Medical Tourism

What is Medical Travel Insurance?

travelMedical Travel Insurance

Medical travel insurance is a type of insurance coverage designed to provide financial protection for individuals who are traveling abroad and may need medical care during their trip.

It is also sometimes referred to as travel health insurance or international health insurance.

This type of insurance is particularly important because standard health insurance plans may not cover medical expenses incurred outside of your home country.

Medical travel insurance typically offers coverage for a range of medical expenses, including emergency medical treatment, hospital stays, surgery, and prescription medications. It may also cover other travel-related issues such as trip cancellations, lost luggage, or emergency evacuation.

Key features of medical travel insurance may include:

  1. Emergency Medical Coverage: Covers the cost of medical treatment for unexpected illnesses or injuries during your trip.
  2. Medical Evacuation: Covers the cost of transportation to the nearest suitable medical facility in case of a medical emergency that requires specialized treatment.
  3. Repatriation: Covers the cost of returning your remains to your home country in the unfortunate event of your death during the trip.
  4. Trip Cancellation or Interruption: Reimburses non-refundable trip expenses if your trip is canceled or interrupted due to covered reasons, such as a medical emergency.
  5. Lost or Delayed Baggage Coverage: Provides reimbursement for the value of lost, stolen, or delayed baggage.
  6. 24/7 Assistance Services: Many travel insurance plans offer 24/7 assistance services, including a helpline to connect you with medical professionals or assistance in finding local healthcare providers.

It’s crucial to carefully review the terms and conditions of a medical travel insurance policy to understand the coverage limits, exclusions, and any pre-existing conditions that may affect the policy.

Travel insurance needs can vary depending on the destination, the length of the trip, and individual health considerations. Travelers are advised to purchase medical travel insurance before embarking on international trips to ensure they are adequately protected in case of unforeseen medical emergencies.

Difference Between Travel Medical Insurance and Regular Health Insurance

The main difference between travel medical insurance and regular health insurance is the duration of coverage and the type of protection provided.

Travel medical insurance is designed to cover emergency medical expenses during a trip, such as ambulance services, doctor bills, and hospital charges.

It can be primary or secondary coverage, depending on the plan. In contrast, regular health insurance, whether domestic or international, provides long-term coverage for most medical bills, including non-emergency treatment, prescription medication, and chronic conditions.

It does not typically cover trip disruptions. Travel insurance, on the other hand, is intended to cover short-term trips and may include benefits such as trip cancellation, lost luggage, and travel delay

Cost of Medical Travel Insurance

The cost of travel medical insurance is typically lower than that of regular health insurance. Travel insurance policies can cost between $35 and $200, depending on various factors such as age, trip duration, location, and the level of coverage selected. On average, travel insurance is about 5% to 6% of your total trip cost.

In contrast, regular health insurance, whether domestic or international, involves long-term coverage for medical expenses and is usually more expensive than travel medical insurance.

The cost of regular health insurance can vary significantly depending on factors such as the level of coverage, the individual’s age, and pre-existing conditions.

To choose the right travel medical insurance plan, consider the following steps:

  1. Examine your current health care plan: If you have private health insurance in your home country, research whether it covers you internationally.
  2. Review and compare travel medical plans: This will help you get an idea of what different companies offer, pricing, and the benefits included. Look for plans that provide the freedom to seek treatment with a hospital or doctor of your choice.
  3. Consider your specific needs: Determine what benefits are important to you, such as coverage for emergency medical treatment, medical evacuations, emergency dental procedures, and any pre-existing conditions.
  4. Check for coverage limits and exclusions: Understand the limits of coverage for medical expenses, as well as any exclusions or limitations for pre-existing conditions, adventure activities, or hazardous sports.
  5. Seek advice from insurance professionals: If you’re unsure about which plan is best for you, consider consulting with insurance agents or brokers who can provide guidance based on your individual circumstances.

Schengen Travel Insurance

travelSchengen Travel Insurance

Schengen Travel Insurance is a type of insurance policy specifically designed for travellers visiting the Schengen Area in Europe.

The Schengen Area is a zone comprising 27 European countries that have abolished passport control at their mutual borders, allowing for free and unrestricted movement of people within the area.

This zone covers most of the EU countries, except for Ireland, Bulgaria, Romania, and Cyprus. In addition, non-EU countries such as Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein are also part of the Schengen zone

These countries have agreed to common visa policies for short stays. To obtain a Schengen visa, travellers are often required to provide proof of travel insurance that meets certain criteria.

The Schengen Travel Insurance must typically cover medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation, and repatriation of remains. The minimum coverage amount is specified by the Schengen regulations, and it is usually around 30,000 euros.

It’s important to note that the coverage requirements may vary slightly among the Schengen countries, so it’s advisable to check the specific requirements of the country you plan to visit.

