Global Health Insurance Coverage Is Essential When Visiting a Foreign Country

When you’re on vacation, the goal is to have fun. Unfortunately, through a tragic set of events you are now in need of a quality insurance plan. For those who have planned ahead, there are no concerns because you are covered under global health insurance. If you’re not in a safe place, you will be flown to the closest hospital providing high-quality care. This ensures you’re taken care. No one can predict the future, but it will ease your mind when you know you’re covered. Insurance is there when we need it the most and it’s a safety net in case you fall seriously ill or in an accident while visiting a foreign country.

There are several things you should look for when trying to decide between different global health insurance plans. The first thing you should do is to go online and compare rates of the global plans. Get quotes from different companies, which helps ensure the best rate. It is suggested to never buy a plan from a site that only provides one plan. It’s better to go to one that offers a variety and all on equal footing. This protects your interests and helps you get the best health coverage.

The other thing to check before signing papers is to make sure the insurance firm provides full disclosure of the company’s staff and principals. This is an important verification because you don’t want to sign up for something that ends up not covering you properly or possibly not at all. The other verification is making sure the website has the Better Business Bureau (BBB) banner on its page. This shows quality service and care for its customers. Lastly, look at the company’s references and testimonials. These simple verifications will ensure you get quality global health insurance coverage.

Does Your Group Health Plan Cover Pregnancy for Your Adult Child?

Many parents were extremely happy when the health-care overhaul allowed their adult children to be covered under their health plans until their child reaches the age of 26. This includes if they’re married, living on their own and financially independent.

With an estimated 2.8 million women ages 15 through 25 getting pregnant annually, this expanded coverage window means that more adult children will likely become pregnant while on mom and dad’s plan.

Some parents have been in for a shock when they find out that this coverage does not include their daughter’s pregnancy.

A big misconception

Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, employers offering group health plans to 15 or more employees must provide maternity benefits for employees and their spouses.

However, they are not required to extend this benefit for those employee’s dependents.

What must be covered by some plans

New plans and plans that have lost their “grandfathered” status have a different set of rules they must abide by.

While the pregnancy and delivery itself are not covered, by law certain preventative health benefits must be offered to young pregnant women covered under their parent’s plan.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force stipulates that a range of screenings for pregnant women – including those for anemia, hepatitis B and Rh incompatibility – must be covered.

Additionally, effective this month these plans must also provide an annual well-woman visit, screening for gestational diabetes and breast-feeding support, supplies and counseling.

The future

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 requires that health insurance plans sold to individuals and small businesses provide a minimum package of services in 10 categories called “essential health benefits.” These include hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, ambulatory care, and prescription drugs.

As a result, starting in 2014, maternity and newborn care must be offered by all health plans in the individual and small-group markets.

This law will also apply to any plans sold through the state-based health insurance exchanges that should be up and running then.

Who does the new law not apply to?

Because health benefits at large companies are typically more comprehensive than those at small companies or individual plans, large group plans are exempt from the requirement to provide the essential health benefits, now or in 2014.

Women’s health advocates are hoping that large companies will offer these essential health benefits, including maternity and newborn care voluntarily.

Additionally, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will not be establishing a national standard. Rather, they have decided to allow each state to choose from a set of plans to serve as the benchmark plan in their state. Whatever benefits that plan covers in the 10 categories will be deemed the essential benefits for plans in the state.

This may or may not include maternity and newborn care.

What Is Maternity Health Insurance? How It Works

Maternity is that period in a woman’s life when she becomes a mother. This process is quite complicated and the slightest can lead to the death of both mother and child. To repeat my words, health insurance can be complicated. The things you have to look for are what’s my deductible and what’s my copay? These questions are required when you are buying a new policy or going through your policy. Copay or copayment is a payment defined in the insurance policy and paid by the insured person each time a medical service is accessed.

What you need to keep in mind is the fact that most maternity related expenses are not related to the normal benefits of a health insurance policy. The expenses incurred in pre-natal care, delivery, and post-delivery care is not covered expenses under the normal health plan. The next thing you have to remember is that of you are already pregnant and you apply for a health insurance policy, then you won’t get maternity insurance as an additional cover. The only option is to try for state assistance.

