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Extended travel with ACA
Old 02-23-2020, 11:07 AM   #1
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Extended travel with ACA

This is our first year on ACA, actually it will start on April 1. The only practical provider in our area is Ambetter, which basically does not offer any coverage away from home. We are planning an extended, indefinite length, trip to Alaska (and Canada) this summer.

What are other ACA insureds doing for medical coverage during extended travel?

I'm finding travel insurance that bundles medical and evac insurance with a bunch of other stuff I don't care about like trip cancellation, lost baggage, rental car, etc.... Is there a pure travel medical insurance provider?
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Old 02-23-2020, 12:06 PM   #2
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You're free to apply a trip price of $0 (or $1) when pricing the insurance. That will give you the medical and nothing for the trip or those other extras you don't want.

ACA, no different than private insurance, should/will provide out of network coverage in an emergency situation. They likely wouldn't provide evac cost coverage, but as far as the hospital goes, I would be surprised if there was no coverage.

One suggestion to entirely avoid dealing with your insurance in the event medical attention is required - look for a travel plan which provides "primary" medical coverage as opposed to "secondary". Primary means they cover it, no hassles, no need to even check with your ACA provider. In the case of secondary, you will have to go to your ACA insurer and show that you have no coverage. In the event that your ACA insurer provides any coverage, then there will be a coordination of benefits between the two providers - the travel insurance only covering above what your ACA does not. So, it is possible that the travel insurance will cover nothing if your ACA insurer does cover it.

So, if you opt for secondary medical coverage with the travel insurance, before doing it, you should check with your ACA insurer to be sure of what they do/don't cover - otherwise you may be paying for insurance you won't get any benefit out of. If you go primary, there's no involvement with your ACA insurer - the travel insurance will automatically pay it all.
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Old 02-24-2020, 07:20 AM   #3
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I believe Urgent Care would be covered if you are out of town.
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Old 02-24-2020, 07:28 AM   #4
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It really depends on your provider, and their network. I'd probably call them and discuss options - throw scenarios at them:

Heart attack, Broken leg, etc. Of course, asking about Alaska is on thing, Canada is entirely different. Travel plan coverage is needed for international stuff generally, at least coverage for emergency + get home. Depending on the country you are visiting as well, they might cover emergency stuff for tourists (I believe the UK has some allowances, others will know better).

Fortunately for us with Florida Blue, we know their network extends when out of state to provide quite decent emergency options.
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Old 02-24-2020, 08:40 AM   #5
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I called Ambetter this morning. In the USA emergency room visits are covered only if you are not admitted to the hospital. If you are admitted then there is no coverage. Internationally there is no coverage at all.

We need to find a good travel medical insurance!
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Old 02-24-2020, 01:55 PM   #6
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There are policies that cover you within the U.S. as long as you are at least 100 miles from home...so you'd want one that both pays for "evacuation" & medical coverage until you get back to your home network of providers. I've posted on this in the past, will see if I can find the info.
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Old 02-27-2020, 03:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncbill View Post
There are policies that cover you within the U.S. as long as you are at least 100 miles from home...so you'd want one that both pays for "evacuation" & medical coverage until you get back to your home network of providers. I've posted on this in the past, will see if I can find the info.
Any luck finding this? I haven't found anything that seems to fit.
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Old 02-27-2020, 10:14 AM   #8
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Any luck finding this? I haven't found anything that seems to fit.
We use this (Travel Pro Deluxe) but medical coverage limits are pretty low before you get back to your home network:

https://travel.nationwide.com/plans/annual
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Old 02-27-2020, 10:58 AM   #9
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Thanks for the link. That wouldn't work for us because the max individual trip length is 30 days.

So far the best I have found is AIG Travelguard, but I'm still looking.
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