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What to Know About Study Abroad Insurance Thumbnail

What to Know About Study Abroad Insurance

If you are student and are planning on spending a semester abroad, there are a few things you need to be aware of regarding insurance for your trip. With many different insurance options available to students spending time in a different country, it can be tough finding the right coverage for your needs. Planning is vital in finding appropriate insurance, which is why you should begin looking for coverage options the moment you start planning your trip overseas. Here are some helpful insurance tips for students spending a semester abroad.

It’s best to be prepared

There is nothing worse than dealing with an emergency in a foreign country without insurance coverage. While most study abroad programs require all students to procure insurance, it is important to find coverage that protects you from a number of unforeseen circumstances. To ensure that you are protected in case of a sudden emergency, various types of insurance offer features to cover you in a number of different situations. Check to see if you are covered for:

  • Trip cancelation – protection in case programs or trips are unexpectedly cancelled
  • Evacuation insurance – coverage if an evacuation to a nearby medical center is necessary
  • Travel assistance – economical support if an emergency occurs while overseas
  • Academic program insurance – reimbursement for studies and classes that were cancelled beyond your control

Life saving insurance for emergencies overseas

These types of insurance will cover you in case of a medical emergency, unexpected illness or cancelled trip. While you can’t do everything to ensure a successful and safe trip in a foreign land, study abroad insurance can protect you in case things don’t go as planned. To protect yourself even further, make appointments to see your primary care physician and any other doctors you regularly visit prior to your trip. Ensure that you are healthy and get a medical professional to sign off on your list of prescriptions before you leave the country. This will help you discover any health related issues on familiar soil, rather than in a country with insufficient healthcare.

Study abroad insurance can be a life saver if an emergency should occur while traveling to a foreign country. For more information on long term travel insurance, contact Insurance Services of America today at (800) 647-4589.

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Speak to an Insurance Expert Before You Buy

With all the technology available, it seems as if most of us do all our shopping online. This allows us the freedom to shop wherever and whenever we want. Online shopping also allows us to make comparisons to ensure we get the best price. It is important, however, to do your research before you make a big purchase, like medical or travel insurance. There are many questions you should ask yourself and an expert before you click to purchase. This is especially true if you are an expat or if you are planning to purchase international travel insurance for your next trip.

Read before you buy

International travel insurance is designed to protect you from a number of things. These policies can sometimes be confusing, which is why it is important to understand your policy before you buy it. Make sure to read the details carefully on whatever policy you are interested in and ask if you have questions. As no two travel policies are the same, it is crucial that you understand exactly what your policy covers and what you are protected for. It is also necessary to carefully read you policy to make sure that no pre-existing condition will void your policy. If you are aware of exactly what you are covered for, it will make it easier for you to get the treatment or help you need.

Ask an expert

This is the best thing you can do before you decide on a policy. Insurance representatives will be highly knowledgable of any caveats in your policy. It can be good to do research on policies and policy features online ahead of time, but this is no substitution for speaking with an expert. Many people purchasing international travel insurance are new to the process and may not understand exactly what is covered.  Don’t be hesitant to ask any questions you may have, as this could save you time and money in the future. When purchasing a international travel policy, focus less on the price or brand and more on the service you will receive post-sale.

Why ISA?

The great thing about Insurance Services of America, is that you will automatically be connected to a real person, every time. These representatives are experts on our policies and will help you determine which is right for you.  With over 4 decades of experience in travel insurance, we are confident we can find which policy is right for you. Our policies offer protection for everything from a lost passport to temporary foreign health care. Don’t leave this important aspect of travel to just anyone, call the experts at (800) 647-4589 or 01 (480) 821-9052 today.

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Failure to Disclose Pre-Existing Conditions Could Cost You

Planning and taking a vacation should be a fun and memorable time for everyone. If you want your trip to be memorable for the right reasons, it is important to consider buying medical travel insurance. This will make sure you are covered in the event of an emergency while traveling abroad. Like other medical insurance policies, it is important to fully disclose any information about pre-existing conditions or anything else that may cause a lapse in coverage. For one Australian man, his dream vacation to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico has turned costly due to failure to disclose.