There is one more thing one needs to keep in mind and that is that this kind of insurance does not come cheap. That’s the reason why as you grow older and if you have an incurable illness then you will be charged a higher premium on your insurance policy because the insurance company stands the risk of bankruptcy if they get 100 claims which are similar in nature.

One more thing to remember is that nobody goes for maternity insurance unless that person is planning to get pregnant in the future. That’s the second reason why maternity insurance is costly.

Maternity insurance covers the costs of pregnancy and delivery. There are two ways in which maternity insurance works. The first method which is adopted by most insurance companies is subjecting maternity benefits to a maternity deductible separate from the normal medical deductible. Besides that, maternity benefits are pretty normal. If you break your hand, then the claim will apply to your medical deductible. Though the cost of a routine pregnancy is $4000 to $6500, the maternity deductible runs to $10,000. There is a benefit behind having such a high maternity deductible.

In any case, covered expenses get negotiated rates, whereas non covered expenses get the full amount. For example, if you go to the emergency room and don’t have health insurance, you will have to pay the full $4000 whereas if you have health insurance, you will get the amount negotiated between the hospital and the insurance company, which could be anywhere between $2400 to $3200. The second way is that which has been used by United Health Care’s individual division, the Golden Rule. In this rule, you get first dollar benefits, meaning you don’t have to meet a deductible before your insurance starts paying benefits.

Purchasing Health Insurance Coverage – The Agent’s Role

Purchasing health insurance can be frustrating without proper guidance. After all, there are several carriers offering coverage and several plans offered by those same carriers. How do you sort through all of your options, but still end up with medical insurance that suits your needs? By using a knowledgeable agent, you should find the process to be simple and painless.

Use an Agent to Purchase Health Insurance

You may balk at this idea right off the bat, but read on. The first thing you should know is that health insurance prices are controlled by law. Simply put, no agent (or carrier for that matter) can undercut any of their competitors. Everyone sells the exact same plans at the exact same prices. You only need to choose an agent or agency you are comfortable with.

Taking this a step further, you save no money when you buy direct from the carrier – none at all. However, if you use an independent agent, you will gain their expertise and knowledge about several carriers like Aetna, Anthem, Assurant, United Healthcare, and Humana for example. And when you have questions, you only need to contact your agent, not spend 30 minutes on hold with the carrier.

Copay or not to Copay

The office copay option is one that you should discuss with your chosen insurance representative almost immediately. By choosing whether or not you want a doctor’s office copay associated with your coverage, you can immediately narrow down your choices. If you would rather pay for doctors visits out of your own pocket, you should consider a health savings account qualified plan. This way, you can use all the tax advantages associated with the savings account that is coupled with your high deductible health insurance coverage.

If you like the idea of only paying a $25 or $35 copay for an office visit, then you should consider more traditional coverage that offers this first dollar benefit. Those who often frequent the doctor or have young children may benefit the most from these types of plans. And all reputable carriers offer plans with and without a copay option.

Maternity Coverage

Those who need maternity coverage as part of their individual or family health insurance will find suitable plans as well. It is important to note that not all carriers offer maternity coverage and most have a waiting period that must be satisfied before conception. The shortest wait is usually three months for a comprehensive maternity rider.

Put another way, you cannot purchase health insurance if you are already pregnant – you must plan ahead. When specialty riders like maternity are needed, then this is also a good time to speak with your trusted agent. You will find that pregnancy coverage can differ dramatically between companies. Your agent can help explain the vast differences between each carrier.

Underwriting Procedures

Purchasing health insurance is the easy part, but underwriting you or your family can take time. If you need health insurance in January, it is wise to begin the process in early December at the latest. Your agent can help you through this process while also speeding up the underwriting process. The agent’s role as intermediary is to let you know what is still needed by the insurance carrier.

Oftentimes, insurance carriers will ask for your medical records and this can take some time. Your representative will let you know what forms you need and how to easily persuade your doctor’s office to release any needed information. However, if you are in perfect health, then many carriers will provide coverage almost immediately.

In summary, if you need to purchase major medical insurance then you should first find an agent who is knowledgeable about the plans offered in your area. Tell them your needs, budget, and anything else that is relevant to your situation. Ask about copay options, maternity coverage, and underwriting to make sure that you understand the benefits and limitations associated with the chosen coverage. And finally, when you receive your policy, it’s a good idea to read and then contact your agent with any questions.