How to Buy Travel Medical Insurance for a Year Abroad


Maybe it's a trip around the world, or a wish to truly immerse yourself in another culture. Perhaps it's a test run towards a full-time move. Whatever the reason, travelers sometimes find themselves planning a trip that goes beyond a single suitcase.

And, when prepping for this new adventure, the question of “What do I do about travel insurance for an entire year?" arises. Do such policies even exist? The answer is yes.

Why is international travel medical insurance important?

Many U.S.-based health care policies offer limited or no coverage to policyholders who travel outside of their home country. Should a medical issue occur while abroad, whether it's strep throat, bringing on a need for antibiotics, or something more critical, like emergency surgery, the cost of procuring healthcare can be detrimental. And not knowing where to turn in a time of crisis adds to the problem itself.

So, what are my best options?

Tokio Marine HCC - MIS Group (TM HCC - MIS) offers Atlas Travel, a series of travel medical policies that provide customizable coverage (five-day minimum) to those traveling outside of their home country.

For non-U.S. citizens or residents whose travel does not include the U.S. or U.S. territories, the maximum coverage duration is 365 days. After the initial purchase, non-U.S. citizens or residents may renew coverage for up to 2 additional coverage periods (coverage renewal requires satisfaction of a new deductible and coinsurance).

For all other travelers, the maximum duration is 364 days, and coverage is not renewable.

Purchasing an Atlas Travel medical insurance policy brings with it a myriad of benefits, not the least of which is peace of mind. Right off the bat, 24/7 emergency services and a wide international provider network are included.

In fact, Tokio Marine HCC - MIS Group maintains worldwide relationships with hospitals and doctors in 130 countries and territories through Equian, an international provider network that helps insured travelers locate the proper healthcare during travel.

What kinds of benefits do Atlas Travel policies provide?

Travel medical insurance tends to be affordable, and it's important that all global travelers consider coverage for major medical emergencies.

Anticipating travel to a remote area? An Emergency Medical Evacuation benefit ($1,000,000 lifetime maximum) can cover the cost of transporting you "from a facility that is inadequate to a hospital that is better suited to give you the most appropriate care," notes On Call International.

And, should you need an emergency medical evacuation, Emergency Reunion and Bedside Visit benefits would include the cost of economy round-trip air or ground transportation, along with up to 15 days of meals and lodging (for one relative).

After all, a little comfort from home can speed healing, allowing for a year's-worth of adventures abroad to get back on track.

Here are just a few more benefits offered through Atlas Travel:

  • Local Ambulance 
  • Hospital Room and Board 
  • Intensive Care Unit 
  • Terrorism 
  • Political Evacuation
  • Personal Liability
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment 
  • Repatriation of Remains
  • Personal Liability 
  • Crisis Response

Atlas Travel policies also offer benefits typical of standard travel insurance, including:

  • Trip Interruption
  • Lost Checked Luggage
  • Travel Delay

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What's the best fit when it comes to choosing a plan?

The traveler decides. Rather than one-size-fits-all policies, travelers can choose coverage structured towards their specific needs.

Atlas Travel policies are available to travelers as young as 14 days old. They come with some standard elements, such as deductibles, which range from $0 to $2,500 per Certificate Period. As with traditional insurance policies, a higher deductible results in lower premiums and vice versa.

There are also maximums per injury or illness per certificate period, depending on the traveler's age. Atlas Travel policy holders under age 70 may select the Overall Maximum Limit, ranging from $50,000 to $2,000,000. The Overall Maximum Limit for members age 70 to 79 is $50,000 or $100,000. Policyholders age 80 and older have an Overall Maximum limit of $10,000.

With Atlas Premium, policy holders under age 70 still have an Overall Maximum Coverage (per injury or illness or per certificate period) up to $2,000,000. And while the Overall Maximum Limit for members age 70 to 79 also remains at $50,000 or $100,000, the Overall Maximum for individuals age 80 or older increases from $10,000 to $20,000.

The following benefits are not subject to the coverage maximums listed above:

  • Emergency Medical Evacuation
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment
  • Common Carrier Accidental Death
  • Personal Liability
  • Crisis Response

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What kinds of things are not covered under an Atlas Travel policy?

When choosing the right policy, reading the fine print is vital. For example, Atlas Travel does not cover pre-existing conditions, except charges resulting directly from an acute onset of pre-existing condition subject to the limits, terms and conditions set forth in the policy.

Other exclusions include:

  • Routine medical examinations
  • Routine pre-natal care, pregnancy, child birth, and post-natal care
  • Medical expenses for injury or illness resulting from participation in some extreme sports (those specifically excluded in the policy wording)
  • Injury due to the effects of intoxication or drugs (other than drugs taken in accordance with treatment prescribed by a physician)

For a full list of exclusions, see page 22 of the Atlas Travel Description of Coverage.


Topics: insurance long-term travel travel international travel work abroad