Author Topic: Help with healthcare while traveling on gap year  (Read 1421 times)


  • Pencil Stache
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Help with healthcare while traveling on gap year
« on: June 24, 2019, 02:15:28 PM »
Our family of four is planning to take a "gap year" and we'd like to get some feedback from the knowledgeable folks here on healthcare options during our travels.
Some details:
  • We will both take breaks from work with no employer provided health care (starting this August through next August).
  • Our 2019 income is high enough that we will not qualify for any ACA subsidies for 2019, though we could qualify for 2020.
  • We will be traveling internationally (Costa Rica and other Latin American countries 3-4 months) and domestically (around the US 4-5 months) and at home (in California ~3-4 months).
  • We have 2 kids under 10yo.
  • We don't have any major health conditions (except some food allergies).

Some questions:
  • Should we get some sort of medical insurance for travel to Costa Rica?  What are the options?
  • How does health insurance work when traveling domestically outside of your home state? Since we don't have any health conditions, I assume the only needs we might have are potential emergency room visits. We'll do our annual wellness checkups before we leave for our travels.
  • I think we'll sign up for an ACA plan (Covered CA) as our health insurance once our work coverage lapses.  The main option that we are looking at is Blue Shield of California. Is there some benefit to an HMO vs PPO for getting healthcare outside of the network (if we are traveling in other states).
Hopefully some of you have some experience with these issues and can provide input to our plans. 

Any other tips and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks!


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Help with healthcare while traveling on gap year
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2019, 07:39:19 PM »
When we went to Asia and South America we got global travel health insurance through American Express (not sure if you need to have one of their cards). It was cheap, like $100 per month. We didn't need to use it but I sure was glad we had it.