UPDATED: Feb 25, 2020
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Travel health insurance can be a lifesaver. Receiving proper care while traveling in a foreign country could be critical to your health, and even your survival in emergency situations. And having a good travel health insurance policy can help reduce the costs of care significantly.
Consider the following actual case of a couple honeymooning in Vietnam:
Location: Nha Trang, Vietnam, a popular beach town approximately 300 miles north of Ho Chi Minh City. Travel time by bus is about 12 hours. The honeymooning couple had traveled from Washington D.C.
Medical Situation: After experiencing severe abdominal pain, the newlywed seeks treatment on his own at a local clinic in Nha Trang. The doctor recommends surgery at an inpatient facility in Ho Chi Minh City. He calls the 24-hour customer service line for assistance.
Diagnosis: Perforated duodenal ulcer requiring immediate surgery, along with related medical complications.
Action Plan: Given the patient’s medical history, the critical medical condition, and the lack of appropriate medical facilities in Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City, the team assisting him arranges transport via air ambulance to Bankok, Thailand to be treated by a U.S. board certified Gastroenterologist affiliated with Bumrungrad Hospital, an internationally recognized facility, operated by a U.S. company.
Challenge: The air ambulance flight needed to be carefully orchestrated since the airstrip in Nha Trang is open only from sunrise to sunset. Special approval to keep the airport open after dark was coordinated through the U.S. consulate in Ho Chi Minh City. The air ambulance arrived in Nha Trang within 24 hours of the initial notification.
Hospital Discharge: Once the patient was considered fit to fly, an international flight was booked and paid for to the Washington D.C. airport. Doctors advised that a non-medical escort would be appropriate, and the spouse’s transportation was covered as well.
Total Expenses: $86,543 (all covered by insurance)
Insurance Premium: $23.00
Travel health insurance can provide benefits for:
- Doctor visits
- Inpatient hospital services
- Emergency services
- Ambulance services
- Prescription drugs
- Dental care
- Medical evacuation
- Accidental death
- Trip cancellation
- Lost baggage
Having health insurance coverage while traveling abroad can help ensure you will receive the same high-quality health care you would expect at home. Being injured or sick while in a foreign country, where there are language barriers and unfamiliar surroundings, can make a stressful situation much worse. Travel health insurance companies can help you find proper health care providers, coordinate your care, facilitate transportation and even assist in your return to the US if necessary.
Source: Insurance Services of America