance.
Health insurance comes in many different types and forms that range from indemnity contracts, which repay you for what you spend, to PPO plans that give you more favorable coinsurance percentages if you use providers within a preferred network. This type of insurance is often some of the most expensive insurance U.S. citizens will ever purchase due to the rising costs of healthcare in many areas of the world, especially in the United States. However, travel medical coverage is among the cheapest medical insurance plans.
The average cost for medical transport in a helicopter in the United States currently sits at about $31,000 for a 30-45 minute medevac flight. Medical treatments are doing nothing but increasing around the world. Over 60% of bankruptcies filed in the United States are related to defaults on medical expenses. In 2020 Americans spent over four trillion dollars on healthcare! That’s more than the annual budget of most nations around the world and every state in the U.S.
I Have Health Insurance Already, Do I Still Need To Purchase a Travel Medical Insurance Policy?
You may be thinking that you do not need to buy travel health insurance because you already have health insurance through your employer or family member’s employer, or you may have a state-sponsored healthcare plan from an insurance provider like Medicaid or Medicare.
While we truly do hate to break this to you, it is more likely than not that those plans you have at home will stay at home when you leave the country, and sometimes even when you leave your state of residence. When they do offer benefits abroad, the amount of coinsurance you are responsible for typically increases sharply. This means you may still have to purchase travel health insurance.
Coinsurance is the portion of a covered claim that you are responsible for paying in addition to policy deductibles. At home your health insurance plan may cover 90% of your medical expenses, leaving you to pay the remaining 10%.
When you leave your preferred network or coverage area that percentage can drop so significantly that you will believe it dove headfirst off the top of Mount Everest. This dive can go as low as 50% or lower.
Say for instance you are checking off a line item on your bucket list and are hiking through the beautiful Elbe Mountains of Germany, but you embark on your journey without travel health insurance. While on the 50th Kilometer of The Painters’ Way trail you become entranced with the natural beauty around you, and in a moment of nostalgia, you lose focus and roll your ankle on a stranded piece of limestone.
You are a long way from traditional medical response units so local authorities dispatch a medevac helicopter to come and fetch you because hopping 50 kilometers back to the ambulance is not feasible or advisable. You are then flown to a hospital equipped with orthopedic specialists hundreds of kilometers away who order X-rays and MRIs of your now swollen and throbbing ankle. They determine that you do not need surgery, thankfully, but you do need a special boot to offer support.
Without a packaged travel health insurance plan that helps cover the medical and personal property losses in this scenario, you would be facing a significant cost from this rather minor injury. You are going to be beating yourself up for not having purchased an inexpensive international travel medical insurance plan from Insured Nomads before setting off on your bucket list quest.
Remember, catastrophe is always just one moment away and past luck does not indicate future fortune. Get emergency medical coverage with a comprehensive travel insurance plan and you’ll have the peace of mind you need to enjoy your trip.
Insurance Terminology 101
Pardon us if the subheading above gave you a slight pain to read. It is important that we clarify some of the terms we are using in this article because they will be found on your insurance policy as well, and we do not want you to be in the dark!
The best decisions made are those made from a position of confidence and knowledge. We talk about insurance in our daily lives without ever really stopping to think about what it actually is, so we wanted to simplify and summarize insurance in general, as well as the distinctions between travel medical insurance and international medical insurance.
In general, insurance is risk mitigation and redistribution. When you identify a specific risk to your financial security you then locate an insurance product designed to insulate you from that risk, such as travel medical insurance, global medical insurance, trip cancellation insurance, major medical insurance, cancer insurance, auto insurance, home insurance, boat insurance, jewelry insurance, professional liability insurance, commercial general liability insurance, or life insurance to name a few.
Specific Insurance Terms
What all of the aforementioned insurance products have in common is that they are Aleatory Contracts designed to mitigate the financial risks involved in their respective categories. Put simply, Aleatory Contracts in a sense alienate one party, and with insurance, that party is always the insurance company.
When you enter into an insurance contract, also known as a plan or policy, you agree to pay a premium plus any deductibles for covered perils and risks, and the insurance company agrees to pay the benefit amounts, up to the policy maximum or limits, for those risks and perils minus your deductible.
Generally speaking, the alienated party to an Aleatory Contract pays an amount of money substantially greater than the other party, hence its namesake. For example, you purchase a life insurance policy at the age of 25 for $1 Million dollars. The policy only costs you $500 a year. Five years later, at the age of 30, you die in a car accident and the life insurance company pays your beneficiary the policy benefit of $1 Million.
