Best time to buy travel health Insurance
Today I am going to talk about the timing of getting your travel health insurance. We get many calls from people who are already on their trip (here in the US or abroad) and wonder if they can “now” purchase visitors medical insurance. Of course, we recommend that you purchase your visitors insurance after you have your tickets and travel dates in order so that you are covered from the moment you leave until the time you return (for tricky time zone issues note that all policies begin and end using Eastern Standard Time). However, you can still purchase insurance once you are on your trip.
BUT, we also get a number of calls from people whose loved ones are “already” in the Emergency Room or already not feeling well. In that case, I'm afraid, that your insurance plan (even if you purchase it right away) will NOT cover what is already going on. Remember: you need to buy the visitor medical insurance “before” you need it. To buy a plan and then lie about when symptoms started is not only potentially dangerous to the patient, but would also be constituted as fraud which is a serious crime. Of course, we cannot recommend any such course of action. Better to make your purchase to include all your travel.
However, there are sometime reasonable circumstances for not making your purchase until after you or your loved ones have arrived at your destination. Some people have other coverage that covers them until a certain point, or they change their travel plans and cannot extend a policy they already purchased. People have insurance through school or an employer and now they are changing paths and find themselves without coverage. Or you just forgot. We forgive you, not to worry! In most cases, you can still purchase a policy. The soonest a policy can start coverage is the following day after the purchase, so if you do have a policy that is expiring or you change dates, just be aware of that.