Why Is International Health Insurance Important?

Vacation should be a time for you to relax, explore and get away from the pattern of your daily life. However, as anyone who’s ever been on vacation can tell you, things rarely go exactly as planned. Oftentimes the issue is small and relatively insignificant, but occasionally serious problems can arise and, if they do, you don’t want to be caught unprepared.    

From Scotland To The Hospital

Last year, a patient from Scotland experienced one of these “serious problems” while visiting some friends in the United States. One morning she awoke having difficulty finding words, speaking nonsensically and experiencing seizure-like activity. She was taken to the emergency room at the INOVA Fairfax Hospital where Dr. Lim was the on-call neurosurgeon. An MRI of her brain was obtained and showed that she had a mass on her brain that was likely a tumor. A few days later she underwent surgery with Dr. Lim who was able to successfully remove the growth. After a short hospital stay, she was given the “OK” to fly and was accompanied by a nurse, who was provided by her international travel insurance, to the UK where she underwent chemotherapy and made a full recovery.

She recently sent Dr. Lim a pair of cufflinks thanking him for his wonderful care. 

Fortunately, this patient had the foresight to get international travel insurance before she came to the United States. This helped her find a suitable hospital, cover her medical fees and help arrange her travel plans back to Europe to continue receiving treatment for her condition.

Why International Travel Insurance?

When traveling to another country, it’s vital that you obtain international health insurance in case something should arise during your time abroad. Some places like France, Greece, Germany and Spain even require that travelers have medical insurance before they can enter the country. Additionally, some foreign hospitals won’t treat patients or discharge them if their payment isn’t guaranteed. This means that people without insurance will be forced to pay the fees in advance with their personal money.

Having travel insurance ensures that you will be able to choose a quality health care provider regardless of where you are abroad and that you’ll have means to cover your expenses.

Types of Insurance

There are three main types of international travel insurance: health/accident, medical evaluation and trip cancellation/interruption. Health/accident insurance is responsible for covering short-term trips and will help pay prescription on physician fees. Medical evaluation insurance will cover any hospital or physician assessment or test up to $50,000. Finally, trip cancellation/interruption insurance will reimburse you if you have to cancel a vacation due to health-related issues.  

Get Covered!

Don’t take chances when it comes to your health while traveling. Talk to your personal insurance provider to see what international health insurance plans they offer.   

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Atlantic Brain and Spine A graduate of both Yale and Stanford, Dr. Jae Lim is a board-certified spine surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery and robotic spine surgery, significantly reducing surgical impact and recovery times. (703) 876-4270
8501 Arlington Blvd. Suite 330
United States
Jae Y. Lim Ben L. Nguyen