One big thing that a lot of people don’t think about when they’re traveling abroad is health insurance. Of course, most of the time, things go well and there’s really no need to think about health insurance. However, if your health insurance doesn’t cover trips abroad or if you no longer have health insurance through your job and you had to go to the hospital for any reason during your trip abroad, it could very well turn into a costly ordeal. Fortunately, there are a few ways of getting health insurance specifically for travelers that are actually pretty cost-effective.Disclosure: The information presented here is from personal experience and my research; I am not a health insurance professional. Additionally, I am not affiliated with any of the companies presented here, nor do I earn any income for promoting them.
After the health benefits ended from my job, they contacted me to see if I wanted to elect to continue my health insurance through the government’s COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) program, which allows ex-employees to elect to continue health insurance coverage under their previous company’s group health plan.
Unfortunately, for me, this was ridiculously expensive. The under Kaiser Permanente of Northern California, my out-of-pocket cost for health insurance would have been $476 per month. This was one of the cheapest plans, too.
I ended up finding out about health insurance through a company called World Nomads. The health insurance plan through them gives pretty good coverage overall, but it only works outside the USA or if you are over 100 miles away from home. You’ll have to go through their simple web interface and decide if the coverage is good enough for you. For me, the cost of health insurance through World Nomads was only $335 for SIX months. That’s way cheaper than the Kaiser plan.
There are a number of other things that the insurance covers besides health such as baggage loss, trip cancellation, and more. However, most of these are also probably covered by your credit card (yes, it’s true; go read your terms and conditions).
Overall, if you’re in a situation where you think you will need health insurance abroad, you’ll have to take a look at all of your options and see what works best for you. I’ve personally found the plan through World Nomads was very competitive, but obviously, your mileage may vary.