It is possible to travel cheap around Europe. However, this is not the case with illnesses. Undoubtedly, nobody travels to Europe to get ill, but, unfortunately, anything can happen. Acute food poisoning, unexpected toothache, limb fractures and twists – all these can happen to anyone. It will be hard to do without medical aid.
If you are going to Europe, you must have a health insurance policy. Nevertheless, buying a health insurance policy, many try to save as much as possible and do not get into the details of their policy coverage.
The reimbursement under the health insurance may be of two kinds: compensation or service.
1. Compensation reimbursement – in case of an even insured, you personally cover all the expenses for the medical assistance. Upon return to your country the insurance company shall reimburse your expenses. Buying a compensation health insurance policy, make sure that you have enough money to cover any potential medical treatment abroad.
2. Service reimbursement – medical assistance provision is paid by the insurance company directly.
Tips when buying a health insurance policy:
1. The insurance must be valid in all the countries you are planning to visit.
2. The insurance coverage must comply with the minimum standards required by the country of your visa. Most European countries require an insurance policy for the amount of 30 thousand euros.
3. Cheap medical insurance policies normally do not cover dentist’s services.
4. Cheap medical insurance policies sometimes do not cover any treatment, related to recurrences of your chronic diseases. If you have chronic diseases, you should select the correspondent insurance policy and clearly mention all the chronic diseases. It is natural that in this case the insurance will be more expensive. A disease may be considered chronic if you have addressed the doctor about it at least once in your life.
5. Many insurance policies do not apply to venereal diseases and AIDS, even if you indicate these diseases in the section of chronic ones.
6. Standard medical insurances do not apply to the cases related to extreme kinds of tourism and sports – diving, downhill skiing, and mountaineering. If you are going to the mountains to ski, you need a special insurance policy.
7. An insurance policy may exclude events, caused by drinking alcohol or drugs. Therewith, it will refer to breaking an arm after drinking a glass of wine as well as abdomen pains after a bottle of beer. It will be hard to lie and say that you did not drink anything because in hospital you will most likely undergo the alcohol blood test.
8. Many insurance policies do not cover treatment of mental disorders and suicide effects (including repatriation of the body to the home country in case of a suicide).
9. Health insurance policies do not cover cosmetic and plastic surgeries (except for the cases the need for a plastic surgery emerged as a result of another trauma, occurring over the insured period).
10. Many insurance policies do not cover expenses related to pregnancy (at the late stages), abortions and deliveries (except for the forced termination of pregnancy due to an accident).
11. It is often the case that health insurance requires a notice of the event insured within 24 hours from the time of the event insured. Otherwise, it is considered that you have breached the contract and the insurance amount will not be paid to you. Therefore, read the contract carefully and always keep the contact phone number at hand to be able to notify of your illness.
12. Standard insurance policies do not cover accidents, caused by terroristic attacks or military operations.
Buying a health insurance, you must pay attention to the information on the assist company, i.е. the servicing company, which will actually organize hospitalization and represent your interests in hospital abroad.
1. The assist company must be international and have its representatives in different countries worldwide. It is good if your insurance company has its dedicated assist entity.
2. Remember – in all EU countries there is the same free emergency phone number – 112. Using this number you can call the police, ambulance and firefighting service.
And do not forget to take the essential medicines with you not to spend precious euros on buying simple paracetamol or band aid in Europe.