People often wonder if they are getting the best deal on travel health insurance. Coverage varies, but generally speaking, if you’re just shopping for health insurance for travel abroad, you can typically get coverage for less than half the price that you’d pay for a regular health insurance plan. If you are going to be traveling for business reasons, there may be a difference in price, depending on whether you’re having your medical coverage with a particular company. Also, the cost of insurance plans overseas vary greatly from country to country, so even within the same class of plan, the differences in cost can be drastic. For these reasons, it is important that you do your homework and research health insurance plans abroad before you buy them. Fortunately, we have the internet to help us do so!
The first place you should look for information is an independent travel health insurance broker. These brokers are not associated with any one single insurance company, and so can offer you a wider variety of plans and coverage options than an agent acting on their client’s behalf can. For example, you may be able to find discount travel plans for people who are retired or in good health. Or a car insurance company may provide coverage for a person traveling to an island that is not covered by standard plans. Independent brokers can also answer questions that you might have about any given policy.
Another thing to keep in mind is the enrollment length. Most plans allow you to enroll for as little as thirty days, although you can sometimes enroll up to ninety days in some cases. The amount of time you have to enroll will depend on the health insurance provider, the travel health insurance plan itself, and how much you need coverage. It’s always a good idea to read the fine print on your coverage and to ask your broker for advice on what is right for you. The ideal situation is to get as many details about your needs addressed as possible before choosing the right plan.
Most medical emergencies will not require you to stay at a hotel or go through additional screening at a border crossing. However, you should still consider emergency services that are usually included in your trip package. Some plans cover medical expenses incurred while traveling abroad, but these services can often be costly. You may not need emergency care while you’re abroad, so it is okay to exclude them from your trip package. In fact, many people choose to forego having emergency medical insurance altogether and pay for their own medical care in their home country. Before signing up for any insurance policy, read the fine print carefully and don’t hesitate to ask questions if you aren’t sure.
Another important factor you need to look at is your trip’s medical insurance plan information. Not all insurance policies are written equal. Some policies will cover only basic accidents and emergencies, while others will cover you for virtually any health issue. As a result, you need to research extensively on what types of medical issues are covered by your plan. A common problem for travelers is not being able to get treated for a medical emergency in an overseas country due to a lack of coverage.
Before leaving on your trip, ask your travel medical plan provider about emergency care benefits. Be sure to bring a copy of your health insurance policy, and enlist the aid of a friend or relative to double-check the terms. Many health insurance companies offer complimentary health care services when traveling abroad, so be sure to inquire about this service. If you have special health concerns or are elderly, you’ll also want to find out about any extra benefits your insurance company may offer. Don’t forget to check with the U.S. Department of State’s website to learn more about consular assistance and the necessary paperwork you’ll need to file with the appropriate government agencies.
Finally, once you are on your trip, be sure to review your health insurance policy. Most people end up neglecting this step because they assume that their trip will be a short one and that the issue with their coverage will be easily resolved. However, even short trips can become unexpectedly complicated by emergencies or health-related issues. In these instances, a trip to the nearest medical facility may prove to be invaluable. If your travel medical coverage insurance doesn’t include treatment for emergencies, make sure you find out what it does and what you need to bring to the doctor in order to receive the care you need.
The best approach to securing adequate health insurance during a trip is to develop an insurance plan that targets your particular travel needs. For example, if you are going on an extreme sports adventure or plan to participate in high-risk activities like scuba diving or white water rafting, you’ll need to consider special coverage. As well, if you have children, you may want to think about pre-existing health conditions or your ability to provide for them in the case of a health emergency. When you take the time to do a little shopping around, you can be certain that your trip will go smoothly.