Author Topic: health insurance for a traveler  (Read 2428 times)

deciduous

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health insurance for a traveler
« on: December 14, 2012, 10:14:09 PM »
My heart is with Sandy Hook today. I know this is hardly the place for that, but how can any of us think of anything else? Or find the words?

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In a nutshell: how do you determine where a particular health insurance plan is accepted across the US?

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Hello, I haven't posted in a while, but I wanted to give a quick update and ask another question.

I'm a software guy in my early 30s, who's had a few sporadic years of high income at other people's companies, and some years of low income at my own company. I have little savings, but no debt and I own my house and a truck. My co-founders and I are in the process of putting our company into a maintenance-only state. Before I start the next part of my life, I'm taking this precious opportunity to travel. I'm starting a road trip in mid-January, and will come back when I feel it's time or I exhaust my budget. I'm also going to Europe for a few weeks to visit friends.

I've begun searching for private health insurance to cover me while I go. I read MMM's recent post about the insurance he found for the family. What I will need seems to be a short-term plan for 6 months, by which point I expect to figure out what I'm doing next. It also seems that I can get accident insurance for about $22/mo, which seems like a good move since the trip will be based around wilderness stuff.

But I can't for the life of me seem to answer this question: "If I get hurt or sick in Glacier NP, will the doctor accept my insurance?" HMO, PPO, Network, whatever--I don't see a way yet to answer this question other than trying to run a bunch of arbitrary "find a doctor" searches all over the western US. A customer service rep on ehealthinsurance.com was not helpful, simply telling me that a particular provider is "one of the largest."

What should an American expect if he gets sick in western Europe? I've read that you just walk in and get treatment and that's about the end of it, but that seems like a potentially dangerous assumption to make.

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In other news, my first post on this forum got into a discussion of whether or not it would be wise to remodel my kitchen while I'm living off of my modest savings. I thought I could get the job done comfortably for $4000. Wrong! Shockingly, it cost about $6000 out of pocket, and about 5 months of work. It'd have been faster, but I was learning quite a bit and you know how these things go.

I've gotten everything working and just need to wrap up some minor stuff like trim and a little more painting. I have no idea what I did to the value of my house, but I'm about 50 times happier to live here now. The bit of pushback I got on this forum was totally justified, but there's no question in my mind that scratching this itch was the right thing to do.  Thanks again to everyone for your help.




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Thanks again, everyone.

deciduous

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Re: health insurance for a traveler
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2012, 07:44:22 AM »
Further research this morning is starting to answer this question, I think... Still hard to say. It turns out there are insurance brokers, even, professionals to sort through this! Maybe I'll go find one.

swick

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Re: health insurance for a traveler
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2012, 08:30:56 AM »
Not sure if this will help or even be applicable, I live in Canada, so everything is different -  but if you are traveling overseas you might want to look into getting travel medical insurance.

I get some whenever I go to the US for longer then  what my credit card covers - I have had friends who have been bankrupt because they were injured in the US and had to pay hospital bills.

Also with travel medical, there is usually coverage for emergency transport back to your home country, as well as previsions in case more serious things happen.

Good luck trying to sort it all out!

just_a_little

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Re: health insurance for a traveler
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2012, 01:25:02 PM »
What a beautiful kitchen transformation!

I'm planning some long-term travel in the (hopefully near) future and have asked myself the same question. I'd encourage you to follow through on checking with brokers, but this site seemed to have possible solutions for foreign travel: https://www.travelhealthinsurance.com.