Have you ever had to go to the hospital due to an accident or serious illness? Even if you have health insurance. Now imagine the same thing happening to you in a foreign country, with a completely different culture, language, and health care structure.
Even if you’ve never broken your leg or experienced a serious disease, but millions of other people have faced, and having these things happen to you while abroad can finish your wallet and your time in a large way.
Because of this, if you are making plan for trip abroad especially for countries with high rates of violence, disease, or both. You must know about travel health insurance. Having your health insurance sorted out before you’re going away can save you lots of money and trouble if you have a medical problem on your trip.
Understanding Health Insurance While Traveling Abroad
You know that you may already have health insurance in the United States or which country you live in, you must know that most private health insurance plans are not valid when traveling abroad. Medicare, Medicaid, and other government plans are also not valid abroad.
Besides this, the big majority of countries need foreign nationals to purchase health insurance valid in that country as a condition of entry. This is done to make certain that you won’t be a burden on their health care system if you become sick or get injured.
If you require a visa to go in a certain country, you’re also required generally to purchase valid health insurance as part of the visa application process.
For instance, you will have to purchase health insurance if you’re going for studying abroad in certain countries.
However, even countries that permit visa-free travel normally require health insurance, and border guards may request evidence of it at ports of entry. For example, Belarus rigidly enforces its health insurance requirement on foreign nationals and denies entry to individuals who don’t have coverage.
Travel health coverage generally is three categories:
1. Travelling Health Insurance
Travel health insurance is quality health insurance and pays for general medical services. Foreign travelers regularly purchase this type of health insurance because it covers the massive majority of cases. A well liked travel health insurance company is Seven Corners. They have many different types of plans available to travelers.
2. Medical Expulsion Insurance
Medical expulsion insurance covers emergency medical transportation from a given country. It’s ideal for:
Travelers going to faraway regions where local medical care is not easily available
Travelers go to developing countries where health care facilities may be low-quality or not able to provide specialized types of care
If any of these scenes apply to you, consider purchasing a medical expulsion insurance plan in additionally to standard travel health insurance. Many travel health insurance plans comprise medical evacuation insurance, either as part of a usual package or as a supplement.
3. Accident Insurance
Accident insurance provides coverage when you suffer from a serious illness or injury. If you die overseas and wish to offset the costs of burial accident insurance also provides coverage.
Accident insurance is a good option for:
- Traveler engaging in difficult physical activities, such as rock climbing or surfing.
- Traveler who are worried about being cripple or killed in an accident.
- Traveler who have not life insurance or whose life insurance is invalid where they’re planning to travel.
You Can’t Afford to Skip Travel Health Insurance, You Can’t Take a Risk to Skip Travel Health Insurance
You think you don’t need health insurance – and the country you’re going may allow you entry without requiring you to provide evidence of having it – but you don’t want to take risk having it.
For example, one of my friends had appendicitis and when she was traveling in France and didn’t have health insurance. After she had her supplement removed at the hospital, the French government tracked her down and stuck her with a €14,000 (roughly $16,000) medical bill. France banned her from re-visiting the country also, and other Schengen Area countries in Europe, until she payment it.
In addition, while you can think you’re healthy and won’t suffer into problems foreign, many countries have insufficient sanitation systems, polluted drinking water, or other menace you might not consider. For example, two of the most ordinary killers of Americans abroad are drowning and traffic accidents, both of which can happen to anyone.
Shortly, going without health insurance when traveling foreign can cost you in terms of both your health and your bank account, and it could even ruin your trip before it starts.
Travel Insurance vs. Travel Health Insurance
Travel health insurance just covers medical problems, while travel insurance is a suite of trip-related insurance programs that may or may not comprise health insurance.
Travel insurance targets traveler who are troubled about other problems that may get on an abroad trip, including theft, lost or lost baggage, and flight and transportation cancellations. As its normally more expensive than travel health insurance. The health insurance price depends on your age, trip length, and coverage amount, while the travelling price insurance is often 4% to 10% of the cost of the trip itself.
If you’re searching travel health insurance, a travel insurance plan that incorporates a health insurance factor may be a wise investment.
What to Look in a Travel Health Insurance Plan
All travel health insurance plans are not similar, so research them carefully for finding one that meets your needs. Here are some common things for looking for when selecting a health insurance plan. Depending on your health, travel excisional and planned activities, you may not necessity plans that have some of these features, but they’re normally good things to search when making your decision.
1. Emergency Medical Care
This is a no-brainer. A standard insurance plan should allow you to get train emergency care in the accident or illness.
2. Emergency Medical Transport
If you’re traveling to a remote field or developing country with insufficient health care services, you’ll need a plan that allows you to get transport out in case of a serious medical problem.
