When planning a vacation, most people don’t consider the chance of getting sick or injured while they’re traveling. However, illness and injuries can happen unexpectedly and the best way to prepare for this is to purchase a special travel health insurance policy.
Travel health insurance is imperative if you plan to travel to a foreign country, as your standard health insurance will not be applicable outside of the United States, resulting in large out of pocket costs. With that being said, it is important to consider just how expensive it is to receive medical care in a different country. For example, if at some point you required a medical evacuation, that could cost up to $50,000. Overall, it is less expensive to purchase a travel health insurance policy than to pay medical expenses out of pocket if an emergency arises.
What type of policy you purchase should depend on what you need as a traveler. There are quite a few things you should consider before you choose your travel health insurance policy.
First, if you have a pre-existing condition, you need to pay close attention to what is included in your coverage. Some travel health insurance plans exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions, while some will provide coverage within certain parameters. All of this will depend on which plan you choose and with which insurance company you choose. Other common exclusions to travel medical insurance include routine medical exams, weight modification procedures, corrective medical devices like eyeglasses, and organ or tissue transplants. Another important thing to consider is prescription medications, which you should make sure are filled for the duration of your trip. Obtaining a prescription in a foreign country is very difficult, and in some cases not an option.
In general, there are two types of travel health insurance plans, and you should decide how much coverage you need before you purchase one. To start, there is a stand alone, more basic plan that is available, which will cover any medical or dental emergencies that may happen while you are traveling. In addition, there are also more comprehensive travel health insurance plans you can purchase which include more in their coverage. Comprehensive policies will not only cover medical and dental emergencies, but also costs related to emergency medical evacuations, cancelled flights, delays, lost luggage, and more depending on the insurance policy you choose.
All in all, medical care varies around the world, so keep in mind the country you are traveling to when choosing your plan as well. The best thing you can do for yourself is to purchase some form of travel health insurance before you plan on leaving the country.