Schengen Travel Insurance provides financial protection in case of unexpected medical emergencies during the trip, ensuring that travellers have access to necessary medical care without a significant financial burden.

Schengen Visa

Certain citizens need to apply for either a short stay visa or an airport transit visa – see here 

The European Union has a list of countries whose citizens require a visa – see here

Government Travel and Health Advice

travel

Most national governments will provide specific travel advice for people travelling overseas to most countries in the world.

This advice will include information on safety and security in specific countries, entry requirements of whether or not a visa is required, any specific travel warnings and the latest information on coronavirus and any other current medical-related issues.

All this advice is useful for anyone travelling abroad for any reason, for any length of time, and people should sign up for email alerts which are normally offered by the government website as well, say that they can be aware if any situation suddenly changes, and the government advisor changes as well.

From the point of view of travel insurance, the insurance company expects people to comply with any recommendations issued by the government that are contained on the government website.

This specifically and mainly applies to any government advice not to travel to a particular country, or a particular area of a country if there are real security concerns.

Failure to follow this advice could potentially validate someone’s travel insurance policy.

Different countries have different perspectives on the world, and their travel advice websites might differ depending upon their view of what is going on in another country.

For this reason, it is a good idea to look at other countries’ websites to see the advice they offer on the country that you may be visiting, the case the risk assessment or threat intelligence differs.

Below or some of the main English-speaking government websites, including where applicable health-related websites that may be part of a national government.

UK Government

Canada Government

USA Government

Australia Government

New Zealand Government

South Africa

Travel Advice and Alerts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is Medical Tourism

travel

What is Medical Tourism

Travel information, news and resources regarding the world of medical tourism, with special focus on its relationship to travel insurance :

Medical tourism is the name given to the process of people seeking planned or elective medical treatments in a country outside of their own.

The process will not normally be covered by a standard travel insurance policy and is unlikely to be covered under someone’s health insurance policy unless specifically and directly arranged by the person’s insurance company, where some cover may be provided in very limited circumstances.

It is for the individual to plan the process and execute the whole procedure with all the risks and caveats that entails.

Types of Medical Tourism

Medical tourism can apply to a wide range of different procedures and can happen for many different reasons.

The main types of procedures can either be cosmetic or surgical or medical or a combination of all three. The most common procedures include dental care, cosmetic surgery, orthopaedic surgery, fertility treatments, cancer care etc.

Reasons for medical tourism

The chief reasons for someone seeking medical treatment overseas normally relate either to the cost of the treatment in their own country compared to another country, or the delay in waiting to get treatment in their own country as opposed to overseas.

For a lot of people in the USA, the main reason is often financial, whilst in other countries such as the UK people often see treatment abroad either because of the long waiting list for certain procedures, or the lack of provision of certain cosmetic treatments on the NHS.

Risks of Medical Tourism

There are many obvious risks associated with someone seeking medical treatment outside of their own country, but mostly these risks can be managed and minimized if proper time and planning are put into the research needed to make this happen safely.

The main risks/research areas include :

  • Checking the clinical capabilities of the hospital or clinic providing the procedure
  • Checking the qualifications and credentials of the clinical staff involved in the surgery or medical treatment.
  • The level of risk of infectious diseases within the country where the procedure is taking place
  • The general quality of care if it’s likely to be available to the individual both pre and post-op.
  • The individual’s ability to communicate with doctors and nurses possibly in a different language.
  • Whether or not proper aftercare can be provided in the country where the procedure is taking place, and if so for how long.
  • How aftercare can be provided in the individual’s own country of residence
  • The risks of air travel back to the country of residence after the procedure
  • How any complications can be managed and dealt with if needed once the person has returned home.

Whilst this may seem a long list of potential problems, these concerns are based on many people’s experiences of seeking medical treatment overseas.

Medical tourism is, generally speaking, not something that should be undertaken lightly and should only be done with the utmost care and consideration.

Government is provide a lot of valuable sources of information, below are links to the CDC and the UK government’s advice on medical tourism.

Also are several articles that highlight the risks and benefits of medical tourism which can act as a useful guide for anyone considering going down this route.

See Also :

What is Health Insurance

What is Personal Accident Insurance

 

Medical Tourism Articles

MS Treatment in Mexico

Mexico and Medical Tourism

Medical tourism has become big business in Mexico, especially for residents of the USA. Most treatments are considerably cheaper than similar options in other countries, and the standard of care is generally pretty high.

There are risks however, and a thorough amount of detailed planning and research should be carried out before any decisions are made about going to Mexico or any other country for planned or elective medical treatment.

Below are a number of articles related to medical tourism in Mexico

Medical Tourism and MS Treatment in Mexico