Victoria Zidwick a RoamRight Blog Author

What To Do On An Emergency Visit To The Hospital Abroad

A hospital visit may not be on your itinerary for your trip abroad, but it is something that you should be prepared for. After all, an unfortunate accident or unexpected sickness can happen to you or a loved one at any time – even while on the road.

That is why when planning your trip you should considering purchasing travel insurance, or at least travel medical insurance coverage.

Before You Go

Why You Need Travel Medical Insurance

In general, many standard medical insurance plans – including Medicare and Medicaid plans – do not cover care received outside of the United States. Travelers on these plans may want to consider travel medical insurance. Travelers who are unsure about coverage for overseas travel should contact their health insurance provider and ask the following questions:

  • Am I covered in the country or countries I am about to visit?
  • What types of situations am I covered for?
  • What are my benefit limits when I’m abroad?
  • Will you pay directly to a foreign hospital (or would I pay out-of-pocket and get reimbursed)?

Additionally, several traditional health insurance plans may not cover care received outside of your home state, meaning even domestic travelers may need a travel medical insurance policy.

Some countries, such as Cuba, Ecuador, and others, may also require you to show proof of travel medical insurance coverage before being granted entry.

If your health insurance does not cover you abroad, it is best to purchase a travel medical insurance policy like the ones offered by Arch RoamRight.

Arch RoamRight offers several travel insurance coverage options that you can adjust to your travel style, destination, and extent of coverage.

What Does Travel Medical Insurance Do?

If your health insurance does not provide coverage when traveling and you neglect to purchase a short-term travel medical insurance plan, you could end up paying expensive medical bills out of pocket. Medical emergencies when traveling can be costly, and expenses can add up quickly.

Travel medical insurance is designed to be a short-term supplement for your everyday medical insurance.

When traveling, travel medical insurance provides coverage for:

  • Medical emergencies;
  • Occurring while traveling more than 100 miles from home;
  • On trips 180 days in length or less.

Travel medical insurance plans, like the ones offered by Arch RoamRight, are not designed to replace your everyday health insurance.

A travel medical insurance plan can also provide coverage for expenses unique to travel medical emergencies, such as air ambulance transportation for accidents that happen in remote areas without nearby adequate healthcare facilities, or upgraded transportation arrangements for your trip home.

For a full description of what your travel medical benefits in your travel insurance plan can cover, refer to your policy documents.

During The Emergency

How Can Arch RoamRight Help?

Beyond providing coverage in the event of a medical emergency, Arch RoamRight also has a number of tools that can help you in the event of a medical emergency while traveling.

All Arch RoamRight insureds have access to a 24/7 emergency assistance line which puts trained emergency travel assistance providers at your fingertips.

In addition, Arch RoamRight travelers unlock full access to the Arch RoamRight mobile app which can provide information that is crucial in the event of a medical emergency. The mobile app features local hospital listings, embassy contact information, translations for common medical phrases, and local equivalencies for medication.

The Arch RoamRight mobile app is also useful for storing your documentation to prepare for filing a claim. With encrypted, secure storage, travelers can upload pictures of their hospital documents, bills, payment receipts, referrals, pharmaceutical payments, and more.

Contacting Your Insurance Provider

If you experience a medical emergency while traveling and need help, contact the emergency assistance provider listed on your Arch RoamRight ID card. They can make sure you receive the care you need and arrange transportation, if necessary. Additionally, since we work closely with our emergency assistance provider to ensure high quality of care for all of our travelers, we may already be aware of your situation if you required their help.

If your situation is something minor, such as an ear infection that can be treated by a local doctor, and you do not feel you need extra help, you can keep track of all of your expenses, including copies of any receipts. Then, when you return home, you can file a claim as time permits. You have up to one year from when you return from your trip to file a travel insurance claim with Arch RoamRight.

After The Emergency

Filing a Claim Should be Simple

Make sure you receive and save all the hospital documents containing the information of your visit and medical case, including bills, payment receipts, referrals, pharmaceutical payments, and more. For ease of access, we recommend uploading them to the Arch RoamRight mobile app.

Arch RoamRight policy holders can file a claim online without needing to have your policy number. We know filing a travel insurance claim after a poor travel experience is not always the thing you want to do, so we designed our online claim filing process with you in mind, making it easy for you to provide us with all the information we need in order to properly evaluate your claim.

All that is left to do is wait patiently for your claims decision according to your policy coverage. Arch RoamRight claimants are updated via email throughout the process to let them know the status of their claim.

A Real Arch RoamRight Traveler Story

A Bike Crash in Rural Peru

One Arch RoamRight traveler bought a travel insurance plan before departing for their trip to South America and ended up happy that they did.

While biking in a remote area of Peru, the traveler encountered rough terrain that caused her to crash her bike, suffering several broken ribs and a collapsed lung.

Since she was a in a rural area of Peru, the local healthcare facilities were not equipped to handle such a severe case and potential long term recovery. Once stabilized, the traveler had to be transported via air ambulance back to the United States where should could receive adequate care.

In the end, more than $110,000 were covered by travel insurance in this case. Without Arch RoamRight travel insurance, this incident would’ve been costly for the traveler.

Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.


About the Author

Victoria Zidwick

Victoria Zidwick, a RoamRight Blog Author RoamRight's Marketing Communications Specialist, Victoria Zidwick, has worked in the travel insurance industry for more than five years. She has traveled extensively throughout the United States and has a handful of international travel experiences.Victoria's travel experiences have changed in recent years, as her family grows and she is learning the ins and outs of traveling with children. Connect with Victoria on LinkedIn or follow her onTwitter or Google Plus.

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