The health insurance topic pertains to US citizens, but other resources are applicable to everyone.
Updated August, 2016
The US is the only developed country without universal healthcare. This fact seriously affects long-term American travelers. I was surprised how many people who travel outside of the US or just planning to travel for an extended period of time (i.e. been abroad for more than a year) didn’t do their homework about what implications their lifestyle might have on their insurance policies. At least some of US health insurance policies have a misleading clause about medical treatment abroad. However, it meant only for short-term trips: a week-long European vacation is Ok, but a year-long voyage around the world is not. As an experienced insurance broker explained to me, insurance companies are very suspicious about claims from abroad and could easily drop you if they suspect policy violation. The answer to this debacle is getting an international health insurance. It is specifically designed for travelers and comes in two “flavors”: including US coverage or excluding it. Intriguingly, the cost of international insurance could be lower than a domestic one.
It is important to understand the difference between travel insurance and international insurance:
- international health insurance covers inpatient treatment check-ups and continuing treatment of chronic conditions abroad
- travel insurance is meant for people on vacations or short trips abroad to cover cancellations, personal belongings and emergency medical treatment. Usually, it will return you back home to continue treatment once you are fit enough to make the trip back.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I am not an insurance agent. If you have any questions or looking for health insurance while traveling, please seek professional advice from a qualified insurance professional.
International Health Insurance
- Insurance Services of America
- Good Neighbor Insurance
- ALC Global Health Insurance
- International Medical Group
- Expatriate Healthcare– their international private healthcare plans provide medical cover for expatriates living and working abroad
- Expatriate Health Insurance
- Expat-Health.com – broker
- Cigna Global
- MSH International
How to verify that an insurance company is legit and it’s rating (in the US)
- CoverMore – travel and medical insurance for travelers in the UK, Australia and New Zealand
Health and Travel
- Sick on the Road – travel health tips, stories and advice
- Travel Insurance Advice – by Sick on the Road
- Expat Heath Insurance When You Live Overseas
- Expat Insurance: Travel Insurance for Full-Time and Long-Term Travelers – by The Professional Hobo
- Expat Health Insurance News – from Expats Blog
- The Essential Guide to Traveling with a Medical Condition
- Airports and Special Needs Travel: A Complete Guide
- Disabilities and Medical Conditions – information provided by the US Transportation Security Administration
- The Ultimate Guide To Travel Vaccinations And Anti Malarials – by Tara/Where is Tara?
- Living With Diabetes: A Traveler’s Guide – by Rootfin, an independent life insurance agency. The guide provides useful information on everything from how to breeze through airport security to life insurance considerations
- How to Travel Without Hugging the Bowl: 10 Tips for Staying Healthy on the Road – from Uncornered Market
- How to Shit Around the World: The Art of Staying Clean and Healthy While Traveling (Travelers’ Tales Guides) – by Dr. Jane Wilson-Howarth
- How to avoid a bout of belly ache – originally, about how to eat Indian street food safely, but this common sense applies to eating at any part of the world
For Traveling Women
- Safe Travel Resource Guide for Women – from The International Insurance Travel Group
- Pregnancy travel insurance guide – from Compare Travel Insurance, Australia’s leading travel insurance comparison site
- Health for Women on the Road