Traveling while pregnant without international travel medical insurance
You’re pregnant and healthy and your doctor clears you to travel. You realize your domestic health insurance plan won’t cover you while you’re overseas, but you decide not to bother buying a travel medical insurance plan because you feel your risk of needing medical treatment is low. There’s a chance you just saved yourself a few dollars. There’s also a chance you’ve made a huge mistake.
A Sad Story of Traveling While Pregnant
A few years ago, we heard the sad but true story of a young couple, Kim and Fred, who wanted to enjoy one last overseas vacation before the birth of their twins. Some people call this a “babymoon”, since it’s similar to a honeymoon.
They decided to visit Portugal, and everything was going fine. Then all of the sudden Kim went into labor early. Her husband rushed her to a hospital, but they didn’t want to treat her because they didn’t have their passports with them. Unfortunately, Kim and Fred couldn’t understand the doctors and nurses because they spoke Portuguese.
Kim was eventually admitted to the hospital and their babies were delivered minutes later, a boy and a girl, both weighing under two pounds. Sadly, their son died two weeks later. “Everyone spoke Portuguese, so I had no clue what was going on,” Kim said. Fortunately, their daughter survived.
But, if the trauma of losing a baby wasn’t enough by itself, they also faced a $200,000 hospital bill, according to a British newspaper. How come? Because they never purchased travel medical insurance. Kim and Fred lived a middle-class lifestyle in New Jersey and could not afford to pay that bill.
An update to this story was published a year later and it painted a more positive outlook on their situation. You can read about it here. Unfortunately, there are far too many stories like this of unexpected things happening to people who travel overseas during a pregnancy.
Traveling Internationally Without Insurance
When you travel overseas during a pregnancy without travel medical insurance, you risk having to pay out-of-pocket for any unexpected medical expenses you may incur. For less than $100, Kim and Fred could have purchased a travel medical insurance plan that would have prevented a $200,000 hospital bill.
Another downside is not receiving the necessary care. People have been denied care because they were uninsured. Or, you may not receive the same quality care you would have received had you had insurance.
Without coverage, you also miss out on the assistance you can receive from your insurance company. Many insurers offer 24/7 phone assistance, language interpreters and helpful advice. Kim and Fred could have purchased a plan that provided these services. A Portuguese interpreter and some useful advice would have been a huge help to them during such a traumatic event.
Traveling Overseas With Insurance
Traveling overseas during a pregnancy with travel medical insurance offers the peace of mind that you are protected from financial loss in case of unexpected medical bills. It puts you at ease that you are unlikely to be denied medical care.
Should the unexpected occur, you can have confidence that help is a phone call away. You shouldn’t have to worry that you don’t understand the language being spoken, which is why several carriers offer interpreters.
Traveling overseas during a pregnancy with travel medical insurance lowers your risks. It helps you relax and enjoy yourself, and truly embrace your travel experience. Travel medical insurance can make the difference between a wonderful trip and a disastrous one.
Travel Insurance Covers Complications, Not Normal Delivery
To be clear, no insurance policy will cover a normal delivery for someone who is already pregnant. However, travel medical insurance plans will often cover emergency complications of birth and newborn complications of birth (not related to congenital conditions or hereditary disorders), such as premature delivery and birth trauma up to $1,000,000.
Plans We Recommend
If you are a U.S. resident with U.S. health insurance, the GeoBlue Voyager Choice plan covers complications of pregnancy and is a great plan for overseas travel.
If you are not a U.S. resident, the Atlas International plan may be a good fit for you. It covers complications of pregnancy through 26 weeks and domestic insurance is not required.
None of these plans are very expensive in comparison to other trip costs or the alternative of traveling without protection. We encourage you to call us at 866-636-9100 toll-free for help so that we can make sure you have exactly what you need, and that you understand your coverage before you buy. You can even Skype us at “good neighbor insurance.” We are here to help you travel safely.
Please don’t end up like Fred and Kim, but instead make the wise move and get your travel insurance today!