Spoiler alert: it's complicated! But relax, we'll help you figure it out.
hi there! Thanks so much for putting this out there! So far the quotes I am getting from some of the companies are pretty steep. My husband and I will just be traveling internationally for 1 year. We do not have preexisting conditions. We plan on getting a nationwide private plan so we can still travel around the united states when we come back which with screening allows you to start it at any time. One of the companies I have spoken with, IMG, seem to have a worldwide medical evacuation plan and they say they can also cover in America with the same benefits. If I am really only wanting catastrophic or treatment needs that come up during that 1 year (won't do any preventative while traveling), do you think a plan that says they cover medical evacuation and treatment in America would suffice? You had mentioned that some say they cover you in America but they really only do it temporarily. It would be nice if we could just stay on the plan we are with while overseas for a few months when we come back to America and be covered. Overall we are trying to avoid paying much but still get an actual policy that would cover us if something unforeseen comes up and would also cover us in America. I feel like I am not understanding the plans correctly. Thoughts?
Hi Brent & Michael, I feel like I know you two because I've been reading your blogs all year. Paul and I have Medicare A, B, D and a gap policy so we're fully covered in the USA and a few territories (American Samoa, for example). We've been kind of winging it with our Chase Sapphire card. But we think we need more. Safety Wing looks reasonable for travel insurance even for old geezers such as ourselves (65 & 66). But it doesn't appear to me that Safety Wing's evacuation assistance would cover someone who has stabilized after an accident or unexpected illness, to send them back to the US for more treatment (which would allow us to use our insurance). We're thinking about Emergency Assistance Plus https://www.emergencyassistanceplus.com/home/#home which pays to send you home with a nurse if needed after you have stabilized. They are really cheap. We were thinking of pairing that with Safety Wing. But, if Safety Wing offers that kind of evacuation assistance, it would be double coverage. Do you know if Safety Wing's evacuation policy covers that situation? Thanks! Kim
Hey guys, I noticed the title on this one has a spelling mistake. Heath instead of Health. Definitely an SEO killer. Unless you are insuring uncultivated land in Britain, of course!
BTW, tons of great info in here. Thanks for providing such comprehensive detail.
Thanks, this is extremely helpful and thorough
One small note about medical evacuation coverage - the simple act of having the American Amex Platinum credit card gives you medical evacuation coverage everywhere, and you don't have to buy your Himalayan trip etc with that card. This might be true for other credit cards also, but amex platinum for sure gives you medivac coverage just by having the card.
Hello guys, thanks for this article.
As a company, we want to offer a full remote health insurance (the one you said is the only way to get the 4 points)
Do you have any suggestions around it? Thanks!
Brent, thank you for writing this article. I have a question about the plan you and Michael use: I know you would have a regular doctor back home, and these days you could get a virtual appt, but then I imagine they wouldn't be able to prescribe you anything overseas. So do you then pay for preventative care locally, out of pocket?
I had researched each and every one of the options you have outlined here. I also came to the conclusion that Safety Wing + ACA was the best way forward. That said, I wasn't sure if I had overlooked something. Your analysis, very well laid out and comprehensive, also confirmed the conclusion I had also drawn.
This is a great article. My husband and I have been traveling a lot and have been trying to figure out how to handle medical expenses when outside the US
Hi Brent, thanks so much for all your writing on this topic. I'm a single late 30s guy with (for now) minimal medical needs. I'm on a high-deductible Bronze ACA plan, which I got for catastrophic situations but haven't ever used. A few months ago I went full DN, with the intention to spend around 11 months per year outside the US. I still have the ACA coverage but nothing else, which obviously I should fix. I'm thinking about dropping my ACA plan (for which I'm paying full price) and replacing it with the Genki travel insurance option. If I understand correctly, that plan will give me essentially full medical coverage (excluding preventative) outside the US/Canada for 2 years. I'm fine to pay for any preventative care out of pocket. The main risk I'd be taking is not being able to go back to the US in case of serious illness until I could sign up for ACA again. I have family in the UK and Australia, so I could imagine going to one of those countries for treatment in the interim (which Genki would cover, I think?). On my brief visits back to the US during the 2 years, I would have emergency coverage, which I think is good enough in my situation (I definitely wouldn't hit the 42 day cap). Am I missing anything here?
Thanks you so much for this article! I'm currently planning a 9-month trip abroad and this completely clarifies all my confusion around health insurance. I had no idea what I needed and was very puzzled by all the different options. Basically, I was completely at sea until I found this post, which addresses all my questions and lays out everything in an extremely clear way.
Great article but many of we 'Senior' Nomads have hit the cut-off age of 70 and are therefore eliminated from the great coverage World Nomads and Safety Wing offer. So just forget trying to find reasonable travel insurance if you are 70+. It's outrageous. I guess the companies all presume we are ready to drop dead of some serious illness once we reach our 70th birthday. But so many of the travelers I know are of this age and we are really hurting trying to find anything that you might call reasonable. All I can say is enjoy World Nomads (my choice until it wasn't) and Safety Wing while you can.
Hello! Thanks again for all of your help! It has really been a life saver! I am wondering if you could do one huge favor for me? Could you look over the NOW international Health Insurance plans (worldwide including USA) and tell me your thoughts on how good they are compared to cigna international health insurance (worldwide including USA)? I feel like they are similar though I am not sure if perhaps NOW is not as reliable or something of that nature. They are less expensive but I dont just want to pick the least expensive option if they are not going to actually be good about paying claims etc. You have done so much research so I feel you would be able to see pretty well how good they may be! Thanks again!
Do you know of any travel insurances that cover nomads who are over the age of 70? Medicare cannot be used abroad.
Thank you for this article! We've been nomads for the past 8 years, doing some of the things you don't recommend (I agree, it's not ideal), paying out of pocket, returning to the US for emergencies. We have Medicare, and you are right, that is another complicated issue. I am very interested in finding that Genki may work for us, but I think there's a typo in your text. Did you mean to say Genki will cover people over 50 by the end of 2022? I went to their site and immediately found incorrect information about travel, disappointing. (For Peru: US citizens can only stay 90 days, down from 183 a few years ago). Still, I plan to check and see if they add us codgers to their options by the end of the year.
Hi folks. Thanks for clear breakdown of options and solutions. You mentioned Safety Wing several times but their coverage looks a little lite for us. We were looking at Seven corners. Any pro or cons you can share?
Thank you so much, Brent! Yes the international health insurance would be our entire insurance because with the companies I have been looking at, it seems they are claiming they would also cover me in America....even up to 6 months...with the same coverage I would get internationally. It is not considered an add on, but it is considered a worldwide health plan. I think that is part of where the confusion lies for me. If it really does cover me in America and around the world, I should be okay without another policy. But it seems this can't be true. Also, yes you are right about the open enrollment issue if I now have a preexisting condition so if the insurance only lasts for 6 months after I get back, that would be a problem. The other issue is that most of the healthcare.gov plans do not cover in more than just your home state from what I am seeing (none that I am currently eligible for). So even if I got on one of those, I guess it would not help me since we plan to travel the US when we get back. It would help me if I no longer was able to travel the US because of my new condition. The thing is I feel what they are saying about American coverage is too good to be true or maybe they are misunderstanding my questions? Also with Genki and Safety Wing, are you saying they have full policies where you could be covered completely worldwide including America? Or would you still need an American based plan?