We’re heading on our big trip of the year next month and I’ve been looking into our health insurance coverage. I’ve taken dozens of overseas trips for fun or for work over the years, but I’ve honestly never bothered to understand how I was covered for any medical issues.
Recently, a of couple situations came up that caused me to rethink my ‘ignorance is bliss’ approach. First, on a cruise a couple years ago, our son developed a severe fever that ended up with him in the ship’s hospital getting an IV and tests. He was fine in 24 hours, but that cost us $1,500 out of pocket. Earlier this month, a friend had an ATV accident and they actually airlifted him from a rural area to a regional hospital. Again, he was also fine after a few days recovery, but the helicopter ride was over $27,000.
With those incidents in mind, and understanding that our primary health insurance only covers 50% of most medical expenses over our $13,500 deductible when we are ‘out-of-network’, I decided I should look into travel coverage.
At first the only policies I could find were comprehensive travel plans including medical, trip cancellation, trip interruption, baggage loss, and rental car collision coverage. That’s more than I was really looking for and the quote was for $400 per person for our 3 week trip. Way more than we needed.
Then I discovered that Blue Cross/Blue Shield (which is our primary carrier) offers something called BlueGeo which just covers medical expenses. This coverage is only $92 form wife & I combined. I’m not one to generally buy travel insurance of any kind, but I think this will be good piece of mind for us.
While I don’t generally buy ‘add-on’ insurance, I feel like it makes financial sense since medical costs can get out of control so quickly. One small issue like our son ran into on would pay out sixteen fold on the cost of the premium. I probably should have been more knowledgeable about this is the past, so I thought it might be helpful to share here and see what plans other folks make when traveling.
Anyone else have experience with medical insurance coverage for travelers?
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