Does Medicare Cover International Travel

There are so many things to consider when the time comes to enroll in Medicare, and one of the items often left to the wayside is your travel future. Yes! Your future travel plans should be one of the things to consider, especially since it can impact your Medicare decisions.

Although Medicare itself doesn’t cover healthcare during international travel, some plans like Medicare Advantage (Part C) can cover certain emergencies if they occur outside the United States. In most cases, you’ll need supplemental travel insurance — and we can help you with that!

If you plan to travel out of the country, we can help you explore all of the options to make sure we fill any gaps in your coverage. We’ll explain all the available options to you (like Medigap, short term traveler’s insurance, or long-term coverage through Medicare Advantage, for example).

The takeaway? If you’re planning on traveling on a frequent basis, you may want to pay more up front for a Medicare Advantage or Medigap plan to cover costs away from your home state or out of the country. Don’t stress — we’re here to help! Give us a call today and our award-winning agents are ready and waiting to find you the right coverage!

US Department of State Announces More Flexible National Interest Exemptions for Students and Academic Travelers

The U.S. Department of State issued updated guidance on National Interest Exceptions for Certain Travelers, which should facilitate more streamlined travel for F-1 and M-1 students and J-1 academics covered by exchange visitor programs — as long as they have pre-existing valid visas.

Previously, to enter the United States, individuals subject to the travel restrictions must typically gain a U.S. National Interest Exemption (NIE) by applying with the local U.S. consulate in their home countries for special permission to travel. However, based on the new guidelines, the U.S. Department of State has streamlined the process with simplified instructions for individuals who already hold valid student visa stamps, clarifying that these students will be automatically granted an NIE if entering within 30 days of their academic program start date. Now, students with F-1 and M-1 visas can travel to the United States immediately to begin the qualifying academic program (within 30 days of the program start date – Aug 1, 2021 or later).

For students who are in need of new student visa stamps or who do not already hold approved F-1 or M-1 visa stamps, they will need to be sure to allot sufficient time to contact the local embassy to obtain the new stamps and be considered for an NIE  for purposes of academic travel.

Where does that tie in with E&M? Traveling overseas, regardless as an exchange student, is stressful enough during these times and it’s important to have that international health insurance plan that covers you, no matter where you are in the world. We can provide many affordable options in minutes and have you covered immediately. That way — you can worry about studies and feel safe and at ease knowing your healthcare has been taken care of!

Should you purchase International Health Insurance for your vacation during Covid? Here’s what to consider.

Slowly but surely, as more and more Americans become vaccinated, individuals are venturing out of their homes and are finally comfortable enough to take a vacation. Our dreams of relaxing at a resort in the Caribbean can be made into a reality in the not-too-distant future. And once you and your family make that decision to travel again, the alarms go off in your head about the health and safety measures of Covid, and what your insurance will cover. Should you purchase an international health plan for you and your family while vacationing overseas during covid?

Even before the pandemic, it’s always important to make sure you and your family are covered, and after the past year we’ve all endured, it feels like a necessity! While we agree, it’s entirely up to you, but it’s important to consider the health and financial risks that an international family travel insurance plan can help you avoid:

  • You’ll want to avoid loss of nonrefundable prepayments or cancellation penalties if you or another member in your family vacation travels encounter an unexpected sickness or accident. This type of risk is something that would be covered if you and your family have international health insurance or trip-cancellation insurance (TCI).
  • You’ll also want to avoid medical expenses for treatment or emergency situations if you or your family fall ill. International health insurance plans provide coverage immediately and cover you if you’re out of the country and fall ill, or contract the coronavirus.

Purchasing an international health insurance plan is a perfect idea if you’re traveling overseas for any reason, and for any length of time. Here at E&M Global, we provide the comfort and assurance of knowing you and your loved ones are covered around the world. We can find you the right plan that best suits your needs. Don’t let the stress of traveling (while still in a pandemic) take away from your vacation — we can help! Give us a call today!

Do International Students Need U.S. Health Insurance?

Health Insurance for International Students

What a great question that we get asked fairly frequently at E&M Global.

Congratulations — you’re an international student who has just applied to and enrolled at a U.S. University! However, the requirements don’t stop there; many U.S. Universities require students that are enrolled at their school, including International students, to have health insurance.

Policies can vary by campus, and although some institutions offer their own plans for studs to enroll, there are other determinations for international students — requirements may depend on the visa category.

The U.S. Department of State requires exchange students (and visitors as well) on a J-1 Visa (as well as their dependents on a J-2 Visa) to be covered by medical insurance for the length of their program. However, on an F -1 Visa, the State Department has no specific insurance requirements for international students and their dependents.

We at E&M Global think all students in the U.S., regardless of whether the student is international or not, should have health insurance. Why? Well frankly — not having health insurance is quite costly and risky. A medical emergency at any time can be financially devastating for anyone without insurance.

If you are a J-1 Visa holder and/or an international student, we can make provide a policy for you that not only meets the State Department requirements but gives you a sense of ease while studying abroad. You can study and rest easily knowing you and your family are insured to the highest quality for an affordable price.

So, long answer short — yes, international students should have health insurance and we can help you with options! Give us a call today — our agents are ready and waiting to help!

What Happens If You Travel Abroad and Contract Covid?

Travel Abroad and Contract Covid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yikes! Sounds like everyone’s worst nightmare right? As more and more Americans become vaccinated, the travel industry is beginning to pick up again and more and more people are starting to vacation and vacation abroad. But what happens if you travel abroad and develop symptoms or test positive?

First, the CDC recommends only traveling abroad once you are fully vaccinated. However, if you must travel internationally and have not been vaccinated as yet, there are travel rules and recommendations from the CDC.

All air passengers coming back to the United States are required to have a negative Covid-19 viral test no more than 3 days before travel or documentation of recovery from Covid-19 in the past 3 months before they board a flight to the U.S. The same applies for those are fully vaccinated as well.

But let’s get back to the matter at hand; what happens if you fall ill (either with the Coronavirus or another illness) and need to see a doctor or hospital? That’s where we come in! Give us a call — we can make sure your health insurance covers you while traveling abroad, specifically identify that coverage and provide expert knowledge. If you don’t have international insurance, we can help you out with that too! We can offer options for International travel, or short-term medical insurance, to make sure you’re covered while abroad. We can tailor your plan to not only fit your needs, but your travel needs, timeframe, and wallet.

There are major benefits to an international insurance plan:

  • PPO Insurance
  • Insurance Doesn’t Expire
  • Not tied to any special enrollment timeframe
  • Applicants don’t need a U.S. Social Security Number
  • Applicants don’t need a U.S. Visa
  • Approval within 24 hours
  • Coverage begins immediately

Let us take a huge weight of traveling abroad off your shoulders. Enjoy your vacation safely, under the CDC guidelines, and feel safe knowing E&M Global Insurance has your back, making sure you’re covered in case of emergency.

Give us a call today! Our agents are ready and waiting to help!

Survey Shows 25% of Expats Purchased Health Insurance to Cover Family During Pandemic

Purchased Health Insurance

Researched published today shows 25% of expats purchased new health insurance plans to cover their family members during the covid-19 pandemic, with 35.5% of expats adding family members to their current insurance plan.

The data has been revealed in the ‘Expat Family Wellness Survey 2020: The Impact of Covid-19’, published by Aetna International. This report surveyed 1,000 expat families around the world (UK, US, Singapore, and UAE), and explored the effects of the pandemic on expat family health and well-being. It also delves into how expats have managed both their own and their children’s health and well-being during that time period.

According to the survey:

  • 35.5% of expats added family members to their current insurance plan
  • 15.9% didn’t purchase additional coverage for their family members, however, they did consider it
  • 7.3% didn’t purchase extra coverage for their family members, however, would consider it for the future
  • 16.8% did not purchase extra coverage for their family members

Overall, expats in Singapore and the UAE were most likely to already have health insurance for themselves and their family members, at 45.2% and 37.2%, respectively. (The global average is 33%)

Only 21.6% and 28% of ex-pats in the UK and the U.S. already had health insurance for themselves and their family members. However, 45.9% of ex-pats in the U.S. who already had health insurance added their family to their current healthcare plan (due to the covid-19 pandemic) 33% of ex-pats in the UK who said they had health insurance purchased a new plan so their family members had coverage.

So, what does this all mean? Well, it suggests an increased awareness of health and health care and the value of health insurance during the pandemic for ex-pats. It’s great to see globally, individuals are developing healthier habits to keep their mind and body well. Private medical insurance is an important aspect not only for expats, but for everyone, and we at E&M Global Insurance are ready and waiting to help. Give us a call and we can help you find the right coverage you need and best suits you!

Vaccine Passports and Future Travel

Soon most American adults will be eligible for Covid-19 vaccines, which hopefully leads to more businesses and international borders reopening. However a strong debate has started across the United States over whether a digital health certificate (some have coined as a “vaccine passport) should be required to prove immunization status.

Currently, Americans are issued a white paper card as evidence of their Covid-19 Vaccination, although these can easily be forged or falsified. Online scammers have already begun selling false and stolen vaccine cards.

Even though the federal government said it will not introduce digital vaccine passports by federal mandate, a growing number of businesses — live entertainment venues, cruise lines, and even sports venues — are vocal about requiring proof of vaccinations for entry or services. Hundreds of digital health pass initiatives are now scrambling to launch apps that provide a verified electronic record of immunizations and negative Covid-19 test results to help streamline the process.

States like Texas and Florida have banned businesses from requiring vaccination certificates, raising privacy and equity concerns, but digital developers continue their argument that the infrastructure is secure and will help speed up the process of reopening society and reviving travel.

While governments, tech companies, airlines, and other industries are testing different versions of digital health “vaccine passports”, the process comes with great technical challenges. As they are struggling to create compatibility between each system and health records to ensure they are pulled in a safe and controlled format, the challenge arises because of the sheer number of app initiatives underway. For these vaccine certificates to be useful, countries, airlines, and businesses must agree on a common standard. There is an added complexity of having individual states share data with different platforms while still maintaining resident privacy.

Are vaccine passports actually available? Right now, it’s only available if you live in New York. New York is the first state in the U.S. to launch a digital health certificate called the Excelsior Pass, which verifies a person’s negative coronavirus test results and their Covid-19 vaccination records. Most businesses in New York require individuals to show their state ID along with their Excelsior Pass to prevent potential fraud. So far, this pass has been used by thousands of New Yorkers to enter Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden, and other public venues.

In the world, other countries are requiring fully vaccinated residents to show their records digitally. Israel requires its residents to show an electronic “Green Pass” to attend places such as gyms, concerts, wedding halls, and to dine indoors. When it comes to foreign visitors, Israel requires a blood test upon arrival to prove vaccination. Once the vaccination certificate is introduced for travelers, the blood test will no longer be required.

The European Union has considered the idea of an electronic vaccine certificate with hopes it would be available by June of 2021, however each individual member country will be able to set its own rules for travel requirements.

The AXA Global Healthcare is Now Offering Mind Health Service

 

 

 

 

It’s clear the “year that shall not be named” left most of us coping with distressing life events, anxiety, and mental and health worry. In an effort to help and provide mental health support during the pandemic, the AXA Global Healthcare expanded its health and wellbeing offer by introducing the Mind Health service. This service provides quick, convenient access to a fully qualified psychologist for members in need of mental health support.

Regardless of where in the world you are based, members can use this Mind Health Service to seek advice on a variety of concerns, from anxiety, problems at work or home, or any difficult life challenges. This is a service that is available to all individual and small business members and their dependents and can be accessed through the Virtual Doctor from the AXA service.

