Even within the United States, it's not a given that your health insurance will cover you in all other states. In a foreign country, travelers are held fully responsible for their medical expenses:
- Medicare coverage does not apply outside the United States.
- Only some health insurers cover what they call "customary and reasonable costs" outside this country. That coverage may or may not include the high cost of your medical evacuation back home.
- A doctor abroad may insist on prepayment before giving you medical treatment and, if you don't have insurance coverage, you may be refused medical treatment.
- Even nations with socialized medicine may refuse some medical services to people from other countries.
- Some countries even go so far as to require travelers to obtain special coverage before they can enter the country.