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International Travel and Health Insurance

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Embarking on Your Dream Vacation
Are your Plans Complete?

Your bags are packed, passport and papers in order and you couldn’t be in a higher state of excitement preparing for travel to that wonderful, exotic location. This is the vacation you have planned it seems forever. As you sit on the plane, you and your partner discuss for the hundredth time the scuba diving you will do, the awesome rock climbing and hikes into the rain forest. Everything is perfect!

Life seldom gets better than this.

Despite all the excitement of travel, Americans do have some concerns.

According to a survey by the Chubb Group, more than 70% of Americans surveyed said their greatest concern when traveling is suffering a medical emergency...more than double the fear of being mugged (30.7%), three times the fear of being injured in a terrorist attack (23.4%).

What happens if a medical emergency arises when traveling overseas?

Many people assume that while they are out of the U.S. or Canada they will be covered by their standard medical plan. However, most traditional health insurance plans are not designed for international travel.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, approximately 27 million travelers board U.S. airlines for overseas destinations and almost 26 million foreign travelers come to the U.S. each year. However, many are not prepared for a medical emergency abroad.

Most traditional health insurance plans would not cover an unexpected illness or injury during international travel. But travelers with international medical insurance would have protection for scenarios ranging from a local ambulance trip to an emergency evacuation for care at the nearest qualified medical facility. Some even offer repatriation flights out of the country where the traveler is located back to the US.

Available plans can cover individuals or groups for specific periods of time abroad and can be in effect should they be stationed abroad for an extended period of time. There are policies for corporations to insure their personnel, plans to cover missionaries who are on an outreach program and for those participating in extreme sports. International travel medical insurance should be considered for anyone traveling or living abroad.

©David M. Schmader, Solon, Ohio January, 2005

About the Author

David Schmader is an independent broker agent located in the Cleveland Ohio suburb of Solon, Ohio. With over 25 years of corporate finance experience he specializes in serving the individual, professional and small business markets.


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