Expat Worldwide Medical Plans

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Am I guaranteed to be issued a GeoBlue Xplorer policy if I apply?
    • No, GeoBlue Xplorer Essential and Select are not a guaranteed issue plan. Each application is medically underwritten. Your application may be 1) accepted, 2) denied, or 3) (for Essential only) accepted with a rate increase due to your health status.

  • Is the quote I receive binding?
    • No, the quote you receive is not binding. The quote you receive may not apply if 1) you provided us with an inaccurate zip code, 2) you mis-stated a material fact on your application, or 3)(for Essential only) we increase the rate due to your health status.

  • When determining a rate while overseas, what zip code should I use?
    • Policies for U.S. citizens/permanent residents applying from overseas are issued through the Global Citizen Association office in Washington D.C. The zip code that applied is 20036. Enter "0" in the quoting tool if applying online while living overseas.

  • How long will the medical underwriting process take?
    • The underwriting time frame depends on the medical history listed on the application. Also, Xplorer Select applicants are eligible for a shortened application process. Turnaround for both plans can be as quick as one day or as long as one month. Our commitment is to respond to a submission in writing within 2-3 business days. This may mean that we notify the applicant that they erroneously missed a question on the application form. For the Essential plan, we may send a request for additional information to the applicant, such as a specific medical questionnaire, or occasionally we have to obtain medical records from hospitals or providers. Our turnaround time in these situations will depend on how quickly the provider responds to our request.

      If we receive the application before the requested effective date, we can honor the effective date even if the approval comes through thereafter.

  • Once I'm approved for coverage do I have to go through medical underwriting again?
    • You do not need to go through medical underwriting when you re-enroll into your current plan design without changes. You may be medically underwritten again if you decide to select different benefits (see below). Plan changes can only be requested at the time of re-enrollment.

      If a member would like to increase benefits(by lowering a deductible or adding pharmacy coverage) they must complete a new underwriting application. If a member would like to reduce their benefits, they do not need to complete a new underwriting application.

  • How do I calculate out-of-pocket expenses and the annual limit?
    • Out-of-pocket expenses are defined as the expenses a member incurs when satisfying the plans deductible and coinsurance requirements. The total annual out-of-pocket expense limit is calculated by adding the deductible and coinsurance maximum together. Deductibles must be satisfied before most benefits are paid.

  • How are the deductible and coinsurance calculated for families?
    • Deductibles are per person deductibles. For a family, the maximum deductible is increased by a factor of 2.5., regardless of the size of the family.

  • Will my policy automatically renew? At what rate?
    • You can re-enroll in a GeoBlue Xplorer Essential policy up to age 84 and a GeoBlue Xplorer Select policy up to age 64. The policy does not automatically renew upon your request. You will be notified of your new plan rate at least 30 days prior to your policy expiration date. You must confirm your new policy rate in writing or by accepting the rate when logged in to our secure website. Plan rates are based on age at time of enrollment and are impacted by medical inflation. You will not be asked any medical questions and your personal health history will not determine your new rate. GeoBlue Xplorer rates are standard rates for all re-enrolling members. Rates are reviewed and approved by state insurance regulators, which protects your rights and guarantees fairness. By contrast, offshore/surplus lines insurers are not required to file rates for approval.

  • When does my coverage end?
    • We may terminate your policy if:

      a. You no longer meet the eligibility requirements

      b. You fail to pay your premium

      c. We discover that you committed fraud or misrepresented a material fact to GeoBlue.

      d. We terminate the plan in your state or geographic service area.

  • Why would I want this insurance if the country I am going to offers me National Health Insurance?
    • National or Public Health Insurance can be very different to what most Americans are used to and can be of limited service for mobile citizens. Many public plans offer less in terms of medical services than what is covered under a private plan. In particular, public plans generally only cover you in your host country or region. For an expatriate that travels for business or returns home throughout the year, benefits stop at the border. When covered under a national plan you may not have access to the leading private facilities or specialists. You may experience different treatment protocols or long waiting periods for elective surgeries. It is unlikely you will be covered for medical evacuation benefits under a public health plan. With GeoBlue you are covered all around the world with comprehensive coverage and access to the best treatment options. If you select one of our plans with the US coverage area, you are free to return home for treatment and to convalesce. You can also keep the coverage for up to 9 months upon repatriation, guaranteeing future insurability. Purchasing plans that are U.S. Admitted, like GeoBlue�s Expat policies, offers better benefits, unrivaled networks and a high degree of consumer protection.

  • Will my pre-existing condition be covered under a GeoBlue Xplorer plan?
    • If you were previously covered by a group or individual U.S. health plan that issues you a Certificate of Creditable Coverage, GeoBlue will apply this prior coverage to the pre-existing conditions waiting period, provided you meet GeoBlue's medical underwriting criteria. Note on Select Option: You need to stay continuously enrolled under a U.S. primary health plan to meet the eligibility requirements. GeoBlue will also consider private health insurance issued in other countries as creditable coverage. GeoBlue does not consider surplus lines insurance sold in the U.S. as creditable coverage.

      The number of months of coverage shown on the Certificate will reduce or eliminate the six month pre-existing condition waiting period. If you have six or more months of creditable coverage, your waiting period will be eliminated. If you have less than six months creditable coverage, your waiting period will be reduced by the number of months you had creditable coverage. For example, if you have two months of creditable coverage, your waiting period will be reduced from six months to four months.

  • How do I access participating medical providers outside the U.S. and avoid claim forms?
    • GeoBlue's Global Health and Safety services help members identify, access, and pay for quality healthcare all over the world. This includes a contracted community of elite providers in 180 countries. Members can access these carefully selected providers and arrange for the bills to be sent directly to GeoBlue for payment. GeoBlue will automatically arrange for direct settlement of the bill for this visit. Please note, direct billing may not be available everywhere.

