What is worth to understand for yourself, buying a health insurance policy when traveling abroad
Millions of Russians go to beach resorts in summer. And if our citizens are familiar with the rules of treatment for medical care in Russian resorts, then there are problems abroad…
What is worth to understand for yourself, buying a health insurance policy when traveling abroad
At the beginning of the summer beach season, the topic “what to do with your insurance and how to apply for medical care abroad” becomes more relevant than ever. Julia Aleeva, Executive Director of the largest player in the market monetaristische insurance – the insurance company ERV, told how to use their insurance abroad.
After reading the terms and conditions of insurance, it is necessary to understand for yourself whether your insurance covers the risks common on a beach holiday in southern countries.
As part of the package each tourist has an insurance policy – “default”. Depending on which insurance company your tour operator cooperates with, this “basic” policy will contain different conditions.
We will save time for readers at once: different basic insurance included in the tour package “by default”, do not cover sports risks (skydiving, hang-gliding, scuba diving, etc.) and cover the risks of pregnancy complications (except for the basic insurance company ERV, which include the risks of pregnancy complications for up to 12 weeks). For all these risks you will have to buy (strictly before the holiday!) a separate insurance policy – through a travel agent or directly in the insurance company.
After reading the terms and conditions of insurance (and, if necessary, calling the insurance company before the holiday), it is necessary to understand for yourself whether your insurance includes such common risks on a beach holiday in the southern countries as: sun and heat stroke and sunburn, injuries received on a water slide, infectious diseases. It is also important that the insurance covers the risks of exacerbation of chronic diseases: according to the statistics of the insurance company ERV (by the way, this company includes all these risks in the basic insurance), it is the exacerbation of various chronic diseases that accounts for up to 50% of tourists ‘ visits to doctors on vacation.
If for any reason you are frightened off by the terms of your basic insurance, you can ask a travel agent to replace you with an extended insurance from the same company. However, practice shows that it is much easier and cheaper to buy a second policy on the website of the insurance company.
The tourist in advance to attend to the presence of the rest of the funds to pay for the services of physicians
Tourists should immediately ask the travel agent, with a franchise whether his insurance included in the package or without it. As a rule, the basic insurance comes with a deductible: this means that the cost of medical services of foreign doctors to a certain amount of the check (usually 30 dollars or euros) you will bear yourself, and already services in excess of this “threshold” will be taken by the insurance company.
“It should be understood that the insurance that goes to the tourist in the package is the usual CHI. Foreign medicine is paid, and “basic” policies almost always come with a franchise. Therefore, the tourist should take care of the availability of funds on vacation to pay for the services of doctors in advance,” says Yulia Alcheeva, Executive Director of the insurance company ERV.
The expert emphasizes that in the practice of insurers there were many cases when tourists tried for one reason or another to save on “non-dangerous”, from their point of view, cases for which they believed they would have to pay their money, and this led to sad consequences, and sometimes death.
“Health and life – their own and loved ones – do not cost $ 30. Missed by tourists symptoms can be a sign of very serious diseases. Therefore, you should never resort to self-treatment abroad,” says Ms. Alcheeva. Statistics insurer knows enough cases when because of the savings of $ 30 “on the franchise” people eventually got to the hospital for a long time or, alas, went to the other world.
The tourist will need money on the balance of the phone to call and talk to the employee of the call-center of the insurance company, call the guide, if behind the tour, urgently call relatives. The tourist should have some cash with him to call a taxi that will take him to the clinic. The amount of money should be on the tourist’s Bank card in case of injury on the tour or other serious situation in the hotel. An ambulance will take the person to the nearest clinic, and there may require payment on the spot
The question for the topic “how to use insurance on vacation” is not idle, but just a priority. In the practice of insurers, alas, often there are cases when tourists going on vacation abroad (especially common in countries offering a vacation on the “all inclusive” – Turkey, Tunisia, Greece, Mexico, Dominican Republic, etc.) practically do not take with them even the minimum amount of money. Moreover, do not even bother to recharge your phone to make calls in roaming (counting on the fact that the hotel “has Wi-Fi”).
