Most of our missionary travelers can find adequate coverage with the Patriot Plan as described on this site. If you are traveling for over a year, it may be best to purchase a long term international policy. The best way to do this would be to call 877-305-9083 and discuss your current situation with us.
Reasons You Need Medical Insurance when on a Missionary
- Many people on a missionary are participating in activities they may not normally participate in, such as building structures, or other construction type work. Some of these task can put the traveler in unfamiliar situations and unfamiliar surroundings. Suddenly, 9-5 corporate office worker is on a wooden ladder building a thatch roof in hundred degree weather…
- Several missionaries travel to remote areas of the world where the local hospital may be four concrete walls or even a hut with a dirt floor. With these types of locations the patient must travel a great distance or even need medical evacuation.
Here’s the Big Question: Who are you going to call?
Unfortunately, your US policy, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Cigna, United Healthcare, Humana, or Medicare – have no obligation to help you outside of the United States. If you call them from abroad they will recommend keeping the receipts and you can try submitting them when you return.
This leaves you to provide CASH to the hospital when you arrive. It is not uncommon to hear of travelers calling their family to wire money to the hospital to receive care. Furthermore, many hospitals will hold your passport until the bill is paid in full.
However, the REAL concern is evacuation. The novice traveler may believe that a hospital is a hospital is a hospital, but many hospitals across the world do not have access to modern equipment, medicines, or hardware.
Some of he most common evacuations are to get the injured client to a facility with not only an available surgeon, but also the available hardware to successfully perform the surgery.
Most Americans can think back to Civil War movies and documentaries where limbs were quickly amputated to prevent gangrene. Sadly, this practice still exists in many parts of our world.
The good news is the savvy traveler will have an international medical insurance policy. So, this traveler will simply call the number on their card. With plans such as the Patriot Plan, the customer support is available 24/7 and in the emergency you are transferred to a nurse who is familiar with your region, and the nurse takes control of your situation.
One of the first things the nurse does is submit a Guarantee of Payment. This is an internationally accepted legal form that validates that you are covered and that your bill will be paid. The telephone nurse then begins gathering all available health information to build a file. If need be a US doctor on staff can review the medical records and a medical translator can speak with the local physicians to review treatments and discuss possible evacuation.
Last year over 500,000 claims were paid on international travel through the Patriot Plan. Approximately, two people a week are evacuated for serious medical reasons.
Here’s the Good News!
Most travelers are healthy while they travel!