Travel Health Insurance
Travel health insurance is something that many people consider, though many people don’t realize that they simply do not need the coverage. Travel health insurance may be one of those things that you get just because everyone else you know does the same thing, but you should know what to look for and why you are purchasing such a policy. Insurance isn’t cheap, so you should only pay for what you need.
Do You Need Travel Health Insurance?
Many insurance agents will push travel health insurance on you, yet many say that if you have health insurance that you might not even need the travel health insurance at all. So, the first thing you’ll want to do is inquire about your out of country or out of state coverage with your regular every day health insurance. You’ll probably find that your regular health insurance will provide the same coverage out of country that you receive at home, which means you are covered.
Now, just because you are covered by your health insurance when traveling out of country doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think about getting travel health insurance. If your coverage is limited with your current health coverage, travel health insurance really isn’t a bad idea. Your travel health insurance will become secondary insurance, meaning it will pay for the items that your primary health insurance didn’t cover. This can limit your out of pocket expenses, so it’s not a bad idea.
What You Need To Look For
When you are considering buying travel health insurance there are several things that you need to be aware of going in. First, is the fine print often involved with these policies. You may believe you have a certain type of coverage, but when you look at the fine print you’ll realize that there is a list of pre-existing conditions and exclusions that limit your coverage because of treatments or conditions you’ve been diagnosed with in the last six to twelve months. Ask right away about pre-existing condition policies to determine if a policy is a good fit for you and your needs.
Next, be aware that there may be types of insurance that people often believe are straightforward health insurance policies but they are not. For instance, travel protection plans are often there to reimburse you for emergencies that arise during travel such as a death, sickness, airline strike, or travel company bankruptcy, but they many not provide adequate coverage where actual medical expenses are concerned. Be sure when you buy your policy that it is a travel health care policy and not something else that happens to cover a few health related circumstances.
When you are looking at the actual coverage, you might find that you have co-payments or deductibles with travel health insurance if you are buying in the United States. This isn’t unusual; so don’t turn down a policy if it has these attached to them, as it’s a valid system.
If you are buying to buy travel health insurance you might as well buy a substantial enough of a plan that it will cover emergency surgery or extended hospital stays, just in case. Your regular health insurance will probably cover these items, but often the travel insurance will pay the whole bill and settle with your primary insurance later on, taking the stress of payment off of you.
The most important element that you should look at with travel health insurance is medical evacuation. Health care is not perfect all around the world, and in many areas you are at risk if you receive medical care as they simply do not have the supplies to sterilize items, and many things such as needles are used more than once. You should look for a travel health insurance policy that will provide medical evacuation to the nearest facility that is able to provide proper care to you and your health situation.
You’ll also want to look into whether the policy will cover an air evacuation back to the United States. The need for this is very rare, but when it is needed, it’s understandably expensive and you don’t want to have to pay for such a bill out of pocket. An air evacuation can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and if your travel health insurance covers nothing else, this will make it worthwhile.
Travel health insurance that will provide round trip airfare for a person chosen by you in the event that you will be hospitalized is always a good thing, as well. If you are alone in a foreign country and receiving medical care, it’s good to have someone there to advocate for you. Good travel health insurance policies will usually have this feature, which you’ll probably never use, but in the circumstance it would be nice to have someone there with you during your treatments.
Travel health insurance is beneficial because it will get you admitted to a hospital right away. Unlike your primary health insurance, travel health insurance is recognized all over the world and hospitals know that they will receive payment, so they are not hesitant to admit you and provide you the care that you need. Travel health insurance is a great way to make sure that you are taken care of, regardless of how serious or minor the issue may be.
Good travel insurance will also secure an English-speaking doctor for you. When you are being treated for a serious condition, you want to be able to talk to someone that you can understand. Most travel insurance will provide you with a referral to an English-speaking doctor with no additional charge. When you are ill and far away from home, you’ll find that speaking to a doctor that speaks your language can help calm your fears.
Travel health insurance will typically provide an important feature to your friends and family should you suffer fatal injury or illness while abroad. The shipping of your remains is typically covered by a travel health insurance policy, which is important when you are far from home and your friends and family need closure.
As you can see, there is a lot to consider when buying travel health insurance. You may not need it all that much for coverage’s sake, but it’s a good idea so that hospital personnel abroad will take you serious. When you look at travel health care policies, don’t rush into buying. Get information from several sources and then make your decision when you feel as though you’ve found the policy that best meets your needs. Remember, the chance that you’ll need to use your travel health care is limited, but it’s better to have too much coverage than not enough.
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