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International Health Insurance for Study Abroad

TS0104TS0104 1135 replies29 threads Senior Member
Hello! It looks like I will need to purchase a supplemental policy for my kids' study abroad trips. My high schooler is going for one week, Spring Break, to France, and my college daughter is doing a 5 week summer in France.

My health insurance is giving me conflicting answers, so I figure I better look into doing this on my own.

Any tips on how to purchase? I found one company, Atlas, on this board but the post was 8 years old. For the spring break trip, can I really purchase coverage for one week?

Thank you!
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Replies to: International Health Insurance for Study Abroad

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 8819 replies85 threads Senior Member
    My daughter is going abroad to Italy with her college. Part of the cost was for travel insurance, but the university set that up. I would have your college daughter did deeper into that with her university.

    I can't help you with the shorter trip. Our regular health insurance covers us for trip abroad. If you are getting conflicting answers, can your HR office help clarify (if your insurance is through your employer)? .
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  • TS0104TS0104 1135 replies29 threads Senior Member
    EDIT: For the high schooler one week trip, the company website (Worldstrides) says that coverage is included, but the parents were told to make sure we have medical evacuation coverage. So I am checking with the school too. Conflicting info all over! But I will still take recommendations for third party coverage just in case we need that. Thanks!
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 5506 replies25 threads Senior Member
    Your university should have connections with travel insurance. Alway contact your current carrier first since they might have a plan that is connected to them... Funny my son is looking at an engineering program in France also so we are just getting information now about it. But I think travel insurance is also part of it.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 5506 replies25 threads Senior Member
    We have blue cross and just looked this up. I am pretty sure this is the plan that Michigan is using also for his trip.

    https://www.geobluetravelinsurance.com/product_overview.cfm
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  • MaterSMaterS 1839 replies51 threads Senior Member
    My children went abroad with private schools. There was no extra charge for health insurance.

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  • TS0104TS0104 1135 replies29 threads Senior Member
    Thanks all! A miracle happened...my health insurance called me back and said she made a mistake, we do have emergency coverage while out of the country. I will still check with the college study abroad office, then I feel like we would be double covered for each trip.
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  • mommdcmommdc 11786 replies31 threads Senior Member
    What about travel insurance?
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  • AcersaccharumAcersaccharum 291 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I was just looking into this for a graduation trip. I found this Forbes article with links to several trip insurance search engines:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/christopherelliott/2018/08/19/the-best-place-to-buy-travel-insurance-for-your-next-vacation/amp/

    We have United Healthcare and they offer some additional coverage at a fairly reasonable price for the family. I was also told to check credit card companies, but mine didn’t offer anything.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23864 replies17 threads Senior Member
    TravelGuard should work for such short trips.
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  • compmomcompmom 11152 replies78 threads Senior Member
    For anyone needing travel/ emergency insurance abroad, look at the site “ Squsremouth” which uses your info to filter through many companies and plans for the best one for you.
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  • LuckyCharms913LuckyCharms913 1079 replies15 threads Senior Member
    My D’s semester abroad (college junior) required additional insurance which was purchased through the school. It turned out to be very valuable as she broke a bone about 10 days before she was due to return home. She was treated at a hospital in Spain but they advised that she be examined again when she returned home. D ended up needing surgery which was covered by the school policy (anything within the first month of returning home related to an injury incurred while abroad was covered). We have a HDHP and would have spent at least $7,500 from our HSA if the surgery had been charged to our family plan (procedure plus follow up was $15,000+ and could have been more if PT was needed).

    I hope you have no need of it, but a supplemental policy (hers was about $650 for 5 months; should be considerably less for 5 weeks) that kicks in before your own coverage may be well worth it.
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  • compmomcompmom 11152 replies78 threads Senior Member
    Just want to say that study abroad is a problem for kids with preexisting conditions, due to insurance barriers. Also, insurance offered by the Fulbrights and other prestigious awards do not provide health insurance options that are adequate for people with health issues.
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  • oldfortoldfort 23127 replies295 threads Senior Member
    edited February 2019
    Most insurances cover emergency medical care abroad, but do not cover medical evacuation, and the the care is treated as in network, so you would just need to pay you in network co-pay.
    D2 was very very sick while we were traveling in Thailand. She had to stay at a hospital for few days. Our insurance from home paid for everything. I just had to call them to let them where we were and her diagnosis. I paid out of pocket and filed the claim when I returned.
    Both times when my kids studied abroad, Australia and UK, they were required to pay for local (school or country, do not remember) medical insurance and it was very in-expensive.
    edited February 2019
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23864 replies17 threads Senior Member
    You received good news from your primary carrier so you don't have to worry. However, these are both short trips and could be covered with travel insurance.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 3362 replies63 threads Senior Member
    The most cost effective medical evacuation insurance I have found is Divers Alert Network (DAN). It evacuates divers and non-divers from anywhere in the world. They also offer trip/travel insurance. https://www.diversalertnetwork.org/insurance/
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  • compmomcompmom 11152 replies78 threads Senior Member
    squaremouth.com will filter plans and find the right one....they helped us enable a kid with health issues to go abroad for the summer, at least....
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  • bluebayoubluebayou 27142 replies177 threads Senior Member
    as an aside, make sure that you parents (of traveling kids) have up-to-date passports.

    I remember a few years ago when a student got into an accident while in Europe and the parents did not have a current passport to get over there. They had to go down to the passport office and wait in line all day for an emergency issue.
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  • blossomblossom 10179 replies9 threads Senior Member
    And to add to BlueBayou's excellent post- do NOT keep your passports in a safe deposit box at your trusty local bank.

    I have a neighbor whose passport was in the bank over a three day weekend, legal holiday, when the bank was closed.

    You don't need to leave your passport on your kitchen table, but it needs to be accessible 24/7 if you have a kid overseas. And check to make sure the date on the passport- you will not be allowed to board the plane if your passport is expiring soon. Your kid may not be critically ill- but even a broken leg, and access to exceptional medical care locally, etc- might require a parent to show up to help the kid pack and come home.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 5506 replies25 threads Senior Member
    We made sure both kids overseas took pictures of their passports and uploaded them and gave us electronic copies. So if their phones got stolen or broke (happened to my daughter), they had an emergency copy. They also had extra copies with them... Just in case. Same with insurance cards etc that were important.
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  • TS0104TS0104 1135 replies29 threads Senior Member
    Thank you guys for the tips on passports. The high school trip does require a couple of copies of the passports and recommends that we have one. And we keep ours accessible....once before a trip, THANK GOD I decided to get the passports out a few days early, we keep them in a lockbox and home and the lock broke while I was opening it!!! If this had been the night before we would have been super stressed out.
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