Summer vacation time is here and if you’re planning any out-of-country trips, don’t forget to cover all your family members—kids as well as seniors. All should have passports, and all need travel health insurance under their own names. Check out family plans for savings; most insurers offer them. On vacation, kids are more vulnerable than you are.
Emergency room personnel across the United States universally report that summer vacation time is one of their busiest periods, and young children and teens are among their most frequent customers. This should come with a heads up warning because ER’s are the most expensive portal to the health care system, and even a non-lethal threat can run you into a four figure bill. That’s not unusual.
ER’s are positioned to bring a lot of technology and personnel to an emergent situation as quickly as possible—for an accident, a worrying stomach or chest pain, a sudden spike in temperature. If you are the parent of a youngster with any of these symptoms, you wouldn’t want it any other way. You don’t know how serious these sudden symptoms can be. That technology costs—and there are no kid’s rates at hospitals.
According to federal law, all hospitals in the U.S. must provide medically-necessary services to anyone who comes to their E.R., whether they are insured or not. But that does not prevent them from requiring payment, by credit card or other promise to pay before you leave. And just because you’re a foreigner, just passing through , never to be seen there again, does not mean the hospital won’t come after you for payment—with the help of collection agencies, if necessary. This is not because they’re grasping or unfeeling. Hospitals in the U.S. are not bailed out by governments the way they are in most other countries. They have to turn a profit, or at least keep from sinking under debt. They have to run themselves as businesses.
I often see hospital bills into the five figures for even one day in the emergency room. Those machines and the personnel who run them are expensive. They are often also life-saving, so don’t complain.
If you’re planning on a few shorter trips during the summer, you should consider annual trip plans, which allow you to sign up once a year and travel up to a certain period as often as you wish. Example, buy a seven-day plan and you can take as many trips of up to seven days duration as often as you like throughout the year—for one low price and with only one annual application. You can also buy plans of different travel denominations, such as 15 days, or 30, or 45, etc. Most of the insurers advertising on our site offer annual plans.
If you’re travelling only once or twice in the year for longer periods—the single trip plans may be best for you. Specify how many days you want, and the premium will be pro-rated to the number of days you have selected.
Most insurers advertising here also offer plans that will cover you no matter where you travel—the U.S., Cuba, China, India, Europe. And all have emergency assistance service companies that can deal with your emergency on a 24-hour basis, no matter where you are.
Most important: if your children are to be properly covered, they must be named on the policy, with their ages and addresses properly noted. Make sure they are.