Such an installation often leads to the fact that the tourist does not have money with him for those actions that he will probably need to perform abroad to get medical care.
So, tourists will need money on the balance of the phone to call and talk to an employee of the call-center of the insurance company (then the money will be reimbursed, but it’s then, and you need to call here and now).
In addition, basic security considerations suggest that the money on the balance of the phone tourist can be useful in a variety of situations – call the guide if behind the tour, urgently call relatives, being outside the coverage of wi-fi, etc.
Learn about roaming prices this summer and how much you need to have money on your balance from your service provider.
Further, the tourist must have with him (in the room, in the purse) some amount of cash (at least 100 dollars or euros) to call a taxi that will take him to the clinic.
“Russians, especially residents of megacities with “round-the-clock” life, in truth, do not fully realize that the rhythm of life and the rhythm of work of medical institutions abroad is very different from our realities. Only in many countries such as Turkey, the doctor will be able to come to your hotel (but not always and not everywhere). It is understood that all private hospitals operate around the clock or over the weekend, often it will be necessary to get to the state hospital. In the Dominican Republic, Thailand, Greece and other countries, tourists almost always have to take and pay for a taxi on the spot to get to the clinic, which he was advised by the insurance company, or to the nearest of them. In ERV, we reimburse such costs – and on the way back to the hotel – but the tourist needs money on vacation to first pay for this taxi,” emphasizes Yulia Alcheeva from ERV.
A sufficient amount of money should be on the tourist’s Bank card.
“Not always a tourist gets to the clinic, which has a direct contract with his insurance company. For example, in case of an injury on a tour or other serious situation in the hotel, an ambulance will take a person to the nearest clinic and there may require payment on the spot. Yes, after the holiday, we will also reimburse these costs by cheque, but the Bank card should always be with us in this case,” adds the Executive Director of ERV.
But it is not always a tourist at all need to call the insurance. About it – further.
In which cases should You seek the help of specialists of the insurance company while abroad
The algorithm of behavior on vacation with injuries and other incidents, as well as the first signs of the disease – the same as in Russia.
1. In an emergency, do not call the insurance company, as you will be assisted in any case
“If you have a situation in which you would call an ambulance in Russia (a bite of a sea urchin, a snake, an injury with heavy bleeding, a heart attack, acute abdominal pain, etc.) – then it should be immediately called and do not waste time on calls to the insurance company. In all countries of the resort there is a free number to call an ambulance in most cases, this number is 112, rare – 911. If you do not know a foreign language, do not worry. You can ask to call the hotel staff, any person nearby. To call the name of your hotel hard, and the word help in English everyone knows. Also, you should know that for calls to such numbers are the location of the subscriber from bearing – emergency services already know where you calling from,” explains Julia Aleeva of ERV.
“Remember, the ambulance number 112 insurance company to you just physically can not call – it can be done only while in the host country”, – she adds.
At this stage, the tourist has only one goal – to get help. The victim himself or his relatives (if the child is injured) should at this stage think only about it. Remember – in the “emergency”, do not call the insurance company, as you will be assisted in any case.
And only after its provision (diagnosis, hospitalization, droppers, surgery, etc.) there will be a question of payment for the services of doctors – here will enter into the case of a tourist insurance policy. It is enough to have on the phone and show the clinic staff.
The clinic itself is interested in getting money from your insurance company, if the amount is how many thousands of euros – and she will enter into a separate contract with her, if there was no General contract. In some cases and countries, if the amount is not too large, the clinic will need to pay by card (for example, for suturing) or in cash, and after the holiday the money you compensate the insurance (so always keep receipts for services rendered).
2. “The situation of doubt” is the most difficult moment for both the tourist and the insurer, as it requires quick but at the same time calm decision-making, always make an assessment of their condition, adjusted for the country and the age of the tourist