You’re soon to be off on an exciting trip out of the country. Your plans are made, your flight is booked, your passport is current, and now all you can do is count down to the day of your flight. Before you pack your bags and board you plane, you should make sure that your insurance will cover any unforeseen medical expenses while traveling. Whether you are an American or an Australian citizen, health insurance agents from insurance companies like GMF Health in Australia can help you determine if you are covered and where you can receive coverage if you are not covered.
Americans Traveling Out of the US
All American’s who are traveling outside the United States should make sure that their health insurance covers both hospital visits and emergency evacuations back to the United States while in another country.
Why do you need to check? Many health insurance policies do not cover medical expenses while outside the United States. It is also important to note that both Medicare and Medicaid are invalid while outside the United States.
You should know beforehand if you will be responsible for paying for your own medical bills. Medical care without insurance is expensive. And the more extreme emergency evacuation back to the United States will add an additional $50,000 to the expenses racked up by the hospital bills. Do yourself a favor and ensure that your health care covers you outside the United States.
If your current insurance does not cover you while traveling, you have two options: you can go uninsured and hope that luck will be on your side or you can seek alternate insurance plans. There are many organizations in the United States that offer travel insurance that will pay for medical expenses.
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You should also check the health insurance laws of the country that you are traveling to. Many countries offer health coverage plans to visitors. Australia in particular offers an Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC) that will provide coverage for any potential doctor, public hospital, private hospital, dental and optical visits. With all the options available, you should think carefully before stepping on that plane without the proper health coverage.
Australians Traveling To Other Countries
Australians that plan to visit other countries should also make sure that their public or private health care plans will cover any potential medical expenses while on vacation.
If your private health insurance plan does not cover over-seas health expenses, you could still qualify for rudimentary public health insurance. The Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) is a policy that grants Australian citizens basic health insurance in the UK, New Zealand, Sweden, Italy, Norway, and 6 other countries. You will need to bring your Medicare card to qualify for the RHCA. What is covered and not covered varies by country. Be sure to check what medical expenses will be your responsibility to pay for under the RHCA.
If you are not traveling to a country that is a part of the RHCA agreement, you should research the travel health insurance coverage provided by local and foreign companies. The more health coverage you have, the safer your health and finances will be.
Private health insurance companies do not always cover medical expenses while traveling to another country. If your health insurance provider does not cover you while vacationing in another country, you can obtain travel insurance that will ensure that you will not spend thousands of dollars on unforeseen hospital visits.