When you are on a wonderful vacation with little care in the world, the last thing you want is a medical emergency. Unfortunately while they are never planned nor wanted, these types of situations arise every day with people travelling overseas. If you are not prepared for such emergencies, they can cost you significantly more than your trip did and not only put a damper on your holiday fun, but your bank account as well. Seek out some travel advice and ensure these situations are well taken care of the next time you leave the country.
If you are coming from Canada, you are probably used to top notch, free provincial health care. You simply show your health card at major facilities and your care is automatically covered. It is that simple – something so simple that we often take it for granted in another country. Be aware that your provincial health plan does not cover all medical charges you can easily incur if you get ill or injured while away. In fact, very few expenses will be covered at home until you arrive back on Canadian soil. Those that are covered are rarely taken care of in full. That means most of the expense burden is placed directly on you, which can result in significant fees. For example, the cost for inpatient care at a United States hospital can easily reach over $5000 per day! This doesn’t include higher expenses for life saving surgeries, medications, or evacuations.
After reading those sobering facts, you are probably anxious to ensure that doesn’t happen to you and seek out some travel advice. There are a number of things you can do to prepare yourself just in case that dreaded medical emergency comes up. First of all, check with your credit card provider to ask what (if any) charges may be covered up front by them. Some medical emergencies are covered upfront by credit cards, but depending on the provider and the coverage needed, not all charges may be covered right away. Call ahead, do some research so you are not surprised when you try to charge medical expenses on a standard card.
While credit cards are useful to pay charges upfront, there are even more effective methods for covering those unexpected emergencies – overseas health insurance. If you have private medical insurance (through an employer or elsewhere), you may already be covered without your knowledge. Call the company, read your employer’s policy, or do some online research. Travel advice regarding overseas medical coverage is only a few clicks or calls away. If you find that your private insurance does in fact cover medical emergencies, be very careful to find out exactly which ones. While you may be covered at the emergency room, surgeries or evacuations may not be covered and could incur significantly higher costs for you. Do some detailed research to ensure the emergencies that may affect you specifically are covered in full.
Perhaps your private insurance doesn’t cover specific expenses, maybe you do not have such insurance, or perhaps you just want extra piece of mind. Either way, additional overseas medical insurance is always an option and this is a great area to seek out some travel advice. There are a number of policies out there, many of which are offered by tour operators, banks, travel agencies, or private companies. There can be big variations in price, so do not automatically accept the first policy offered to you. Figure out what type of policy is best for you and your specific medical needs, and be prepared to pay up front for that piece of mind. While there is an extra expense involved in your holiday, think about what you would save in case there is a serious emergency.
Figuring out the best kind of insurance and the amount you require needs research before you depart on your trip and some good travel advice will help you mitigate some of the dangers. Consider what you will be doing on your vacation. If you are planning on significant outdoors activities, particularly hiking in remote areas, you should probably opt for greater coverage.
Additionally, as a travel advice, if you are travelling with preexisting conditions that may affect your health while away, you should definitely consider the best policies out there. Not only will you have extra piece of mind for the duration of your holiday, you could be saving your own life and money in the process. No one wants a medical emergency on their vacation, but you can help mitigate the pain by preparing in advance.