Posts Tagged ‘insurance’

Global Health and Travel Insurance for Career Breakers
Monday, September 16th, 2013

TIPS AND INSIGHT thanks to  Insure My Trip and Erin Fish of EMF Insurance Agency, Inc 

Having the right policy and understanding the benefits and limitations of your coverage is an essential step in setting your mind at ease so that you can truly enjoy your trip.

So how does one navigate the labyrinth of red tape and fine print that surrounds travel insurance? Just thinking about it is enough to raise the blood pressure of many would-be career breakers, but fear not! We’ve got your back…and we’ve called in an expert.

When it comes to getting the right Global Health and Travel insurance to meet your unique needs, Insure My Trip is our career break insurance experts. They have years of experience assessing the unique needs of each of their globetrotting clients and can help you find the policy that is perfect for you, your trip, and your needs.

It’s hard to know where to start when it comes to insurance, but we have provided the following:

But first – a disclaimer! Insurance solutions are very dependent on a person’s situation, tolerance, and budget; we certainly couldn’t represent all of them here! Our aim is to give you a good start and then you can follow up with Erin or through our other online resources we’ve provided. In addition, this information is more specific to American travelers, as it tends to be the most complicated.


  • Domestic (America) Health Insurance: Domestic health insurance plans are designed to benefit the member when services are needed inside the USA. This leaves many gaps in benefits for people who are traveling abroad. For Americans traveling abroad, health care services occurring outside of the USA can be covered under the insured’s domestic health insurance policy once the insured has met their out-of-network deductible. This could mean an exposure of thousands of dollars.Examples – your corporate coverage such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, etc.

  • Long-Term International (HIPAA-Compliant) plans resemble domestic health insurance plans, but apply to a worldwide and a nationwide network of doctors, hospitals, clinics, etc. They carry annual deductibles, annual out-of-pocket limits, maternity coverage (usually after 12 months of enrollment), and all of the perks of the travel insurance plans. Such plans are most appropriate for travelers who plan to spend 6 months or more abroad and for Ex-Pats planning to live in other countries for extended periods of time.This is the most comprehensive coverage for travel and can be used anywhere in the world, including when you return back to America. Examples – HTH Worldwide, 7 Corners
  • Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is designed to bridge the gap in benefits that the domestic plans present…and more. Credible and reliable travel insurance carriers have a worldwide and a nationwide network of doctors, hospitals, clinics, etc. There are two main types – travel medical insurance and trip cancellation insurance. Examples – IMG, Travelex and many, many more!
    • 1. Travel Medical Insurance: Offers medical benefits when a traveler is overseas. These plans typically pay for hospitalization, surgery, doctor office visits, prescription drugs, ground ambulance and emergency medical evacuation. These plans tend to be relatively inexpensive; however, they do not provide any other travel benefits beyond medical coverage. This type of insurance can be purchased on a per-trip basis (up to 180 days and renewable once) or annually (covering any and all trips less than 70 days each). *Coverage can be purchased for travelers who do not have a domestic health insurance plan. However, such plans do not cover pre-existing conditions.
  • Trip Cancellation Insurance: Usually includes all the benefits of travel medical insurance, as well as other travel benefits such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, baggage loss, travel delay and more. These plans are designed to insure the investment of your trip. These plans offer the broadest coverage and are more expensive than travel medical policies because the rates are partly dependent on the cost of the insured’s trip. (This type of insurance can also be purchased without the medical benefits included.)


  • What will these plans cover? Travel Medical insurance plans will cover:- Medical Services (Doctor office visits, surgery, anesthesia, labs & radiology, inpatient & outpatient hospital expenses, and more.- Dental Care required to an injury or for relief of pain- Prescription Drugs (outside of the USA)- Medical Evacuation to the nearest adequate facility (then home, if necessary) *This is often the most crucial aspect of Travel Medical plans– Bedside Visit (for one person to your place of hospital confinement)

    – Accidental Death & Dismemberment (like Life Insurance)

    – Repatriation of Remains

  • For ‘career breakers’ (middle aged as opposed to student travelers,) what should we be getting?

