Visiting another country is an exciting, hands-on way to learn about another culture. Of course, if an illness or accident happens, you will also receive a demonstration of their healthcare system. And that’s not so exciting!
If you’re planning a foreign vacation, you’re probably quite busy researching the different aspects of your trip. Don’t forget to consider healthcare. In the event that something happens along the way, will your health insurance policy still protect you?
The answer to that question is… It depends. The first thing you should do is find out about how your plan will work.
Will my plan cover overseas healthcare? In some cases the answer is yes, but coverage might be limited to emergency situations only. Seek to fully understand those limitations. Ask if any countries are excluded from this coverage. If you’re planning any special activities, such as mountain climbing, ask if accidents related to “risky activities” will be covered.
Ask about coverage for emergency evacuations. Find out if your insurance policy will pay for you to be transported back to the US, in the event of a very serious illness or injury. These emergency evacuations can cost upwards of $100,000 in some cases!
How do I file a claim? Your health insurance provider has an established system for filing overseas healthcare claims. Knowing this information upfront can help you make the right decisions along the way.
In many cases, after asking these questions you might determine that your health insurance does not adequately protect you in all possible scenarios. A travel insurance plan can help fill in the gaps, ensuring that you receive the care you need in an emergency.
If you have Medicare… consider Medigap insurance. If you’re over age 65 and receive Medicare benefits, know that Medicare will not cover medical care that you seek in foreign countries. A Medigap supplemental policy can help, but there is a lifetime $50,000 cap on overseas services.
If you’re considering a trip to another country, it can be easy to get caught up in the “fun” parts of vacation planning. But your health goes with you wherever you go! And in the event of an emergency, you don’t want to return home to a mountain of bills. Give us a call and we can help you evaluate your health insurance plan, and decide upon a strategy to address this risk.