A recent online survey conducted by eHealthInsurance and PlanPrescriber.com in November, 2011 reveals that more Americans are concerned about overseas travel than they have been in previous years.
According to the report, nearly 1/3 of respondents indicated they did not know if their existing health insurance plan would cover their medical expenses if they became ill or got injured while traveling outside their home country. A recent horrific story of one 79-year-old traveler injured in Mexico proves the need for travel insurance.
We know travelers are becoming increasingly aware of their liability and risks when they travel, and travel insurance can provide the coverage you need for peace of mind and financial security when you travel.
Simply focusing on the medical and evacuation needs of travelers (i.e., ignoring baggage delays, volcano eruptions, flight cancellations, etc.), here are the facts:
- Your home health insurance coverage does not usually extend to care received outside the network and not outside the country (although some plans will allow you to submit claims to be considered and at times paid).
- Medicare and Medicaid do not extend to care received while you are outside the country.
- Medical care outside the country is often pre-paid, meaning the traveler must pay up front to receive care.
- The cost to transport an injured or ill traveler out of a country where they can receive quality health care can be very high (as much as $100,000 or more).
- The cost to transport the remains of a traveler who has died to their home country is also high (as high as $40,000 or more) and the effort can require a great deal of inter-country negotiations and regulations.
- Traveling in a foreign country, where you don’t understand the local language, can mean additional difficulty.
The right travel insurance plan can:
- Arrange for pre-payments to the hospital where the traveler has been transported.
- Coordinate and pay for a traveler’s evacuation out of the foreign country back home or to a country with better medical facilities.
- Coordinate and pay for the return of a traveler’s remains.
- Deliver translation services and monitor communication between the medical staff in one country with the traveler’s friends and family back home.
- Return children who are traveling with the injured or ill traveler back home – with a caregiver, if necessary.
- Transport a friend or family member to the injured or ill traveler so they have someone they know nearby.
Travel insurance plans are relatively inexpensive when you look at the financial loss you could incur on vacation. Many plans are available for as little as $40-$60 depending on the coverage, your age, and destination. See our travel insurance comparison tool and enter a few trip details to get the prices. Be sure to carefully review your plan so you understand the coverage too.