This year I was riding a horse in rural Mexico and thought to myself: dear God, I hope I don't fall off. As I was having this "oh sh*t" moment I began to ponder what I would do in the event that I needed emergency medical attention. Where would I go? How would I pay for it? Do I have any coverage?
First, I highly recommend checking your individual insurance policy to see what benefits and expenses are covered for travel outside of your home area. Whether or not you are covered for travel abroad by your policy, you have options and likely some protection. There are many companies that offer one off medical travel insurance to compliment or replace your primary care. For my trip to Hong Kong I received a quote from travelguard.com of $40 per person, which would cover up to $10,000 in medical care while bundling in lost document insurance, baggage delay, trip cancellation and many other worthwhile perks. Not a bad secondary option.
Ok, so I know I have coverage, but how do I find help? Your Mastercard World, World Elite, Visa Signature or Premium American Express Card may be your best answer to find out how and where to receive coverage in the event of an emergency, such as falling off of a horse named Versace. Each of these cards (check the front or back of your Visa or Mastercard for a World, World Elite or Visa Signature logo) offer 24/7 concierge help to provide you with doctor referrals, costs and transportation options to get you to reliable English speaking help.
I've never worried much about these sort of things, but it's great to have a plan of action in place for the what if's. I was thrilled to read recently that the American Express Platinum Card covers all transportation and evacuation costs for an injured cardmember or spouse when traveling. The actual cost of medical coverage is not complimentary, but getting you to the best doctor or hospital whether it takes a plane, a helicopter or an ambulance is. They will even fly your spouse out for free to help care for you. Fantastic.
Do your homework and rest easy wherever you go...
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