4 Things to Know about International Travel Medical Insurance
For all of those who’ve heard of international travel medical insurance, you may start raising an eyebrow. What exactly is travel medical insurance, and why would you need it? I will admit – travel insurance is something you need to consider on a case-by-case basis. I’m not going to try and convince all of you to purchase it, but rather, help you understand all the factors to take into consideration when deciding what the best travel medical insurance is and if you should invest in it. So here’s what you should know as you consider purchasing a policy:
Your Destination Matters
This is one of the most important factors in determining whether or not you’re going to want to get travel medical insurance. One day, I was sitting down with my mom asking her why we never get medical insurance when we go to India. She explained to me that a trip to the doctor in India is probably way cheaper than paying a monthly premium in U.S. dollars. On the other hand, when my grandparents came here from India, we purchased a medical insurance policy for them, because healthcare in the U.S. is obviously way more expensive. So how much is medical insurance when you travel? The answer is it’s all relative. If you’re venturing out to a Western European country like France or The United Kingdom, you’d most likely benefit from having international medical insurance under your belt.
Check Your Medical Evacuation Benefit
As you take a look at an insurance policy’s schedule of benefits to determine which plan is the best for you to go with, you may notice that medical evacuation is probably the most expensive benefit on any policy. This is something you need to worry about if you’re going on a perilous voyage, like a hike up Mount Everest, or a war-ridden country, where the chances of you needing to get transported to a facility is high. If you’re visiting your extended family for a month in a warm cottage in Scotland, you may be able to rest a little easy on the medical evacuation, which is really what drives up the overall price of your policy.
Terminology is Very Tricky
Now, I know most of us like to believe that we have a pretty solid grasp of the English language. But do not be fooled. Understanding insurance terminology is literally like decoding ancient Greek calligraphy. What may seem pretty straightforward actually has many conditional elements. An example of this is with medical evacuation. You’d think with the very high benefit amount you’re allowed on your schedule of benefits, that you’d get covered for transportation and treatment at the medical facility, right? Nope. Medical evacuation only takes you to a medical facility of your choice, with the necessary equipment needed to keep you comfortable and - in extreme cases - alive during your trip. You’d then have to use your medical insurance benefit for actual treatment. Make sure you fully understand your benefits and how to use them when you purchase a policy.
It’s a Must for Those Visiting the U.S.
This is something I can most definitely vouch for. The United States is a great place with great services and a customer-centric culture. And for that very reason, services are much more expensive here than in most other parts of the world, which explains why many come here for work. Because of this, any type of medical procedure done in the U.S. will almost always cost more than in a visitor’s home country. This is why international medical travel insurance is an absolute must for anyone visiting the U.S. Whether your parents live abroad and you’re finally getting them to come see you in the United States, or your best friend from Ecuador is coming to do some sightseeing for a few weeks, make sure they are covered.