Americans who travel abroad could use extra health coverage

A report by The Associated Press describes the importance of travelers' insurance for those planning trips outside of the country. "Thousands of American travelers each year are flown home with medical assistance because of health emergencies. Car accidents and heart attacks are among the most common reasons. ... But most regular health insurance plans don't cover costly evacuations. And finding that out after an emergency can be catastrophic. ... A 21-year-old California woman died last year after her insurance company initially said its emergency coverage wouldn't pay to fly her home from China when she developed a blood disorder, according to her family's lawsuit. The suit, claiming wrongful death and breach of contract, says the company relented too late. Anthem Blue Cross, the insurer, disputes the claims." One trade group said that buying travel insurance is becoming increasingly popular among Americans. "Short-term policies typically cost about 4 percent to 8 percent of the total per-person trip price. At Stevens Point, Wis.-based Travel Guard, coverage for a $2,000 trip would be about $120" (Tanner, 5/9).

Kaiser Health NewsThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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