Exclusively from Foa & Son
Summertime is vacation time for many of us, so here’s a personal risk management tip you might want to keep in mind as you make your travel plans.
Take a look at the details of your current health insurance coverage, and you might be shocked to find out that traditional American medical insurance policies provide little or coverage outside the U.S. The HMO or PPO plan you have may give you sufficient coverage while you are close to home or here elsewhere in the U.S., but if you travel outside U.S. borders you leave most of that coverage behind. Extra-territorial benefits, when found, are commonly limited to emergency coverage only, and plans may limit those benefits to only $50,000 or some other relatively modest amount. And if you are covered by Medicare the purchase of an additional Medicare supplement is required to provide even limited benefit medical insurance outside the U.S.
Unexpected accidents or an illness striking suddenly while out of the country can quite conceivably result in large uninsured medical bills, but there are other potential costs that should also be considered. Most folks who become injured or ill overseas will seek immediate treatment wherever they are, but quite naturally will want to get back home as quickly as possible for any indicated surgery or follow up treatment. Seriously ill or bedridden patients can’t just drive to the airport, roll through security and walk onto a plane; special medical transport flights are required. These are available, but can be very expensive, and depending on the location you are coming from and the degree of medical attention you need en route can add up to a huge cost all by themselves. Similarly, if an illness or injury is such that you can’t be moved and requires a will likely want to have a spouse or family member close by. Again, these costs can add up quickly.
Travel medical insurance is the common sense solution for any excursions by U.S. residents outside the United States. These products are typically guaranteed issue for anyone under the age of 85 and can provide a range of generous benefits including non-emergency and emergency medical expenses, prescription medications, medical evacuation services and other travel insurance benefits.
Give some thought to this coverage if you are planning a trip outside the country. It’s usually quite reasonably priced and can provide real value should the need arise.