Age isn’t necessarily the most important factor in deciding which type of travel insurance to buy. Buying the most appropriate type of travel insurance plan depends on the length of the trip, cost of the trip, risk tolerance, and travel budget. Trip Cancellation insurance is a good choice for expensive trips because of the financial protection features of these plans. Travel Medical insurance is a good choice for lower priced trips or longer trips (especially those trips exceeding 30 days

  • If we get Travel Insurance, what coverage do we have when we return back to the US (either after our trip OR if we have to return because of an emergency)?
  • Trip Cancellation insurance and Travel Medical insurance policies are designed to cover travelers while on a covered trip. These plans are considered limited duration plans and are not HIPAA compliant. Once the customer returns home, their benefits are exhausted. In some cases coverage can continue if the illness or injury sustained while on the covered trip persists.
  • Will insurance companies look at travel insurance as ‘continuous coverage’ or by traveling for a year under travel insurance – will it appear that we have a ‘break in coverage’? More importantly, is a break in coverage bad? Short term travel insurance would not be considered credible ‘continuous coverage’ since it is a short term accident/sickness policy. This means there would be a ‘break in coverage’ if this was a persons only form of insurance. If they are planning to travel 6 months or longer; travelers should consider a Long-Term International health insurance plan, such as HTH Global Citizen. Global Citizen is considered creditable coverage and is administered using HIPAA guidelines.
  • What happens when you return home to the US and need insurance coverage after traveling? Should this be considered when you are choosing travel insurance? You definitely need to consider what your return to the US looks like. When you are done traveling, the travel insurance runs out. It will normally not cover you once you get back to the US. Therefore you will need a plan for how you will be covered with you return home. Getting approved for a domestic health insurance plan is not easy in the USA. All health insurance applications are medically underwritten, and an applicant can be approved, declined, or approved with surcharges. If you are planning on traveling for a few months, and you already have a domestic health plan, it is suggested that you keep your domestic plan and purchase a travel insurance plan to supplement your coverage. This will often give you better benefits in the travel insurance plan and it will prevent any lapses in coverage.When planning to travel for an extended amount of time it may be worth it to buy a long term international plan, enabling a continuation in coverage indefinitely when you return home to the United States. However, Long-Term International plans are also medically underwritten.
  • What do I do when I come return to the US? Getting approved for a domestic underwritten plan in the USA is not a guarantee. It can often include a lot of obstacles and may result in heavy surcharges or a declination, depending on the applicant’s medical history. If an illness or injury occurred during travel, the chances of approval become even more difficult. If you hold onto your domestic plan while traveling, or if you purchase a long-term HIPAA-compliant plan for your travels, you can avoid these complications upon your return. Your options when you return home and your Travel Insurance coverage has ended: Group-sponsored health plans (if you can secure a job that provides benefits)- Pre-existing Condition Insurance plan (government-subsidized plan)
  • Purchase an individual domestic policy (this process can vary greatly depending on where you live, your past insurance coverage, age, and medical conditions).
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages to keeping my domestic plan? The main advantages you have by keeping your domestic plan:- You will not have a lapse in credible coverage- You will already be insured in the USA when you return- You can purchase a Travel Medical insurance policy that covers pre-existing condition. What disadvantages do I have in keeping my domestic plan? Keeping your domestic plan can be a lofty expense to maintain while you are traveling.
  • Other advice to take into consideration: When researching and purchasing travel insurance plans, it is important to purchase the plans from an admitted USA carrier (for example – HTH or 7 Corners). Such carriers are backed by the Department of Insurance and must abide by rules and regulations when upholding benefits and processing claims. Many travel insurance carriers are considered “off-shore” carriers, even though their offices are based in the USA (usually in Indiana). Such carriers can leave the insured exposed with little or no representation should benefits not be upheld or should claims not be processed or paid correctly.


