Retiring Abroad and Health Care Coverage: The Missing Link

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Health insurance for Retirees Abroad

Retiring Abroad and Health Care Coverage
A recent New York Times article by Tim Gray (NY Times 2/22/2014 page B4) highlighted the issues that a retiring couple can have when considering retiring abroad. Health insurance, as it turns out, may often be a stumbling block to realizing this dream. One main reason US citizens desire to retire abroad is the hope that their dollars will go further in a different country's currency. This can also work in health care services since many countries now offer excellent health care at much more reasonable costs than can be found in the US and Canada (sad to say, isn't it?).
There is a growing business in health care abroad, notably in India and Thailand, where health tourists can go to get those needed or elective surgery where the care is excellent and yet the cost will not be a such strain on the pocketbook. There are many countries, as Mr. Gray points out, that offer high-quality health care, like France and Panama. However, Mr. Gray points out that a major illness like cancer or a major accident will be a financial burden no matter where you find yourself.

And, of course, you do want to have access to good care when you need it.

Retirees must plan carefully for the eventuality of their needs. Medicare, for the most part, will NOT cover costs incurred while outside the US. There are private insurers that offer international coverage to US citizens and other foreign nationals which provide international coverage.
or US citizens, most plans require a person to be outside the US for at least 6 months out of the year. However, this requirement will still allow some flexibility in returning to the US for a visit. It also will work for persons who sail in international waters and do not have a permanent US residence to call home.

However, as the article points out, there are often age limitation to the plans available. The earlier a retiree starts planning, the more likely they will be able to find and afford the international coverage they need for a stress-free retirement situation.

Retirees and expatriates can purchase what we call "expatriate insurance" policies which are long-term policies that can be paid for monthly, semi-annually, or annually. The policies require a full medical questionnaire and/or check up, so persons with serious medical conditions pre-existing will likely be excluded from the plan (a good reason to sign up early).

Here are some examples:
IMG Global Medical plans offered by International Medical Group (IMG) offer excellent coverage, but the person must be 74 or younger to sign up. Ordinarily, coverage ends on your 75th birthday. However, if a person is continuously enrolled from age 65 to 75, they will be offered a Global Senior Plan with no additional medical underwriting required. The insured can simply review the benefits and return the enrollment form with the premium. The Global Medical plan comes in several varieties: Silver, Gold, Gold Plus, and Platinum. The Silver plan is a fixed plan. Ordinarily, I don't recommend fixed plans to my clients, since they have a limit for each medical expense covered.
However, if you are living in a country with lower costs, this may be the ideal way to get coverage you need at a very reasonable price. The Global Medical Gold and Gold plus are the same, except the Gold plan has reduced coverage after three years whereas the Gold Plus plan does not have a different benefits in the fourth year.

Geo Blue Another option is the GeoBlue Xplorer Premier Insurance and GeoBlue Xplorer Essential Insurance offered by GeoBlue. These plans offer comprehensive benefits and a range of deductibles that allow members to select the right amount of coverage for their benefits and needs. The out of pocket expense is calculated by adding the deductible and the co insurance maximum. For families, the deductible and co insurance is a multiple of 2.5. After 364 days of continuous coverage, the members may re enroll in the plan that matches their existing benefits.
Geoblue Xplorer expat medical insurance , GeoBlue expatriate insurance
So, don't rule out that exotic location for your retirement! Let us help you find the right plan for you.

As always, we wish you safe and happy travels (and hassle-free planning)!

Other popular destinations among the expatriates

Canada Israel India Mexico United Kingdom
Select the type of
Travel health insurance that you are looking for...
  •  Travel medical
  •  Expats insurance
  •  Trip cancellation
  •  Cancel for any reason
  •  Older travelers
  •  Annual Travel

Best travel insurance USA, Best USA travel insurance

Compare and buy the best travel insurance USA plans. The best international travel insurance plans specially designed to match the needs of international travelers.

Best international travel insurance for US citizens

  • Travel medical insurance for US Citizens and US Residents traveling outside USA
  • Available up to 180 days
  • Offers emergency sickness coverage up to $500,000
  • Covid-19 covered as any other sickness
  • USA short term travel medical insurance for US citizens travelling outside USA
  • Available up to 24 consecutive months
  • Maximum coverage up to $1,000,000
  • USA travel medical insurance coverage outside USA for US citizens
  • Available up to 365 days
  • Offers maximum coverage up to $2,000,000
  • Offers insurance coverage for Covid expenses
  • US travel health insurance for US citizens outside USA
  • Available up to 3 years (Elite plan)
  • Offers maximum coverage up to $1,000,000
  • Liaison Travel Plus insurance offers coverage for expenses related to COVID-19
  • Short term fixed benefit cheap travel insurance USA for US citizens outside USA
  • Plan maximum options available up to $130,000 for medical expenses

Best Expat insurance, Best Expatriate insurance

Compare and buy the best Expatriate insurance plans. Expat insurance is long term comprehensive global medical insurance for expats living outside their home country.

