It’s a family’s worst nightmare. A loved one is injured or sick, and far from home. Whether they are across the country, or across the world, getting a critical patient home can be a difficult and expensive task. Unfortunately, many travelers do not get the coverage that they need in case of illness or injury while outside of their health insurance network. Even young and healthy people, as well as experienced travelers, can be victims of violent crime, accidents, unforeseen medical conditions presenting, and contagious disease. The cost of a medical evacuation with a critical care nurse and a specialist team can run as much as $250,000. It’s like saying an experienced driver can go without auto insurance because nothing has ever happened to them on the road before now.
No Insurance – No Entry
Medical expenses are enough of the concern that some countries are not allowing travelers to enter or refusing to issue visas unless the traveler can show proof of health insurance. Here are some of the countries who may turn you away if you decide to go without insurance.
- Cuba. All visitors entering the country are required to produce proof of medical insurance. While it is possible to buy coverage within the country, the premiums are higher, and there will be gaps in coverage.
- The United Arab Emirates. All travelers needing visas are required to have proof of Traveler’s medical insurance, and this is regardless of age. Additionally, expatriates and foreign workers must produce evidence of coverage when renewing their visas.
- Antarctica. While it is not its own country, due to its remote location, Antarctica tour operators require that passengers produce proof of insurance before tickets are issued.
- Qatar. A large number of expatriate residence relying on state air convinced Qatar to control learning health costs by requiring proof of insurance in order to obtain a visa. Private companies employing foreign nationals in Qatar are required to provide health insurance.
- Turkey. All foreigners and expatriates under 65 years of age must carry health insurance with a minimum of 2000 Turkish lira in coverage.
- The United States of America. While health insurance coverage for foreign nationals is not mandatory, the cost of medical care in the United States is high enough that even the young and healthy should not risk going without coverage.
- Schengen Treaty countries. The 26 European countries covered under the Schengen Treaty of 1965 require that foreign visitors carry proof of insurance that will cover any medical costs, as well as expenses incurred for evacuation and repatriation.
What Does Traveler’s Medical Insurance Cover?
Prices and coverage vary just as with your regular medical insurance. You’ll have to read the fine print very carefully to make sure that you have enough coverage to get you home safely and without burying yourself in debt for medical services such as a critical care nurse on your evac flight. Deal only with reputable companies that have a proven track record.