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International Health Insurance for US Citizens

Posted by seasquared on 29/11/2012 at 11:02

I've been perusing these forums for a while now, and they've been incredibly helpful in planning our trip to SE Asia this spring. I'm still a little confused about travel insurance, though. Most of the information I've found is directed at Americans who are doing short term travel while still covered by their employers' plans, or at non-Americans who live in countries covered by national healthcare plans. Any insight from someone else who doesn't fit in those categories?

My husband and I are quitting our jobs in February to spend three months traveling. As US citizens, our health insurance is tied to our employers, so leaving our jobs means we have to shop for individual policies. Not a big deal to us, we're both young and healthy (so it's affordable), but after watching a friend recently battle unexpected cancer, going without insurance at all is absolutely NOT an option for us.

So the question is, how does this independent insurance fit with travel insurance? Do I need both? Should we just buy a really good travel insurance plan for the duration of our trip, and then buy a US independent plan when we return? I know the preferred provider out there is World Nomads, but they seem like they have lower maximum limits than most insurance plans I'm familiar with.

We currently use high-deductible insurance, and like I said, we're healthy. So I certainly don't need a pay-$20-to-see-any-doctor-in-the-world plan (if that even exists). I just want to know that if some disaster happens while we're overseas, we're covered for the duration of the ailment, rather than being left to fend for ourselves as soon as our plane touches down in the USA.

#1 seasquared has been a member since 29/11/2012. Posts: 1

Posted by exacto on 29/11/2012 at 13:17

Hey C2,

I did a similar length trip to southeast Asia back in 2006 when I was between jobs too and had no insurance other than my travel insurance. The advantage of coverage like World Nomads or something similar is that it is comprehensive and protects you over a wide variety of situation.

You may want to look at a website like as well. It give quotes from two dozen companies for a variety of policy types. We've used them several times and found exactly the right travel insurance for the particular trip we were making. But I've been lucky and never needed to file a claim, so I can't speak for that end of the coverage.

Even now that I have good employer-provided coverage, I still buy travel insurance whenever I leave the states - particularly for the medical evacuation provision, so I think you are smart to be shopping for travel insurance for this trip. Also, keep in mind that most travel insurance ends when your trip ends, or has only a short follow-on period, so if something happens like an accident or sickness that may require follow-up care, you might want to get some kind of stateside insurance (like your current high-deductable catastrophic plan) as a back-up.

I hope that gives you at least some useful information. Please let us know what you wind up doing too, since for every response to a question there are 100s others who read the thread and will benefit from your research too. Cheers and have a great trip.

#2 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,679
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Posted by goonistik on 29/11/2012 at 23:16

Hi C2,

Aside from the medical evacuation that exacto has mentioned, there is another risk you must consider. I apologize as it is a delicate subject to bring up. You must consider the risks of dying while abroad. It is expensive to repatriate human remains and you will want an insurance policy that will cover those costs.

In addition some travel insurance policies include personal liability insurance.

#3 goonistik has been a member since 7/1/2010. Location: Philippines. Posts: 562
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Posted by Annallenjewelry on 4/2/2013 at 18:03

I was all set to get World Nomads for my partner and me then I saw that the age limit was 67 yers of age. I am 65 but my
Partner is 69. We have traveled all over the world and have alwaysbought insurance. has any other traveller run into
This age issue? Thank you in advance for any insurance advice,

#4 Annallenjewelry has been a member since 4/2/2013. Posts: 1

Posted by goonistik on 4/2/2013 at 20:05

While I don't have any personal experience. You can read this

Googling for "baby boomer travel medical insurance" should help you find plan in your country.

#5 goonistik has been a member since 7/1/2010. Location: Philippines. Posts: 562
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Posted by JoeDawn on 30/5/2013 at 02:44

Well I can tell you also Medicare will not get you back to the states either. We get out travel medical insurance or trip insurance every-time regardless if we are on a cruise or going by plane.

#6 JoeDawn has been a member since 30/5/2013. Posts: 5

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