Traveling to a foreign country can be an exciting adventure, but it can also be a little scary if you find yourself in need of medical services while abroad. Some insurance companies will cover certain medical services and procedures outside of your native country, but it is rare for an insurance company to pay for transport to a nearby country with a developed health care system. This is why you want to make sure that you are prepared should the need arise.
Here are six steps you can take:
- Familiarize yourself with the health care system in the country where you are traveling.
- Contact your local consulate or embassy for guidance and direction.
- Identify names of JCI-accredited hospitals in the areas you will be traveling (including countries where you have layovers). Care at health care facilities will vary, so it’s a good idea to select a hospital that you would prefer to be taken to in the event of a medical emergency.
- Make sure you understand the process for submitting claims to your insurance company.
- For a complete list of foreign country emergency numbers, visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_telephone_number
- Specific country profiles may be found here: http://www.who.int/countries/en/
What if I do not have medical insurance?
For people who do not have medical coverage when traveling abroad, it is possible to purchase travel insurance. Many travel agencies or tour operators specializing in international travel can provide information about these travel insurance programs.