      Direct billing can also be requested by calling the assistance telephone number listed on your member ID card, or by emailing GeoBlue.

      A claims instruction page is available online and can be accessed by visiting www.geobluetravelinsurance.com and selecting "Contact Us" from the top right navigation bar. Claim forms are downloadable from this section of the site as well.

  • I am located in Washington state and therefore am not eligible to buy a GeoBlue Xplorer plan. When will Washington be an approved state?
    • It is very difficult to predict state approvals. We are working with state insurance regulators to accelerate the process if possible.

      If you are going abroad, you may wish to complete a pre-screening form prior to leaving. You can then apply for coverage using an abbreviated application when you are no longer a resident of Washington.

  • I purchased a plan, but would like to cancel my insurance prior to its expiration. Will I have to pay any cancellation fees?
    • Any cancellation requests must come from the insured subscriber and be received by GeoBlue in writing via email, fax or regular mail. There are no cancellation fees or penalties. However, GeoBlue does not refund premium for a partial month. Retroactive cancellations are also not permitted.

  • Are acts of terrorism covered under this plan?
    • Yes. The GeoBlue Xplorer plans do not exclude illnesses or injuries related to terrorism or a terrorist act. In order to be covered in countries where there are open hostilities, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, a member must not be engaged in hostile or combative activities. If you are moving to or are in a country with a state department travel warning, contact your agent or GeoBlue to see if you are eligible to be issued a plan. Please note, once issued coverage is afforded to members in all countries.

  • How does the optional pharmacy benefit work?
    • The Global Xplorer plans include a basic prescription drug benefit. The basic prescription drug benefit covers inpatient drugs up to policy maximum and is subject to the plan deductible and coinsurance. It also covers outpatient drugs at 100% up to a $500 annual limit. This outpatient drug benefit applies to drugs purchased outside of the U.S. An optional prescription drug benefit is available for purchase. This offers a higher limit than the basic drug benefit and is not subject to a deductible.

      The option prescription drug benefit for GeoBlue Xplorer plans is $3,000 (80% of actual charges) per year and includes access to drugs everywhere, except U.S. Members are also eligible to use our mail order pharmacy service.

  • How are medical evacuations decisions made?
    • The evacuation benefit pays for a medical evacuation to the nearest Hospital, appropriate medical facility or back to the U.S. Transportation must be by the most direct and economical route. All evacuations require written certification by the attending physician that the evacuation is medically necessary.

  • Is birth control covered?
    • Use of birth control is not automatically excluded on the policy. GeoBlue reviews the medical condition for which birth control is being used. If it is being used solely as a contraceptive, it is excluded. If it is being used to treat an approved condition, it will be covered. In this instance, the member will have to pay for the prescription up front and submit a claim to GeoBlue, along with a letter from the prescribing doctor indicating the medical necessity of the contraceptive.

  • How do I qualify for maternity benefits?
    • For Xplorer Essential:
      After 364 days of continuous coverage, GeoBlue Xplorer members are eligible to enroll in a new plan that covers maternity costs in the same way as all other conditions. Members do not need to submit a new health statement.

      For Xplorer Select:
      You are eligible for the maternity upgrade at time of enrollment. Higher rates apply and you must be continuously enrolled under a U.S. primary health plan.

  • The Xplorer Select plan requires a U.S. primary health plan. What constitutes a U.S. primary health plan?
    • A Primary Plan is a Group Health Benefit Plan, an individual health benefit plan, or a governmental health plan designed to be the first payor of claims for an Insured Person prior to the responsibility of this Plan. The plan needs to be a renewable, major medical plan that is ACA compliant. (Medicare and Medicaid do not constitute primary health care for the Select plan.)

  • What is the Global Citizens Association?
    • Global Citizens Association (GCA) is a non-profit organization that gives its members the opportunity to enhance global learning and lifestyles through safe and healthy world travel. With access to GCA resources such as the Healthy Travel Blog (www.healthytravelblog.com) and international medical assistance information and services, members are able to pursue extended episodes of international living that increase cross-cultural understanding and promote an abiding respect for the world’s many peoples. Founded in 1994 to serve international students, GCA has grown to encompass world travelers and expatriates in all corners of the globe. As an organization run for the benefit of its members, GCA conducts an annual meeting of its membership in January each year to select Board Members and to review and discuss benefits and membership policy.

  • Who is the insurer?
    • GeoBlue Xplorer Plans are underwritten by 4 Ever Life Insurance Company. 4 Ever Life Insurance Company enhances protection with unique underwriting solutions nationwide for insurance companies, brokers, agents, administrators, employers, employees and individuals. With over 60 years experience in enhancing protection, 4 Ever Life is rated “A-” (Excellent) by A.M. Best and licensed to provide health and life insurance solutions in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

      4 Ever Life Insurance Company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBS collectively covers over 100,000,000 members.

  • Do these plans meet the Affordable Care Acts requirement for Minimum Essential Coverage?
    • Xplorer Essential and Select plans are designed for international living and do not provide Minimum Essential Coverage required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Select members must retain their U.S. domestic coverage in order to be eligible and may thereby satisfy the ACA individual mandate. There is no need to purchase a policy with Minimum Essential Coverage if you are outside the U.S. for 330 days or more in a calendar year.

      These plans can be 1) accepted, 2) (Essential Plan only) accepted with a rate increase, or 3) denied based on the health history of the applicant(s). A waiting period for pre-existing conditions applies unless you have 6 months of prior creditable coverage.

      Visit GeoBlue Affordable Care Act FAQ's for more information.

  • Where can I read the fine print?