You’re on your trip and the unexpected happens, you become sick and need help. What do you do, where do you go? Here is some helpful hints:
- If you have travel insurance call your emergency assistance number. Many travel insurance companies have networks of service providers or knowledge of where to go for service and they can assist you in your emergency. All of the insurance companies provide a 24/7/365 phone number that can be called collect from anywhere in the world. Use it – they can help!
- Call the local United States Embassy or consulate for their suggestions. They maybe able to help you with suggestions and insights on where to obtain care.
- If you don’t have insurance and need to locate assistance quickly you can call the International Association of Assistance to Travellers in the USA at 716 754 4883. This is a non-profit association that will provide referral services for their members. Membership is free but they will accept donations. They maintain a network of Doctors and medical service provides around the world who speak English and who have agreed to treat their members.
The first option is the best provided you’ve purchased travel insurance for your trip! It’s that only option that will also pay for covered expenses. With the other two options (2 & 3) you still have to pay for medical expenses that might have been covered had you bought the trip insurance.
When planning to buy travel insurance you first want to find out if you have any other medical coverage that might apply. In the majority of cases coverage will be limited or like in the case of MediCare will not cover you at all if you travel outside the USA. But once you know the limits that you have you’ll be able to make a more informed decision on the type of plan that is appropriate for you.