With the coming of Spring and Summer time comes the beginning of the travel season for many. Traveling outside the borders of the United States requires some homework before departure. For those of you who are Seniors you need to pay special attention to your needs before leaving home. Scores of senior travelers are reaching all corners of the globe on leisure, business and educational trips.
As international travel continues to expand, so do health and safety concerns. There are many things that affect the Senior population that generally does not affect younger travelers. Things such as managing chronic conditions, exacerbated but dietary changes, increased physical exertion and loss of sleep all can have an effect on the health of the traveler. Given the heightened risks, savvy seniors are working hard to prepare themselves to avoid potential hazards.
Look At Your Passport
One of the first places that jumps out at you as an international traveler that should warn you is right in the pages of your U.S. Passport. It reads something like this:
“Health Insurance: Persons considering foreign travel should determine what health insurance coverage, if any, they require while outside the United States. Medicare does not cover health care costs outside the United States and its territories, except under limited circumstances in Canada and Mexico”
This short paragraph alone says it all. If you are on Medicare you DO NOT have coverage when you leave home. Many seniors today do have a Medicare Supplement that has limited benefits for International Travel but again they are very limited. For Example; Medicare Supplements typically cover emergencies up to $50,000 (lifetime benefit) and are subject to a $250 deductible and a 20% coinsurance. In addition you will more than likely be required to pay for any medical service up front and then when you get home you will be required to submit them to your insurance company (in English) for potential reimbursement. And, this is only for the first 60 days that you are outside the United States. Not much of a benefit!
The recent growth in travel health insurance is tied to greater consumer awareness of the health risks and insurance gaps. The simple fact is that most existing health insurance benefits shrink or disappear when travelers cross the U.S. border. As you can see from above, Medicare provides no protection overseas, while Medicare Supplements strictly limit benefits abroad. Critically, most policies do not pay to get you to a higher standard of care should you need to be evacuated due to a medical emergency. More and more senior travelers are becoming aware of the many gaps and limitations and are not leaving things to chance.
The best designed plans offer more than emergency benefits. They cover everything from hospitalization and surgery to physician office visits, ambulance services, and prescription medications. The premier plans make it a point to cover sickness or injury resulting from a pre-existing medical condition or a terrorist event without limitations. Some policies even pay medical providers overseas on a direct basis so you can avoid the paperwork hassles that come with filing a claim.
GeoBlue is one of these companies. GeoBlue is a recognized leader in International Health Insurance and medical assistance services, serving hundreds of thousands of world travelers annually. GeoBlue meets the highest expectations of quality. GeoBlue has set new standards for International Assistance Services and for applying stringent criteria when contracting with doctors and hospitals outside the U.S. GeoBlue members have access to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield network within the U.S. And most importantly GeoBlue International plans are offered in cooperation with certain local Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.
Global Access On Your Mobile Device
GeoBlue provides access to amazing tools and level of care via a Smartphone application which you download to your phone prior to departure. The GeoBlue mobile app called mMobile provides access to the best local doctors, hospitals and resources anywhere in the world. GeoBlue’s mMobile App helps you make the most of your travels by providing you with the tools to manage existing and unanticipated health conditions in faraway places where finding a doctor and explaining your symptoms should not be left to chance. mPassport brings you specific information and expert assistance to prepare and protect you no matter your destination and best of all it is FREE to all plan members.
Features of mMobile
- Search Providers for medical, dental, or meta health care. Mapping via GPS technology
- Request an appointment with a trusted HTH Worldwide or GeoBlue Provider
- Arrange Direct Pay
- Access Guarantees of Payment
- File a Claim via your phone
- Find a medication
- Destination Intelligence
- Translate Medicare terms and phrase.
- Display an ID Card on a smart phone and send copy directly to provider
- GeoBlue Mobile travels with your 24/7
Being a U.S. Citizen who plans to travel abroad now has the luxury of the best International Medical Insurance plans now available. Check their plans out and see if the power of Blue can make a difference in your travel plans.
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