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Traveler's health insurance for 15 month tour

Old 02-20-23, 06:29 PM
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Yan 
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Traveler's health insurance for 15 month tour

Anyone have recommendations for traveler's insurance for a 1+ year world tour?
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Old 02-21-23, 01:56 AM
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traveler insurance is not health insurance?
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Old 02-21-23, 06:46 AM
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No explicit recommendations, but here is what I looked at and ended up with in 2016/2017 for an 18 month trip.

Insurance seems to be very country dependent, both the country you are from and the countries visited. For example, on a previous 10 month trip, I traveled half a year with someone from a country with a national health insurance system (Netherlands). She ended up buying a rider policy from the Netherlands just for the traveling portion.

US health costs can be very high and health insurance was a patchwork and at the time had a "mandate" to also have insurance. At the time, I figured out the rules would let me not have that mandate because I would have been outside the US long enough (something like only being in the US five weeks in a year - though it is moot point now w/o such a mandate). The other considerations I had were that most of these insurance policies had an emergency evacuation policy and many of these countries had a visa limit that after 30, 90, 180 days I would need to leave if I had an issue. For example, the least expensive option for an insurer might be fly me back to the US where unless I paid a large rider I wouldn't be covered by their policy. The other consideration was that basic care in many of these countries might be considerably less, even if I paid out of pocket.

So I looked at a few policies and was fortunate that I could afford to be a little more cautious and safe than sorry. The leading contenders I had for travel insurance were a policy from World Nomads and one from IMG Global. The IMG Global one seemed to be a little more "premium" both in terms of cost and some coverage that I wasn't sure I would use. So I ended up with a basic World Nomads policy. The other consideration I had was whether to continue my US-based employer insurance under Cobra. That added more costs but in the end, decided to be cautious since in the most costly situations that is likely where I would end up. I did tweak that policy choices to increase deductible and bias more towards catastrophic coverage.

I was fortunate during my trip to not need much in the way of health coverage. The worst was a painful saddle sore I developed in Ecuador that was keeping me from riding. I tried a rest day but on second day walked through the part of the city I was in where I saw a large hospital. That particular one was a subsidized one for Ecuador residents but they pointed me at a nearby pay clinic that would take foreigners. For a little less than $100, ended up treated that let me continue my trip from there. So I never really tested either of these policies but better safe than sorry.

If I were going to do things again, I wouldn't end up with double coverage of both a travel policy and Cobra back in the US. The US laws concerning coverage have also changed. So I would probably instead look for a policy that covered me overseas similar to the World Nomads policy I had. I would then look at how much I needed to be outside the US to avoid coverage costs while also more carefully understanding the transition time or coverage options if I ended up with something requiring more extended treatment in a way that interrupted my travels.

Again, that picture might be very different if other countries are involved...
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Old 02-21-23, 07:45 AM
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Since you do not give your nationality or where you are going, do you expect valid advice?

As an American, I used to just rely on Global Rescue policy in case something really bad happened. If I had a boo-boo or just need antibiotics, my plan was pay out of pocket because the countries visited had relatively low costs for medical care. Also my insurance in the US would reimburse me for emergency care upon return. My decision not to buy a regular global health plan was partly due to the abysmal reviews on said plans. I am interested in learning of a better choice because now as an official old fart on Medicare, it does not provide any international coverage.
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Old 02-21-23, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Yan View Post
Anyone have recommendations for traveler's insurance for a 1+ year world tour?
I have travel insurance for my work. I believe what I have is Atlas Multi trip. They have different versions for longer duration trips. I'd look up the info but I'm at sea headed from Hawaii to Guam and the internet isn't the best.
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Old 02-21-23, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeLite View Post
traveler insurance is not health insurance?
I'm looking for traveler's HEALTH insurance.

Regular traveler's insurance is for cancelled flights, lost baggage, etc. I will be on a bicycle so these things are irrelevant. I need health insurance in case I get hit by a car and have to spend 3 months in the hospital in a foreign country.

Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Since you do not give your nationality or where you are going, do you expect valid advice?

As an American, I used to just rely on Global Rescue policy in case something really bad happened. If I had a boo-boo or just need antibiotics, my plan was pay out of pocket because the countries visited had relatively low costs for medical care. Also my insurance in the US would reimburse me for emergency care upon return. My decision not to buy a regular global health plan was partly due to the abysmal reviews on said plans. I am interested in learning of a better choice because now as an official old fart on Medicare, it does not provide any international coverage.
As I said, it's a world tour. Hard to give an answer. I'll be traveling to 30+ countries during 1.5 years. Not sure which of the 30 would be considered the main destination. Some of the 30 will be wealthy western countries so paying out of pocket after being hit by a car would not be a good idea.

I won't have insurance in the US. I'm quitting my job because I will be bicycling for 18 months. When you did your tour, you still paid out of pocket to maintain regular health insurance at home in the US?

Last edited by Yan; 02-21-23 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 02-21-23, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Yan View Post
I'm looking for traveler's HEALTH insurance.

Regular traveler's insurance is for cancelled flights, lost baggage, etc. I will be on a bicycle so these things are irrelevant. I need health insurance in case I get hit by a car and have to spend 3 months in the hospital in a foreign country.



As I said, it's a world tour. Hard to give an answer. I'll be traveling to 30+ countries during 1.5 years. Not sure which of the 30 would be considered the main destination. Some of the 30 will be wealthy western countries so paying out of pocket after being hit by a car would not be a good idea.

