There is much information and many policies to choose from when selecting the best travel medical insurance plan. One difference between plans is that some have a maximum and deductible per incident and some have the maximum and deductible per policy period. What is the difference and which one is better?
Well, the difference is that the deductible per incident or sickness could be paid multiple times. A new deductible must be paid for each sickness or injury incurred by the insured. The likelihood of this is not very high, nor do we hope for multiple injuries and illnesses in the first place. Also, note there can be exceptions made to the rule. For example, on policies which offer coverage for pre-existing conditions on a per incident basis, they often have a maximum lifetime limit for the pre-existing condition.
A deductible on a per policy period basis has a matching maximum per policy period. This means that the deductible are paid out only one time during the policy which, for most, can be up to one year. When the plan is a comprehensive plan, most of the time you can calculate an out-of-pocket cost for the policy since the deductible (and coinsurance) are only paid out one time. There are exceptions to this rule, however. Sometimes there can be an additional deductible for some services (emergency room and maternity are most common).
When clients ask me which do I think is better I have a hard time answering. Most fixed policies are on a per incident basis (although not all, notably Visitor’s Care is the exception). In that sense, I generally recommend a comprehensive plan over a fixed plan and those plans are on a per policy period basis. However, if a client is over 80 years old I generally recommend a fixed plan and in that case I usually recommend one with the deductible and maximum on a per incident basis. The choice comes down to what the client feels most comfortable with in the end.
If you have further questions or concerns, please contact us and we can help you sort through your options! As always, we wish you safe and happy travels.