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Travel Insurance and Medical Expenses

Medical Expenses While Traveling

Every country in the world has their own sets of laws and policies that govern how residents pay for medical care. Some have socialized care which is provided by the government or privatized care where the patient pays for the care out of their own pocket or through insurance.

So, what happens if you are visiting a country and need medical attention?

In most cases even if the country has free healthcare for its own citizens, a foreign visitor will have to pay for their own bills. This is one of the leading reasons that vacationers purchase travel insurance. They want to avoid the bills and costs associated with an unexpected medical expense abroad.

Medical Expense Coverage

When planning a vacation, tourists always think of the great time they are going to have. Whether that includes lounging at the pool, getting a tan on the beach or enjoying a drink at a trendy bar, most dream vacations do not include illness or injury. However, it is a risk we all take when we leave our homes. This risk is most amplified when we are in unfamiliar locations or taking part in activities that can lead to getting hurt. Since we have no control over accidents or illness, it is best to be prepared.

Medical expenses coverage is there to pay for emergency treatment in case you fall sick or get hurt on holiday. Depending on the type of cover you have purchased, the following protections are included:

  • Emergency Treatment and Medical Expenses
  • Travel and Accommodation Costs
  • Search and Rescue Costs
  • Hospital Expenses
  • Travel and Accommodation of Companion (Someone to stay with you while In the Hospital)

Exceptions for Medical Coverage

It is important to read the wording of your policy carefully before departing on your trip. This makes sure that you know exactly what is covered in case of an issue during your holiday.

A common thing that vacationers overlook is that some travel insurance does not offer benefits if you are found to be under the influence of alcohol when injured. Most people will probably have a glass of wine or some scotch if they are on vacation, so it is something to be aware of when traveling. Some policies also do not cover accidents that happen if the insured is under the influence of recreational or illegal drugs.

Some Activities Might Not Be Covered

Some other points to keep in mind is that travel insurance policies also have language that points out that injuries sustained because of violent activities or behavior will not be covered. Insurance providers also have restrictions on what type of activities they cover during your vacation. So normal sightseeing and tours may be covered but you could be denied medical expenses if you injure yourself in a high-risk activity like mountain climbing. Always check the language in your policy about what type of activities are covered. You may need to upgrade your policy if you plan on going for example on a ski trip instead of a regular visit to a city like Paris.

Medical expenses are standard for most travel insurance policies. What you need to keep in mind is that the coverage level and other restrictions vary. The best way to avoid being blindsided by a refusal from the insurance company for a medical expense is to go over all the details before making a purchase.

Emergency & Necessary Treatment

Travel insurance policies cover emergency or necessary treatments that are needed in the case of an illness or injury. Basically, this means that any medical procedure that is required to treat you after getting hurt or sick is covered. Emergency treatments are where you need immediate medical attention. Necessary treatments are ones that are needed and cannot be delayed or averted. However, anything beyond that is not covered. For example, cosmetic procedures or a regular medical checkup will not fall under this cover (with the exception of our wellness checkup benefit.)

Medical Repatriation

Medical repatriation is the act of bringing the insured back to their country of origin because of an illness or injury that cuts their trip short. Many travel insurance policies have medical repatriation as part of medical expenses cover. In some cases, repatriation can become quite expensive especially if they require new tickets or travel plans that need to be arranged in a short period of time. Special chartered flights with the proper medical facilities may be needed to transport a patient. These special flights are called air ambulances and you should check the language in your insurance to confirm that they are included as part of repatriation. However, these sorts of travel arrangements may not always be approved by the travel insurance company. If the movement of the patient is deemed harmful, alternative solutions may be provided. This is usually decided on a case-by-case basis so you should keep in mind that an air ambulance is not always the best solution.

Travel Insurance medical expenses may also cover a few other items like the cost of tickets and accommodation that must be forgone because the policyholder had to leave early. Another aspect of this is when a tourist receives treatment and is not fit to travel. They may need a few days or weeks to recover before they can depart for their home country. Travel insurance also covers these expenses and you should always speak with your provider about these points before purchasing a plan.

Pre-existing Medical Conditions

Some travelers may have existing medical conditions that can be a problem or may make their travel riskier when compared to a healthy individual. It is best to speak with your insurance provider and tell them about your pre-existing condition so that they can help you get the right coverage. If you do not do this, it is likely that any medical emergencies that may arise during your travel because of your condition will not be covered by travel insurance.

Steps to Take During a Medical Emergency

Even though insurance providers try to be as customer-friendly as possible, you cannot just call up the company and expect benefits. In case of an emergency, you must follow certain steps to ensure that you get reimbursements and the coverage that you are entitled to under your policy. There can be variation between travel insurance so always read your policy documents, so you know the procedures for your specific plan. If you are not sure what to do, you can always contact the sales or support team and ask them directly before you travel so that you are prepared.

