Travel Insurance Is It Necessary

Travel Insurance Is It Necessary

So you​ want to​ leave the​ homeland for a​ while,​ see the​ sights,​ take the​ pictures,​ or​ perhaps,​ do some business. You’ve packed the​ swimming trunks,​ the​ extra layers,​ the​ hiking boots,​ the​ sun screen,​ but the​ question remains: is​ your medical insurance traveling with you? What happens if​ you​ get to​ Brazil like you​ always wanted to,​ and then,​ in​ a​ freak spilled mojito accident,​ you​ break your ankle? What if​ the​ escargot from that charming Parisian restaurant reacts badly with your American digestive system,​ and you​ are suddenly in​ the​ throes of​ the​ worst food poisoning you’ve experienced in​ your life? it​ is​ no small matter; according to​ the​ US Center for Disease Control and Prevention,​ one half of​ US travelers heading to​ another country will experience some sort of​ health problem while abroad.

Ever since the​ Michael Moore film,​ “Sicko,​” came out,​ we all know that many other countries (well,​ specifically France,​ Canada,​ and Cuba) provide affordable,​ sometimes free,​ healthcare to​ their citizens,​ but how does it​ work for us,​ Americans,​ abroad? Well,​ the​ truth is,​ unless you​ make special preparations,​ the​ outlook is​ not good. According to​,​ “most US insurance companies,​ HMOs,​ PPOs or​ Medicare [plans] do not provide adequate medical insurance.” There may be exceptions,​ and you​ should look into the​ fine print of​ your plan,​ but every major US health insurance providers suggests getting some form of​ traveler’s insurance. Unfortunately,​ there is​ no foreign country that provides free health care for travelers.

Travel insurance plans provide three types of​ coverage: for medical care when abroad,​ the​ cost of​ emergency medical evacuation,​ and reimbursement for sudden trip cancellations and lost luggage.

Should you​ require medical attention while abroad,​ most insurance companies provide support in​ the​ form of​ emergency hotlines. They will advise you​ on​ the​ best hospitals in​ the​ area,​ as​ well as​ the​ ins and outs of​ the​ local systems. it​ is​ strongly advised that,​ if​ possible,​ you​ consult your provider before seeking medical attention in​ a​ foreign land. Also,​ insurance providers warn that most third world countries’ hospital systems require payment upfront for services rendered. This fee would be reimbursed by the​ plan.

The most pressing concern is​ the​ case of​ an​ emergency medical evacuation from a​ foreign country back to​ the​ US. Evacuations are necessary when a​ very serious medical condition arises,​ and the​ traveler/patient must be transported back to​ the​ care of​ his/her primary care physician or​ a​ home-based expert. This can cost upwards of​ $10,​000 as​ it​ is​ a​ coordinated effort between several hospitals and at​ least one airline. Most travel insurance plans provide the​ option for specific coverage for this contingency.

Another aspect to​ consider when traveling abroad,​ is​ the​ cost of​ sudden cancellations,​ or​ changes in​ travel plans as​ a​ result of​ medical or​ other emergencies. in​ an​ era when airline companies are logging record numbers of​ lost luggage,​ this aspect of​ travelers insurance provides reimbursement for the​ purchase of​ clothes and other necessities. in​ this sense,​ you​ could come out a​ winner: imagine an​ ‘emergency’ shopping trip at​ the​ fabulous designer stores of​ Milan.

So,​ whether you​ are planning a​ road trip to​ Canada,​ or​ a​ fourteen day hike in​ Machu Pichu,​ pack some warm socks,​ swim trunks,​ and your new friend,​ Mr. Traveler’s Insurance.

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