Health & Fitness, Insurance, Lifestyle, Medical Insurance, News, Travel, Travel insurance

Travel Alerts: A Global Public Health Emergency

World Health Organization’s declaration that the coronavirus is now an official international emergency

Am I covered for COVID-19?

Coronavirus is declared a global public health emergency – 30 January 2020
Coronavirus first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, and has spread across China and now dozens of cases have been confirmed in several countries in the Asia-Pacific region as well as countries in Europe, North America and the Middle East.
On 30 January 2020, the Emergency Committee convened by the WHO Director-General agreed that the coronavirus outbreak “now meets the criteria for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)”. A PHEIC has only been declared six times since it was introduced in 2005 following the outbreak of SARS.

What is a PHEIC?

The term PHEIC is defined as “an extraordinary event” which is determined by these two regulations:

  • To constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease; and
  • To potentially require a coordinated international response.

What should I do if I’m traveling overseas soon?

If you are traveling overseas soon, stay up to date with local news and media, and always follow the advice of local authorities or your government.

Be aware of which countries cases of coronavirus are rapidly spreading. Wash your hands consistently, maintain at least 3ft (1m) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing, and if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early (call before visiting your doctor).

The symptoms of coronavirus are similar to other respiratory diseases, including the flu and the common cold.

If you have traveled to Wuhan recently

If you have traveled to Wuhan or suspect you have been in contact with someone who is infected with coronavirus and are experiencing the following symptoms: feeling tired, having difficulty breathing, have a high temperature, cough and/or sore throat, call your doctor to rule out the possibility of coronavirus.

Article written by Amelia Brady, World Nomads Contributor –

medical insurance, medical emergency
Insurance, Medical Insurance

Transparency of medical insurance: are you aware of the finer details?

When faced with a medical emergency, your health insurance or general insurance should respond immediately. Best insurance companies are determined by effective response to your medical claims in the hour of desperation. Medical schemes should be upfront with clients about the requirements for medical benefits and while others are, clients may ignore the finer details at the onset of signing an insurance contract.

Private Medical insurance coverage on chronic illnesses

There are factors such as medical benefits, you have to consider when you take medical insurance. Coverage of chronic illnesses may not be applicable in some private hospitals on your medical insurance while you have been paying for it for a lifetime. Before you sign a contract, understand the terms and conditions as some coverage may not serve you later in old age, ensure that this is not done in vain as the premiums increase yearly.

general insurance, medical claims
Before you put your signature on the dotted lines, understand the contents. Photo by Adeolu from unSplash

The format and platform for filing medical claims

We are in the 21st century where 95 percent of any business administration whether in general insurance or medical insurance, should be online or at least have an online alternative. Best insurance companies should be ahead with innovation and already aware that people are more mobile than ever due to technology and modernization. If you happen to travel and are faced with a medical emergency, you should be able to contact and file claims online without any restrictions.

Besides traveling, older and unfit individuals may not have the luxury to move around as they wish to, this should be something to consider before signing for medical insurance. There are new verification and authentication systems being invented daily such as electronic signatures, online finger scan applications and voice recognition features, surely distance should not be stumbling in filing for your claims.

health insurance, medical benefits
When in an emergency you need an effective response to your medical claims. Image by Jair Lazaro from unSplash

National borders restrictions to medical insurance

The world is a global village so your medical health insurance should adapt to it. You may decide later in life to relocate to a new country, you sure do not need to cancel your medical scheme and start a new one. It is less complex to continue with the current on. Well, that is entirely up to the individual’s needs. There are several international insurance companies that you may consider when you know that your future is not in one country.

medical insurance, best insurance companies, backpackers
Insurance, Medical Insurance, Travel insurance

Best global travel insurance deals for Backpackers

Best insurance companies, travel insurance, insurance policy, medical insurance, life insurance, should be synonymous with travel plans of a backpacker. There is quite a number of best insurance companies to consider as a world traveler. As much as there are positive reviews for companies out there, there are negative reviews, therefore ensure that you choose the one that is suitable for your own needs. Globe trotters spend enormous amount of time travelling the world, away from their homes, that is if they even have homes!

travel insurance, global travel
Your insurance should cover all the travel activities you will undertake. image by Frank from UnSplash

What to look for in your policy as a globe trotter and which travel insurance you should consider.