Simple arithmetic illustrates that after only paying $2,500 for the policy, the insurance company honors its side of the contract and pays your beneficiary $1 Million. The scales are grossly favored to one side in this scenario, as is the case in all insurance contracts, although perhaps not always as drastic as in this example.
Deductibles are simply the amount of financial responsibility you carry prior to insurance paying for a claim. The most commonly known deductibles are those for auto insurance collision and comprehensive coverages. If your collision deductible is $500 and damage to your car caused by backing into a light pole costs $3,000 to repair, you will pay the first $500 and the insurance company will pay the remaining $2,500.
Coinsurance works with the same general idea as deductibles, the difference being that coinsurance usually deals in percentages. This is often found in major medical insurance policies and plans where the insurance company will pay 80% of the covered charges, minus the deductible, and you pay the remaining 20% until you reach the plan’s out-of-pocket maximum. The percentage of coinsurance varies from one policy to the next.
Finally, exclusions are those perils that your policy does not insure you against. Exclusions are found in nearly every insurance plan and it is important that you know what your policies do and do not cover. For example, many homeowners’ plans exclude certain perils like floods, earthquakes, and sinkholes.
Coverage for these perils must be endorsed or insured on separate policies specific to their proximate causes. The phrase full coverage is a myth in the insurance industry. There is no such thing as a policy that fully covers every possible peril; therefore, knowing what your plan includes and excludes is very important information to have.
Travel Health Insurance vs. Global Health Insurance
Travel Health Insurance and Global Health Insurance may seem like the same insurance with two different names, but that is not the case.
Global health insurance, commonly referred to as international health insurance, is a lifestyle comprehensive medical insurance policy that is the most robust coverage for those who are planning to live an extended amount of time abroad or work abroad for a long period of time before returning to their home country. Similar to a traditional major medical/health insurance policy at home, global health insurance coverage includes medical bills for things like childbirth, hospital and medical facility fees, pre-existing conditions, cancer treatments, accidental death or dismemberment, emergencies, and ongoing medical costs for the entire duration of your plan in the nation you selected.
It is renewable at the end of each term which is typically one year. This type of coverage is more comprehensive than short-term trip Insurance, although it too covers many medical and health emergencies.
Travel Medical Insurance, which we call our World Explorer Plan, is best suited for those who are planning a quick international trip or vacation of more than seven days outside of their country but do not plan to remain abroad for an extended period of time. Think mini-vacation overseas or to the Caribbean where you only plan to be away from your home country for a few days, weeks, or months. These plans are not appropriate if you plan to be away for a year or more. They offer coverages for emergency medical care, emergency medical evacuations, COVID-19 and Malaria infections, emergency dental procedures, emergency eye exams, laboratory fees, and more.
Visiting New York from London for two weeks on vacation? Travel Health Insurance is the appropriate insurance plan for you. Received an assignment to your company’s Paris location for at least the next 18 months? Global Health Insurance is the right plan for you.
Congratulations, you have just had a crash course on insurance terminology. Obviously, we only scratched the surface, but these are the big-ticket terms to know when examining any insurance policy you currently have or intend to buy. At Insured Nomads, we have gone to great effort to help simplify our insurance plans so that they are easy to read and understand. We encourage you to ask us every question you have because understanding the thing that stands between financial ruin and financial security is paramount.
We find that people most commonly buy travel insurance to protect them against trip cancellation and trip interruption events, and while this is a great benefit of our packaged travel insurance plans, it is a minor benefit compared to the health and medical benefits that also come with the plan. While missing a trip and losing the money you invested in that trip beforehand will be no small pill to swallow, getting injured in a foreign nation without any insurance protection will far overshadow the aforementioned loss.
Medical emergencies are costly regardless of where you are in the world, but especially if you find yourself in a geographical location where your home health insurance plan will not offer any protection. Whether you are hiking the mountains of Germany, surfing the swells of Australia, or visiting the Holy Land, we urge you to embark on your expedition with affordable inexpensive travel health insurance from Insured Nomads!
About Insured Nomads
Insured Nomads is the first to take an integrated traveltech, fintech and insurtech solution to the world for remote workers, globally distributed teams, expats, and travelers. Their purpose is to make travel as safe and smart as staying at home. They do this by providing health insurance with exceptional medical benefits in tandem with wellbeing, safety, security, and advanced tech-enabled solutions for ease of payment for healthcare, emergency response and evacuation. Insured Nomads is available through affinity relationships, direct, embedded and through select brokers and partners for groups and individuals.