If you plan to retire soon after a long career filled with hard work, then you are likely looking forward to finally spending your days filled with activities you love. Like many retirees, you may plan to finally travel to those foreign countries that you wished you could visit when you were working, yet just didn't have the time or energy to plan and embark on those trips during your short annual vacations. While traveling the world can be a lot of fun, it is important to plan your trips carefully to stay safe during your travels and be prepared for any emergencies that may occur in the midst of them.
Read on to learn about three important health tips for retirees who are soon planning to begin embarking on trips to foreign countries.
1. Speak to Your Health Insurance Agent to See What Overseas Treatments Your Plan Covers
It is important to know that while health insurance policies vary greatly, most do not cover the costs of all healthcare services that may be needed when you are outside of the country. It is important to speak with a health insurance agent to discuss what types of medical care your current health insurance policy will cover when you are overseas and what additional options you can add right to your policy.
US health insurance companies often (although not always) cover treatment for extreme medical emergencies that may occur when outside of the country, such as a heart attack or broken bone, yet make you pay a higher coinsurance rate for this out-of-network treatment. However, most don't cover the cost of visiting a doctor for a minor illness while out of the country. If you have health insurance through Medicare, then it is important to know that their plans typically don't cover any medical care received outside of the country.
2. Look into a Travel Medical Insurance Policy
Thankfully, if you find out that your regular health insurance policy covers very little of the cost of medical treatment you may need while traveling, there are many providers of travel medical insurance. These health insurance plans are considered supplemental, which means that you don't have to (and shouldn't) cancel your existing medical insurance when you obtain one of these policies.
Make sure to choose a travel insurance policy that covers treatment for pre-existing medical conditions if you think you will (or just may) need treatment overseas for a known illness. Also, since the United States has state-of-the-art medical facilities that many other countries do not, be sure this policy also covers the cost of medical flights through places like Angel-Flights back to the United States; this is typically called "medical evacuation" coverage.
Don't worry that it will take many hours to fly back to the United States to receive treatment in the case of a medical emergency if you were to take a medical flight; international air ambulances are equipped with much of the same state-of-the-art medical equipment you will find in US hospitals, along with a wide array of prescription medications that can help save your life in the midst of a medical emergency.
As soon as the air ambulance staffed with licensed paramedics, RNs, and other experienced medical personnel arrive at the site of your medical emergency to pick you up, they will begin administering treatments to stabilize your condition and continue monitoring your health until you arrive at a US hospital for further treatment.
3. Keep these Emergency Phone Numbers With You at All Times During Travel
As soon as you obtain a travel medical insurance policy, ask them for a phone number you can keep on hand during your travels (you can make that easier by saving the number in your cell phone as a "contact") to find out where the nearest emergency medical center and/or doctor's office is located that is equipped to handle your medical problem. Also, ask the travel insurance provider for the phone number of an air ambulance that provides medical flights covered by your policy and keep this number handy at all times, as well.
While you are planning a trip to a new country, find the phone number of the US embassy or consulate in the country and keep this number handy during your stay in the country; you can call this number at any time during your stay in the country to speak to a consular officer who can help direct you to a local hospital or doctor or medical evacuation company that is nearby and can transport you to the US quickly for treatment.
If you are finally getting ready to retire and enjoy your golden years traveling the world, then prepare to have lots of fun. However, make sure to also be prepared for any medical treatment you may need while abroad. Follow these three tips to protect your good health during your golden years while traveling to foreign countries.