  • I’m a career breaker and I am going to be traveling for 1-6 months. What should I be looking for with regards to travel insurance? You have a couple different option. If you have a domestic health insurance policy, it may be wisest to hold onto this policy and purchase a supplemental Travel Medical insurance policy to cover you at 100% and provide you with medical services and Emergency Medical Evacuation services while you are abroad. This way you will avoid having a lapse in credible coverage in your domestic health insurance plan. If your domestic plan is very expensive and you would like to keep your costs down, you can look into downgrading your domestic plan to secure a lower monthly premium. However, when you return from your trip it may be difficult to upgrade again.
  • I’m a career breaker and I am going to be traveling for 6-12 months. What should I be looking for with regards to travel insurance?  
    • Option 1: If you have a domestic health insurance policy it may be wisest to hold onto this policy and purchase a supplemental Travel Medical insurance policy to cover you at 100% and provide you with medical services and Emergency Medical Evacuation services while you are abroad. This way you will avoid having a lapse in credible coverage in your domestic health insurance plan. *Such a plan will cover pre-existing conditions since you also carry a domestic plan.
    • Option 2: Apply for a Long-Term HIPAA-compliant International Health Insurance plan to go into effect before you depart. (Whether you have a domestic insurance plan, or not.) Such a plan will act as a “global PPO health plan” and will serve as credible coverage. You can purchase such a plan to cover you worldwide or to cover you in all countries except for the USA. This is a commonly owned insurance policy for Ex-Patriots.
    • Option 3: If you do not have a domestic insurance plan, or if you would like to cancel such a plan, you can purchase a supplemental Travel Medical insurance policy to cover you at 100% and provide you with medical services and Emergency Medical Evacuation services while you are abroad. *Such a plan will not cover pre-existing conditions since you do not also carry a domestic plan. Note: If you are out of the USA for 6 or more continuous months it CAN leave your domestic policy VOID. If you are planning to keep your domestic health insurance plan, make sure to contact your insurance carrier to inform them of your travels and request that they keep your policy in-effect. Get their answer in writing.
  • I’m a career breaker and I am going to be traveling for 1 year or longer. What should I be looking for with regards to travel insurance? It is recommended that you apply for a Long-Term HIPAA-compliant International Health Insurance plan to go into effect before you depart. (Whether you have a domestic insurance plan or not.) Such a plan will act as a “global PPO health plan” and will serve as credible coverage. You can purchase such a plan to cover you worldwide or to cover you in all countries except for the USA. This is a commonly owned insurance policy for Ex-Patriots.


  • For expert advice and no obligation to purchase, contact out Career Break Insurance Hotline via Insure My Trip – 855-773-9375.  Their reps can lead you through a few questions to help you determine what may be right for your situation.
  • Get a quote by filling out this form on Meet Plan Go!


How to Insure Electronics While Traveling
Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

In this era of electronics, where we depend upon gadgets of all shapes and sizes to connect us with the world and manage our lives, it is a rare career break traveler who goes unaccompanied by a cell phone, a laptop, an iPad, e-reader or camera. These days, guarding such precious (and often costly) items from risk of being damaged, stolen, or lost, has become almost as important as protecting your own well being.  Just as your own personal insurance is part of your preparation checklist, so is property insurance if you are carrying high tech valuables.  What are your options for protecting your electronics from theft and loss while on your career break?

Travel Insurance Coverage

Fortunately, travel insurance Package Policies provide comprehensive coverage for both you and your electronics. In addition to important coverage for travel delays, cancellations and medical issues, Package Policies include baggage insurance which is a form of property coverage that is specific to luggage and personal effects, including electronics.

Most plans have a special limit within the baggage coverage for items such as jewelry, furs, cameras, and business-related equipment. There is usually a maximum per article limit (typically around $300), and an aggregate limit for special items such as electronics, furs, and gold/silver.  The aggregate limit for most plans is around $600, and that is the combined maximum amount that the company will pay for all special items.

Though most plans exclude professional equipment, some have Professional Business Property Benefits which will reimburse up to $1,000 with a $150 deductible for theft or damage to business related items. For an additional cost, some plans also offer an option to delete the exclusion for electronics.

In instances of theft, most of the travel insurance package policy plans offer some protection as long as the theft occurred while the coverage is in effect. In the event you ever have to file a claim, be sure to keep/have receipts for your valuables and immediately file a police report for the stolen item(s).

Overall, travel insurance is a good way to cover your smaller/cheaper electronics while you travel.  But what about the big ticket items?

Home Owners/Renters Insurance

It is important to realize that most travel insurance policies may not cover the full replacement cost of your laptop or DSLR.  But for those career breakers who are keeping their home/renters insurance while they travel, check with your agent to see if that policy covers your bigger ticket items while you travel.  You may in fact already be covered.  Note that baggage coverage offered in travel insurance packages as mentioned above is secondary to any other insurance you may have such as a homeowners’ policy.  For the most complete protection available, consider adding a rider for your electronics onto your policy.

Personal Property Insurance

A final option is to take out a separate policy that just insures specific property – a personal articles policy.  This was traditionally used for jewelry, expensive art, etc.; however as the world has become more gadget based, it can also be used to insure your specific gadget.  One of our career breakers, Russ Brooks, found a personal articles policy to cover his laptop and DSLR while he traveled. Costs can be about 5% of the value of the product – but you will need to have all of your paperwork, receipts, and serial numbers in order when getting this type of insurance, so be prepared.

