Obtaining Health Care Abroad

Obtaining Health Care Abroad is a topic covered in the CDC Yellow Book.

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While overseas, travelers may seek medical care ranging from treatment for self-limited minor infections to care for chronic conditions to sophisticated medical management of major illnesses or injuries. Because insurance plans may not cover emergency health care received abroad, travelers should check with their carriers before departure to confirm the limits of their coverage and to identify any additional coverage requirements. For example, travel health insurance alone does not usually pay for the cost of an emergency medical evacuation or an altered itinerary. Travelers may buy specific policies to cover these expenses, understanding that such policies often do not cover expenses related to preexisting conditions. Supplemental medical insurance plans purchased prior to traveling often furnish access to preselected local providers in many countries through a 24-hour emergency hotline (see Travel Insurance, Travel Health Insurance & Medical Evacuation Insurance in this chapter, for more details). At a minimum, travelers should be prepared to pay out-of-pocket at the time services are rendered (in some instances, even before care is received) and then afterward provide insurers with copies of bills and invoices to initiate reimbursement.

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While overseas, travelers may seek medical care ranging from treatment for self-limited minor infections to care for chronic conditions to sophisticated medical management of major illnesses or injuries. Because insurance plans may not cover emergency health care received abroad, travelers should check with their carriers before departure to confirm the limits of their coverage and to identify any additional coverage requirements. For example, travel health insurance alone does not usually pay for the cost of an emergency medical evacuation or an altered itinerary. Travelers may buy specific policies to cover these expenses, understanding that such policies often do not cover expenses related to preexisting conditions. Supplemental medical insurance plans purchased prior to traveling often furnish access to preselected local providers in many countries through a 24-hour emergency hotline (see Travel Insurance, Travel Health Insurance & Medical Evacuation Insurance in this chapter, for more details). At a minimum, travelers should be prepared to pay out-of-pocket at the time services are rendered (in some instances, even before care is received) and then afterward provide insurers with copies of bills and invoices to initiate reimbursement.

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