International Health & Travel Insurance
No one likes to think about illness or injury on a vacation, or an abrupt change in plans that results in trip cancellation. However, it can happen to anyone and can cause serious financial hardship when it does.
If you’re planning a trip abroad–for pleasure or for educational purposes–make sure you’re carrying adequate health and travel insurance.
Health insurance policies can be short- or long-term and may involve a certain amount payable as a deductible. Sometimes the insurance company will only cover a certain percentage of the claim.
Be sure to read the fine print to see exactly what is covered, and compare policies side by side. Also check whether the carrier will cover preexisting conditions and pharmaceuticals. People planning holidays that include high-risk sports may also wish to choose a policy with an adventure sports clause.
Travel insurance is always a good idea if the price is lower than the cost of changing or canceling your travel plans due to unforeseen circumstances.
Travel insurance will cover the cost of non-refundable tickets or cancellation fees, provided the airline does not issue a one-year credit. Many online travel websites offer inexpensive insurance at the time of booking. Read the fine print and make a note of claim procedures.
Insurance from Your Credit Card
Many travelers don’t realize they have certain types of built-in insurance through the credit card they use when booking their vacations. For instance, many credit card companies offer free car rental insurance in case of an accident.
Check with your credit card card company for all the particulars before you book your holiday. As a side note, you might also wish to notify them of your overseas travel plans so that unusual spending doesn’t trigger an alert.
Your Insurance Company at Home
Your regular medical insurance might cover medical expenses overseas, but costs will usually be billed at the “out of network” rate. Some larger insurance carriers now offer medical travel insurance for Americans seeking treatment abroad.
The patient will usually have to pay the medical bills up front and file a claim upon returning home. Check with your insurance company to see whether they offer this benefit. Medicare and Medicaid do not cover hospital or medical costs outside the United States.