If you are on vacation and are faced with a medical emergency, then follow the below steps and you should have all your bases covered:

  • Immediately call the hotline for your travel insurance provider. Normally there should be a customer support person that can help you through a medical emergency. Make sure you keep the contact number and contact method readily available at all times while traveling. If you are unable to do it yourself have a relative or travel companion do it for you.
  • Always keep cash or credit card on hand to pay for certain expenses on the fly. Sometimes you cannot wait or delay while waiting for the insurance company. In other cases, it is not possible for the medical staff to take payment from the insurance. So, it’s best to make these smaller payments yourself and then get reimbursed by insurance later.  
  • Depending on where you are vacationing, the hospital may not offer any medical assistance unless they are assured that you can pay for the bills. You should relay this information to the travel insurance hotline so they can guide you on how to give the hospital staff this confirmation.
  • The bulk of your treatment and medical bills will be covered by insurance. The hotline will arrange for guarantees to present to the hospital or clinic.
  • Always document everything. This includes itemized bills, doctors’ notes, lab reports, and receipts for medicine and other medically necessary items. The more proofs you have the better it is when filing claims. The travel insurance provider will require all this information when you reach back home.

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By Administrator at 6 May 2020

What Does Acute Onset of Pre-Existing Conditions Mean for Travel Insurance?

Pre-Existing Medical Conditions and Travel Insurance

What Does Acute Onset of Pre-Existing Conditions Mean for Travel Insurance?

Acute onset of preexisting conditions is a concept that is part of any travel insurance policy. In most every case, a preexisting health conditions are not covered under travel insurance. The only exception to this is acute onset of a preexisting condition, but this can get fairly tricky when it comes to travel insurance policies. In order to understand how it might impact your insurance experience, we must first breakdown the definition of acute onset as well as the terms by which travel insurance operates.

To begin with, acute onset of preexisting conditions means that you or someone that you are traveling with has a known preexisting condition and experiences a very sudden health concern while abroad. The biggest distinguishing factor here is that the health problem must, quite literally, come out of nowhere. While it is fine if the preexisting condition raises the person’s chance of this health risk, the problem itself must arise quickly and without warning. For example, you might be diabetic and at risk of certain health problems relating to your blood sugar levels. If you have recently been experiencing problems and the issues arise again while you are traveling, this would not be considered acute onset. However, if you have been doing fine and suddenly find yourself going into diabetic shock, this would be considered acute onset and should be covered.

When it comes to paying out these kinds of insurance claims, you can rest assured that your traveler’s insurance company will do everything they can to determine if you had any prior indication that there was a risk of the event occurring. They might look into medical records, ask you if you have been experiencing any recent symptoms that could have tipped you off, and more. This is because preexisting conditions as a whole are not covered by these insurance plans, which means their job will be determining if this was a fluke or just a part of your preexisting condition that you should have been aware of.

Choosing traveler’s insurance can be difficult because of this, and if you are traveling with someone who has a preexisting condition, it can be that much harder. Make sure that you look into the policies that you purchase so that you are aware of what to expect. It always pays to seek out reviews and see how companies handle this sort of situations. Trawick International has a customer support hotline where specialists can answer all your questions and make sure you get the right plan.

The fact that you or someone you know has a preexisting condition should not stop you from your travels. With a little extra time and research, you can go on your travels prepared with an understanding of what your insurance covers. In the event you have been experiencing any recent problems, it is important to recognize that your services might end up not being covered. As long as you go into your travels aware of what your insurance covers, you should be able to travel without worry.

Looking for a trusted provider of Travel Insurance? Trawick International has been a top provider since 1998.

By Administrator at 14 Feb 2020

Travel Alerts vs. Travel Warnings

Travel Alerts vs Travel Warnings

In today’s climate, it’s not unheard of for the government to issue travel warnings and travel alerts. Depending on where you’re traveling to and what you’ll be doing while you’re there, it’s important to understand how these two differ as they could potentially affect your trip.

A travel alert is also known as a travel public announcement and is typically short in nature. These alerts are issued due to factors like events that are related to terrorism, an anniversary of a specific terrorist event, and political unrest. These alerts are usually accompanied by information regarding potential threats and short-term conditions that the government believes may affect American travelers and pose significant risks to their security. Travel alerts were recently issued due to the hurricane and typhoon seasons in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico.

A travel warning is considered more severe than a travel alert and means that the State Department is suggesting Americans entirely avoid traveling to a particular country because of instability, or when a U.S. embassy or consulate is closed, therefore reducing the U.S. Government’s ability to assist American citizens. The U.S. Department of State issued travel warnings back in April urging citizens to avoid travel to several states in Mexico due to increased crime threats and violent homicides. It’s important to note that warnings do not mean you cannot travel to the country in question, they are simply meant as safety or precautionary measures.

Founded in 1998, Trawick International is a full-service travel insurance provider specializing in protecting travelers of all types around the world. We offer a variety of travel insurance plans designed specifically by types of coverage, including comprehensive travel protection insuranceinternational travel medical insurance, visitor’s insurance, and international student insurance. 

Our company mission is to deliver superior travel and medical insurance products that offer the best 24/7 emergency assistance services available. To become a Trawick International partner call 888-301-9289 or email info@trawickinternational.com

By Administrator at 6 Nov 2018
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