Repatriation Insurance Policy
A traveler may suffer a sickness or injury while he’s in a foreign country. A domestic insurance policy may not cover the cost of airline tickets that allow the traveler to immediately return to a hospital in his home country, and it may not reimburse the medical expenses that the traveler incurs in another country.
Repatriation insurance is a type of travel insurance policy that covers the traveler’s return expenses if they’re greater than normal transportation costs.
Repatriation insurance also covers certain expenses if the traveler dies. The policy pays for embalming costs, as well as for the transportation expenses involved with sending the traveler’s body back to her home country. A life insurance policy doesn’t always cover these costs when the insured individual dies in another country.
A repatriation insurance policy should allow coverage for events that are reasonably likely to occur in the country that the traveler is visiting. For example, if the traveler is visiting a country where floods are common, the repatriation insurance policy should include flood-related incidents.
Insurance policies may exclude personal risks the traveler takes, such as skiing or mountain climbing, so if the traveler plans to participate in these sports during a vacation, he should make sure that the policy covers them.
Repatriation insurance may be required for a visa applicant. The host country doesn’t want to pay for the traveler’s hospital bills or the costs of returning an injured traveler safely to his home country.
The host country may list certain events that an acceptable repatriation insurance policy must cover, such as the traveler’s death, or specify a minimum coverage value and deductible.
Purchasing health insurance that provides coverage in a foreign country is an alternative to repatriation insurance. The federal Medicare and Medicaid programs usually don’t pay for hospital bills that a patient incurs in a foreign country, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
A private health-insurance policy may cover foreign medical treatment, but the patient may need to pay for travel to a hospital that participates in the plan.
A travel insurance policy may include both medical evacuation insurance, which covers costs such as the use of an air ambulance to bring the traveler back from a remote location in the foreign country, and repatriation coverage.
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