A cautionary tale

Last month, Australian citizen, Ryan Maudlen was traveling from Vancouver, Canada to the Caribbean coast of Mexico. Before leaving, Maulden purchased a medical travel insurance policy through a U.K. based company. While on vacation, Maulden’s intestines perforated, causing the liquid in his stomach to spill into his body resulting in blood poisoning. The insurance company initially said they would cover the expenses, which now total more than $100,000.

Two days after admission to the hospital, the insurance company denied his claim. This is because they believe he may not have disclosed information about his pre-existing condition. Maulden has Crohn’s disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease, which causes chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.

Why disclose?

It is important to fully disclose any pre-existing medical conditions your may have while purchasing medical travel insurance. Most providers will still offer coverage if they are notified of the condition ahead of time, and if the condition is stable. If you wait to disclose your condition until an emergency strikes, it could be too late. In order for you to obtain the treatment you need and have your claims covered, it is important for your provider to have all of the information. Failure to disclose could void your policy and leave you footing the bill.

Consult an expert

The best thing to do before you buy medical travel insurance, is speak with an expert. These people can help answer any questions you may have about policy details. These experts can also help you find a plan that will cover you, even if you have a pre-existing condition. The details of any insurance policy are the difference between being covered or having your claim denied. The experts can help you understand what you are buying and what it covers.

If you are interested in purchasing travel insurance for american citizens, call the experts at (800) 647-4589 or 01 (480) 821-9052 today. Our insurance experts will answer all of your questions and make sure you don’t end up with costly foreign medical bills.

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Do You Need Conflict Zone Insurance and What Does it Cover?

For many travelers, war simply isn’t a consideration. Hostile areas do not often attract tourists and are not ideal vacation spots for families. But with the right preparation, you could have an unforgettable experience in parts of the world that are currently more risky to visit. It is important to be smart about how you travel in these areas. It’s uncommon for foreign non-combatants to be wandering around war zones, so even if you bear no hostile intentions, you could be causing a disruption. It’s also possible you could be mistaken for a spy, or worse. This means that traveling in conflict zones is not to be taken lightly.

Importance of proper insurance

Conflict and terrorism travel insurance is a valuable necessity if you are planning a trip to a dangerous part of the world. Medical services may be limited, so insurance is a must-have. Make sure to investigate policies covering medical evacuation and repatriation. Additionally, kidnap and ransom coverage is also a good idea, since kidnapping is a form of fundraising in some parts of the world. Obtaining insurance is a smart idea and will provide peace of mind, but it’s just as important to be smart about your behavior in hostile territories. For example, don’t spend large sums of money on flashy items and avoid large public events that may turn into dangerous demonstrations.

Many health insurance policies commonly contain exclusions for travel to high risk countries of conflict or active war zones, so make sure your plan is adequate for the risky journey you are embarking on. If you can combine up to four different coverage products to ensure high risk, high limit long term travel insurance to fill the gap of traditional insurance policies, you can customize the specific plan for your trip. Some options include accidental death and dismemberment, medical, kidnap/ransom and disability insurance protection, so pick and choose the appropriate pieces you require in your overall plan.

Get the right plan for your needs

Make sure that the policy you choose is tailored to your specific needs. For instance, if you plan on having a driver, car insurance is not necessary. Even if the country you are visiting is slightly unstable, it is wise to prepare for the worst. It would also behoove you to check out the state of neighboring countries, in case you need to evacuate on short notice. Lastly, consider writing a will before you depart. The hope is that all your preparation and street smarts will keep you safe, but you’ll feel better if you are prepared for every possible outcome.

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4 Questions to Ask Before Buying International Travel Insurance

Are you planning a trip overseas? To New York? Mexico? How about Paris? If you’re planning a trip to Paris, you probably have images of the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, etc. People tend to imagine the best, but everyone knows the cliché – hope for that, and plan for the worst. It’s difficult to imagine that honeymoon trip to France going totally pear-shaped, but it can happen, which is why it is important to consider travel insurance.

