So you’re traveling internationally. Now what? One of the most important things you should do is purchase an international medical insurance plan to cover you during your trip or extended stay abroad.
Don’t be afraid if you have questions or feel overwhelmed the first time you set out on your search for coverage. Before I knew IMG was my provider of choice, I had so many questions: What’s the difference between short-term and long-term plans? What do these insurance terms mean? What’s the best plan for me and where do I buy it? The list goes on.
In searching for the answers to these questions, I had dozens of tabs open on my computer, trying to sift through all of the information. The experience was exhausting, but I also learned what to look for when buying international medical insurance — both short-term and long-term plans.
To provide you a good starting point on your quest for coverage, here’s what I learned!
At first, I didn’t even realize there was a difference between these two types of coverage. It turns out that the benefits vary based on the type of plan you select, with long-term plans providing more options for coverage, including dental and vision benefits.
So first, identify:
In the past, I have been covered by two different plans from IMG and happily recommend them to my friends and family:
The Patriot Plan provides individual, family and group coverage usually for five days up to two years. I purchase this plan when I am going on a shorter trip and seeking overall coverage for accidents, illnesses or medical emergencies.
The Global Medical Insurance Plan provides continuous worldwide medical coverage to people who are living or working outside of their country of residence for one year or longer. This is one of my favorite plans that IMG offers. My husband and I have bought and used this plan three times while we lived abroad in Australia for most of two years and while traveling through Southeast Asia for a year.
I can still clearly remember reading and re-reading the benefit summaries when I first considered purchasing international coverage.
Overwhelmed at the time, I remember making several calls to IMG’s Customer Care department to learn the ins and outs of their plans. Every time I called, a friendly and helpful team member was able to answer my questions and explain unfamiliar terms to me so I could feel confident when purchasing coverage. That’s one of the many reasons I am such a loyal IMG customer.
Now, having learned from the experts, here’s what I look at when buying a plan:
In the age of the Internet, it’s easier than ever to look for reviews of a product. Do Web searches and look for travel forums. You can also post questions on sites like Trip Advisor and ask other travelers if they are happy with a company’s international medical insurance products.
The good news is when you are planning a big trip, researching international medical insurance is one chore you can do well in advance. Doing so will give you ample time to read, research and ask questions before making your purchase.
Each time I need to buy short-term or long-term coverage, I browse the marketplace to review my options, but nothing comes close to the coverage and competitive price of IMG’s plans. Every time I hop on a plane, I am so thankful to have coverage from IMG traveling with me.
For over a decade, Tiffany Soukup has traveled to more than 35 countries with her husband Chris, hiking into remote jungles, looking for endangered wildlife and seeking adventures.
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