Look out for the future, because you never know what it might bring…
Question #91156 posted on 04/14/2018 2:42 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So I'm planning to submit mission papers soon, but something has been bothering me for some time. On the mission papers it asks what insurance I have but my insurance expires this month. I asked my Bishop if the church will cover me while on the mission or if I am required to pay for insurance. My family is not too well off, and they were wondering if it is possible for me to list no insurance the two years I'm on a mission and then when I come back get insurance. That being said, I'm concerned that not having insurance may affect where I am able to go, and I was wondering if this is true.

Second part of the question:

Long story short if I enter South Korea I will be arrested and put in the military for two years. I am a dual citizen(only found out end of last year) and was wondering if I put this on the mission papers, will I be restricted only to the US? The papers state that if I have travel restrictions I may be restricted to only the US, but this only applies to South Korea. My bishop doesn't know what to do and neither does my RA. Perhaps there is someone with similar experiences that can help? Thanks, and any and all advice is welcome.

-My Name Here

A:

Dear you,

This is only answering the second portion of your question: please include your travel restrictions on your mission papers. Cause you know what? Serving in the U.S. will still give you incredible opportunities as a missionary. It's not like serving foreign somehow makes you a better missionary. And you definitely don't want to even chance being called to South Korea.

Finally, considering the papers only say you may be restricted to the US, it sounds like that's just a general condition they state so as to allow themselves leeway in assignment when travel restrictions come up.

~Anathema

A:

Dear MNH,

I can't speak for all countries, but I know if you stay in the U.S. you'll be covered by the Church's insurance. However, I believe this applies only to issues that arise in the mission field—it won't cover preexisting conditions. I asked some friends, and it seems like there's a lot of different opinions out there, and I couldn't find an authoritative source that discusses missionaries and insurance. I don't know if that would limit where you can serve—I would assume the Church would have insurance for their missionaries across the world, but I might be wrong. If any readers know, please leave a correction! Until then, it looks like your bishop would know best, and if he isn't sure ask him to ask up the line of authority until he finds someone who knows. However, if it comes down to not having insurance but saying you do and being able to serve internationally versus saying you have no insurance and serving in the States, I would definitely suggest staying in the U.S. If you do end up getting sick or in an accident, you (and your family) will be infinitely grateful that you stayed in the U.S. where you had insurance. And let me say that missions in the States are the best!! I served in the South and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. 

Best of luck in your mission preparations!

-guppy of doom

posted on 04/15/2018 1:01 a.m.
I served overseas, and had several companions who didn't have insurance. Things might have changed since then, and it might be different for other missions/countries, but we didn't pay for healthcare, only paid for prescriptions. The church had a running tab at the best hospital in the country, and whenever possible, that's where we went. I believe that people who were sick in more remote areas had to pay out-of-pocket and were reimbursed later. It wasn't like paying out-of-pocket for an ER trip in the US- healthcare is a fraction of the cost in many other countries, even for non-citizens. I was really nervous when a doctor prescribed me a medication that I'd taken before in the US- I knew that my insurance company paid $600 for a small supply- but somehow I got it for only about 10 euros on my mission without an insurance benefit. It's possible that a lack of insurance might prevent you from going to some countries, but it doesn't mean you can't leave the US. And, obviously, lying on your mission papers is a terrible idea, whether it's about insurance or the whole Korea situation.
posted on 04/15/2018 11:49 a.m.
The church requests that missionaries and their families who are able and are willing to make the sacrifice to continue medical insurance coverage do so. You will need to discuss that with your parents.

It provides insurance for those who are not able to do so.

Whether or not you provide your own insurance does not affect where you are assigned to serve.

~ Senior missionary whose assignment covers that issue.
posted on 04/15/2018 4:14 p.m.
You may indicate, and your bishop and stake president may also write, on your missionary application, that due to your dual citizenship and the fact that South Korea will not allow you to visit for two years without serving compulsary military service there, that you should not be assigned to South Korea.

That should take care of that. If, for some weird reason, it does not, notifying the missionary department after the call has been issued will enable them to arrange for re-assignment.

~Decades