International Health Insurance

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Are you relocating to another country for more than a year at a time? Then, you’ll need international health insurance to cover your medical, dental, and vision expenses. Why? Because your domestic health coverage stops once you step outside your home country.

What is international health insurance? This is a question that many people have but don’t know how to answer. International health insurance can be a confusing topic, but it’s important to understand if you’re planning on traveling or moving abroad. This guide will discuss international health insurance and how it works. We’ll also provide some tips for choosing the right policy for your needs.

What Is International Health Insurance, And How Does It Work?

International health insurance plans are for long-term travelers such as ex-pats who need health insurance coverage while living outside their home country.

In other words, your domestic health insurance will not cover your medical or dental expenses while living abroad.

The comprehensive medical expense coverage is meant to protect you from emergencies and evacuations.

If you are relocating to the United States from another country, you will select Visitors Insurance.

What’s The Difference Between Travel Medical Insurance And International Health Insurance?

International Medical Insurance is a long-term travel insurance version of travel medical insurance that provides medical care, dental, and sometimes vision abroad.

Travel Medical Insurance is for short-term travel.

The primary difference between the two is the coverage area. With TMI, you’re insured in the specific countries you’re visiting, while IHI covers a global area.

Do I Need International Health Insurance Coverage?

Your everyday insurance only covers you and your family in your native country. Once you leave, you’re on your own.

International medical plans replace domestic medical insurance and provide coverage globally.

So yes, you need travel medical coverage in case you get sick or injured.

Emergency medical coverage examples

  • Get injured traveling abroad.
  • Getting food poisoning eating at a restaurant.
  • Toothache while overseas.
  • Going to the Emergency Room.
  • You need an ambulance.

What Treatments Does International Travel Insurance Cover?

  • Medical Emergencies
  • Hospitalization Room & Board
  • Intensive Care
  • Surgery
  • Physician Visits and Services
  • Pre-Existing Conditions
  • Radiology
  • Prescriptions
  • Home Nursing Care
  • Emergency Local Ambulance
  • Dental Treatment
  • Emergency Evacuation Coverage
  • Return of Remains for Burial or Cremation
  • Return of Minor Children
  • Political Evacuation
  • Natural Disaster Evacuation
  • Terrorism (Terrorist Incident)
  • Urgent Care Clinic
  • Walk-In Clinic
  • Physical Therapy
  • Emergency Room
  • Hospital Indemnity
  • Accidental Death Coverage
  • Identity Theft
  • Trip Interruption Insurance
  • Lost Luggage and Personal Belongings
  • Bedside Visit
  • Laboratory Work
  • Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy
  • Reconstructive Surgery
  • Anesthesia
  • Chiropractic Care
  • Extended Care Facility
  • Emergency Eye Examination
  • Pet Returns
  • Natural Disasters

International Health Insurance Upgrades

Adventure Sports Rider

For Adrenaline Junkies or Thrill Seekers, you can add supplemental coverage to your travel medical plan, protecting you from injuries caused by extreme sports.

Evacuation Plus Rider

While your medical travel insurance provides medical evacuation coverage for life-threatening injuries and illnesses, the Evacuation Plus rider (an upgrade) provides coverage for non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses up to $25,000 for medical evacuations.

Chaperone/Faculty Leader Replacement Rider

Suppose you are a designated chaperone/faculty leader and experience an unexpected death of a relative, a medical emergency, or the destruction of your residence that causes you to cancel or interrupt your travel. This rider covers reimbursement for a round-trip economy airline ticket for a replacement chaperone/faculty leader.

Enhanced Accidental Death & Dismemberment

This AD&D rider upgrades your death benefit up to $400,000 in case of an accident.

How Much Does International Health Insurance Coverage Cost?

  • The cost can vary on several factors, and the rates change constantly. 
  • A typical plan can range from as little as $41.75 per person per month.
  • The premium amounts are based on
    • Trip Length
    • Traveler’s Age
    • Traveler’s Gender
    • Deductible Amount
    • Global Coverage
    • Medical Coverage Amount

How To Buy International Medical Insurance?

Step 1: Get a Quote.

Step 2: Complete Application: If you are applying as a family, you may include yourself, your spouse, and dependents on one application. Please complete a group application if you have two or more primary insured applicants.

Step 3: Receive Your Fulfillment Kit: Receive a fulfillment kit that includes an identification card, declaration of insurance, and Certificate of Insurance.

How to Extend Your Coverage

Within a few weeks before your coverage expires, visit our website to extend the coverage.

How To File A Claim

Step 1:  Contact Your Insurance Provider to File a Claim.

Firstly, contact the travel insurer.

This starts with the travel insurance company and gets the ball rolling.

Excellent insurance companies will advise how to make this inconvenient situation as smooth as possible.

Step 2: Collect Receipts

Secondly, collect all receipts.

Since most plans require you to pay upfront for medical expenses, you must collect all medical bills and receipts for reimbursement. 

Always ask for a detailed bill as well. 

Have the service or facility itemize each procedure. 

Also, ensure the medical bills and receipts are printed on official letterhead or stamp.

Step 3:  Submit Claim Online.

Thirdly, submit receipts to the filed claim.

This is the easiest way to record all documentation.

Submit receipts via email or snail mail.

Additionally, communicate as much info as possible

These steps will provide a complete picture of the occurrence.

Step 4: Monitor Claim.

Finally, monitor the claim closely.

Monitor the claim daily to avoid any hold-ups. 

You might have to submit additional documentation, for instance. 

After that, the insurer will mail a check.

Additionally, it would help if you were provided an Explanation of Benefits (EOB).

The EOB details how and what was paid on your claim.

How long does a claim process take?

You can file a claim and collect a reimbursement check between 30 – 90 days.

For that reason, you should be very diligent in the claim process. 

Typically, the process takes around 30 days.

Who Should Buy International Health Insurance?

  • U.S. Citizens Traveling Abroad, Long Term
  • Relatives Visiting You From Out of Country
  • Travelers on Cruises, Safaris, or Guided Tours
  • Students and Scholars Studying Abroad
  • Groups Traveling Abroad for International Student Programs
  • Dependents Traveling Abroad (Family Members)
  • International Business Travel
  • Employees Working Abroad
  • Government Employees Working Abroad
  • Missionaries
  • Foreign Aid Workers
  • Expats
  • Long Term Travelers
  • Seniors Traveling Abroad
  • Marine Captains and Crew
  • Recently Arrived Immigrants
  • Foreign Au pairs and Nannies
  • Families sponsoring exchange students
  • A traveler that loves adventure sports (i.e., bungee jumping, extreme sports)

Best International Health Insurance Plans

The following insurance providers specialize in global health insurance policies for international travelers.

The Best International Health Insurance Plans
The Best International Medical Plans

    Next Steps

    In conclusion, purchasing health insurance should be a “must-have” on long-term international trips, while travel medical insurance plans are for short-term trips abroad. 

    You never know what is going to happen. Therefore, you must be protected.

    The insurance is affordable and provides you peace of mind.

    Finally, check out the different long-term international medical plans above.

    International Health Insurance Plans

    Need Help Getting Insurance?

    Contact us today if you want personalized service from a licensed insurance agent. Free of charge.

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    Shawn Plummer

    CEO, The Annuity Expert

    I’m a licensed financial professional focusing on annuities and insurance for more than a decade. My former role was training financial advisors, including for a Fortune Global 500 insurance company. I’ve been featured in Time Magazine, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, Entrepreneur, Bloomberg, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, and Women’s Health Magazine.

    The Annuity Expert is an online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. My goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning or find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates for you. 

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