If you’re young and in great health, go ahead, travel without health insurance. If you’re older, or believe that anyone can trip over and break a leg, make sure you get travel health insurance!
There are many travel insurance plans out there, but when we started looking, we found restrictions like “travel not to exceed 90 days” and “not for people over age 52”. Finally with a lot of research, and assistance from the extremely helpful Susan Polk Insurance Agency, who were recommended to us by our virtual friends Lynne & Tim Martin, of Homefree Adventures (who also help to inspire our travels!) we made a decision.
We went with the Atlas plan from HCCMIS. You can easily get a quote online, and adjust the coverage you want, and see how much the premium would be. Under this plan, we’re not covered for regular health check-ups, or dental care. However, we’ve found that it’s not too expensive to pay out of pocket for dental check-ups and cleaning, (Cape Town was great for dentists for us!) and my annual mammograms, a necessary event! With this plan, you can add in or out, the USA. We chose to exclude the US, and simply buy an additional policy for the time-frame we’re in the USA. It’s an expensive place to have an accident or get ill!
We’re also enthusiastic scuba-divers, and of course many insurance plans don’t cover “dangerous sports”. As divers, we’ve been members of DAN (Divers Alert Network) for many years, and although fortunately we haven’t had to use their services, it’s extremely reassuring to know that dive-specialist doctors can be reached by phone, and DAN can spring into action, in the event of a diving emergency. There’s also DAN Europe, for non-US based divers.
We decided that this is a necessary cost for us, and it gives us peace of mind to know that we’re covered in the event of illness or accident.
PS: We made our first claim on our health insurance at the end of 2016. It worked, got refunded for the unexpected emergency health costs.
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