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Your Business Travel Policy May Not Cover What You Expect

travelmap.jpgBetween important client meetings, delayed flights, and the hassle of travel the last thing your employees should be worried about is if they are covered when away on company business. Employers often want to provide protection for their employees on work-related trips; however, when determining which business travel policy to purchase, it’s important to look at specifics that identify what is and what is not covered. There are two very different and broad types of group business travel plans and it’s crucial to be able to distinguish between the two. 

Global Accident Coverage

The first type of plan is essentially for global accident coverage.  It provides financial protection and a lump-sum benefit when an employee experiences an accident that results in serious injury or death. These policies generally cover employees both domestically and globally and are called Business Travel Accident plans. They cover employees whether that business travel is driving to the post office or flying to China.  However, they act more like accidental death and dismemberment plans than fully insured medical coverage as they won’t cover medical expenses, such as twisted ankles or sinus infections.

International Medical Coverage

The other type of plan provides international medical coverage for business travelers. If an employee is injured or becomes ill while traveling on company business, these plans act more as international medical coverage. So, if you are in Dubai on a business trip and sprain your ankle walking to your client meeting, this type of policy will cover that injury. These policies will carve out domestic coverage and focus on foreign travel. Also known as Business Travel Medical plans, they generally vet physicians internationally and establish a network in countries throughout the world. Those doctors that are in-network generally agree to guarantee billing at the point of service meaning the member will not pay out-of-pocket for services.  Instead, claim payments will be made directly to the providers and doctors outside the United States.     

Still, other plans combine these two types of policies into one benefit. So, it’s important to be able to identify what the group business travel policy provides and how it aligns with what you are looking to protect. 

Other Important Questions to Ask

  • Does your plan provide coverage for spouses and dependents?
  • Does your plan provide sojourn coverage meaning “fun” trips tacked onto business trips would be covered as well?
  • Is there a pre-existing condition limitation on the plan?

Knowing the difference between what your medical plans cover and don't cover is key to protecting your employees. 

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