Travel insurance can provide peace of mind when you’re adventuring abroad, not to mention actual financial assistance if you experience an emergency far from home. Blue Cross Blue Shield offers travel medical insurance anywhere outside the United States through their GeoBlue program and covers everything from international weekend getaways to permanent expats. Here’s a breakdown of their three general plans.
Geo Blue Travel Insurance: General Plans
GeoBlue’s most basic plan offers health care coverage for any kind of international traveler on a single trip up to six months long. It covers most basic and emergency medical needs, including coverage for mental health and transportation to medical facilities in emergencies. Voyager offers two very similar options: Choice or Essential. With Voyager Choice, you’ll need your own primary health coverage here in the U.S., although more often than not GeoBlue will operate as your primary provider when you’re in a foreign country. The Voyager Essential plan does not require additional primary coverage. The best part is, if you go to one of GeoBlue’s affiliated providers, they will bill GeoBlue directly and save you the hassle of paying up front and filing a claim. (GeoBlue’s provider network is available in 180 different countries, be sure to double check that your destination is on the list and identify providers ahead of time.) Dependents, like spouses, domestic partners, and children, are also eligible for coverage.
Costs for the Voyager plans vary depending on age, length of travel, and coverage but range up to $1,000,000 in benefits and $0 deductible.
This plan is ideal for globetrotters with big adventures planned. Trekker offers coverage for multiple trips outside the U.S. over a 12 month period. You can take an unlimited number of trips in your year-long period, as long as any individual trip doesn’t go over 70 days. Like Voyager, Trekker offers either the Essential plan or the Choice plan, the main difference being that Choice covers up to $250,000 in medical costs and Essential covers up to $50,000. Both Trekker plans are secondary plans, requiring you to have your own primary provider (like with Voyager plans, this is a qualification requirement and GeoBlue will operate as your primary overseas.) Both Trekker plans are also available for dependents.
Costs vary depending on age. Both plans have a $50 deductible, which is waived if you use a GeoBlue provider.
Does work require you to live abroad for more than a year? Have you finally cashed in on your expat dreams? Whatever your reason for an extended stay, check out Xplorer. It’s a plan designed to provide medical coverage for U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad long-term. More like a traditional medical insurance plan, the Xplorer Essential plan would replace your primary provider, whereas Xplorer Select requires that you have another primary plan in the U.S. Xplorer is the most comprehensive of GeoBlue’s plans, covering things like preventative care, contraception, surgery, prescriptions, mental health and more. Xplorer plans range in price and deductible to suit your needs and some offer coverage within the United States as well, ideal if you’re coming back and forth.
Remember: you’ll of course need to make sure you qualify (GeoBlue has some limitations based on state of residence, age, pre-existing conditions diagnosed within 180 days etc.) Some of GeoBlue’s plans must be purchased in the U.S. before you leave on your trip, so be sure to get it all taken care of prior to leaving the country.
This article was written by Katie Vaughan.