I won't have insurance in the US. I'm quitting my job because I will be bicycling for 18 months. When you did your tour, you still paid out of pocket to maintain regular health insurance at home in the US?
6 months was the longest on the road for me. I have always had health insurance in the USA but nowadays post Obamacare, that is not always feasible. If your income is low enough, you would qualify for subsidies on healthcare.gov where you could also shop for insurance plans. What I do not know is whether plans in your home state provide coverage outside the USA. Like I said, my old plan would have reimburse me if I needed coverage outside the USA.

Prices of medical care in some western countries are reasonable. Not in the USA of course. Sorry not to help much. If I were young and had no money, I might not spend it on health insurance but if you want insurance, I cannot imagine it will be cheap.
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Old 02-22-23, 03:44 AM
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Have a look for backpacker or gap year travel insurance. Itís designed for long periods of time on the road, doesnít really provide for particularly expensive possessions, but gives you enough health and repatriation cover to get by. As always, check the small print around exactly what sports a policy covers (most consider cycle touring, compared with mountain biking, to be a low risk) and if thereís any requirements for helmets etc.
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Old 02-22-23, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Yan View Post
I'm looking for traveler's HEALTH insurance.

Regular traveler's insurance is for cancelled flights, lost baggage, etc. I will be on a bicycle so these things are irrelevant. I need health insurance in case I get hit by a car and have to spend 3 months in the hospital in a foreign country.



As I said, it's a world tour. Hard to give an answer. I'll be traveling to 30+ countries during 1.5 years. Not sure which of the 30 would be considered the main destination. Some of the 30 will be wealthy western countries so paying out of pocket after being hit by a car would not be a good idea.

I won't have insurance in the US. I'm quitting my job because I will be bicycling for 18 months. When you did your tour, you still paid out of pocket to maintain regular health insurance at home in the US?
Insurance like Atlas covers your health needs, lost baggage, gives you life insurance, liability insurance, evacuation coverage, etc. I have used their insurance for close to 20 years. I get their multi trip option, but they have other options. Don't count on insurance from the US covering you out of the country. As someone who travels all the time, most won't cover a lot out of the country, especially after the ACA. My old insurance, pre-ACA covered me out of the country, but post-ACA it doesn't. It doesn't even cover much out of state. Even when my regular insurance covered me out of the country, it wouldn't cover many expenses you might have outside the country, like emergency travel due to medical issues, or accidents. Travel insurance is a good thing to have.

Also read the fine print. When I was needing new coverage for work, I was given certain options by a client that requires me to have the insurance. They all had a clause that denied coverage for high risk activities. The insurance I had through Atlas did not have such a clause. Something to keep in mind, since some office person processing your claim may make the judgement that your bike tour is a risky activity.
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Old 02-22-23, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
Something to keep in mind, since some office person processing your claim may make the judgement that your bike tour is a risky activity.
You want to read the policy in any case to have a clear understanding of what is covered or not - and there can also be some claims process.

However, for what it is worth you can get an idea of activities by looking at something like World Nomads - https://www.worldnomads.com/usa/travel-insurance and then page down to their list of "coverage for 200+ activities" and see "bicycle touring" is in their inclusion list. However, bicycle touring is not always an inclusive activity. For example, imagine you are on a bicycle tour and then participate in a running of the bulls. In that case your activity might be classified as "running of the bulls" and not "bicycle touring" if that was what you were doing when you got injured.
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Old 02-23-23, 09:11 AM
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Check out this thread at crazyguyonabike from 2015 about health insurance: https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/foru...=624454&page=1
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Old 03-17-23, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by mev View Post
You want to read the policy in any case to have a clear understanding of what is covered or not - and there can also be some claims process.

However, for what it is worth you can get an idea of activities by looking at something like World Nomads - https://www.worldnomads.com/usa/travel-insurance and then page down to their list of "coverage for 200+ activities" and see "bicycle touring" is in their inclusion list. However, bicycle touring is not always an inclusive activity. For example, imagine you are on a bicycle tour and then participate in a running of the bulls. In that case your activity might be classified as "running of the bulls" and not "bicycle touring" if that was what you were doing when you got injured.
Yeah, which was my point. I read the policies I was looking at, and chose the one that works for my needs. I have been carrying travel insurance for the past 20 years due to my work.
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Old 03-17-23, 02:32 PM
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After doing a bunch of research and comparing insurance companies, I'm probably going to go with https://genki.world/

They are a competitor of World Nomads and I like their product a bit better. Not a huge difference between the two though.
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Old 03-20-23, 08:29 PM
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For others who are interested

For the benefit of anyone coming across this later. As GhostRider62 notes, nationality is a big factor. Residence is too. I did a lot of research before my trip and wasted quite a bit of time following-up recommendations that I did not qualify for because I was not from the country or countries whose citizens and residents it applied to. As an example of the residence thing: I have a UK passport but that was not enough for most of the UK and European options which require residency. On the bright side this is one way to narrow down your options.

In the end I went with HeyMondo because WorldNomads seemed too expensive. And since HeyMondo are a Spanish company that seemed like it could be useful in South America.

I also recommend paying attention to the small print: you need to purchase an extra level of insurance with some companies if you will be cycling above 4,000m.

Originally Posted by Yan View Post
Anyone have recommendations for traveler's insurance for a 1+ year world tour?
Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Since you do not give your nationality or where you are going, do you expect valid advice?
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