If you’re a student, recent graduate, or a
teacher, and purchase an identity card from
Council on International Educational
Exchange (CIEE) you are automatically covered by a basic policy, including
sickness, accident, and evacuation. The card itself is worth the cost (under $20)
because of the discounts available worldwide at museums, etc. However, the
insurance coverage is basic, with only $3,000 accident related medical
reimbursement and $100/day for 60 days illness protection. Emergency Medical
Evacuation coverage is $25,000. (CIEE, 205 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017
or check the phone book for a local Council Travel office. Council Travel also
specializes in cut-rate airline fares for students.)
If you’re self-employed and insured, also check your policy. Self-employed health
coverage tends to offer good coverage due to the international nature of
entrepreneurs in the global age.
HighwayHealth.com sells a large variety of policies that fit just about any traveller's need, and in fact they are the sponser of this page.
If you plan to study in Germany, a good recommendation is Wasita, a health insurance provider for international students in that country.
An excellent policy is administered by Wallach and Company. It is a serious health policy,
with coverage up to US$500,000 for accidents and sickness. It also includes
medical evacuation coverage. There are exclusions, however, including
pre-existing conditions. Also, coverage is very limited in your home country.
(The policy was not meant to substitute for health coverage at home.) Coverage
for a married couple begins at about $150/month, but can vary depending on your
age, itinerary, etc. Walkabouts in the third world cost more, for example.
Champion Insurance Advantage (800) 643-4675
works with Wallach and Company. They also offer policies for international visitors to the USA, and long-term coverage for individuals from any country traveling outside their home country.
Other international health carriers include TravMed (800-732-5309) which offers $100,000 coverage at $3.50 a day, but with a maximum of 70 days per Walkabout. ASA Incorporated
(602-968-0440) offers both international health and disability insurance, but only
gives individual quotes.
Whether you choose to get insurance or not, all travellers should join
IAMAT. (International Association for Medical Assitance to Travellers.) IAMAT is a non-profit organization dedicated to the gathering and dissemination of health information worldwide for the benefit of travellers and to assist them to find qualified medical care overseas. IAMAT offers its members a membership card, a directory of English speaking physicians who have agreed to treat members for a set fee schedule, and frequently updated publications on immunizations, malaria and other tropical diseases, and more. Membership is free to any traveller, but donations are appreciated. (716) 754-4883.
Although not a health insurance plan,
Lifeguard Emergency Travel (817-740-1247)
offers excellent benefits for the frequent traveler for $138 annually. ($225 for a couple, $259 for family. Lifeguard has also been offering a 20% discount for online orders.) Lifeguard’s
coverage also includes legal assistance, transportation of escort, return for
minor children if you require medical evacuation, vehicle return, and other
coverages. International SOS Assistance (800-523-8930) offers similar coverage
for the less regular traveler, beginning at $55.00 for an individual traveling two
weeks. CSA sells insurance to cover you if you cannot go on a tour you have booked.
Walkabout Travel Gear doesn’t endorse any of the insurance plans mentioned. (But does recommending joining IAMAT.) We’re just trying to help. We recommend shopping around and thoroughly reading both the big and little print of any policy you choose. And be careful while exploring the planet.
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