How UnitedHealthcare supports Americans' travel - MedCity News

As travel returns to pre-pandemic levels, UnitedHealthcare recently introduced a set of three travel protection plans called SafeTrip, which offer health insurance and trip cancellation coverage for Americans.

The first travel plan is International Travel Medical, which provides insurance coverage in the event of an accident or illness while traveling. Through this plan, Americans have access to care coordination services, evacuation support and a network of 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 contact the Emergency Response Center for non-medical issues.

Another plan available to Americans is Travel Protection. This plan offers coverage for unexpected flight changes such as disruptions, delays or cancellations. It can also cover lost luggage or additional pet care costs if a person’s flight is delayed.

Finally, there is International Travel Medical Plus, which is a combination of International Travel Medical and Travel Protection.

“What [these plans] what you need to do is if you’re traveling — especially away from home overseas and you get sick — they give you some level of security and comfort knowing you’re going to be taken care of,” said Dr. Amit Arvindekar, medical director for North America, in an interview.

The travel plans are available to all Americans, not just UnitedHealthcare members, Arvindekar said. Average premiums range between $80 and $150 depending on the plan selected, length of trip, cost of trip, country of residence and age of travelers.

While UnitedHealthcare has offered travel plans in the past, the new offerings are improved versions following travel changes due to Covid-19.

“We wanted to include more benefits that are important to people who travel, things like trip cancellation, especially in the age of Covid,” Arvindekar said. “We understand that trips are being canceled due to health issues. People have become much more health conscious… Plans include better travel benefits, better trip cancellation benefits, better benefits for better medical coverage when you travel.”

Arvindekar added that he hopes these plans will offer Americans a sense of security when traveling to an unfamiliar place.

“What we’ve seen in 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 health system is like where they’re going… We’ve seen so many cases where people get sick either from something they’ve had before or an unexpected accident happens and these stories they get really heartbreaking.”

Photo: izzetugutmen, Getty Images

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