Safe Travels Primary and Secondary International Travel Health Insurance

Health Insurance is one of the high priority items when it comes to travel outside of the home country. There are many health insurance companies which provide short term insurance for foreign nationals during their stay in the US or outside their home countries.

Having health insurance is a good thing but what if a person has two plans? Does it mean they are covered for double the coverage in terms of benefits? Not exactly, but having two health insurance plans does help to cover the medical expenses better through co-ordination of benefits provision. You might be thinking that why there is need to buy two plans when we can have one plan and get the necessary coverage.

Sometimes there are situations when you already have a plan and you need a plan for your partner or someone accompanying you who need extra benefits or benefits or different things which might not be available in your plan even though you can add them on your plan. The good thing is that the health insurance have a co-ordination of benefit system that finds a way for both the plans to pay their fair share. The first way the health insurance providers coordinate benefits is to determine which the primary plan is and which plan would be considered the secondary plan. There are guidelines followed to determine this.

The Primary insurance plan is the one that starts to pay as soon as there is an unexpected injury/illness or when there is a medical expense without assuming that there is a secondary plan. In other words, the primary plan should pay regardless of the existence of the secondary plan just as if the patient had only the primary plan to cover him/her. The Secondary health insurance plan unlike the Primary under the coordination of benefits provision will then take into consideration the expenses that were not covered by the primary plan and will be considered for payment under the Secondary plan. Therefore, the Secondary plan will fill any gaps found in coverage from the Primary plan.

Trawick
Trawick International has two plans which work like Primary plans for people going on international travel. The Safe Travels International plan (for travel outside the US) and the Safe Travels USA plan are both Primary plans which will begin to pay in the event of a covered illness or accident. Note their language here:
  • Primary Benefits:
    We will pay Accident and Sickness Medical Expenses up to the Maximum Benefit as outlined in the Schedule of Benefits and after each Insured satisfies any Deductible, without regard to any other Health Care Plan benefits payable for the Insured. We will pay these benefits without regard to any Coordination of Benefits provision in any other Health Care Plan. Choosing a Primary Benefit plan can put your mind at ease in that the payment process will begin immediately, instead of taking a long time (as we are so accustomed to) for claims to process and then come back.
  • Secondary Benefits:
    Most of the policies we offer at American Visitor Insurance, specify that they are secondary to any other insurance that a person has. So, these will wait until any other payments are made before they kick in and pay out medical expense benefits. For example, if you are in a car accident and it was not your fault, the driver may have some coverage for any injuries. However, perhaps they have a $25,000 maximum medical benefit and your bills come to $40,000. In that case, the secondary insurance will finish up paying those bills for you. On the other hand, our insurance companies are well aware that they cover foreign nationals away from home without any home coverage to count on. They will pay benefits much more quickly than domestic plans which seems to take a very long time to process even our routine, wellness checks.
As examples, Safe Travels International Cost Saver (for travel outside the US) and Safe Travels USA Cost Saver (for travel to the US), are both secondary plans to any other coverage the person may have. Again, a foreign national is unlikely to have any other coverage, but as I mentioned in the case of an accident, some health insurance can kick in from a different person depending on the situation. Nevertheless, our customers should feel reassured to know that all our companies pay out hundreds of thousands of dollars of claims all over the world and they have great expertise in helping their clients in whatever situation they find themselves!

In any event, we know that having one of our plans will greatly help should anything arise while on a trip in the US or abroad. If you have further questions or concerns, do let us know and we can assist you in finding the right plan for you.
 

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