Americans like to travel. In 2014, approximately 61% people in the United States took an average of 2.4 trips that were vacations, according to the U.S. Travel Insurance Association. Most (85%) like to travel within the country but about 15% do take trips to other countries. More and more travelers are becoming concerned about how world events may impact their travel plans, 48% admitted they are more concerned about it now than in the past. To underscore the importance of having expatriate insurance, it is important to note that at least 17% of travelers say that they have had to make adjustments to their plans because of health problems, natural disasters (can be weather related) or problems with the airline.
Having international medical insurance can make a big difference if you get sick or are injured while you are on a vacation overseas or if you plan to spend some time living in another country. Of the people whose travel was interrupted by some problem, only 22% had any expatriate insurance. Depending on the kind of trip you are taking or the part of the world you are visiting, the importance of having expatriate insurance may vary. Here are some reasons to consider global medical insurance:
- Your global medical insurance goes wherever you go. If you are hiking in the Himalayas or trekking to Teotihuacan in Mexico, your insurance will be there with you. Every day, people have to be air lifted out of the Himalayas because they have been injured or become ill. If you are doing something like this, you want to have the protection of your insurance policy when and where you need it.
- Expatriate health insurance plans make financial sense. If you have medical bills when you are traveling overseas can really add up. When you are thinking about the importance of having expatriate insurance, covering expensive medical bills is right up there. Becoming ill or injured when traveling is stressful enough, you do not want to worry about your bills.
- Not all domestic health plans cover travel. Many travelers assume that their American health insurance policy will cover them when they are traveling but that is not always the case. You should check with your carrier to see what your coverage would cover when you leave the country.
There are some things you should make sure your policy covers when you travel, they are:
- Situations when you need an emergency medical evacuation: Depending on where you are traveling, you may find yourself in a location that does not have the capability to take care of the illness or injury that you are experiencing. In these instances, you will need to be evacuated to another location.
- Hospitalizations: No one wants to spend time in the hospital at home or when they are on vacation but it can happen. Make sure your insurance will cover this. If you find your appendix rupturing when you are overseas, you want to know you can get the care you need.
- Injuries or different kinds of accidents: When you are talking to the different international health insurance companies, you should make sure accidents and injuries will be covered by your policy.
- Services to help your mental health: Mental and physical health go hand in hand but not everyone thinks to make sure this is covered by international health insurance plans. You may have to add this kind of coverage to your policy.
- Remain return: This is the very last thing people want to ask about but is an important addition to make to your insurance policy and is another one of the problems that underscores the importance of having expatriate insurance. If something should happen to you, you will be doing your family a big favor by making sure this is covered by your insurance policy. They can make sure you are sent home.
- Current medical conditions: If you have health issues that may need attention while you are traveling, you will have to add coverage for it to your international health insurance policy. This can give you some additional peace of mind.
International travel is great. Worrying about becoming ill or injured adds nothing to a trip. By getting an international medical insurance plan, you give yourself more peace of mind.