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Medical Insurance - Guide

Tens of thousands of people these days find themselves having to travel abroad on job commitments.

With globalization, we are going to see further increases in those going out of the country on working trips, and it s therefore so important that these individuals make sure they have full medical cover when travelling overseas.

Even when you are sent to work abroad by your company, it s unwise to assume all medical insurance costs have been arranged by the office.

They should be, but do not assume anything and check what the policy covers prior to travel.

One of the main problems is that many people assume their current insurance will meet any emergency costs they may encounter while overseas, but unless you requested the inclusion of medical insurance overseas when you took out your policy, there is a very good chance that it has domestic cover only.


When folks are in good physical shape and feel great, it s easy to overlook insurance of any kind, but most of us are more likely to fall sick in foreign lands than we are back home. The reasons are numerous, but some obvious ones are climate change, new foods, disorientation and stress, time differences, unfamiliar and excessive noise, air pollution and ignorance.

All of the above can contribute to sending us off balance and weakening the immune system. Apart from the above, the risk of accident or injury also increases when we re on unfamiliar territory. It s therefore essential that you have a Medical Insurance Overseas policy that covers all eventualities.

I worked in South East Asia a few years back and one of my colleagues was an independent consultant for a number of paper mills. He was late forties when he suffered a massive stroke. He had never taken out any kind of medical insurance overseas policy as he always pointed out to me that medical costs were so cheap in the region that even if he got sick it would take very little cash to get fixed up. Well, he needed a lot of hospitalization and specialist care and had to be flown to an international hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. He never fully recovered either physically or financially, and his life savings were eaten up by the medical care in just 3 months.

These costs literally ran into tens of thousands of dollars and this was in a country where hospital bills are considered cheap.

The story above is by no means unique and my friend was lucky he had enough put aside for emergency care in those early weeks. He actually went into debt just so he could get back home, and it was a very sad chapter in his life.

Many others are not so lucky, and some countries will not even treat you if you don t have proof of payment first, so if this article makes anyone to sit up and think seriously about medical insurance abroad, then it s served a useful purpose.

So, if you want to save your life, protect your health, and guard your bank balance, remember this: It is wise to think. To plan is even more astute. Action is by far the smartest move. So, act today and check that you have adequate medical insurance abroad if you re going to be traveling overseas.

You can find additional technical resources for this article in the technology section at:

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