Many plans bundle medical expulsion insurance into a general health coverage plan, but others are too cheaper and only offer select types of coverage.
3. Financial Coverage
How many the plan covers in terms of cost? How much are you required to payment of pocket, if anything? Does the plan cover instructions? Your plan should provide offer the level and type of coverage best for your requirement.
Commonly, health insurance coverage foreign is quite affordable, with premiums hardly exceeding $20 per day.
4. Coverage Areas
What countries does the plan cover? Does it cover a country only, or is it applicable to various countries? You’ll necessity a plan that offers coverage across all of the countries where you’re going. Your other choice is to purchase plans for individual countries.
5. Coverage Duration
Choose a plan which covers the whole duration of your trip. A plan that only partially covers your trip is a not good idea since you’ll be totally unprotected during the parts of your trip when you’re not covered.
Often, many travel insurance plans offer per-trip and yearly coverage, with the latter being ideal if you spend a lot of time foreign.
6. Pre-Existing Conditions
If you have a pre-existing term, you’ll need a health insurance plan that covers it.
7. Coverage for Particular Activities
If you’re planning to participate in rock climbing, surfing, or other potentially dangerous activities during traveling abroad, you’ll need a health insurance plan that covers injuries you could comfort from these activities.
8. Travel & Residence Expenses
It’s a good idea to choice for a plan that covers travel and residence expenses incurred while seeking medical care.
9. 24-Hour Help Line
Multiple travel health insurance plans provide 24-hour phone lines, offering you to get help or answers to your questions whenever you need them.
10. Direct Pay out to Hospitals
One of the major time-consuming and frustrating problems with health insurance in the United States is the tug-of-war between health care agencies and insurance companies over cost. This becomes further more of a pain when dealing with abroad hospitals.
Many scheme deal with this issue by making direct pay outs to hospitals.
Research the reliability of the company underwriting it, Before you purchase any health insurance plan. Look out online reviews and evaluation from former customers, also the company’s solvency. Mainstream news sources such as Forbes offer recurrent reviews and comparisons of travel health insurance firms. You can also find credible reviews from guidebook companies like Lonely Planet.
The last thing you want to do is purchase a plan from a firm that’s teetering on the edge; if they hang of from business, you’ll lose coverage and won’t be get your money back.
There are not all insurance plans available in all areas, so ensure that your preferred plan is available for residents of your home area.
How to Get Travel Health Insurance
Many people search health insurance confusing as it is and global health insurance is further more of a mess. Luckily, a number of ways are there to get coverage for your upcoming journey.
1. Buy a Travel 1Complemented From Your Current Health Insurance Provider
Many health insurance providers offer complemented packages that develop their coverage to foreign countries. For example, Blue Cross Blue Shield offers a complemented package called GeoBlue to U.S. customers traveling overseas.
The Benefits of a plan like this is that it needs little thought to set up; you only need to arrange the details with your insurance provider. Because you’re purchasing insurance already from this company, you’ll know what to expect when dealing with them.
The downside to Complemented insurance is that it can be expensive so that the expense of coordinating health cares across many countries. If you’re planning an extended trip foreign, these costs can increase.
Besides this, if you choice for a Complemented insurance plan, you’re finite to the services your existing health insurance company provides.
A few providers do not provide travel health insurance at all, or they only provide it in finite ways, such as only extending it too few countries or covering a finite set of situations. Look at with your existent insurance provider to see if they provide Complemented overseas coverage, and if they do what it covers. If your existing insurance company can’t provide your needs, you’ll have to look somewhere else.
2. Purchase Travel Insurance
If you are making plan for purchase a general travel insurance package for your trip, and also include health insurance alongside it. A well liked company that many Money Crasher readers have used it World Nomads.
The best benefit of a travel insurance plan is that these plans are especially for tourists and you can accommodate them for your specific needs and excisional. Travel insurance plans are available for every country and cover a wide variation of scenarios in which travelers might find themselves.
The negative of a travel insurance plan is that if you’re not attentive in common travel insurance, you won’t use the product largely, even then you are paying for a product. If you don’t need travel insurance, you may want to leave it and go for a health insurance plan by yourself.
This is the fact that travel insurance is normally more expensive than health insurance. With travel insurance priced pursuance to the cost of trip, coverage for more extensive vacations can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Generally, obtaining health coverage through a travel insurance plan is a well investment if you’re making plan a costly trip, such as a wedding or honeymoon, and you want full-spectrum protection. Travelers who are thriftier can likely afford to skip it.
