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Medical Travel Insurance or International Health Insurance?


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My friends, a US couple in their late 60's, are planning on visiting me in the new year. They have Medicare so they will not have medical insurance coverage while in Thailand. I've done a bit of research for them but am at a loss to find exactly what they are looking for. First, they are not interested in the non-medical travel insurance coverage like lost luggage, trip cancellation, etc. but if left with no choice they will accept it. Second, they are looking for more than emergency medical insurance, more like full medical coverage while they are here. As far as pre-conditions both are type 2 diabetic but otherwise in good health.

 

They expect to come on a 60 day tourist visa and may extend another 30 days, so they may need up to 90 day coverage. It would be a bonus if it included the required COVID coverage but they can always buy a separate Thai policy for that.

 

I have searched for short term international health insurance as this seems more like what they need. However, most of the search results seem to actually be travel insurance. As real international health insurance may require a minimum term of one year I was wondering if one could cancel such a policy after 3 months.

 

In any case my friends are less concerned with the cost of the policy than with the extent of the medical coverage. Is anyone aware of any insurance like this? How about non-US based international health policies like European policies that accept US citizen policy holders?

 

I am assuming no decent Thai policies are available. Is this correct?

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Aetna, Axa and some others have Thai medical.  If they want decent coverage it will cost them due to their age and Diabetes possibly one year 3,000 USD each.

 

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Low cost, comprehensive health insurance for someone approaching 70 with a pre-existing condition really does not exist. Covid insurance is doable, but comprehensive is unrealistic. In their situations, they should consider coming as tourists (where no comprehensive insurance, just Covid insurance) is needed, and add a travel insurance policy that at least covers against accident.

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9 hours ago, grin said:

First, they are not interested in the non-medical travel insurance coverage like lost luggage, trip cancellation, etc. but if left with no choice they will accept it.

All this cover comes along with the medical cover they require - just declare the pre-existing condition.  They should buy it as soon as they make their booking.

Edited by treetops
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12 hours ago, grin said:

I have searched for short term international health insurance as this seems more like what they need. However, most of the search results seem to actually be travel insurance. As real international health insurance may require a minimum term of one year I was wondering if one could cancel such a policy after 3 months.

Having been where your coming from, what I have found is that if they take out a 12 month health policy and get admitted to hospital, it could be a way out for the provider of the policy as international health insurance policies are for visa holders or long term expats on 12 monthly extensions.

 

Travel insurance on the other hand is there for that reason and a heck of a lot cheaper than an international health insurance policy.

 

I have an international health insurance policy here as I am on a 12 monthly extension as an expat, however when I do travel abroad, I take out travel insurance, even though my international health insurance policy covers me in my home country for up to 90 days for an emergency.

 

You can't have enough cover, but it pays to have the right cover and the right policy as the last thing you want is the fine print stating that you must be moving overseas or are there on a visa or 12 monthly extension and you missed it all together.

 

Long of the short I recommend good travel insurance coverage disclosing that they are type 2 diabetics and if there bags go missing or flights cancelled, well that might prove to be in there favour. 

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2 hours ago, 4MyEgo said:

Having been where your coming from, what I have found is that if they take out a 12 month health policy and get admitted to hospital, it could be a way out for the provider of the policy as international health insurance policies are for visa holders or long term expats on 12 monthly extensions.

 

Travel insurance on the other hand is there for that reason and a heck of a lot cheaper than an international health insurance policy.

 

I have an international health insurance policy here as I am on a 12 monthly extension as an expat, however when I do travel abroad, I take out travel insurance, even though my international health insurance policy covers me in my home country for up to 90 days for an emergency.

 

You can't have enough cover, but it pays to have the right cover and the right policy as the last thing you want is the fine print stating that you must be moving overseas or are there on a visa or 12 monthly extension and you missed it all together.

 

Long of the short I recommend good travel insurance coverage disclosing that they are type 2 diabetics and if there bags go missing or flights cancelled, well that might prove to be in there favour. 

Need to be sure your health and travel insurance don't overlap as double indemnity is not allowed ie each insurer telling you to claim from the other hence no cover

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2 hours ago, chilly07 said:

Need to be sure your health and travel insurance don't overlap as double indemnity is not allowed ie each insurer telling you to claim from the other hence no cover

Travel insurance will do. Covers emergency like heart problems. If you need elective surgery just fly back home flight cost covered by travel policy. In most cases you'd be repatriated home anyway.

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3 hours ago, chilly07 said:

Need to be sure your health and travel insurance don't overlap as double indemnity is not allowed ie each insurer telling you to claim from the other hence no cover

Double indemnity is when clauses stipulate that the insurance carrier agrees to pay twice the policy limit amount in the event of an accidental death, they do not apply to health insurance.  You are thinking of coordination of benefits (which insurance is primary, which secondary) when you have multiple insurance plans that could cover a claim.

Double Indemnity (1944) is a fantastic film-noir, highly recommended.

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18 hours ago, grin said:

It would be a bonus if it included the required COVID coverage but they can always buy a separate Thai policy for that.

 

I always get the AXA Sawatdee Policy when coming back in to Thailand. Its not just for covid, its accident and sickness including covid 19, and also covers for asymptomatic hospitalization (which is guaranteed to happen should a person fail their covid test)

 

https://www.axa.co.th/en/axa-sawasdee-thailand-travel-insurance

 

The devil is in the details and pre-existing conditions are probably excluded, but its a decent enough policy that should cover the bases. 

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21 hours ago, grin said:

non-medical travel insurance coverage like lost luggage, trip cancellation,

Thats usually covered by a descent credit card.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Sheryl said:

 

BUPA Thailand is now Aetna Thailand. They used to have a short term policy (called "Sunshine") for people here temporarily but it is no longer in their website (likely no market for it since COVID) and in any case it had a lot of exclusions including all pre-e4xisting conditions.

 

OP I do not think any Thai-issued policy will be feasible given their age,  diabetes and short time frame.

 

Best to contact a broker specializing in expat health insurance, I suggest AA  www.aainsure.net

 

May well need to settle for a Travel policy. These will generally include both cover for things like lost luggage and medical care. You can't skip the lost luggage/trip cancellation biut and anyway that is a minimal part of the cost.

 

Some travel policies will cover "acute exacerbations" of chronic (pre-existing) conditions. It will cover only emergency and urgent care (i.e. things that cannot wait until after the trip) and the insurter has the option of paying for care in country of supporting a return home (whatever extra costs that entails, and provided medically fit to travel) But see what AA says.

 

They might also like to look here  https://www.forbes.com/advisor/travel-insurance/best-senior-travel-insurance/

Good info. Good advice

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On 10/23/2021 at 12:02 AM, The Hammer2021 said:

Consider BUPA International

or BUPA Thailand

or Thai life

 

Could be wrong but I thought Bupa Thailand no longer exists Aetna took them over

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