• International Insurance Blog

  • Monday, December 18, 2017

A recent study by scientists from the Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Mass. and the GeoSentinel Surveillance Network indicates that travel that extends beyond six months is associated with elevated health risks. The study underscores the importance of international travel health insurance for all those who undertake overseas trips.

Data collected from six continents over a period of 12 years suggest that those who traveled for over six months were more likely to suffer from fatigue, chronic diarrhea, malaria, and post-infectious bowel syndrome. Those undertaking longer trips also suffered from psychological problems such as depression, stress, and fatigue.

The study also found that a high number of missionary and volunteer workers suffered from stress and other ailments. Missionary workers often work under minimal sanitary conditions and stressful situations, and that doubtless contributes to the high percentage of illnesses among missionaries. Adequate missionary insurance will help deal with the problem.

The stress of dealing with the physical condition in an alien land begets psychological problems as well. While medical problems might be something that the traveler might not be able to totally eradicate, adequate international travel medical insurance will take the stress out of the equation. However, it is important to wash hands often and take care when traveling abroad.
In the United States, more than a quarter (26.2%) of adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Student life, especially the life of an international student, can be fraught with emotional stress and trauma. However, mental health care is expensive in the United States. International student insurance plans must also cover mental health care.

Many college-sponsored plans cover psychiatric care and insist that outside international student health insurance also provide the benefit to some extent. Alcohol and substance abuse dependency problems are also covered under most student health insurance plans.

If you are an international student suffering from depression or anxiety, the first stop will be the college student health center, where you will most likely meet the college mental health counselor. The counselor will prescribe a course of action. Check for extent of coverage and out-of-pocket expenses for the treatment suggested by the counselor.

However, remember that receiving mental health treatment under an insurance plan can prove costly in the long run. It could be recorded as a pre-existing condition, and subsequent insurance plans you purchase might increase the premium. Remember that several federal clinics and non-profits also help you receive treatment for free. Under any circumstance, do not avoid getting treatment in case of mental illness.
A 75-year-old British traveler recently made an international trip—not to France, or Italy, or the United States, but to Iraq. And he’s not alone; several people are queuing up to visit conflict zones in what is called “hot war tourism." This type of travel includes people who want to travel to areas where war is active or recently concluded. Such travelers must purchase international travel health insurance with appropriate coverage.

Hot war terrorism is based on the need of a human being to watch humankind in action, rather than just symbols of humankind’s activities. The corresponding risks are also higher, which necessitate more comprehensive travel coverage.

One factor to consider before undertaking a hot war tourist trip is to purchase adequate insurance. You must purchase coverage for emergency evacuation, medical coverage for acts of war and terrorism, and for trip cancellation. If your trip cancellation policy has the option, purchase “Cancel for any reason” coverage.

Also remember to check the government advisory on travel to your destination. If there is a warning against travel to the destination, your international travel insurance might not be valid. While on your trip, take adequate care to protect yourself and follow basic precautions and local travel advisories.
More than 10% of rejected insurance complaints are unfair, but only a tenth of the people making the claim actually question the rejection, according to a study. This figure is likely even higher when it comes to international travel insurance. Typically, the rate of rejection is higher with international travel insurance claims, for various reasons.

What can you do to make those claims more effective? Even before you go on that trip, at least skim through the fine print of your policy. It makes common sense that claims of accidents when under the influence of alcohol or drugs will not be covered under international travel insurance, but in a recent survey, 70% of Britons did not know that.

When you’re at your destination, and a reason for claim appears, what do you do? Let’s say your wallet gets stolen. Report the matter immediately to the nearest authorities, and get a copy of the official complaint. Also call your travel insurance company and report the loss. You can also check the next steps with the agent on the phone.

Next, make sure you have filled out all the requisite paperwork for your international travel insurance claim. Have someone look over it once, if required. Make a copy of everything you send to the insurance company for your records. Mail the claim form, and keep your fingers crossed!
Traveling abroad to spread the word of God can be fulfilling work. It’s important to take care of one’s health especially when undertaking missionary work. Often, missionary insurance is provided by the ministry that organizes the mission. Sometimes, you will have a choice to opt out of the program and choose one that fits your situation best.

Missionary insurance come in many types. Short-term missionary medical insurance covers you for short periods of time. The benefits are similar to short-term health insurance plans in the United States, but the plan works overseas. Long-term missionary health insurance is for missionaries who will work abroad for more than a year. The benefits are similar to regular U.S. health insurance.

The most common type of insurance for groups of missionaries is the group insurance plan, and it works similar to a regular group healthcare plan, as you would find in a company, for example. Benefits work the same way, and this is usually less expensive than plans bought individually.

Missionaries can also buy life insurance for the duration of their stay abroad, and also multi-trip mission insurance, for missionaries who make frequent trips to other countries. Ministries can also buy insurance for all their missionaries together, under a ministry insurance plan. As with every insurance plan, be sure to read the fine print and when in doubt, ask questions.
One of the biggest mysteries for students who study in American universities is the way international student health insurance works. Here’s a true story of how that insurance worked for an international student who was injured in college.

Anita (name changed), worked as a graduate assistant at a university’s Study Abroad program office. When walking down the steps while at work, she suddenly slipped, breaking her ankle. She was immediately rushed to the university hospital, where it was established that she had broken a bone.

The shocking news then awaited her: Her policy would only pay for half the $11,000 bill. Literally in tears, she was saved by the sound advice of one of her American friends—find out if the building had insurance for students who sustained injuries when at work. It turned out they had, and the policy paid for most of Anita’s medical costs, bar $1000 or so.

Lesson learned: The insurance world is quite complex and an event that might not be covered under one policy might be covered under another. It’s always a good idea to ask someone knowledgeable about these things. Especially when you’re a penurious student with minimal U.S. international student health insurance.

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