3. Purchase Local Health Insurance
Maximum countries offer foreign nationals for purchasing health insurance from the government or private firms that work within that country.
The best benefits of local health insurance are that it provided guarantee you for coverage and health care in the country. A few countries, as Belarus, don’t accept abroad of travel insurance plans, so local coverage may be your one option in these cases.
According on your travel duration, local insurance may also be lower price than purchasing a complemented or travel insurance plan. For instance, in Belarus, local insurance prices as little as €31 (roughly $36) for a 30-day coverage period. If you’re going to stay an extended period in one country, local insurance can save your more money.
The big negative of local insurance is that it’s only valid in the country where you purchase it, and it is not cover medical expulsion. Local insurance leaves you at the clemency of the medical providers in the country where you are going to buy it. This may not be a matter if you’re visiting to a developed country, but if the country you’re going to has an insufficient health care structure, local insurance may not be sufficient for your needs.
Local insurance is a nice option if the country where you’re purchasing it in has a good health care structure, and it is your only option for some countries. However, ensure that local insurance can cover your needs before you sign on the dotted line.
4. Arrange for Health Insurance
If you’re making plant to study abroad, traveling a country as part of a group tour, want to go on a cruise, or want to go a country where you need a tourist visa to enter, you’re normally need to buy health insurance before your trip.
If your university or tour company normally guides you through the process, so you don’t need to worry. Remember doing your research, however, to make sure that the coverage you get is the coverage you need.
In the latter, you must arrange for health insurance on your own. For doing this, you can use a complementr insurance plan, travel insurance, or local insurance.
5. Use Your Credit Card’s Travel Benefits
Some premium travel credit cards provide travel health insurance benefits to cardholders. For instance, many American Express cards offer lenient travel insurance policies.
If you have credit cards, check your terms and conditions of provider for seeing if any travel-related benefits are there, you can take benefit of on foreign trip.
Protecting Your Health In Abroad
With a good health insurance plan, you must still take steps to your health and well-being on foreign trip. Travelers can stay away from many common problems and save money with some wisdom and common sense.
Here are some ways you can protect your health both before and during your trips. While these can seem like normal tips, many traveler act careless when they travel foreign and end up paying the price. For protecting yourself, now can save you from a painful hospital trip, an expensive bill, or worse.
1. Research the Country Where You’re Visiting
Research on authoritative sources such as government websites, travel websites, and guidebooks to learn about the countries you are
Visiting and the risks they action to your health or safety.
You can also many times find information in newspapers and other sources. Search for news articles about the countries you’re going so you can stay extant on possible travel risks, such as disease outbreaks, civil wars, terrorism, and street crime.
2. Get Vaccinated Before Traveling
Most of developing countries carry on to struggle with diseases that have been all but eliminated in wealthier ones, so visitors from developed countries take the risk of coming down with diseases for which they don’t have immunity.
Research about the diseases is common in the countries where you are going for trip and take vaccinations for them if possible.
Most of the hospitals and clinics have not sufficient vaccinations available for these diseases, many big cities have travel clinics where you can get the shots you need for your trip. These clinics always require paying in cash, but you may be applicable to use insurance depending on your current coverage.
3. Exercise the Common Sense
You can keep away from many health problems by exercising carefulness and being careful about what activities you opt for to engage in. For instance, if you’re visiting to a country with dirty or polluted tap water, avoid drinking it or using it to brush your teeth, and boil it already to kill pathogens if you must use it.
For countries with spatial food poisoning problems, carefully Pick up where you eat to make sure that your meal isn’t defective.
If you’re in a country known for repeated traffic accidents, as Thailand, are aware when crossing the street. If you suffer asthma or other respiratory conditions, prepare properly when visiting to countries with high amounts of air pollution or lax environmental laws.
If you’re making plan to participate in certain outdoor activities, comply all safety procedures and avoid unnecessary risks.
Keep safe yourself from criminals by living in safe neighborhoods, watching you at night, and maintain situational consciousness at all times. Be aware when consuming alcohol and other mind-altering substances so that the effects they have on realization and judgment.
Health insurance is an oft-unvalued but significant part of foreign travel. Not only is it a require to entry many countries, but lacking health insurance leaves to you at risk of permanent disability, death, or crippling debt if you do end up having to go to the hospital.
With a substantial health insurance plan, you’ll be capable to have the abroad trip of your dreams, seeing all the eyesight and doing all the things you want to do without having for worrying about getting sick or injured.
While there is no guarantee in life, give the value of your health – as well as the cost of traveling overseas– some extra dollars spent on a good health insurance plan may be an investment that pays divvy.
Have you purchased health insurance at any time when traveling abroad? How was your experience?