Living in an international vacation destination, Cabo San Lucas, I can tell you why travel medical insurance is a great deal. Just one small incident can leave you trapped in a foreign country with now way out.
Doing a fun activity and you get injured? Even something small can become a big expense when the doctors and hospitals know they can charge you anything they want, and you have to pay or you can’t leave.
Have a bigger injury and need medical evacuation? Well, if you thought $800 for airfare was expensive, try $80,000 for medical evacuation. And they won’t even order the plane until the tab has been paid. $80,000 is what one person paid recently for a flight of a little over an hour back to the US.
Get a bad case of the flu or something worse and end up in the hospital. They won’t let you out until the bill is paid in full, and until that time, you just keep racking up the charges.
Who would you call if you suddenly fell ill in a foreign hotel room? How will you navigate the local health care system? Do you have the credit card balances available to foot that bill? If not, who could you call at home int he middle of the night to chip in so your loved one can get the emergency treatment they need?
Travel insurance can cover a lot more than trip cancellation costs and lost luggage
You only need to hear one horror story to know that medical insurance is the most important part of travel insurance.
Unlike most insurance policies that are purchased annually, most travel insurance covers a single trip. Single trip travel insurance is designed for people who take one or two main vacations a year.
However, if you travel often, you can purchase a multi-trip policy that covers all your travel for a specified period of time, depending on your needs. The right policy is the best way to minimize the financial risks of traveling the world.
Although many people think of trip cancellation coverage when they think of travel insurance, the medical element of travel insurance is key, especially if your group health plan does not have benefits outside your own country.
Check your insurance
Before going abroad, learn what medical services your own health insurance will cover. If your emergency medical care and transportation are covered by your group health policy, you may not need a separate travel policy that covers your health. However, if you have a managed care plan, or if your health care needs are covered by Medicare or your national insurance plan, you should consider an international medical policy.
Your first step is to check with your health insurance company and see what it covers. Will they help you out if you lose your prescription medication along with your luggage? Will they help you find a good hospital or an English-speaking doctor in a foreign country? Will they cover emergency evacuations if the local facilities are unable to treat your illness or accident?
If your group coverage allows claims from other countries, how long will it take for you to be reimbursed, and how easy (or difficult) is it to file a claim? How will you pay the costs up front if they are 10’s of thousands of dollars? Once you have answers to these questions, you’ll know if you should add medical coverage to your travel insurance policy.
International travel medical insurance options
If you travel for business or if you are taking an extended trip lasting for several years, you may need an international health insurance policy designed specifically for expatriates and citizens traveling around the world. There are many global insurance carriers that offer life, health, disability and travel insurance to individual travelers and to companies with employees overseas.
The coverage offered by different international companies will vary a great deal from one policy to the next, so carefully review all fine print before making your choice. You might also check to see if the company is regulated by your own national laws and insurance regulations.
In a world where anything can happen, travel insurance is your ticket to safeguarding your trip. Emergency medical travel insurance is essential to protect yourself, your family and your personal finances, and to give yourself peace of mind while enjoying your vacation or business trip abroad.
Travel is such a big part of your ageless lifestyle after 50. You don’t want your next trip to be your last trip because of a tragic situation that could have been prevented by purchasing travel medical insurance. I hope you see now why travel medical insurance is a great deal.