As everyone knows, health insurance within the United States is pretty complicated. With all of the technical terminology and deciphering through what is covered and what is not covered, it is difficult for even the most knowledgeable to decide what policy is the best one to utilize. Not to mention that with all the political backing to eventually change the health care system, all the so-called health insurance experts will have to learn the new ways to go about doing things.
Yet, when it comes to worldwide traveling, many people fail to realize the importance of having additional coverage. Although most illnesses and injuries are covered under plans within the U.S., it is another story all together if an incident occurs beyond the country’s borders. Therefore, purchasing additional coverage before any big trip is essential, and these following tips can help shed some light as to what specific things are needed and what types of insurance should be purchased.
1) Planning your trip. Before even considering the purchase of additional, international health insurance, the actual trip needs to be completely planned out. Granted, most people are not fans of setting agendas in stone; flexibility is key when visiting a few separate places. At the same time, however, some international providers only offer coverage in certain countries. As a result, people need to make sure that the general itinerary of a trip is planned before seeking out insurance in order to guarantee that no matter where they are, they are covered.
2) An evacuation policy is a must. If the unthinkable happens and a person becomes severely sick or gets seriously injured abroad, the most important thing that needs to happen is to get that person back to their home country so that necessary operations or additional examinations can take place. The last thing any traveler wants is to be in a life or death situation in a foreign hospital, away from home. Many insurance companies offer emergency evacuation services, including the costs of stabilization and transportation into the monthly premiums. At the same time, many companies do not offer these services. Making sure that the unthinkable is covered, should it occur, is a must.
3) Medical assistance should be available. Many international insurance providers offer abroad medical assistance, helping people make doctors appointments, schedule hospital visits and even put clients in touch with on-call nurses who can help discuss symptoms and point people in the right direction towards treatment. It is important to make sure that the medical assistance provided by the insurance policy is satisfactory and works with the abroad traveler’s personal requirements. The last thing anyone wants to do is simply walk into a hospital and be forced to pay a lump sum up front in order to receive treatment.
4) Treat the transaction as an investment. Just like with regular health insurance, international coverage is a serious investment, and should be treated as such. Take the time to shop around and compare prices and plans before making a decision. More often than not an incident will not happen while abroad. But if something should occur, you want to make sure that you get the same, familiar type of coverage that you get in the United States.