Expat insurance plans

  • Ideal for US expatriates and for those global citizens living and working outside their home country.
  • Xplorer Premier Insurance provides unlimited annual and lifetime medical maximum.
  • It covers pre-existing conditions with creditable coverage
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Best trip cancellation insurance, Best trip protection insurance

Trip cancellation plans are designed to insure both the health of the traveler as well as the cost of non-refundable trip expenses should the trip get cancelled or is interrupted.

Best trip cancellation insurance

  • Trip Cancellation: 100% of trip cost up to $20,000
  • Provides coverage for U.S. residents travelling outside their home country
  • Trip Cancellation: 100% of trip cost up to $30,000
  • Provides coverage for U.S. residents travelling outside their home country
  • Trip Cancellation: Trip Cost up to $30,000
  • Insurance for Non-US residents travelling outside their home country.
  • Trip Cancellation: Up to $50,000 of the trip cost
  • US Residents on domestic and worldwide trips
  • Trip Cancellation: Up to $100,000 of Trip Cost
  • US Residents on domestic and worldwide trips
  • Trip Cancellation: Up to $25,000 of the trip cost
  • Inexpensive coverage for trip cancellation & interruption
  • Trip Cancellation: Trip Cost: Up to a Maximum of $30,000.
  • Maximum Trip Length 90 Days
  • Trip Cancellation: 100% of the Insured Trip Cost - $250 up to $25,000
  • US citizens/US residents only for trips within the USA and abroad trip Cancellation.
  • Trip Cancellation: 100% of the Insured Trip Cost -$250 up to $25,000
  • This plan is eligible for non US citizens up to age 79 traveling outside their home Country and not going to the USA.
  • Trip Cancellation: Trip Cost: 100% of Trip Cost ($150 - $10,000 max);
  • Maximum Trip Length 90 Days
  • Trip Cancellation: Up to 100% of Trip Cost Insured
  • It covers Trip Cancellation coverage from $150 to $10,000.
  • Trip Cancellation: Up to 100% of Trip Cost Insured
  • It covers Trip Cancellation coverage from $150 to $10,000.
  • Trip Cancellation: Up to 100% of Trip Cost Insured
  • Up to 100% of Trip Cost Insured
  • Trip Cancellation: Up to 100% of Trip Cost Insured
  • It covers Trip Cancellation coverage from $150 to $10,000.
  • Trip Cancellation: Basic - $15,000 Max
  • Trip Cancellation: Plus - $100,000 Max
  • Trip Cancellation: Elite - $100,000 Max

Cancel for any reason trip cancellation insurance

While some plans require that the trip is cancelled for an approved reason other plans are available with 'cancel for any reason' benefit. Unless you have purchased 'cancel for any reason' policy, there are many valid reasons to change the dates of trip or cancel it completely that will not be covered.

Cancel for any reason plans

  • Cancel For Any Reason: 75% of non-refundable trip cost
  • Trip Cancellation: 100% of trip cost up to $30,000
  • Cancel For Any Reason: 75% of non-refundable trip cost
  • Trip Cancellation: Tour cost to a maximum of $20,000
  • Cancel for Any Reason: Up to 75% of trip cost insured
  • Trip Cancellation: Up to $100,000 of Trip Cost
  • Cancel for Any Reason: 75% of non-refundable trip cost
  • Trip Cancellation: Up to a Maximum of $50,000. ($30,000 for travellers above 80 years)
  • Cancellation for Any Reason: 75% of Trip Cost
  • Trip Cancellation: Up to 100% of Trip Cost Insured

USA Senior Citizen travel insurance, USA seniors travel health insurance

Older travelers traveling outside their home country have a tough time finding good travel medical insurance to satisfy all their requirements. Here is a quick comparison of best travel health insurance for older travelers.

Travel health insurance for older US travelers

  • The GlobeHopper Multi-trip plan which covers a period of 12 months with a maximum of 30 days for each overseas trip
  • It is an affordable international travel health insurance for US citizens.
  • It offers coverage for medical and evacuation expenses for short trips.
  • It is available up to 12 months
  • It is an renewable long term international travel health insurance for US citizens.
  • It offers coverage for medical and evacuation expenses.
  • It is renewable up to 3 years.

Best Annual travel insurance, Best yearly travel insurance

Annual travel insurance cover multiple trips within an annual insurance plan. Annual insurance plans are ideal for businessmen and corporate travelers as there is no need to buy travel insurance every time they travel and are cheaper than buying several single trip travel insurance plans.

Annual Travel Plans

  • Patriot Multi Trip is designed by IMG to cover travelers taking multiple trips in a year.
  • Covers non US Citizens travelling multiple times annually outside their home country
  • Trekker Essential Insurance offers maximum coverage of $50,000 for sickness and accidents.
  • Available for both US and Non US citizens up to 75 years
  • Maximum trip length is 30 or 45 days per trip
  • Available for US residents only up to age 81 years
  • Maximum trip length is 30 days per trip
  • Available for both US and Non US citizens up to 75 years
  • Maximum trip length is 30, 45, or 60 days per trip
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Trip Cancellation Insurance vs Travel Medical Insurance
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Compare Best Global Medical Insurance
Compare benefits offered by popular global plans from International Medical Group and GeoBlue .
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