Read your insurance policy

It is pointless to constantly depend on reviews which may or may not be reliable. Some users may have taken the wrong policy or had not done their research on the type of coverage that suits their needs. When they discover the insurance is not suitable to their travel needs, they leave negative reviews instead. World Nomads and IMG are amongst one of the best insurance companies for backpackers but their policies are not exactly the same. IMG is suitable for family trips or low-key travels while Nomads is most suitable for single travelers but this will not mean that IMG should not be considered by individuals.

Align your insurance coverage to your travel plans

If you are an active traveler and part of the activities are more adventurous ones such as gliding, paragliding, or bungee jumping, ensure that these are covered in your policy. World Nomads is suitable for more adventurous sports, they have a list of activities they cover. IMG only covers you for simple activities unless you have to upgrade your policy or pay extra. Make sure that all the activities you are going to embark on will be covered, including life insurance.

Will you be covered in the country you are traveling to?

Different countries have different sanctions for travel insurance policies, select the one that suits your global travel plans and the places you are traveling to as a backpacker. World Nomads operates in more than 150 countries around the world. IMG is suitable for exploring the U.S and some European countries, while it is not clear on other regions and countries.

life insurance, insurance policy
Can you do claims online in between on your travel adventures? Photo by Helloquence from UnSplash

Can you file your claims online?

This is a golden question especially for backpackers. You need an insurance that will allow you to file your documents online while on your travel adventures, not to wait until you get back home. Choose an insurance which is tech savvy. World Nomads and IMG have these options.

There are many other factors to consider in selecting the right travel insurance for your specific travel needs. Remember that travel insurance is focused more on unforeseen circumstances, choose the one that will help you get home safe too! Medical insurance while on these trips should be a bigger part of the plan.

inernational health insurance, insurance plans, insurance quotes, insurance policy
Insurance, Medical Insurance

Traveling for study or work? Identify suitable health insurance for your situation

Migrating to a foreign country for work, study or business? Familiarise yourself with suitable international health insurance plans which suit travel terms and conditions of your visit, and your financial circumstances. Insurance quotes for students and expats vary from country to country, and also influenced by the purpose of the visit. There are reasonable insurance plans offered by cheap insurance companies which comply with international health insurance policy standards.

health insurance, travel terms and conditions, cheap insurance companies, students and expats
Medical calculations status graph.

Purpose of the visit determine insurance terms

When you travel as a student or an expat, health insurance has broader coverage than that of traveling on business. The obvious reason being that students and expats travel longer than business individuals.

Long term insurance is appropriate for students and expats as their travel purposes would mean they will be staying longer for a period of over a year. For individuals on business visits, the coverage is usually shorter with low insurance quotes.

Dominant players in the international health insurance market

Some international medical insurance providers have found innovative ways to make their insurance plans attractive. This includes the introduction of a new component to the business mental wellness policy called mental health pathways plus.

The aim of this extension to the mental health policy is to empower companies to support their employees with addiction problems. These addictions challenges range from gambling, drugs and alcohol addiction, social media addiction. Aetna international health insurance is one of the pioneers of such an offer. Cigna Global Insurance and Geo Blue Global Medical are amongst the top three popular international medical insurance providers including Aetna.

international health insurance,insurance quotes, insurance plans, insurance policy,
A medical practitioner holds a liquid sample.

 A variety of choices for consumers in the competitive international health insurance market

The global health insurance market is largely heterogeneous and dominant players in this game have used various strategies such as new product launches, expansions, agreements, partnerships, and others to extend their mark.

There are cheap insurance companies or medical institutions with insurance quotes which accommodate foreigners. (Bumrungrad International hospital) in Bangkok is one example with super affordable insurance plans. The hospital has a Medical Tourism programme in its insurance policy which offers insurance quotes to save up to 80 percent on health care services treatments.

These treatments are for chronic diseases such as arthritis, HIV, hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and orphan/rare diseases. This is an affordable offer which meets travel terms and conditions for students and expats.