You should note that not all insurance companies will sell a personal articles policy to you if they feel like the length of your travels or your travels in general are too risky for them to insure.  The approval is up to the provider.

Where Should You Start?

Start by deciding which electronics you are taking with you. Then, for more information on insuring your electronics or insurance protection for your career break, contact InsureMyTrip’s exclusive insurance hotline for Meet, Plan, Go! members at 855-773-9375.  They have been trained on the needs of career breakers and can let you know what various travel insurance plans cover and their limits.  If a travel insurance plan doesn’t work for your electronics, then start looking into other types of insurance such as home owners/renters, and personal property insurance.

And whatever you do, take precaution on the road and always lock up your valuables in your bag or in another secure place.  But if you want to keep them the safest, then just don’t bring them!  Unplug for your career break!

Photo by Daniel Feldt.

Cutting Through Insurance Red Tape
Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Many of you planning a career break may not realize the importance of insurance, specifically maintaining some sort of continuous domestic coverage during your travels.

And American career breakers have unique insurance concerns because unlike long-term travelers from countries like Australia, Canada and England, we don’t have national healthcare to rely on. Having the right policy and understanding the benefits and limitations of your coverage is an essential step in setting your mind at ease so that you can truly enjoy your break.

So how does one navigate the labyrinth of red tape and fine print that surrounds travel & medical insurance? Currently, no one in the travel insurance industry is focusing on the unique concerns of the American career breaker – until now.

We are very excited to be partnering with to do so. We now have an exclusive “Career Break Insurance Line” where you can speak directly with an’s Customer Care licensed insurance expert. Everyone’s situation is extremely unique depending on your age, length of travel, and even what state you call home and the team at Insure My Trip is familiar with the needs of our audience and can help address them.

Offering all kinds of coverage from cancellation, to evacuation to major medical, travel insurance is a powerful tool to have, and has also provided this helpful insurance overview so you can become an educated consumer, choosing the right coverage for your special career break needs.

We are very proud to be delivering this important resource to you. And we have had the pleasure of meeting with the entire customer care team and can ensure you that they are dedicated to bringing you the best care and service – so you don’t get lost in the labyrinth of red tape.

Travel Health Insurance Providing Creditable Coverage
Monday, June 27th, 2011

Travel Health Insurance Providing Creditable Coverage: Why You Need It, and Where to Find It

Delphine Foo-Matkin and Michael Matkin are preparing to embark on the surf trip of their dreams: two years riding waves across five continents and fifteen countries. Both of them had been surfing for several years at Rockaway Beach in New York City before they met for the first time on the boardwalk. Five years later, they’re now partners for life and regularly wake up together at 4:30 a.m. for dawn patrol. You can keep up with their preparation and travels at Surfing Around the World.

Figuring out health insurance options in the United States isn’t simple. Throw two-year round-the-world travel plans into the mix and it starts looking even uglier.

Delphine Foo-Matkin

Photo by Thomas Volovar

When my husband and I started seriously considering the idea of traveling around the world to surf for two years, one of our most pressing concerns was how to protect our health during our trip as well as after we return back home to the U.S. My husband holds a full-time position that provides health insurance coverage for both of us. However, we won’t be eligible for COBRA since he isn’t being laid off, and his company has fewer than twenty employees at the moment. Those are both requirements for COBRA eligibility.

In addition to finding the best level of coverage and customer service, it’s important to ensure that the travel health insurance policy you choose offers what is known as “creditable coverage.” “Creditable coverage” signifies a comprehensive health insurance policy within the U.S. in which the health coverage is not secondary to any other kind of insurance (eg. Liability or accident insurance).

In the United States, if you have a gap of longer than 63 days between your last creditable policy and a new policy, the new insurance provider can refuse coverage for any pre-existing conditions for up to eighteen months. The definition of pre-existing condition, for health insurance exclusion purposes, is anything for which you sought treatment or consultation within the six months prior to applying for the new insurance. There’s a great explanation of creditable coverage in the article Health Insurance for American Travelers by Keith and Amy Sutter that was featured on Briefcase to Backpack in February 2010.

Many backpacker travel insurance companies, such as World Nomads, provide excellent levels of coverage and service, but don’t necessarily provide creditable coverage. Being slightly hypochondriac and extremely cautious, the thought of returning home and not being able to get adequate care makes me more than a little nervous. Needless to say, we spent a considerable amount of time looking for health policies that are considered creditable coverage.

