A Temporary International Health Insurance Policy – An Essential Part of Trip Planning
Anyone who will be traveling outside of the United States should acquire an international health insurance policy. It can be difficult to understand the pros and cons of such a policy, but here you'll find all the information you need to fully understand the benefit of such a policy. The bottom line is that spending a little money on a temporary international health insurance policy is a small price to pay once you see all the reasons it's necessary.
Cash Payments Are Often Required for Medical Procedures Overseas
If you're traveling in another country and need a medical procedure, then you may very well have to pay for it upfront. Many people don't have the money to pay one lump sum for their entire medical procedure, and even those who do often can't access it easily while out of the country. Imagine having a very painful medical emergency and being forced to wait hours or days to get help, all because you didn't have a temporary international health insurance policy.
Hospitals May Refuse to See Uninsured People Altogether
In most countries, a hospital will accept an emergency patient regardless of their insurance status. However, this is not true in all countries. When you're dealing with a situation that does require immediate medical attention but isn't considered an emergency, then you may have a much tougher time getting help. At some hospitals you will not be seen unless you have a temporary international health insurance policy. Even if you have cash to pay upfront, some hospitals and doctors don't want to risk the chance that your seemingly simple medical procedure could end up being more involved – and expensive – than they first thought.
Your Current Health Insurance Policy May Not Offer the Coverage You Think It Does
If you currently have a health insurance policy with a U.S. based company, and that policy claims it covers you when you're out of the country, you may be surprised to learn that still doesn't necessarily mean you don't need a temporary international health insurance policy. Read the policy carefully to see exactly what it covers and what it doesn't.
In many cases, it will cover emergency situations and nothing else. In almost all domestic policies, medical evacuation will not be covered. This refers to the evacuation of a person in the event that they need to be returned to the U.S. It can cost upwards of $10,000 and is almost never covered by policies other than a temporary international health insurance policy.
Medicare Doesn't Cover You When You Leave the Country
Many people assume that their Social Security Medicare plan will cover them no matter where they go, but the truth is that it does not cover you when you're out of the country. This includes medications, emergency medical services, and routine health care check ups. If you're on Social Security Medicare and are leaving the country, then a temporary international health insurance policy will ensure you're covered at all times.
Just Because a Country Offers Socialized Medicine For Its Residents Doesn't Mean You're Covered
Time and time again, people assume that if they're traveling to a country with socialized medicine, then they don't need a temporary international health insurance policy. However, these countries will typically only provide emergency and very basic care to non-residents who don't have a health insurance policy.
It Is Your Responsibility to Carry a Temporary International Health Insurance Policy
There is no excuse for not having a temporary international health insurance policy when you travel abroad. It is your responsibility as a traveler to make sure you have coverage. In the event that you don't have coverage and you do rack up hospital bills, you could find your exit Visa denied, or your ability to return to that country forever compromised.
The Country You're Visiting May Require a Temporary International Health Insurance Policy
Before you leave, check out the rules and regulations of your host country. It's often a surprise to people that certain counties require visitors to have some sort of temporary international health insurance policy, but really it makes perfect sense. If you were to have a medical emergency while in their country, and you couldn't pay for it, then that country would have to take on the burden of the cost. As a result, they avoid this situation by requiring all travelers to come in with health insurance.
There are many options as you shop for a temporary international health insurance policy. You can find one for as short as one month, or as long as twelve. Some come with low premiums and high deductibles, while others have high premiums and low co-pays. As with any type of insurance, it's up to you to carefully assess your needs and buy the policy that makes the most sense for you.