Date: February 19, 2007
Subject: Question for the Travelers
Hi Jessica (and Tim),
I just read your piece in the Haverford online newsletter, and I had a few questions. I am a Haverford graduate (class of '04) and I am also planning to embark on an "epic journey" beginning this June. It starts with a 3 month volunteer project in Paraguay, and will hopefully take me around South America, over to Asia, and possibly to Africa and/or Europe.
I am currently starting to think about some of the more mundane details of the trip. My question for you is regarding health insurance. Did you invest in a specific sort of insurance for long-term travel? I know my current insurance will cover up to 3 months of international travel, but is a bit spotty after that.
Any thoughts or recommendations you could provide would be greatly appreciated!
Hi Erica! Jessica here.
We were both so excited to read about your upcoming trip. It sounds like you have a great itinerary planned, and we'd love to hear more about it. Now that we're home again, we have a craving for anything travel-related! Do you have any plans to keep a travel blog while you're on the road?
Regarding travel insurance...
We did have health insurance while we traveled, and while we never had to use it, we'd definitely recommend some. For about $580 each, we each got a year's worth of coverage for up to two million dollars. Now, $1,160 was a *huge* chunk of cash to have to lay out at the beginning of our trip, but we thought it was worth it. It was nice not have to worry about being absolutely *buried* in debt because one of us broke a leg in Cambodia and had to be airlifted to Thailand for treatment or something. Again, we never wound up using it, but we definitely don't consider it money wasted.
We did a lot of research and eventually went with International Medical Group (IMG), both because they came so highly recommended and because their plans made the most sense for us. We both signed up for the ExPatriot Plus package, for one year of coverage with a $2mil maximum and a $500 deductible, and it came out to about $580 each. When we extended our trip, we added on another 4 months of additional coverage for about another $200 each. You can pay extra to be covered for extreme sports (although interestingly, no one in the world will cover you if you go up in a hot-air balloon!), but we chose not to. IMG also covers you once you're back home in the US at the end of your trip: you get one month of US coverage for every six months of travel coverage you buy.
We hope this helped! And definitely drop us a line if any of that didn't make sense (or if you think up any other questions, no worries either way: we're happy to help).
Best of luck in the coming months! We're both incredibly jealous that we aren't leaving on another trip in June too!
- Jessica (and Tim)