International Student Health Insurance for US High Schools

International Students looking for health insurance in the U.S. have several options.  A high end comprehensive international medical plan, a discount international plan, or a domestic Affordable Care Act plan.

U.S. Based Health Plans

All are quite different from each other. The ACA plan comes in 4 benefit levels; Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum.  To equal the international plans benefits, you will need to enroll in either a Gold or Platinum plan. Depending on the you are attending school a Gold or Platinum is going to have a much higher premium then the High end international plan.

Also, domestic ACA plans do not cover emergency evacuation and repatriation services.  If the student has a severe injury or illness and simply wants to return home for their care, the U.S. based plan will not cover the costs for the air ambulance.  If the student has certain illnesses or a severe injury, most domestic flights will not allow them to fly. In this case a medical transport company will be necessary to deliver the student back home.

Discount International Health Plans

The typical discount international health insurance plan will have good benefits, a nice network of doctors and hospitals and a lower premium. The most dramatic difference between the “high-end” international health company and the “discount” company is how each company looks at claims, pre-existing conditions and exclusions.

pre-existing condition:

Below is an example of a discount company’s pre-existing condition clause.

Any medical condition, sickness, injury, illness, disease, mental illness, or mental nervous disorder, regardless of the cause, that with reasonable medical certainty existed at the time of application or any time during the 12 months prior to the coverage start date of this policy, whether or not previously manifested, symptomatic, known, diagnosed, treated or disclosed.

Below is a “high end” company pre-existing condition clause.  You can see this description is much more reasonable.

Pre-existing conditions do not cover services for treatment of a
medical condition for which medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment was recommended or received during 365 days immediately preceding the member’s eligibility date.

Comprehensive Global medical insurance cover for the student studying outside of their home country, along with access to qualified physicians and hospitals in over 190 countries.  Protect yourself against unforeseen accidents and illnesses.

  • International Medical coverage for the global student.
  • U.S. student and foreign students studying and living abroad.
  • Hospital coverage, doctor visits, prescriptions, lab & X-ray, psychiatric svc., emergency room, surgery, preventive services, check ups, and much more.
  • Emergency medical evacuation & repatriation.
  • 24/7/365 member assistance services.
  • Access to qualified doctors, hospitals and specialists worldwide.

Please contact me anytime with questions.

John Conner

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International Travel Medical Insurance to the Middle East

Traveling to the Middle East for a long term work assignment, or for study, or as a contractor working abroad.

The Policy

International Travel Medical Insurance protects you in many ways.  It offers access to quality medical professionals regardless of where you are in the world.  The coverage benefits are typically better than some of the best domestic ACA plans.

You have 24 hour access to a team of specialists waiting to help you through your situation or provide you with information pertaining to where you are.

Your plan can provide long term coverage for you and your family, who need coverage for a year, several years or up to permanent protection.

You have custom phone and tablet apps that allow you to search for doctors and hospitals in your area and view their profiles.  Fill prescriptions, schedule appointments, forward you ID card or show proof of insurance.

GeoBlue                 Cigna Global

Also, make sure your policy includes “emergency medical evacuation.” This coverage provides air evac services to a medical facility that can properly care for your illness or accident.  The air transport can take you to another city, country or back to your home country for care.  Many parts of the world have limited medical services.  If you find yourself in one of these area and need medical attention, you can be assured your international medical coverage will pay for the emergency evacuation services so you can be cared for by medical professionals.

Quality long term international medical companies like Cigna Global and GeoBlue, use a contracted doctor network which has been established around the globe.  These network doctors offer direct payment from the insurance company so you don’t have to pay for the services.  These companies also allow you to see out of network doctors and hospitals with no out of pocket penalty.


If you enroll into a long term (more than 6 months) individual or family international plan yo will need to answer some medical questions pertaining to your current and past health status. After the review the company will either approve your enrollment or decline it.

Medical underwriting review at the time of application prevents the company from scrutinizing every claim and looking back at your pre-existing conditions. Most other companies will have very limited underwriting at the time of application, but will thoroughly review every claim that is submitted and may determine the claim was the result of a pre-existing condition and decline the claim.

Please contact me anytime so we can discuss which company will work best for you.

John Conner

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Long Term International Travel Insurance to Costa Rica

Long and Short Term International Travel insurance for the person or family, traveling, working or living in Costa Rica.

Global families living in Costa Rica for part of the year, or maybe an international student studying in one of the Costa Rican Universities, or an employee who takes several trips to San Jose or Tamarindo, Puerto Viejo, Tortuguero or Arenal Volcano.

Health insurance policies, including Medicare, which are valid in the U.S., often do not include medical coverage or evacuation insurance when abroad. Other types of insurances, such as homeowner’s or credit card insurance do not typically reimburse emergency expenses or emergency medical evacuation or trip interruptions caused by natural disasters or other incidents.

