YOU ASK:

Do I really need to buy health insurance for my overseas travel? Won’t my existing health insurance do?

WE ANSWER:

Most local health insurance plans are only limited to providing for their benefits as long as the medical treatment is provided within one's home country. Once you go abroad, the health insurance may not provide you with the cover. Or else, if it does, it will usually cover you only up to the amount that is equivalent to the local rates. Thus, the hospitalization indemnity may only be up to the amount one is usually charged in his home country.

The disadvantage of this system is that the medical and hospitalization fees abroad are invariably more expensive that the fees we pay at home. Also, our existing health insurance policy may not be adequate or comprehensive in that some illnesses or injuries may be excluded due to the fact that you are in a foreign country.

Thus, it is necessary for you to be covered with health insurance for overseas travel. This is to help you minimize the financial risk of being injured or sick while you are traveling. After all, the premiums you will be paying is only a very miniscule amount when you compare this with the money you will have to shell out of pocket for medical bills, or for the emergency evacuation by helicopter. These expenses could potentially reach thousands of dollars.

Now, when you are shopping around for health insurance for overseas travel, here are some things you should look into:

  • How easily can you get in contact with the insurance company? The company should have toll-free numbers that are accessible at all times. You will need this access when you are to be admitted to the hospital.
  • Also, consider whether they have direct payment deals and accredited hospitals and doctors in the country you will be visiting. This is particularly helpful if you cannot speak the language of the country you are in.
  • The travel insurance company should also have the capability of arranging the treatments for you.

These three important features will help you determine whether a health insurance for overseas travel product would be something that will work best for you.

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