As travel returns to pre-pandemic levels, UnitedHealthcare has recently introduced a set of three travel protection plans called SafeTrip, which offer healthcare insurance and trip cancellation coverage for Americans.
The first travel plan is International Travel Medical, which provides insurance coverage in the case of an accident or illness while traveling. Through this plan, Americans have access to care coordination services, evacuation support and a network for more than 1.7 million care providers and 176,000 clinics, hospitals or healthcare facilities in 180 countries. They can also use virtual care services or connect with the Emergency Response Center for non-medical problems.
Another plan available to Americans is Travel Protection. This plan offers coverage for unexpected flight changes, such as interruptions, delays or cancellations. It can also cover loss of baggage or added costs for pet care if a person’s flight is delayed.
Lastly, there is International Travel Medical Plus, which is a combination of International Travel Medical and Travel Protection.
“What [these plans] do is if you’re traveling — especially away from home overseas and become ill — they provide you with a degree of security and comfort knowing that you’re going to be taken care of,” said Dr. Amit Arwindekar, medical director for North America, in an interview.
The travel plans are available for all Americans, not just UnitedHealthcare members, Arwindekar said. Average premiums range between $80 to $150 depending on the plan selected, trip length, trip cost, state of residence and age of travelers.
While UnitedHealthcare offered travel plans in the past, the new offerings are improved versions following changes to travel due to Covid-19.
“We wanted to include more benefits that are important to people who are traveling, things like trip cancellation, especially in the era of Covid,” Arwindekar said. “We realized trips were getting canceled because of health concerns. People have become much more diligent about their health … The plans include better benefits for travel, better benefits for trip cancellation, better benefits for better coverage of medical issues when you’re traveling.”
Arwindekar added that he hopes these plans offer Americans a sense of security when they’re traveling to an unfamiliar place.
“What we’ve seen over the last 12 months or so is that people want to get back out there and travel,” he said. “We’ve seen a lot of people go on these trips, but they don’t understand what the healthcare system is like where they’re going … We’ve seen so many cases where people get sick either with something they’ve had before or an unexpected accident happens and these stories become really heartbreaking.”
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