Coronavirus and Global Health Insurance Benefits
As brokers in international health insurance, we work with thousands of expatriates and international citizens every month. Recently, our clients are more concerned than ever and, as a result, our jobs have become more important than ever. Advising clients on Coronavirus and international insurance coverage and answering their questions is crucial at this time. Is the Coronavirus covered? Is Covid-19 testing covered while abroad? How do I get access to testing? Here are some answers
To be clear – International Health Insurance plans are not the same as Travel Insurance Plans. Travel Insurance plans are designed for short term emergency coverage and insure things like lost luggage and trip costs. International Health Insurance plans provide comprehensive medical benefits and are annually renewable, sometimes for life. Therefore, it is important clients pick the right plan from the start. The below guidance is related to International Health Insurance plans.
Is Covid-19 Covered in an International Health Insurance Plan
The first question: Is Coronavirus, or Covid-19, covered in a global health plan? The short answer is yes. The safe answer is probably. If you are covered and get sick, most major plans will treat the illness as any other illness. So you will be covered for the Coronavirus in the same way you would be treated for the flu or a cold. As long as you purchased a plan with inpatient and outpatient coverage, your plan should cover your Covid-19 treatment. The best answer is to check with your agent or review the terms of your policy to be sure. Here is Cigna Global’s policy from their website:: “Cigna medical plans cover medically necessary claims related to infectious diseases and medical conditions per the terms of the medical plan.”
“An agent is crucial in the process of choosing an insurer and finding the right coverage for your specific needs” says Joe Cronin, President of International Citizens Insurance. “An expert broker can answer your questions about global health plans – even some you may not realize you had.”
Will Global Insurance Plans Cover Coronavirus Testing
Second: Will a Global Health Insurance plan cover testing? Again, most companies will cover this benefit. However, they will most likely require that you have a doctor certify your symptoms and refer you to testing. Most plans will not cover a test if you are asymptomatic. GeoBlue, as an example, provides “coverage, with no cost-share, for diagnostic testing for the virus, known officially as COVID-19, consistent with U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.”
How to Access Doctors and Hospitals Through an International Health Insurance Plan
Finally, a third question: How do international clients access healthcare or get a doctor’s referral for testing without leaving home? You should make sure you get to a doctor or clinic if you have symptoms. Take all precautions and get to a hospital as soon as possible. One newer option that international insurers are offering is Telemedicine. One insurer, Aetna International, is offering: “…telemedicine appointments for any reason, without a co-pay, from anywhere in the world.” Telemedicine services provide remote access to an insurer’s global network of licensed doctors by telephone or video without needing to leave your home or office.
Finally, what happens with the Coronavirus is largely up to us. We have a blueprint for reducing the spread and keeping the curve flat. Practice Social Distancing. Wash Your Hands. Wear a Face-mask when possible. Follow safety guidelines and be safe.
- The flexibility to tailor a plan to suit your individual needs
- Access to Cigna Global’s network of trusted hospitals, clinics, and doctors
- The convenience and confidence of 24/7/365 customer service
- Fortune 100 company with more than 800,000 members
- Access to Annual Health Exams & Medications
- Coverage for Covid-19, Ask about 20% Discount in May and June