If you don’t think you’ll need extra insurance coverage for your upcoming trip, consider just how complex health insurance is in the United States. What happens if you need to visit a hospital in Paris, or Germany, or Mexico? What about an emergency room? Here are some questions to consider before traveling internationally, and how these factors might impact cost:

How’s Your Coverage?

You might be surprised to learn that some health insurance providers in the United States offer coverage outside the country. Unsurprisingly, few plans do, but if you’re an American citizen with health coverage, you’ll want to contact your provider to see what, if any, benefits you have overseas. Simply call your insurance company and ask.

How Far Are You Going?

How much coverage you’ll need will depend on how far you’re traveling and the nature of that location. Health care in the United States and Canada costs more than elsewhere in the world, as will care should you find yourself in a very remote location (Siberia, anyone?).

What Care Is Available, and at What Cost?

If you have a medical condition that might require treatment abroad, you’ll especially want to investigate what medical care is available where you’ll be traveling. Regardless of your health, you should do a bit of research. The U.S. State Department has a useful resource for this. In many countries, the taxpayers cover the cost of medical care. In others, this isn’t the case. The solution to this issue may be extra coverage. Even with travel insurance, in a foreign country you’ll typically be expected to pay your bill immediately – good to know should you find yourself in a foreign hospital.

What’s My Risk?

Your level of risk will impact how much you can anticipate paying for travel insurance. Obviously someone with a history of heart disease who plans to go on a ski trip in Switzerland will pay a different rate than a person with no pre-existing conditions planning that Paris honeymoon.

Talk to an Expert

The level of coverage you’ll need for your travel shouldn’t be left to chance. Do your research, and we hope you’ll reach out and speak to an expert! At Insurance Services of America, we make affordable travel insurance as easy as ready, set, renew. Call (800) 647-4589 or 01 (480) 821-9052 to learn more.

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Are American Expats Covered Under the Affordable Care Act?

Many expats are covered under a U.S.-based expatriate health plan, but it’s important to note that the provisions of the Affordable Care Act do not apply to these plans. In essence, the government has decided that for now it is too difficult for these plans to comply with the new law due to a number of practical concerns.

Defining and enforcing preventative care, for example, provides too many challenges overseas. The government is still evaluating how expatriate plans might possibly comply with the law in the future. Simply communicating with enrollees who live abroad is a logistical problem, so for now, expats are exempt from compliance consequences of the law. Until the law can be changed to cover them, expats have been granted an exemption at least until December 31, 2015.

In order to qualify for the exemption, you must prove residency in another country through one of two tests:

  • The Bona Fide Residence Test: To qualify through this test you must have been living abroad for at least one year and have no immediate plans to return to the U.S.
  • The Physical Presence Test: Most expats will qualify for this test, as you simply need to have foreign earned income and be physically out of the U.S. for 330 days out of a 365 day period.

How to ensure your plan complies

Once you qualify for foreign residency, you are said to have the “minimum essential coverage” that is required. Even if you have coverage, it’s important to understand what type of expatriate health plan you have. If you want to ensure that you are complying with the Affordable Care Act down the road, make sure you have an insured group health plan. These limit enrollment to primary insureds (and covered dependents) who reside outside of their home country for at least six months of the plan year.

How to protect yourself if not exempt

The good news is that if your plan satisfies this condition, then you have fulfilled the minimum requirements of the Affordable Care Act. However, this also means your expat health plan won’t offer any of the additional benefits provided by law such as free wellness/preventive care, coverage for children up to age 26, guaranteed maternity coverage, and no lifetime maximums. If you don’t qualify for the exemption, and you are not considered a resident of the foreign country you are living in, you may want to consider travel medical insurance for USA residents. Call (800) 647-4589 or 01 (480) 821-9052 to learn more.

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4 Medical Travel Risks You May Face While Abroad

One of the best aspects of traveling is leaving your worries back at home. In order to truly leave your worries behind, it is important to account for the medical risks of traveling in foreign countries. In order to adequately plan for unexpected costs and health dangers, consult travel insurance services to help you prepare. It might be easy to dismiss these risks as highly unlikely, but adequate preparation is the key to smooth travels. Here are four real-life scenarios to think about before planning your next big trip abroad.

