UPDATED: Apr 12, 2018
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GeoBlue is actually the trade name of a company known as Worldwide Insurance Services, LLC, and was founded in 1997. According to the website, GeoBlue also administers policies written by Bermuda-based insurance company 4 Ever Life International, which licenses the BCBS name as well. This fine print leaves some confusion as to which company is actually underwriting policies.
The policies offered by GeoBlue are all medical plans; their plans include very limited trip protection and are focused instead on health coverage. Plans are sold online and through insurance agents, travel agents, and other travel booking services.
Among GeoBlue’s products are single and multi-trip travel health plans, expatriate plans, student coverage, and group policies. They provide a large network of providers, clinics, and hospitals around the world, with 24/7 assistance and mobile access
As noted GeoBlue only writes health insurance. There are two main types of plan – travel medical for short or long-term trips, and medical plans for people living abroad for extended periods. The latter provides more than just emergency coverage and includes things like preventative care and prescription benefits.
Voyager is GeoBlue’s single trip emergency medical travel health product. There are two plans under the Voyager name.
The Voyager Essential and Choice plans are similar in most areas, with the option to select a medical coverage limit ranging from $50,000 up to $1,000,000. Both have $500,000 in medical evacuation coverage. The Choice plan has a higher accidental death & dismemberment (AD&D) limit at $50,000 versus $25,000.
The biggest difference between the plans is in pre-existing condition coverage, which has a 180-day exclusion on the Essential plan but no exclusion on the Choice. Choice also covers prescriptions at 100%, while Essential only reimburses 50%. Both plans have a choice of deductibles starting at $0 and going up to $500.
Minimal trip protection is included with these medical-focused plans, but they do both have $500 in baggage coverage and $500 in trip interruption coverage.
Voyager is also offered as group plan at reduced rates.
Like the Voyager plans, Trekker plans come at either Choice or Essential levels, but these plans are multi-trip rather than single. The plans cover multiple trips of less than 70 days in duration over a 12-month period.
The Essential plan has lower limits, at $50,000 for medical and $250,000 of medical evacuation coverage. It provides 100% of prescription medication reimbursement, up to a total of $2,500. The plan has a $50 deductible and pre-existing conditions are covered.
The Choice plan bumps medical coverage up to $250,000, with a limit of $100,000 for those between the ages of 70 and 84. Medical evacuation is covered up to $500,000. This plan adds AD&D coverage of $25,000. Prescription reimbursement is 100% up to $5,000. This plan also has a $50 deductible and covers pre-existing conditions.
The Xplorer plans are long-term coverage designed for people living abroad for more extended periods that covered by a travel plan. The plans can either include the U.S. or provide only international coverage.
These plans cover many aspects of medical care, in much the same way that a regular major medical plan does. This includes preventative care, illness or injury visits, surgery, chronic care, prescriptions, and more. There are a variety of coverage and deductible options to choose from.
The Navigator line of plans are medical coverage plans that can be selected for a variety of different travel abroad needs. The three categories are Education, Crew, and Missionary.
Navigator plans are long-term, designed for people who are spending time abroad for a specific reason, whether it is work, education, or missionary work. Like the Xplorer plans, these operate as major medical coverage and include the same type of coverage.
The final GeoBlue coverage category is Corporate, which is designed to provide medical coverage to business travelers who are on an assignment away from their home country for extended periods of time.
We ran a quote for a 30-year-old traveler taking a 7-day trip. The Voyager Choice plan returned three options for medical coverage levels. At the low end, $50,000 in coverage with a $500 deductible came in at $10.56. The highest level of coverage, at $1,000,000 medical with no deductible, came in at $18.24. Considering the huge increase in coverage, this plan offers the best value for the cost, and the upgrade would be well worth it.
We also quoted the Essential plan, which is a budget option and has a pre-existing condition clause. For the same coverage limits, the low-end plan was $9.44, and the high end $14.88. Compared with the Choice plan rates, the minimal price difference brings added benefits as well as removing the pre-existing condition clause, making it a better value.
Annual plans came in at $100 for the Essential and $175 for the Choice plan. With five times the medical coverage, the Choice plan is again a good value.
It is important to remember that the low rates here are due to the fact that these are medical plans and include very little trip protection coverage and with no cancellation coverage at all.
Because they operate as a health insurance company, GeoBlue contracts with a network of providers in many nations, allowing them to handle claims directly in many cases. In other cases, the insured may need to pay upfront and submit for reimbursement. The website does not provide any information on how to do this.
There is a member services login area where policyholders can access and manage claims and it seems likely that this is the area where submission of claims would be handled. GeoBlue also has a toll-free customer service line, an email address, and a contact form on the website.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
GeoBlue has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and there are a total of five customer complaints on file in the past three years, two of which were closed in the past 12 months. The last time we reviewed this company, we were unable to locate a BBB file; in spite of the company being in business since 1997, the file was only opened a few years ago. GeoBlue became BBB accredited in early 2017.
We were unable to find further reviews of GeoBlue in any of the usual locations. In spite of their representation by a huge name in insurance and more than 20 years in business, there is very little in terms of the company’s reputation out there. In many cases, no news is good news in terms of reviews, but it does make it more difficult to form a clear picture of this company’s customer service record.
The Bottom Line
GeoBlue has a lot of travel medical and long-term coverage options to choose from, at very reasonable rates. They’re backed by the Blue Cross Blue Shield name, although there is some confusion in terms of the various company names underlying the brand. There are no red flags in the minimal reputation information available; GeoBlue is probably a good choice for those who need medical coverage without trip protection.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.