Some of the reasons to buy travel protection
  • You have a medical emergency in a foreign country and want to access appropriate care.
  • You want a medical insurance plan to cover emergency or accident costs.
  • A parent or child falls ill and you need to cancel your trip.
  • Your medical emergency requires medical evacuation.
  • You lose your medication and need to have a replacement prescription.
  • Your passport is lost or stolen and you need a replacement.
  • Your daughter loses her asthma inhaler.
Plan Types

For the most part, there are long-term and short-term plans for individuals, family’s and employees or contractors.

Long-term is for trips lasting longer than 6 months, and short-term is coverage for 6 months or less.

Full Coverage

Coverage for both long and short term plans include; hospital, outpatient, surgery, Rx, Dr visits, emergency evacuation, physical therapy, lab & X-ray and much more.

Below is an example of long-term international travel insurance coverage options.

 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.

Technology at your fingertips … Quickly and conveniently connect to quality care across the globe for anything from emergency needs, to filling a simple prescription, to translating your symptoms, to finding the right doctor at home or abroad.

With a few simple taps, get detailed profiles of carefully selected primary care physicians and specialists, as well as a broad range of hospitals, pharmacies, even dentists-where you are, when you need it. Review qualifications, make an appointment, and get directions, right from the App or a mobile device.  Plus, proof of coverage is always at your fingertips, ready to show and share with providers. Mobile Assistance is backed 24/7 by our toll free assistance line.

Enrolling in a plan is quick and easy.

Contact me anytime for a free comparison.

John Conner

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International Group Medical Insurance for Employees Working Abroad

Employers need comprehensive coverage for their employees when they are working and living abroad.  Often times in the form of an International Group Medical policy.

Provides for long and short term coverage needs for a few employees, dozens or even hundreds.

Employee approval is guaranteed regardless of health status.  Also, independent contractors and third country nationals are guarantee approval. Payroll records are NOT required to form a group plan.  Proof of employment or contract employment proof is all that is need to start a group plan for as little as two people.

For example; Cigna Global Health Advantage for 2 – 20 employees.

  • Do you have employees going on assignment for 6 months or more in a 12 month period?
  • Does your company have at least 30 employees?
  • Will at least 2 of them be working on a global assignment?

If so, one of the Cigna Global Health Advantage plans may work very well for your company’s employees.  If not, we have other solutions to fit your needs.

Below is a brief Cigna Global benefit outline of three of their plans. Complete details are available.

  • Access to one of the largest global medical networks, with more than 1 million doctors and hospitals around the globe.
  • Experience in establishing guarantees of payment on behalf of customers to doctors and hospitals around the world.
  • 24/7/365 access to our service center and in-house team of international doctors and nurses.
  • Quick claims payments.  More than 90% of clean customer claims are paid in 10 days or less regardless of language or currency.
  • Remote second opinions from the eCleveland Clinic, International pharmacy fulfillment and much more.

Cigna Envoy – Easy Online Access

Find a doctor or health care facility around the world, view, print and request ID cards, submit claims online, update personal information and communication preferences, send and receive email with Cigna, access drug name and medical phrase translation tools, use the Medical Terms and Phrases database that contains more than 1,000 medical terms and phrases in 10 languages.

You’ve got options

In addition to our health offerings, you can add dental, long-term disability, life, accidental death and dismemberment, and evacuation/repatriation coverage. Create the ultimate benefits package by
adding all of them. Or pick and choose what’s best for your company.

Long Term Disability plans for employees, management and ownership.

For complete plan details, premiums and options, please contact me anytime.

John Conner

Questions & Comments:

Long Term Travel Medical for Work or Living Abroad

Long Term International Travel Medical plans for long-term work or travel come in many different forms.

A long term plan is typically going to be 6 month or longer, even up to permanent policies.  Some companies will design their policy as a comprehensive package providing coverage for most needed areas such as, hospital, outpatient, rx, surgery, physical therapy, lab and x-ray and more.

Other policies you may want to look at are called “modular” policies. They offer optional benefit modules so your can design the policy that makes most sense for you and the location you will be living in.  It starts with a core module which is not optional.  It includes; hospital, surgery, maternity, cancer care and chemotherapy or radiation, MRI, CT Scans and other radio-logical services, ambulance and pshych services.

Optional modules are: outpatient care, emergency evacuation, wellness and dental/vision.

The module style policies are quickly becoming  very popular because of the flexibility.  For example you may be working or living in a country where you can receive outpatient care equivalent to $30 or $40 per visit. In this case the outpatient module may not be necessary.

I will always recommend “emergency evacuation” services to be included in your policy.  This may be a life-saver for you or a family member.  If you are injured or become ill and the local medical services are not capable or prepared to care for you properly, the “evacuation” service will fly you to a different location, maybe a different country or even back to your home country for care.  This is very important coverage to always be included in your policy, long or short term, for work, study, vacation or cruise. Please include it.

Claims is another area of vital importance.  Most international Travel insurance companies approve your policy but will “investigate at the time of claim.”  During the investigation they will determine if the claim is caused by a pre-existing condition or not.  If they believe it is, they will deny the claim, if they do not think it is from a pre-x, the claim is paid.

The problem here is, many companies leave this area very open and can consider almost anything pre-existing. (See below)

Both GeoBlue and Cigna Global will review the enrollment before approving the application.

