One of the last things you'd expect to happen when traveling outside of the United States is to end up in a hospital. Even if you are traveling in a highly populated area, with US owned hospitals, don't anticipate that your medical delivery experience will be anything like what you receive in the US.
If you're an international travler and want to know what to expect, read forums, talk to other travelers or expatriots in the area you're visiting, and call your travel insurance company. Some questions to consider during your research include the following: Are there private rooms? Are there private showering or bathroom areas? Are there phones in the rooms or access to make calls? Are there visiting hours or can you expect people in and out of the rooms at all times? Of course it is always good to get an idea of the credentials of the hospitals and providers as well as the types of care accessible in the area where you are traveling.
What to Do if Evacuation is Needed?
One of the key benefits of travel medical and other healthcare program benefits is the medical evacuation benefit. It is frightening enough to need medical care when you are away from home and even more frightening when the care you need is not available where you are.
When dealing with a crisis, you might get nervous and start trying to manage your own evacuation. This can be a significant mistake that could result in the costs of the evacuation being ineligible for payment under a travel insurance policy, and more importantly, it can be dangerous for you, the patient.
Be sure that you understand the benefits and provisions in your travel policy which relate to evacuations, and have the necessary contact information readily available in the event of an emergency.
Being prepared with travel insurance provides you with a knowledgable contact should you find the need for medical coverage abroad or evacuation.