International Medical Insurance

International Medical Insurance is exactly as the title states, it’s international.  Comprehensive medical insurance coverage you take with you regardless of where you are working, living, studying or traveling worldwide.  Individual, family and group coverage options available for all risks and benefit needs.

The human workforce is the single most important asset in any organisation: it is also the most vulnerable when working and living in a foreign land.

Our domestic health Insurance provides very little and often no medical protection when working, traveling, living or vacationing outside the U.S.  Worse yet, if an emergency strikes domestic insurance will not fly you home for care. Emergency evacuation and repatriation services can cost upwards of $100,000 or more if a nurse or medical staff is necessary during the flight.

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PLAN TYPES ..
  • Individual – Short-Term – less than 6 months.  Long-Term – 6 months to permanent.
  • Employer Group – 2 or more employees working abroad.
  • International Student – Inbound or Outbound (F-1 & J-1 Visa).
  • Multi-Trip – Unlimited international trips per year  ($175 – $265 for the annual policy)
  • Vacation – Medical coverage, vacation reimbursement, lost luggage, etc.
  • Kidnap Ransom & Extortion – Corporate or Family Insurance policy.

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Non Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) face many challenges in an increasingly unpredictable world. In recent years there has been a noticeable increase in terrorist attacks, threatening areas and groups which were not previously seen as targets

Kidnap & Ransom Insurance (K & R). Kidnapping is the easiest crime in the world to commit,” says Bell a former British special forces operative. As a result, there has been a proliferation in what’s called kidnap and ransom insurance. Companies with employees travelling in places like the Philippines, Africa or even Mexico often take out such insurance, but it’s readily available to anyone travelling abroad.  It’s a growing threat worldwide and it’s become more widespread.

There are many risks when traveling abroad that need to be addressed.
  • Who will assist, and who do you contact if you have a serious injury or illness.
  • Kidnapping and extortion of executives and employees, international students, and vacationing family members including children continues to be a growing global trend regardless of where you are.
  • Finding access to quality care, if an emergency strikes.
  • Crisis management – you need a team of experts to intervene and move in to organize your care, coordinate transportation needs and respond to critical issues during an emergency.
  • U.S. Group health insurance, Medicare or Workers Compensation do not provide any of these services to you or your family when outside the U.S.

Crisis Management policies are available to individuals, families or company executives and employees. For higher limit policies Kidnap & Ransom (K&R) policies can be obtained.

A simple example of a situation which is not covered by domestic health insurance or Medicare. A vacationing family member in South America is seriously injured while driving in a cab, resulting in significant injuries needing immediate care.  At this point who do you call or where do you go for care? Do you let the local emergency transport take you to the nearest care center or government hospital. What if the facility cannot properly care for your injuries, or, you may be in a very rural setting where western medicine is not available.  In cases like this a medical evacuation is a necessity.  An emergency air evacuation to another city, country, or back home to the States will cost 10’s of thousands and may be well over $100,000 if you need to be accompanied by a nurse during the flight.

Most International Medical Insurance policies include “Emergency Medicare Evacuation” coverage and the costs associated with these very expensive crisis situations.  The insuring company will also assist in coordinating the transport for you.

A Crisis Management Plan will typically include:
  • hijacking
  • disappearance
  • child abduction
  • bombing
  • civil commotion
  • act of terrorism
  • natural disaster
  • violent crime or malicious attack
  • wrongful detention
  • kidnapping
  • blackmail, or extortion
  • political threat to include upheaval from war, riot, rebellion, revolution, and invasion

Extensive networks of contracted global doctors, specialists, hospitals, pharmacies and other health care professionals who meet western medical standards.  Search for doctors and hospitals on your “App,” also fill a prescription while abroad, and communicate with your concierge service department with minor situations all the way up to needing an Emergency Medical Evacuation.  Also, in most situations, your international company will pay the doctor/hospital direct so you don’t have to.

  • Comprehensive Plans for: expatriates, employees on foreign work assignment, contractors, students and any person or family living and working abroad.

Typically plans are categorized as “short-term or long-term.”  How long do you need coverage? A couple weeks, a month, a year, maybe a permanent policy.  An Expatriate medical policy is considered a long-term policy.  Longer than 6 months and in force for as long as the member requests or needs the coverage while abroad.  One person .. a family .. or employee(s) working abroad.

