Expats in Costa Rica
The Importance of Travel Medical Insurance when Traveling Outside Your Home Country
Medical & Health Insurance Expert John W. McGee
Bailing out of the upcoming cold weather and heading South, way South, may be a perfect solution to avoid the winter headaches; however, leaving without having a solid Travel Medical policy or Air Evacuation plan in place can cause you a lot more than shivers and migraines!
I’m a strong believer in “Murphy’s Law;” once I bought 4 brand new tires with a 50,000 mile guarantee and the tire company asked me if I wanted to pay an additional $5 per tire for an extended warranty against unforeseen destruction to the tire, where the regular warranty would have been voided…I swear this is true …
I refused and after 1 or 2 months, my family and I took a local road trip and we got a flat tire…I filled up the tire with air and that stop leak stuff…took it back to the tire distributor and they said since your tire had a nail in the side of the tire and it could not be fixed…
I was out of luck and needed to purchase a new $130 USD tire. To say the least I was pissed, but from that moment on I spent the additional $20 to ensure I never experienced this again!
My point is, too many people feel they can spend thousands of dollars and spend 4-6 months per year in another country and feel that nothing medically or accidentally will happen to them, adamantly refusing to pay several hundred dollars for a Travel Medical plan that would cover any unforeseen medical or accidental issues.
They fail to see the forest through the trees and the possibilities that can arise at an unexpected moment causing major medical expenses and even worse having no transport back home to a hospital that they can feel comfortable recuperating in and close to family and friends, not to mention the enormous costs (close to $30,000 USD Air Evacuation cost from Mexico to the USA or Canada).
I see so many 50+ year-old people leave their home country with medically controlled high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes….conditions that can trigger heart attacks, diabetic comas, and unforeseen conditions by viruses. The misconception is that many feel that they have been stable on the same meds for so long…nothing will happen…
OK enough torment, what to figure out and what are your options and solutions?
Figuring if your pre-existing medical conditions are severe enough that you need additional coverage for those conditions? BE CAREFUL! Most Travel medical policies do not cover anything for the onset of pre-existing conditions.
Figure out the specific time you need coverage; some Medicare Advantage plans may cover you for up to 60 days outside the USA, (no Air Evacuation though), while many Canadian Travel Medical insurance companies offer their citizens access to policies that may cover some pre-existing conditions.
Get a broker to show you several companies and options. I speak to my prospects and ask them a series of questions that give me a clearer idea on what to propose.
EXAMPLE: I have 2 US citizens age 58 and 60…both have high blood pressure and high cholesterol…I would customize a proposal that included a company that offers a $300,00 – $1,000,000 maximum benefit policy…with a benefit that covers the onset of pre-existing conditions up to $20,000 – $50,000 USD.
I would also offer a less expensive option that offers the same benefits, but no coverage for the onset of pre-existing conditions and finally I would present an “Air Evacuation” only option that most likely is more affordable, but does not include medical coverage.
“My approach is to present and educate my prospects with alternatives and let them determine what is acceptable from a risk and cost affordability stance.”
A Sample Case Proposal: U.S. Citizens/Male age 60 with a spouse age 58. The female has high blood pressure and the husband takes no meds and is very healthy. They are going to Central America for 3 months and continue to keep their U.S. medical insurance plan.
HCC-Multinational / Lloyds of London – (Atlas Travel Medical – Includes Global Coverage) – Outside your country of Citizenship/Residency – $500,000 Max Benefit 3 months: Cost for you Both = With a $1,000 Deductible = $499.50 $2,500 Deductible = $436.50
International Medical Group – (Platinum Travel Medical) – Covers outside your country of residence – $500,000 Max Benefit 3 months: Cost for you Both = With a $1,000 Deductible = $578.40 / $2,500 Deductible = $506.10
Medjet Assist – Medical Air Evacuation Plan.
This is a plan that will cover you for the entire year, allowing you both to travel all over the world for a maximum of 3 months at a time and also include coverage when traveling inside the USA…as long as you are traveling at least 150 miles from your primary residence! Great alternative for the price….
COST = $385 USD for the family. Very interesting alternative…
Seven Corners – Liason Worldwide Travel Medical – This is a comparable plan to the ATLAS that allows up to $20,000 USD to apply to the Onset of Pre-existing Conditions for those under the age of 65+ Also includes “Air Evacuation.” The price is in line with the ATLAS; however, you do have some comfort knowing you have $20,000 coverage for pre-ex.
$500,000 Maximum Benefit 3 months: Cost for you Both = With a $1,000 Deductible = $620.10 $2,500 Deductible = $542.70
NOTE: Since the majority of our clients are really interested in protecting themselves in case of a catastrophic circumstance, taking the higher deductibles, (maybe $1,000 – $5,000), with the a plan to control costs and protect against any onset of medical pre-existing conditions? Also consider the “Air Evacuation Package.”
Buying Travel, Health & Life Insurance.
If you are considering new insurance coverage or your policy is coming due, and would appreciate expert help in choosing what’s best for you, your family and maybe your company, please contact our Private Global Medical Insurance Expert John McGee by email here or, visit his website here and get a customized insurance quote.
PS. Note from Scott Oliver – Founder of WeLoveCostaRica.com: Over a period six months I met with – and was very disappointed by – at least 20 insurance ‘experts’ in Costa Rica.
I decided to work with John McGee because he knows the insurance business inside out and, he is a good communicator, the last thing any of us need in a medical emergency is an insurance guy that doesn’t feel it’s necessary to return phone calls promptly.
Our family’s insurance needs are covered by the companies John represents because it’s been my experience that you can rely on John McGee for your insurance requirements.
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