Major medical health insurance is often referred to as a “catastrophic” health care plan. The majority of major medical health plans cover expenses for hospital stays, surgery, intensive care, diagnostic X-rays and lab tests. This kind of international health care coverage is great for seniors who qualify for Medicare in the U.S., but need something in case of a medical emergency while retiring abroad.
American Insurance for Expats offers international, major medical health care coverage, if you live outside your home country for 6 months a year or longer. The lifetime maximum limit for each individual is $5,000,000.00 – $8,000,000.00. Treatment outside the U.S. and Canada is subject to deductible, no co-insurance. Treatment inside the U.S. is subject to deductible with while paying 80% of the next $5,000 of eligible expenses, then 100% to the overall maximum per period of coverage.
Deductible’s range from $250 to $10,000 and if your major medical plan qualifies under IRS definitions as a high-deductible health plan, you can open a health savings account (HSA), in which you can put aside money, tax-deferred, to pay for medical expenses.
Do you fit the profile?
Older adults who purchase major medical plans are primarily concerned with potential financial losses from a critical illness or accident. Doctor visits and prescription drugs are often so much less expensive abroad, that paying for those out of pocket is not the concern. The concern is a critical illness or accident that could potentially drain a savings account or credit card until travel back to the U.S. for treatment can be considered.
Pre-existing conditions have made it difficult for people to become eligible for a major medical health insurance plan in the past, however, you may still qualify for coverage with an exclusion in regards to the pre-existing condition.
Before you buy a major medical health insurance plan, consider:
- Can you afford to pay for your own doctor visits abroad?
- Do you take a lot of prescriptions or only occasionally?
- Are you living in an area where prescription drugs are less expensive?