1. Receiving a huge bill from a foreign hospital

Hospital visits are not usually planned, but accidents happen daily at home and abroad. Imagine that you are enjoying a sight seeing trip in Europe, and you are injured by a car while crossing the street. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you could end up spending multiple nights in the hospital. If your health insurance policy from home doesn’t travel with you, you will likely be stuck with an enormous medical bill.

2. Needing a medical airlift

Let’s say you are on a hiking trip in the mountains, enjoying the picturesque views, when suddenly, you lose your footing and slide down a rocky slope. You are in an isolated part of the wilderness, a welcome escape, but you are now also 200 miles from the nearest adequate medical facility. In this scenario, if you undergo a serious injury such as a broken leg, your only choice is to be airlifted. After treatment, you could be on the hook for up to $45,000 for the emergency helicopter trip.

3. When an emergency happens, you don’t know where to turn

If you experience an accident in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language, this unexpected turn of events could become your worst nightmare. Imagine you don’t know how to locate a hospital, call an ambulance, deal with medical payments, or arrange transportation home after a debilitating medical emergency. Even if a hospital is found, how will you know you are getting adequate care? Obtaining travel insurance prior to your trip will save you the stress of dealing with the accident on your own.

4. Losing your prescription medications

Prescription medications are required by many Americans to manage health issues. One of the biggest worries among travelers is something happening to their much-needed medication. Airlines commonly lose luggage, and even if your bag isn’t lost, it could be damaged in flight. Even if your bags get safely to your destination, tourists are easy targets for theft. It’s also possible that in all of your fun, you could simply lose or misplace your medications. Do you know what you would do to replace them if lost or damaged in a foreign country? Having travel insurance and a plan will help you better understand the cost and procedure of replacing medications in a foreign country.

 

These risks are more common than most travelers realize. This is why it is important to acquire sufficient protection before your next travel adventure. Call (800) 647-4589 or 01 (480) 821-9052 to learn more on the benefits of travel insurance.

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Common Travel Insurance Questions

When it’s time to head overseas to another country, you may be considering travel insurance to protect yourself from emergencies. With the right America travel insurance, you won’t have anything to worry about. It can be tricky learning what is covered in a travel insurance policy, so here are some of the most common questions when it comes to travel insurance.

Does my regular health insurance cover me abroad?

Usually, your regular health insurance will only provide partial coverage when you are out of the country. Some plans won’t cover you at all, with Medicare providing no coverage abroad.

You may gain assistance with minor medical needs from countries with “universal health care.” However, they are not obligated to help you and any major medical emergencies won’t be covered.

Doesn’t my credit card give me some type of travel insurance coverage?

Some credit cards may offer travel insurance, but it’s not the same as a separate policy. Often, it will only have a small limit under $5,000 for a 12 month period for cancellation. Most credit cards provide no coverage for an evacuation or medical emergency.

Will I be covered in the event of a natural disaster?

Once you have your travel insurance in place, you are covered for many different emergencies. Make sure you check with your policy, but most American travel insurance policies cover natural disasters, such as hurricanes.

What is the cost of travel insurance?

Most travel insurance policies will cost between 4% and 8% of the total cost of the trip. Travel medical insurance is based on the length of your trip and can be as low as $1 per day.

How do I purchase travel insurance?

Whether you decide you just want basic coverage or you prefer a travel insurance policy with medical benefits, you can purchase your policy online with a credit card. It can also be purchased over the phone after calling the company directly.

Can I get travel insurance with pre-existing conditions?

Yes, you can find travel insurance policies with pre-existing conditions. With Atlas America travel insurance plans, you can get travel insurance without answering any health questions. These policies are guaranteed and can be issued within 24 hours.

When should you purchase your travel insurance policy?

When you are ready to put a deposit down for your trip, it is time to purchase travel insurance. The sooner you purchase insurance the better, as there are additional benefits to obtaining insurance as soon as possible.