What follows is a quick summary of our options that we pieced together through weeks of research. It’s by no means the definitive guide to travel health insurance. Your own situation will probably be different than ours, so make sure you look into all of your options as thoroughly as you can before deciding on your type of insurance and amount of coverage.

Option 1

Option number one is to maintain a policy in the U.S. in addition to a travel policy. Although this is a viable option for the short-term traveler or the deep-pocketed, it’s hardly ideal for extended budget travel. We thought we might be able to purchase a travel policy along with a catastrophic plan to cover us cheaply in the States, but catastrophic health plans, while affordable alternatives to comprehensive plans, are generally not considered creditable.

Option 2

Option two is to take our chances and purchase a travel plan that doesn’t cover us in the U.S., and is therefore also not considered creditable coverage. This is the riskiest option because if an emergency health situation occurs while we’re abroad that requires care back home, the costs incurred by receiving healthcare in the States can become unmanageable if not covered by an insurance policy.

Option 3

Our third and most attractive option is one we came upon only after much searching: purchase a policy that provides long-term travel coverage abroad as well as in the U.S. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? The catch is that, if you don’t know they exist, it’s quite difficult to find information about these policies. The companies that offer these kinds of policies don’t advertise very well, and only after trolling many long-term travel forums and asking around did we find out about them. The ones we found were:

HTH Worldwide’s policy called Global Citizen offers long-term coverage abroad and in the U.S. The plan is fairly comprehensive. Unfortunately, as residents of New York, we’re not eligible for this policy at the moment. Check that you live in one of the states listed in their “eligibility” section.
International Medical Group (IMG) offers a policy called Global Medical Insurance designed for people living abroad or long-term travelers. You can choose to include the U.S. in your coverage, for a higher premium.

The Verdict?

The costs that were quoted to us for the IMG policy seems reasonable: $2143 per year for both of us, with a policy that has a $5000 deductible; much more affordable than the estimate we calculated of $10,000 per year for Option 1 above.

We’re going to go with the IMG policy, since it’s the only one certified as creditable coverage for which we’re currently eligible. Hopefully, we won’t ever need to use it, but it will give us a lot of peace of mind to know that we’ve got our bases covered.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for informational purposes only. Delphine and Michael are not licensed insurance brokers or sales people. You should consult a professional insurance broker or salesperson to best determine your health insurance needs.”

Check out Meet Plan Go’s new trip planning tools including insurance and RTW/multi-stop tickets.

Health Insurance for American Travelers
Monday, February 8th, 2010

[singlepic=1668,250,,,right]There are many fun steps in preparing for your career break travels, and planning for health insurance issues is not one of them. However, it is probably the most important issue you should pay attention to, especially for Americans.

Keith and Amy Sutter have successfully made the transition from briefcase to backpack. They are currently traveling the world while documenting efforts in environmental sustainability on their blog, Green Around The Globe. They share with us how Americans must navigate a complex process to get health insurance while traveling around the globe.

Second only to our salaries, health insurance was the most valuable component of our employer-provided compensation before we made the leap from briefcase to backpack. Walking away from the relative simplicity of employer-provided health benefits was fraught with forms, confusion and seemingly endless options. Tempting as it was, throwing our hands up and foregoing health coverage was not an option. Going without health insurance seemed riskier than riding a motorbike through downtown Hanoi at rush hour blindfolded, not something either of us want to do. By detailing our experiences throughout the process of obtaining health insurance coverage for our career break we hope to share what we learned and make the process a bit easier for you.

Private health insurance in the United States is a quagmire of benefit statements and long medical history applications. We quickly found this out when we began researching our options. As this was the first time we would not have employer or university-provided group health benefits, we had to start from scratch. We quickly discovered the world of travel insurance.

There are many reputable travel insurance companies out there that offer great coverage while traveling abroad. As an American, however, you must keep in mind that most of these plans will not cover you within the United States and many of these plans are not recognized as “creditable.” “Creditable coverage” is defined quite broadly and includes nearly all U.S. group and individual health plans. But despite the broad definition nearly all travel insurance is NOT deemed creditable coverage. One notable exception is HTH Worldwide’s Global Citizen, which is underwritten by A-rated insurance companies licensed by each State’s department of insurance as admitted carriers. The trick here is that depending on what state you live in you may need to go through underwriting in order to obtain coverage.


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