Travel Health Insurance
Gonna spend your vacations abroad? Do not forget to purchase travel health insurance, as your health is an essential part of good vacations. Due to your health state you may have to go back home or to be hospitalized in a country you are visiting. In some cases you may need doctor's advice or recommendations. And health services are usually much more expensive for foreign visitors.
So get ready for emergency cases beforehand. Your travel agent or travel consolidators may offer your travel health insurance. Ask them for the variety of travel health insurances they have.
Compare the policies offered by different companies, not just for price, but also for the amount of coverage, pre-existing conditions, deductibles, limitations and exclusions. Your health, age, the medication you take, the length of your trip and the destination are all factors that affect the price of a policy and the types of medical costs your insurer will cover. Travel agents should help you find travel health insurance that suits best your needs. In some cases you may have to find an insurer willing to write a policy tailored to your circumstances. When choosing travel health insurance pay attention to the following aspects:
- What is the full package cost of each policy?
- Check if policies require you to use "preferred" doctors and hospitals.
- Are you covered for participation in the sports and activities you have planned, or are they excluded?
- Compare payment procedures. Do you pay for the medical services first, followed by a reimbursement, or is the payment made directly from the insurer to the facility?
- Compare how the policies define terms such as pre-existing condition, or a medical exclusion. Do they affect your coverage?
- Are there any limitations applied to the travel health insurance?
- Compare deductibles and/or co-payment clauses to understand your own obligation
- Can you buy extra coverage if you extend your trip?
When buying your travel health insurance, it is important to take all the time needed to fully understand the coverage as well as the limitations of the policy. Be sure to determine your own needs first such as industry specialists, then read the policy thoroughly to be sure those needs are covered. If you do not understand some aspects ask the travel agent or the insurer to clarify them.
Once you are satisfied with the travel health insurance buy it and read it thoroughly before leaving for the vacations. Take it with you. Include the policy with your travel documents. Keep both the emergency contact phone number available, as well as the number for your insurance company. Compile and include a list of current medications.
If a medical problem arises, the toll-free phone number provided will connect you to an emergency service centre. Be ready to supply all the facts and information and ask for clarification if you do not fully understand. Service centers manage and monitor your treatment and make the medical referrals. Before you go ahead with treatment however, be sure the service centre has obtained authorization from your home-based insurance company. If not, you may be personally obligated for medical services not approved.
Follow the payment process. You should be familiar with it before applying to the hospital. It is also your homework. Under some policies, you pay the hospital and are reimbursed later by the insurance company. Other policies provide payment directly to the medical facility or practitioner.
Notice that you may already have sufficient coverage from your credit card company or employee benefits plan. Don't buy more insurance if you are covered.
Have a nice journey! Have fun! Enjoy your vacations! Do not get sick!