These are some of the most common questions regarding travel insurance. Whether you’re traveling to the United States or from the US to another country, you need to make sure you’re fully protected on your trip. For more information, give us a call today at (800) 647-4589.

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Top Reasons You Need Travel Insurance for Your Next Trip Abroad

US citizen travel insurance might not be the first thing on your mind when you’re planning an exciting trip abroad. But you owe it to yourself and your family to investigate coverage and make sure you’re prepared and secured against financial disaster, should something go amiss. Here are a list of reasons why travel insurance should be on the top of your list of things to do when taking a trip overseas.

Missed Connections, Canceled Flights

The only sentence worse than “Ladies and gentlemen, this flight is now delayed” is the sentence “Ladies and gentlemen, this flight is now cancelled.” Plans such as the RoundTrip Insurance plan will help offset costs accrued should your return flight be cancelled.

Bad Weather

Let’s say you’re planning a trip to the Bahamas and a hurricane hits the region. You’ve dug into your savings to afford the trip, and now what? The right insurance may help cover the cost of rebooking your flights and accommodations.

Sickness or Injury

Nothing is worse than taking a trip to a place you have never visited and being forced to spend the entire time in your hotel room due to illness. Travel insurance can help cover unforeseen medical expenses, including sickness of injury.

We’ve All Got Baggage

You know you’ve got baggage, but what happens if you arrive in Paris without your clothing? This can be a real financial hit. Typical travel insurance plans will reimburse you for your lost luggage, as well as your valuable belongings inside.

Lost Passport

This can be a time-consuming and costly problem, but with travel insurance, you’ll typically have support replacing your passport and the costs associated.

Emergency Medical Evacuation

Hope for the best, plan for the worse. What happens if you have a sudden medical emergency that can only be handled through hospitalization or a specialist at home? The costs associated with this could be enormous, so protect yourself with travel insurance to stay safe.

Terrorism

We live in a dangerous and complicated world, and if you’re planning a trip to an area that might be subject to terrorism, you need to take that into consideration. What happens if an airport is closed, or if there’s an announced terrorist threat? Travel insurance may allow you to reschedule or cancel your trip outright.

The process for purchasing US citizen travel insurance is simple. At Insurance Services of America, we make health insurance for foreign nationals as easy as possible. Call (800) 647-4589 to learn more about the top travel insurance.

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Medicare May Not Cover You Outside of the U.S.

While some Medicare Advantage plans cover international travel, it’s important to note that original Medicare does not. So if you are a senior citizen planning a trip abroad, it would be wise to consider international travel health insurance for U.S. citizens. Medicare does not cover any medical care services when you are outside the U.S. International travel health insurance coverage is provided only when you are within the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Northern Mariana Islands, and anywhere inside the U.S. borders.

Exceptions with Medicare

A few exceptions exist in cases of travel to Canada and Mexico. Medicare can sometimes pay for inpatient hospital services in these countries if the following conditions are met:

  • You live in or are inside the U.S. and need medical care, but the closest hospital is in Canada or Mexico. When the foreign hospital is closer/easier to get to than one in your home country, Medicare may pay for those services.
  • You are crossing through Canada without delay between Alaska and another state and you need medical care. If a Canadian hospital is closer/easier to get to than the nearest U.S. hospital, Medicare may pay for those services.

Remember that these exceptions are not guaranteed, so Medicare may or may not come through for you in an emergency medical situation in Canada or Mexico.

Medicare Advantage plans

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, it should provide worldwide coverage benefits for senior health care insurance needs, but always verify this with your provider before you leave the country. Certain Medicap policies (C, D, E, F, G, H, I, and J) provide foreign travel emergency health care coverage for travel outside the U.S. These policies typically pay 80 percent of the cost of emergency care during the first 60 days of each trip (after a $250 deductible), and be aware that a lifetime limit of $50,000 applies.

If these plans don’t apply to you, then you will have to consider other options for medical coverage while traveling abroad. Although Medicare covers you in the U.S. and its territories, once you cross the border, you will be on your own. Travel medical coverage for seniors can provide peace of mind at a low cost, so ensure that wherever your next trip may take you, you are covered.