A company that does a little medical review when the enrollment is submitted will usually either accept your application in which case they will not review for pre-existing conditions at the time of claim.  Or they will exclude a pre-existing condition for 6 months.  At least with this type of policy, you are much more certain what is going to be paid and what is not.  If the company does not issue any waivers for pre-existing conditions, you can be certain you will not have claims denied because the company considers them pre-x.

Please contact me anytime for a quote or more information.

John Conner

Questions & Comments:

Employee Medical Coverage while Working and Living Abroad

What do you do when an emergency strikes while working or living abroad?  A car accident or sudden illness. Do you speak the language or can you understand the medical personnel?  Is surgery required?

There are so many moving parts to receiving proper care while in another country. If it’s over the weekend, will your HR department answer your call or email?  Your group health carrier isn’t even open over the weekend or evenings.

What if you are taken to a medical facility that is not up to western standards?  The doctor is telling you that surgery is needed, but you are very uncomfortable about the care you are receiving.

Business Travel Accident falls short of proper coverage.  Limited illness or outpatient or Rx coverage.

Work Comp falls short when caring for an employee while abroad. Emergency evacuation coverage to name one very important international coverage. Reimbursement is also a requirement. Some international hospitals won’t even allow you to enter without proof of high limit credit cards or an international medical insurance card.

Domestic health insurance basically stops at our border.  Reimbursement is only available if the insurance company agrees the service was an emergency situation, if not … no coverage.  Also emergency evacuation is not covered. Plus they are unable to help coordinate care for you.

All the above typically do not provide 24/7/365 member phone access to speak to a consultant who specialized in helping and advising you during your time of need.

International Travel Medical Insurance … on the other hand is specifically designed to protect with comprehensive coverage during emergency and non-emergency situations anywhere in the world.

Emergency medical evacuation and transportation to another city, country or back to your home country for care.  Hospital, outpatient, surgery, Rx, physical therapy, dental and vision coverage.  Dr. visits, 24/7 member services, mobile app to help with locating a doctor, filling a prescription, proof of insurance, medical terms in dozens of languages and much more. Plus you have a team of specialists available 24 hours a day to help you or take over and help coordinate proper care if you are unable to communicate or if there is a language barrier.

Companies like GeoBlue and Cigna Global are experienced international medical insurance providers who are experts in the global medical community regardless of the country you are located.  Every country has different laws, rules and guidelines one must follow in order to receive care.  GeoBlue and Cigna, are leaders in the multinational medical landscape.

Individual or group international medical coverage for anyone traveling, living, working or studying abroad.

Please feel free to contact me for more information regarding your situation.

John Conner

Information Request:

Stanford University International Student Medical Coverage

All Stanford University students must have medical insurance while enrolled.  Many will choose Cardinal Care, which is insured through Health Net, and while on Cardinal Care you must first visit Vaden Health Center and if you need a physician, they will refer you to one of the available doctors contracted with Health Net.

Many International Students opt-out of Cardinal care and enroll in an International Medical Insurance plan such as GeoBlue which allows you to not only go to Vaden Health Center, but also Stanford Hospital the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and Menlo Clinic, along with most every Bay Area Hospital and medical facility.

The freedom to choose your own doctor or hospital through out the Bay Area, the State of California and across the U.S.


The GeoBlue annual premium will be approximately $220 per month depending on the annual deductible you choose.  Cardinal Care is nearly $5,000 for the 12 month policy.  GeoBlue will provide much more flexibility when seeing doctors and hospitals of your choice along with a more comprehensive benefit structure.  Please see the brochure for more details.

Appointment Scheduling and Direct Pay— Paperless, Cashless, Convenient.
Using the web, the telephone or a web-enabled cell phone, members can request appointments with doctors and hospitals who participate in GeoBlue’s International Community. When making appointments,
GeoBlue arranges to pay the doctor or hospital directly. GeoBlue even waives the deductible if a member sees a participating physician. In the U.S., simply show your ID card at the time of service.

Around-the-Clock Assistance Call Center:
GeoBlue maintains a 24/7, toll-free call center to assist GeoBlue members with everything from routine requests to medical emergencies. The GeoBlue staff has years of experience with international medical assistance and has close working relationships with its International Provider Community.

GeoBlue International Student Advantages:
  1. U.S. licensed and admitted insurance company.
  2. Cashless access to the best provider networks inside and outside the U.S.
  3. Choice of deductible options (waived for office visits).
  4. $30 office visit copay (reduced to $10 outside the U.S.).
  5. Coinsurance waived for care outside the U.S.
  6. Pre-existing conditions exclusion waived with prior creditable coverage.
  7. No waiting period associated with preventative services.
  8. No exclusion for specified conditions in the first 6 months.
  9. No pre-certification penalty imposed.
  10. Sports and alcohol related injuries covered.
GeoBlue Travels with You:

While traveling across the globe with the GeoBlue mobile app, you can quickly and conveniently find and access quality care using your mobile device. If you travel back to your home country or anywhere else while on holiday, you will be covered with GeoBlue.

Enroll today … or contact me anytime with questions.

John Conner

Quote & Information Request: