Here is an excellent video on why people buy International Medical Insurance. This is only one example of a serious accident that turned out Okay. Thousands of stories like this exist.
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What are the Schengen Countries Insurance Requirements?
The following countries are included in the Schengen Area and have special travel medical insurance requirements:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein,
Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Ready to Shop? Check Rates on International Medical Insurance.
Travel Insurance Rules for Schengen Area
- Medical Health Insurance Coverage of 30,000 Euro ($41,000 US)
- Policy must cover emergency medical evacuation and return of mortal remains
Essentially, the Patriot Plan will meet these requirement without any problem. Once you purchase your plan you will get an email almost instantly. The email will have a link to a Visa Letter. The Visa letter can be printed and should be kept with you when you pass through customs. The Visa Letter includes full contact information so customs could call and validate coverage if they desired to do so. Here is an excerpt of the Visa Letter used for a primary destination of Italy with a $50,000 policy limit:
Medical coverage is provided while traveling worldwide outside of the insured person’s Home Country including ITALY, per the policy provisions. Coverage includes the Schengen states per the policy provisions. Emergency evacuation (also known as Repatriation) is provided up to a maximum benefit of 500,000.00 USD, and Return of Mortal Remains benefits up to a maximum of 50,000.00 USD are included. A copy of the Schedule of Benefits providing an outline of coverage provided, limitations and maximum benefits, is attached, as well as the Declaration Page of the Certificate indicated above. This information will verify that Eligible Expenses, including Hospitalization expenses, are subject to an annual deductible. The maximum limit of coverage for the lifetime of the coverage is 50,000.00 USD.Ready to Shop? Check Rates on International Medical Insurance.
What is a medical evacuation and why would I need it?
A medical evacuation occurs when one becomes ill or injured and needs to be taken to a medical facility, or when the current facility they are harbored does not have the resources and the patient needs to be taken to a better equipped facility.
Often times facilities in parts of Africa, Asia, Central America, and South America have limited resources to treat patients. The uneducated traveler would think of this as treatment for chemotherapy or brain or heart surgery. Most travelers are surprised to learn that often times it is very basic surgeries that cannot be performed at the facility.
For example, we had a 12 year old boy on a missionary in Africa with his parents. He fell from a roof while he was working with his father. The boy was knocked unconscious and also broke both his legs. The local hospital did have a CAT Scan and was able to confirm that his head injury would be fine. However, his severely broken legs required specialty hardware that was not available. The hardware was very expensive and not feasible to keep a stockpile of that hardware on site. At this point our client had to be evacuated to another country where we were able to locate a surgeon and the hardware. The evacuation flight was $24,000. A large cash deposit was required. After a 2.5 hour flight the child went into surgery and his legs were both saved. Had the boy been a local a local African child, his open right leg fracture would most likely had been amputated. In many country’s it is common practice to amputate the infected limb in order to stop the spreading infection. Without the correct hardware, the facility had no possible way properly re-attach the bone.
Americans often forget how advanced US medicine is and how readily we all have access to care. While medical evacuation is rare, it often not only saves limbs, but also lives.
Why do I need travel medical insurance?
You may already have a US policy such as Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, or United Healthcare. But these policies have very little obligation to you once you are off US soil. The more important question is, “If you were traveling abroad and had a medical injury, who would you call?” Sadly, your US carrier is not open 24/7 nor do they speak any language besides English. So in an emergency medical situation they would not offer any guidance and would tell you to pay the bill on your own and to submit a claim when you return.
The medical coverage offered through International Medical Group has 24/7 customer support. Once you are in an emergency you would call the number on your card and have IMG take control of the situation. Often times when you check into a foreign hospital, the facility will take your passport and it will not be returned until you settle the balance. A company such as International Medical Group wires cash to over 168 countries and deals in over 100 currencies.