I’m a member of the AXA, how do I go about using this service?

After initially discussing your need and health concern with your doctor, you will e referred to the Mind Health team and a consultation with a psychologist will be arranged at a time that suits you. With the integration of Virtual Doctor, it will be easy for members to have the access to expert help in Mental and Physical Health.

Questions? We’re ready and waiting to help — give us a call today!

The Most Frequently Asked Questions We Get About International Health Insurance

FAQs about International Health Insurance

I’m a legal U.S. resident but not a citizen. My job doesn’t offer health benefits. What can I do?

We can get you health coverage! Legal U.S. Residents have the same eligibility as citizens to receive coverage through the ACA, along with income-based subsidies. Another great option we offer is short-term health insurance, which is great for those who are still unable to afford an ACA-compliant plan.

I live in another country right now but we don’t have health insurance for the time we’re back in the states. What kind of insurance can we get?

The fantastic news is that E&M Global Insurance offers insurance plans customized for YOU! Whether you were born outside of the U.S., we offer unique, affordable, worldwide coverage specially designed for those who work and live abroad. This long-term global insurance has some great perks like PPO insurance, no policy expiration date, no special enrollment period, applicants can receive approval within 24 hours, and coverage begins immediately. You also don’t need U.S. Visa or Social Security Number. Whether you are traveling for a few months or a few days, we can make sure you’re covered during travel, stay, and return.

Will my pre-existing medical conditions be covered by my international health insurance plan?

Well, the short answer is — every application is different. International health insurance plans typically have an underwriter working for the insurance company review your medical history and determine whether or not they can insure you. Either they will approve the application as is, limit or exclude the pre-existing condition, or add a premium to cover the additional risks associated with the pre-existing conditions. Or they may simply deny the policy. At E&M, we take extra care to ensure our clients receive not just health insurance, but the best possible health coverage to suit their needs.

I’m at risk of becoming a public charge. What are my options?

If you’re at risk of denial under the DHS public charge rule, a perfect solution to avoid public charge is Short-Term Medical Insurance. There is no open enrollment period (you can apply at any time), and most plans can last anywhere from one month up to thirty-six months. Although these plans do not cover pre-existing conditions, immigrations consider these plans “positively” when using the public charge test.

Are New Legal Permanent Residents Eligible for Medicare Coverage through ACA?

USA Permanent Residents

Are New Legal Permanent Residents Eligible for Medicare Coverage through ACA?

One of the questions we get asked most frequently is whether or not new legal permanent residents are eligible for Medicare coverage through the ACA. The short answer is yes — however there are strict eligibility requirements immigrants must meet and qualify for U.S. Healthcare Marketplace coverage.

To be eligible for Medicare, a person must first be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident who is past his/her 65th birthday. Additionally, the person or their spouse must have worked in the United States and paid Medicare taxes for a minimum of forty (40) quarters. If you’re a recent legal permanent resident or new immigrant to the U.S. and haven’t worked in the U.S., you may not immediately qualify for Medicare. In this case, you can still purchase it as long as the following applies to you:

  • You’re 65 years or older
  • You’ve recently become a U.S. Citizen by naturalization and haven’t worked enough quarters in the U.S. to have social security coverage
  • You’re a green card holder and have constantly lived in the United States for 5 years or longer and don’t qualify for social security benefits

If you are a recent immigrant that has not yet accrued 40 quarters of work history but is lawfully present, you can qualify for health care (not Medicare) through the ACA. There is no five-year waiting period under the ACA and you could be eligible for subsidies to help offset costs.

If for some reason you are not qualified for government-supported healthcare or are unable to get private health insurance in the U.S. you may still be able to get short-term medical plans. And that’s where we come in! We are able to help new legal permanent residents get the right coverage they are looking for at an affordable price.  Questions? Give us a call — our agents are ready and waiting to help!