Taking a trip to another country can be a life changing and exciting experience. You'll have many things you need to prepare before you leave, which range from making travel arrangements to getting your passport. One thing that you may not be planning for is if you get seriously injured or sick during your trip. Knowing these three things about health insurance can help you to be prepared if something were to happen to you or a loved one you are traveling with.
Check Available Coverage With Your Current Plan
Your first step should be to check with your health insurance provider to verify if they offer any type of coverage for trips to another country. You may discover that your insurance provider will give you sufficient emergency coverage, but you will not be covered for smaller incidents that only require a visit to a doctor. For typical short trips, your emergency coverage should be sufficient. If you are planning an extended stay, you will need to look at the amount of coverage your health insurance actually provides. It will let you know if additional coverage is needed.
Purchase Travelers Medical Insurance
It's common for health insurance companies to offer travelers medical insurance. The type of coverage varies depending on what country you are going to and how long your trip is going to be. For example, your costs for coverage when going to Mexico will be different than if you are going to Europe. You may also see reduced rates the longer you stay, so do not assume that the price for one week of coverage will simply be doubled if you decide to stay two weeks instead.
There are also plans that can cover you as an individual or the entire group of people you will be traveling with. You will be surprised at how flexible the coverage can be to fit the needs of your trip. For example, group coverage is great if you are planning an educational trip with a group of students. A group policy could be cheaper overall than everyone getting individual insurance plans.
Take Extra Cash With You
Even if you do purchase additional health insurance for your trip, you should take extra cash with you. It's common for health insurance plans to only reimburse you for medical expenses instead paying your co-pay and dealing with the bill later. Cash on hand will help prevent you from paying more on a credit card with foreign transaction fees, paying for a wire transfer, or going through the hassle of dealing with these logistics in the middle of an emergency.
For more information on health insurance while traveling, speak with an insurance agent from a company like David Paulson Agency Inc.