The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, has a website focused on traveler’s health. The intent of this site is to provide information such as disease notices, vaccination requirements and recommendations, and other measures to help travelers avoid illness and prevent injuries during international travel.
The information provided by the CDC can also help travelers better determine their travel insurance requirements for a particular trip.
As you are probably aware, most domestic health insurance programs do not cover individuals outside the U.S. borders.
With the cost of health care rising around the world, U.S. travelers with travel insurance that includes medical care in the event of an accident or illness are better protected than travelers without travel insurance.
Better protected from what?
- Better protected from being refused medical treatment when you really need it.
- Better protected from delayed medical treatment because you’ll get a prompt evacuation.
- Better protected from huge credit card bills because the treating hospital requires some form of payment.
How the CDC’s Travel Site Helps Travelers
- Start with the CDC Travel Destinations page. This is where you can review current information about disease and health risks for your target destination. You’ll know what to do before and during your trip, as well as what to watch for when you return (in case you picked up yellow fever, for example).
- Next, check the CDC Vaccinations page. This section describes the recommended vaccines for specific travel destinations as well as recommendations for travelers with specific conditions like diabetes or suppressed immune systems.
- If you will need traveler vaccinations, see the travel medical clinics page, which provides links to professional medical organizations that provide travel vaccinations and links to the state health department sites if you can’t find a travel clinic near you.
Click the CDC Destination Map
Let’s break down what you can get from the CDC Traveler’s Health Destinations page. You’ll start by selecting your travel destination from the map or using the alphabetized list.
You’ll be shown traveler’s health information for that region, including:
- Travel notices in effect for your destination
- Safety and security risks at your destination
- Tips to prepare for your trip
- Tips for staying healthy at your destination
- What to watch for when you return home
- and more
For example, if you were headed to Santiago, Chile, the health information would look like the following:
Don’t wait until the last minute, however. Many travel insurance plans require that you purchase your plan within 10-14 days of your first trip deposit. Plus, you’ll want to allow plenty of time to see your doctor before you travel.
Check the CDC Destination site as soon as you decide you want to visit a particular location so you’ll have plenty of time.