3 Things You Need to Know About Medical Care and Business Trips
For many businesspeople, travel is a large part of what they do. However, while many business travelers think about what clothes they will need, what business documentation they will require, the gadgets they’ll take to make their trip more convenient, and how they will get to where they’re going, some forget to be sure that their medical insurance will be valid at their destination.
Here are a few things you need to consider before you take your next business trip.
- If You’re Traveling Internationally
If you are going on a business trip outside of your home country, your insurance is unlikely to be valid where you’re going. This can be true even if you are only visiting a neighboring country. As such, it is important that you purchase additional coverage ahead of your departure date.
Plan ahead of time so that you will have plenty of opportunity to thoroughly investigate the policies available to you and choose the one that best suits your needs. Choose an appropriate policy that will allow you to avoid being liable for costs you might incur if you fall ill or become injured during your trip.
If you are only going on a short trip you will probably find that an inexpensive policy will suit your needs. However, if you are going for a longer trip or if you travel internationally on a regular basis, you might find it makes more sense to choose a policy that offers more flexibility and can be used for several trips. Consider your individual needs before you buy your insurance.
- If You’re Traveling Within Your Home Country
Some people assume that they can use their current health insurance wherever they travel within their home country. While this might seem like a fair assumption to make, it is not always the case.
Your entitlement for treatment depends on the type of coverage you have. Some plans cover you for travel anywhere in your home country, while others will only cover you for emergency care and only with prior permission. It is important to check beforehand so that you’ll know if your insurance will be valid wherever you go, or if you will need to purchase additional coverage.
- Under What Circumstances Will Medicare Cover You Outside Your Country?
If you’re a US citizen and you qualify for Medicare, there are some rare instances in which Medicare will cover you while you’re traveling internationally.
For instance, you will be covered if you are on a cruise ship and need assistance—but only if you happen to be in US waters, at a US port, or no more than 6 hours away from a US port.
However, the medical professional who treats you must be legally permitted to provide medical care on a cruise ship. Similarly, if you are taking a direct route, without unreasonable delay, between Alaska and another US state and you require emergency treatment, then if the nearest Canadian hospital is closer to where you are than the nearest US hospital, you might be covered by Medicare.
Coverage is determined on a case-by-case basis, though, so it is important that you have the right supplemental coverage before you travel. Be sure to review your insurance coverage before your next business trip so that you can travel worry-free and focus on your business.