International Medical Insurance – Missionary Coverage?
Thousands upon thousands of people every year go on missionary trips abroad to help those in need after a natural disaster, build churches and schools, share their faith, or assist people with medical needs. Missionary work is one of the oldest forms of outreach the religious community has offered. Even non-religious organizations do missionary work. What these organizations have in common is that they both often go into dangerous locations with snakes, bugs, and diseases they have never encountered. They may also face political climates they have never seen before. Uprisings, riots, political coups, these are happening more and more frequently. These are a few reasons it is prudent for missionaries to carry international medical insurance.
If you are going to go on a missionary trip to a country that you are unfamiliar with or know that the risk of being injured or becoming ill is higher than in the United States it is important to know what your international medical insurance will cover. Many plans have an unlimited lifetime and annual benefit both in and outside of the US. Primary care office visits are covered but usually are capped at a maximum number of visits per year and will often have a copay of sorts. Outpatient medical care will be handled for you as well as surgeries, in-patient medical care, and things like anesthesia or X-Rays will be covered. Ambulance services, some physical therapy, and prescription drugs will be covered. You will also have some coverage for medical evacuation if it is necessary to get you back to the United States for medical treatment.
International medical insurance plans designed for missionaries do have some limitations. They require you to be outside the United States for at least 3 months. Don’t worry though, if you plan on going on a much shorter missionary trip there are other options for you. Benefits are more limited inside the US as these plans are designed to be used outside of the country. However, these plans are usually very affordable and offer low deductibles for the policyholder.
Each international medical insurance policy is different and you have many options you can choose on your particular policy. Be sure to speak with your broker about the breakdown of your policy and what is and is not covered or call or email us with any questions.