When it comes to your health, you can’t afford to take any risks, and you need to make sure that not only are you protected whilst at home, but also whilst travelling abroad. Medical insurance, Medigap policies and travel insurance will ensure the whole family are protected from illness or injury should the worst happen. Whilst it can be a minefield understanding the world of insurance, this handy guide is here to help you choose the right type of insurance for your needs, whilst explaining some of the benefits of each kind of insurance.
Whether you’re backpacking alone around the Himalayas or spending the weekend in France with the family, travel insurance is vital to ensure that you’re protected should the worst happen. Single-trip travel insurance can be bought cheaply online and will usually provide you with protection for your luggage should it be lost or stolen, curtailment or cancellation insurance in relation to your travel tickets and of course, medical cover should you be taken ill or become injured whilst on holiday. Not all travel insurance policies are created equal and you should check that all of the above are included as standard before taking out a policy. If you’re going to be travelling more than once in the next 12 months, it makes sense to take out a multi-trip or annual policy, which will cover you no matter how many times you travel. This type of policy is also a great idea if you’re going to be travelling frequently for business. There are a number of add-ons you’ll be able to select for your travel insurance too, such as specialist cover for the over 60’s or winter sports insurance, which will not only cover you for all of the above but also provide cover for your ski or snowboarding equipment. Many travel insurance policies will cover any children travelling with you for free and it’s important to make sure that you have adequate insurance in place to cover you, no matter where you’re travelling to.
If your employer doesn’t provide you with medical insurance, then you may want to research your eligibility for the various private programs available. Websites such as The Kaiser Family Foundation are a great place to research various policies – if you’ve been laid off from your job then you should be eligible for continued benefits through the Cobra scheme. It’s best to seek advice from a professional medical insurance advisor to find out what your options are if this happens. You can research the various types of health insurance available using websites such as http://www.healthinsurance.org/, where you can compare quotes from reputable insurance companies and learn more about the policies available and what’s on offer. Of course, if you’re approaching 65, you might be looking to add a supplemental policy to your existing Medicare insurance, and a company such as MediGapAdvisors.com will be able to look at your options and offer advice on applying for a Medigap policy.
If you’re approaching your 65th birthday, you will have a 6 month ‘grace’ period during which time any insurer must accept your application for a Medigap policy, regardless of your medical history or any existing medical conditions. This means that it’s vitally important you organize your options before you turn 65, so that you’re in a position to apply for a policy within the 6 month window. Medigap insurance is designed to fill the ‘gaps’ in your existing Medicare policy – for example it can be used to pay for the first three pints of blood you may need and can also be used to pay for longer hospital stays. By comparing the available policies and thinking about which gaps you would like to fill, you can tailor your policy to suit your individual needs and that’s where a company such as MediGapAdvisors can really help. It’s not all about the lowest possible premium – you need to make sure that the Medigap policy you’re applying for is right for your situation and think about which services you may need in future; this could depend on any existing medical conditions you may already have. It’s also important that you are realistic about the monthly premiums you can afford, as you’ll be paying this in addition to your existing Medicare premium and you may need to assess your financial situation after retirement to make sure that Medigap insurance is an affordable option for you.
George Torres is a freelance writer from Dayton, Ohio who has written widely on medical and health topics for the past 10 years. Having recently turned 65 and navigated the world of Medigap insurance with the assistance of an advisor, he knows just how hard it can be trying to make sure you have the right insurance in place to protect you. Nowadays, he wouldn’t be without his Medicare and Medigap policies and always makes sure he has travel insurance in place to protect him, even if he’s only heading off for a weekend break!