4 Ways Worldwide Assistance Can Be Helpful During Medical Emergencies

If you’re raising your eyebrow right now, puzzled with regards to what exactly worldwide assistance is, you’re probably not the only one. Often times, this benefit that is automatically included in most travel insurance plans, gets buried to the bottom of coverage descriptions, since there really isn’t a monetary value associated with it. As Trip Cancellation and Emergency Medical Evacuation are both pressing issues where your travel investment, or the money you’ve spent on a trip as well as potential costs, are at stake, these are generally the benefits that are really emphasized on most policy plans.

However, worldwide assistance is more crucial than it may appear on paper. It may be the difference between a policyholder getting coverage for their claim, and getting denied. It can also save you a lot of time, as well as keep you from getting overwhelmed. Emergency situations are stressful and nerve-wracking enough to deal with as they are, so having to coordinate next steps on your own probably isn’t the best idea. Here are the 4 ways contacting worldwide assistance when you run into emergencies can make your life much easier.

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Get Your Friends and Family Ready to Visit, Starting with U.S. Visitors Insurance

By Chaitanya Bala

image from nis2.orgWith the holiday season coming up, many international students are having their parents and relatives come to the States so they can check out their living arrangements and get a taste of American culture. With a huge number of international students studying in the U.S., it’s no surprise that there’s a lot of overseas travel back and forth during the winter months; students are either returning home for the holidays or trying to get his or her guest(s) to the United States.

If you’re an international student who wants your family, significant other, or friends from your home country to come visit the U.S. during your holiday break – or even if you’re not a student and simply want your relatives to visit from another country – you may have many questions; namely, what steps do they need to take to ensure they’re prepared for an enjoyable trip?

That’s why we’re here to help!

Let’s assume that your guest has already applied for a B-2, or a visitor’s visa, has been granted the visa, and has an up-to-date passport. Here are the next steps they need to take – starting with buying U.S. visitors insurance – as they get ready to come to the United States for the holidays:

 

Get Visitors Insurance for the U.S.A.!

This is by far one of the most crucial recommendations we can give you. As a person who travels to India often, I will admit that I have never gone to India with a travel insurance policy since healthcare is pretty cheap there.

However, I definitely wouldn’t dare travel without travel insurance if I were traveling from India to the United States. This is because travel insurance for visitors traveling to the United States covers healthcare expenses, which as very expensive in the U.S. relative to the countries visitors may be coming from. According to John Hopkins professor, Gerard Anderson, an average emergency room bill without health insurance is $8,094.21. And with insurance, this cost is reduced to $309.57.

If residents of this country who make enough money to sustain a living are reading this in astonishment, imagine how things would be for a traveler who’s brought just enough money for some leisure activities and goods, and ends up facing a medical emergency with no insurance! Before your guests come to the U.S., definitely urge them to purchase a U.S. visitors insurance policy.

 

Get Up-to-Date Vaccinations

One of the requirements for immigrants entering the United States is that they must be vaccinated to protect against a particular group of infectious diseases. Make sure to communicate to your guests that they must have up-to-date vaccinations for these diseases, including measles, polio, and hepatitis A and B. Have them check out the full list provided by the CDC.

 

Figure out their Phone Situation

Are your guests going to use your phone the entire time they’re in U.S.? Are they going to change the SIM card on their phone while they’re here? Or, are your guests simply going to purchase a cheap phone to use during their stay here in the United States? It’s quite possible your guests are already cognizant of this, so just remind them to consider what they’re going to do for communication before they come here.

 

Bring the Right Amount of Money

Depending on where your guest is traveling from, the difference between the value of the U.S. dollar and the value of the other currency can be either barely discernible, or dramatic. Based on your knowledge of the exchange rate and your guests’ spending habits and budget, give them a ball park estimate of how much money would be sufficient to bring. Some other questions that your guests should consider is whether or not using a foreign credit card will be a good idea. If so, where should they go apply for one? Or should they carry around all cash? Your guests should also determine when they’re going to exchange currency and where. Once they get this squared away, they can ensure they have enough money to enjoy their stay!

 

Don’t Forget the Adapter Plugs!

In a day and age when we live and breathe technology, having your laptop or other electronic devices die with no way of bringing them back to life is pure torture. I still remember one time when I went to India and had accidentally dropped my adapter in the back of the taxi cab. Let’s just say the next two weeks went by really slowly. That’s why it’s super important to ensure that your guests have the right power plug that is compatible with electrical outlets in the United States. They can purchase adapters online, or at travel stores in their city. 

 

We hope things go smoothly as your friends, significant others, and family members get ready and come visit you in the U.S. for the holidays! Good luck!


5 Out-of-Your-Control Reasons to Consider International Medical Travel Insurance

As a company that’s been selling travel insurance policies for years, we realize just how difficult it is to help people understand how international medical travel insurance actually benefits them, and isn’t a waste of money. Travel insurance can make many individuals raise their eyebrows in skepticism. After all, you’re investing all this time and money into a vacation you’ve been carefully planning for weeks, months, or even years. So, why would you even plan on cancelling it? Even though travel insurance as a whole may sound pretty paradoxical to you right now, the fact of the matter is many of the reasons trips get cancelled are out of a person’s control. Here’s 5 situations that are out of your hands and can ruin your trip, making travel insurance a good idea to at least consider.

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3 Ways Having No Travel Insurance is Similar to Gambling

How often would you risk losing your money to gambling?

445250_72459756Gambling is an activity that is still viewed by many members of society as taboo, and dangerous even. Sure, the act of throwing down a few bills on occasion for a game of Roulette is pretty commonplace in today’s society. Nonetheless, we always get a little nervous when we ourselves, or one of our loved ones, puts down a bet - whether that bet is $20 or $2,000. Gambling has also been known to ruin peoples’ lives and plans, as was seen with medical school student, Philip Markoff, who lost it all from gambling – a promising career, a loving fiancée, and the support of his family. So it makes sense why gambling gets people’s blood pressure rising. However, when we think about purchasing a travel insurance policy, we never tend to make the same connection. Sure, there aren’t any psychological addictions associated with not having trip insurance. But have you ever considered how, by not having insurance, you’re playing with fire similar to a gambler? If you’re completely baffled right now, let us break it down for you with the 3 ways not having travel insurance is pretty similar to gambling at a casino.

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No international student health insurance? Here are 3 steps to getting coverage

Did you know that 20% of college students in the U.S. don’t have health insurance?

Shutterstock_343220096Doesn’t seem too alarming at first glance. But if you really think about it, it’s a pretty scary fact. We’re looking at 1.7 million college students, including local and international students, who aren’t going to get international student health insurance coverage for a visit to the doctor’s office if they fall terribly ill or get injured. Whether it’s too much studying, too much partying, or a random accident that causes their bodies to give out or require treatment, those without insurance will have to pay for medical fees out-of-pocket. And guess what, if you’re an international student, your fees are even higher.

Are you concerned now?

No worries! If you are one of the international students who doesn’t have student health insurance right now, don’t sweat it. This situation is still fixable. With the school year just having started back up, here’s exactly what you can do to ensure you get insurance coverage sooner rather than later.

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