Depending on where you live, health insurance may be provided by your job, or even by your country, but you may not realize that there are some very finite limits to what the insurance can do. Of course, there are deductibles and co-pays to worry about, certain procedures may need prior approval, and others may not be covered at all. However, are you aware that your health insurance may not do you any good if you need medical care overseas?
There are numerous horror stories around the web about people who have gotten into terrible medical situations during their travels. One such tale is about a couple who travelled from Canada to the United States for a vacation while the mother was six months pregnant. After getting approval from her doctor to go on the trip, she ended up going into labor two months early. Unfortunately, the couple ended up with nearly one million dollars in debt after their child spent several weeks in intensive care.
These kinds of stories are terrible to hear about, but they do happen rather frequently. Even though this couple did their due diligence in checking with their medical professional before leaving, and in checking with the insurance company, they still got stuck. Many simply do not realize the problems that can be caused by traveling without specialized health insurance policies. In fact, many just do not even know that worldwide health insurance exists. What exactly is worldwide health insurance and what can it do for you?
What Is Worldwide Health Insurance?
In fact, there are multiple types of worldwide health insurance that are used for different scenarios. Different people have different insurance needs, of course, so the type of insurance that is best for you will ultimately depend on your travel habits. All types of worldwide health insurance are intended to cover medical expenses that you incur while you are out of your home country. Since many traditional insurance policies will not cover these expenses, this type of insurance is extremely important for travelers.
If you’re not planning on leaving the country at any point in the near future, it’s really not something you need to be concerned with immediately. However, if you are planning to take a trip to another country for a short time, you’ll probably need what is referred to as travel insurance. Travel insurance is a form of worldwide health insurance that is intended for short term coverage. If you’re going to be out in another country for anywhere from a few days to a couple of months, this is most likely the type of insurance that you’ll need. Travel insurance isn’t just limited to health coverage, however, and you can also purchase travel insurance that covers other types of expenses.
Permanent Worldwide Health Insurance
The second type of worldwide health insurance is really intended for people that go out of their home country with extreme frequency. This type of worldwide health insurance is more like a traditional health insurance policy in that it’s something you sign up for and then retain for a long period of time. Just like traditional health insurance, coverage will only end if the policy owners ask for it to be canceled.
For Who Is Worldwide Health Insurance Intended?
If you travel out of the country once or twice per year, the costs would probably be excessive, and it would likely make more sense to use travel insurance. However, many business people should absolutely consider this type of worldwide health insurance. Not only does it protect them from severe financial problems should they fall ill during a trip, but it also saves them the trouble of signing up for a new travel insurance policy several times throughout the year. For many, the convenience far outweighs the cost of a continuously running worldwide health insurance policy.
If you’re someone who needs to travel abroad several times throughout the year, perhaps for business, you should certainly consider this type of coverage. Additionally, if you’re someone who has a favorite vacation spot outside your country’s borders and you travel there very frequently, you may want to look into such a policy as well. For example, there are many people who live in the United States that travel to Mexico for months at a time during the winter season. This type of worldwide health insurance would also be appropriate for these individuals. If you’re someone that finds himself in another country for more than a couple of months out of every year, it might be worth some effort to determine what the cost for this kind of coverage would be for you and your family.
Why Is Worldwide Health Insurance Necessary?
Beyond the stories mentioned above and the fact that many traditional health insurance policies won’t cover medical expenses incurred outside of your country, there are some additional reasons that make this coverage so important. How often do you get sick during the course of an average year? While some people seem to get sick every couple of months, others may go years without catching so much as a cold. Various reports have different suggestions as to how likely you are to get sick on a plane, but you surely have heard stories from friends or family members who have gotten the flu after a long plane ride with strangers. The fact is that you’re going to be in very close proximity to other people during your flight, and if any of those people are sick, there’s little you can do to prevent those germs from entering your body.
Getting sick on the plane isn’t the only thing to be concerned with, either. When you travel to another country, your body, and immune system are going to be encountering environmental effects that they aren’t prepared to handle. New strains of various flus and viruses will be bombarding your body from all directions. The air, the food, and the water can all contain germs that your immune system hasn’t encountered before, and it could easily become overwhelmed. This kind of health insurance is most certainly an invaluable option for those traveling overseas.