Long-Term International Medical insurance benefit example:

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Sending employees abroad on a foreign work assignment, or need to find International Health insurance for a Third Country National.  A global family living in several locations throughout the year, or an International Student attending school outside of your home country.

Domestic health Insurance and Medicare provides very little and often NO coverage while traveling or living outside the U.S.  More and more U.S. and global citizens are becoming aware of the many limitations to their local health plans and are not leaving their health to chance.  Global medical insurance protection designed specifically for; Expatriates .. Employees .. Third Country Nationals .. Independent Contractors .. Family Vacations and International Students.  Go with a global leader; GeoBlue (affiliated with the Blue Cross companies), or Cigna Global.

Long-term Global Medical Insurance, and who needs it.

Employees, executives, contractors, global families; who spend extended periods of time in other countries.  Multinational businesses with any number of employees or independent contractors working abroad. An independent contractor who is not covered on an “international group health insurance plan,” but is on the companies payroll.  A family who lives in several global locations throughout any given year.

Long-Term Global Medical is for anyone who wants access to the best care worldwide, and doesn’t want to worry about if an accident or illness is covered.  Also, in the event of an emergency, they will be flown or transferred to the best available hospital for which can properly treat their condition, even if that means to a different country or back to your home.

Travel App ..

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An Employee who agrees to a foreign work assignment will often be enrolled in a long-term “individual” expat plan.  It’s easier than setting up a group plan often for only several employees going abroad.  For larger numbers of international employees, a “group” plan is recommended.

Remember … the domestic employer health insurance policy does not provide comprehensive medical benefits outside their home country. The employee takes two prescriptions and likes to have preventive screenings and exams yearly, which would not be provided with the employer plan.  They are also very active and enjoys recreational sports and outdoor activities and wants to be able to see a doctor and have it paid for, if they happen to twist their knee hiking, have a minor biking accident or any other non emergency event.  Also not provided with the employer plan.

Phone App:

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Third Country National or Independent Contractor working outside of their home country and away from the employers country.  You don’t fit into their employer health insurance policy, which most likely wouldn’t protect you anyways.  You are working in a foreign land without associates to help you with basic information such as where to shop for food,  driving directions and locations of shopping and entertainment.  Which hospital to use and who are the most respected doctors in the area.

This is where the Global Health Insurance company “mobile app” comes in handy.  Find contracted doctors and hospitals.  See where they received their medical degree, find translated medical terms, fill a prescription in another language, make an appointment, and show your ID card right on your smart phone or mobile device.  You can also talk to a company representative 24 / 7.  On the other hand, your domestic heath insurance company doesn’t answer calls after hours or weekends.

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Doctor and Hospital Network … GeoBlue has an elite network of doctors from almost every specialty ready to see you in over 190 countries.  Only a small fraction of doctors around the world meet GeoBlue’s standards which are by invitation only.  We seek out professionals certified by the American or Royal Board of Medical Specialties who speak English and we factor in recommendations by over 140 Physician Advisors from all over the world.

We assemble in-depth provider profiles so your members can choose with confidence, and we put formal contracts in place to ensure preferred patient access.  GeoBlue doctors and hospitals bill us directly so members don’t have to worry about filing a claim.

Members covered by a GeoBlue plan that offers benefits in the United States have access to the largest national network of providers and facilities, more than 92 percent of physicians and 96 percent of hospitals contract directly with Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan.

Medical Emergency Abroad … If you are experiencing a medical emergency abroad and need air transport, with one call, your International Health Insurance company will coordinate and arrange all of your transportation needs.  With only domestic health insurance you will be responsible for arranging everything from a emergency ground transportation, discharge from a local hospital so air evacuation services can transfer you to adequate facilities.  Transportation may require medical personnel to accompany you to a different hospital facility, or back to your home country.

U.S. Department of State: “In many places of the world, doctors and hospitals still expect payment in cash up front, before you are seen by a doctor. You can’t simply give them your insurance card and expect it will go through. If your policy doesn’t go with you when you travel, it’s a very good idea to purchase a separate policy for your trip.”

Questions, quotes and concerns, feel free to call anytime.

John Conner
616-682-1117
john@johnconner.com

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