Health insurance is probably one of the last things you’re thinking of as your plan a trip. You’ve got other things to worry about: what to pack, what sites you’ll see, where you’ll sleep each night. Plus, you already have health insurance. So why do you need travelers health insurance anyway?
The truth is, emergencies can happen in any place. Even reasonably healthy travelers may face a medical emergency when they are far from home. Accidents such as a sudden fall or a car crash can result in broken bones – or worse. And sudden illnesses like a stomach flu or an ear infection may require medical care. Then there are true medical emergencies, including strokes and heart attacks. No one plans for these events…especially when traveling.
That’s why it’s important to make sure you have health insurance while traveling. Here are a few things to consider when reviewing your health coverage.
Does your health insurance cover you outside of your network?
Many health insurance plans may not provide coverage outside of their network, and definitely won’t provide coverage outside of the country. This means that you’ll be held accountable for expenses if you need care while traveling. In some cases, coverage may be provided, but at a lower rate. If you know you’ll be traveling outside of your network, make sure you understand how your home health insurance works.
Where gaps occur, travelers health insurance can help.
Does your health insurance pay directly for out-of-network care?
If you are in fact covered for out-of-network care, will your insurance company pay directly for that care? In many cases, you may have to pay out-of-pocket and then get reimbursed when you return home. While this may not seem like a big deal, imagine being charged with a hospital fee of $40,000. Do you have easy access to that kind of money to pay directly yourself?
Travelers health insurance may pay directly when your home health insurance will not.
Does your medical insurance cover evacuations the way travelers health insurance will?
The last item to consider when evaluating your medical insurance coverage for your trip is whether or not you are protected in an evacuation. Depending on the medical care available in your destination, you may need an emergency medical evacuation to receive the treatment you need. And even if you are in a location with quality medical care, you may still need to get home for further treatment.
One RoamRight traveler had a medical emergency in Europe. His hospital stay cost $47,000 and his repatriation home cost $70,000. Fortunately for him, he had purchased a RoamRight policy for just $28. His RoamRight travel insurance policy covered all $117,000 of his medical emergency. Read his story.
Read more about travel health insurance and why you should never leave home without it.
Have you ever had a medical emergency while traveling? Tell us about it in the comments below.