By , December 16, 2010 6:00 pm

We’ve spent a fair amount of time scouring the internet looking for medical insurance that will fit our needs as world travelers.

We looked for insurance that fulfilled our requirements as follow:

  1. Canadian travelers were eligible for coverage
  2. Medical expenses are covered globally without the requirement to re-book or register each new destination country
  3. Affordable
  4. Long terms 1 year or greater away from home
  5. Term can be extended or renewed while on the road

We were surprised at how few options we were able to find meeting the above requirements.  In particular, there were very few plans that would cover us for a single trip away from home equal to or longer than 1 year.

Here’s what we did find.  If you know of others that we should consider, please tell us about them.

International Medical Group (IMG) – Global Medical Insurance.  This is the cheapest option of the two.  There are several plan levels allowing you to customize your coverage.  You also set your insurance deductible allowing you to further reduce the cost of your chosen insurance plan.  The basic silver package provides $5,000,000 in lifetime medical benefits, and $50,000 for emergency evacuation.  This is just medical insurance, no additional trip cancellation, lost baggage, or theft insurance is included.

World Nomads – These guys have plenty of recommendations from travelers who have used their product.  They are also recommended by Lonely Planet.  There is only a single plan available with no deductible.  The plan provides a similar $5,000,000 in medical coverage, and a whopping $500,000 for emergency evacuation.  In addition, this plan provides additional insurance for trip cancellation, lost baggage, and theft.

We haven’t decided which plan we are going to choose for our trip yet, when we do we’ll let you know.  Your comments on theses and other options are greatly appreciated and will help us make our decision.

8 Responses to “Long Term Global Medical Insurance”

  1. Mike D says:

    Good and informative article on world wide medical cover.I am an insurance broker based in UK and one thing I would always advise apart from reading small print,is disclose everything! I mean when yiu take out cover make sur and tell the insurer all pre existing medical history,what you are going to do when you travel e.g. hazardous sports and so on.Disclosure is everything when it comes to insurance of any type,do not give the insurer the chance not to pay out

    • Mike Lenzen says:

      That’s some good advice. Most of the negative reviews of insurance companies I found when scouring the internet forums were cases where people were denied coverage because they were in a plan that did not apply to them, or they had pre-existing conditions that were not disclosed, or covered.

  2. Michayla says:

    Hi, great post, I had a question for you two, from a fellow canadian 🙂 – Do either of you have any daily medications (prescriptions) you have to take ie) birth control, heart burn, iron, etc… Do you know if a pharmacist is allowed to give you enough to last your whole trip? or are you allowed to get prescriptions filled in other countries?

    • Mike Lenzen says:

      Ashley is on birth control, and she brought a 1 year supply from home. Her doctor gave her a year long prescription, and she picked it up at planned parenthood because it was a bit cheaper than the pharmacy, and our medical insurance would not cover a 1 year supply. On the other hand, everywhere we’ve been in Central America has been on a self prescribe policy. You can just walk into any pharmacy and tell them what they want, and they will sell it to you. No need to see a doctor. We bought some antibiotics and 10 weeks of anti-malarials this way. And they were really, really, cheap. Hope that helps.

  3. Anna says:

    Wow…Seems like a dream come true to be travelling the world! I was wondering if you ever needed to make a claim to IMG and if they ever used “pre-existing condition” to try and get out of not paying…Please share more of you experiences with IMG.

    • Mike Lenzen says:

      We never needed to use IMG, so we really can’t comment. I can say that we discontinued use of their product after one year due to changes in their policy terms that were scheduled to take effect upon renewal. Essentially, the product we had purchased used to cover us in all countries except for the USA, and Canada. After the renewal period, the number of countries excluded was expanded significantly enough that it no longer suited our needs.

  4. John C says:

    I thought I was protected with IMG and was denied on my way into the operating room for cancer after holding the policy for 19 months. Take about added stress. IMG further compounded the aggravation with a anonymous letters that were intended to thwart and frustrate my efforts offer restitution. My agent Robert Tillotson of Tiliglobe insurance even denied I bought the policy through him although everything was don through his website. The admitter at Biblical Hospital in San Jose Costa Rica just roller her eyes when I gave her my insurance card, and then asked for my credit card instead. She said IMG is terrible at paying out claims. Robert Tillotson did stay in contact while I was insured, he solicited my wife to meet him in Los Angeles on one of his trips. IMG would appear to grab your policy money and deny and coverage. Get references from hospitals or people who have had medical bills before trusting and agents or insurance companies words. Even the benefits IMG advertises appear to be word smithed.

    • Mike Lenzen says:

      Thanks so much for the feedback. We have not yet had to use IMG, but your report doesn’t lend me a lot of confidence. The next time we need insurance, we’ll look at other options.

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