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"I Totally Forgot This When Traveling Abroad"

"I Totally Forgot This When Traveling Abroad"

April 09, 2024

In meeting with a client recently, they told us, "I totally forgot this when traveling abroad." What they shared has prompted us to pass along this important reminder. 

When The Dream Becomes a Nightmare

Imagine being on a dream vacation abroad and you or a loved one has a medical emergency. You get to the hospital, and you find out that they do not accept U.S. based health insurance or Medicare and they refuse to treat you unless you can pay upfront. Let’s say the cost is $20,000 for the lifesaving treatment. Or worse, you need medical evacuation at the cost of $100,000 to $250,000. Unless you have good quality travel medical insurance you are likely not protected. These events can be devastating financially on top of the physical suffering.

How Common is This?

In a recent USA Today article, we read a striking statistic. “More than a third (39%) of travelers who have traveled internationally in the past five years have experienced medical issues abroad, according to a GeoBlue survey of 2,086 Americans conducted by Harris Poll. When asked how they’d cover medical expenses if they got sick or injured while on an international trip, nearly half (46%) of all respondents expected their domestic health insurance would cover them abroad, but that is often not the case.” To read the full article, click the link below. 

According to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, hospitals expect upfront payment, but every country is different. The U.S. Department of State urges all travelers to Mexico to ensure they have medical coverage overseas and to consider supplemental insurance that provides coverage for medical evacuation.

Read The Fine Print

Many travel insurance policies do not cover extreme sports such as scuba diving or bungee jumping. Read the fine print of your travel policy. Look for what types of things are excluded or if there are pre-existing conditions that may require a waiver. It is important to understand the difference between travel insurance and travel medical insurance.

Mitigate Risk

As financial advisors, our job is to look for acceptable risk and unacceptable risk in a client’s financial plan. Traveling abroad without the proper coverage is an unacceptable risk. If you are planning a trip outside the U.S., please take your time and get some coverage so that you protect your assets and your legacy from unnecessary harm.

“Prudence is the footprint of wisdom.”

-Amos Bronson Alcott