A prominent credit card company whose name you know well uses “Don’t leave home without it” as a very effective tag line in its advertisements. However, when you travel outside the good old USA, there is another “Don’t leave home without it” item that could save you thousands of dollars and days of worry and anxiety…Travel Medical Insurance.
Most US health insurance policies, personal, family and employer-sponsored group health insurance plans, cover you in the USA and its territories…and some cover you for limited periods of time outside the US. However, almost none pay to fly you back home if you are stuck in a foreign country after suffering a accidental injury or other debilitating health issue…So when you travel to foreign countries don’t leave home without first obtaining Travel Health Insurance.
When you take that cruise to the Caribbean, Europe, the far east, you are in a foreign country almost as soon as you see the boat pick up the harbor pilot outside your US port of departure.
Proper Travel Health Insurance pays for claims just like traditional major medical insurance…you select a deductible amount to pay before benefits kick in, then you and your insurance company share paying for the rest of your claim up to a agreed upon dollar limit. But here is the big kicker: If you are stuck in a hospital bed somewhere in another country, your vacation trip destroyed and no affordable way to get back home, a Travel Medical Insurance Policy containing a benefit called “Repatriation” could be your salvation.
“Repatriation” Benefits provide the cash to fly you home on an Air Ambulance and also pick up the tab to pay for someone to accompany you on the trip back. If you are traveling alone, Repatriation would pay to have someone you nominate fly out to your location and accompany you home.
Travel Health Insurance containing the Repatriation benefit is not expensive, and worth every penny. Get it from your travel agent or through your health insurance agent.
Real life case: This year, during a family vacation trip to the Dominican Republic, an Indiana high school coach was severely injured while swimming in the Caribbean. Between his medical bills on the island and travel expenses to return home the coach had to come up with more than $30,000. He had not thought to obtain Travel Medical Insurance prior to leaving the US and he certainly did not have ready access to that much cash. His family desperately started a GoFundMe page to raise the cash and was eventually able to pay the bill.
Our coach was lucky. He could have been half way around the world when he experienced his accident and his air ambulance bill could have been $200,000! Owning Travel Medical Insurance could have saved the day.
Here is a current example from a leading provider of Travel Medical Insurance:
7 day family vacation to Jamaica, 2 adults each age 40, two children ages 12 and 17…Travel Health Insurance with $250 deductible/$1,000,000 medical maximum and $500,000 Emergency Medical Evacuation & Repatriation Benefit…Price, $49.38