Health insurance for travel abroad: why and how to choose it


Is the payment of medical expenses direct or reimbursable? Is dental treatment included? And, in case of unforeseen events, does the operations center respond in Italian or in other languages? Whether in the USA, Thailand or Japan, health insurance is the best way to travel abroad without worries. Let’s see how to choose it and protect yourself from any unexpected events.

Health insurance: why it is important to do it

Travel health insurance entitles you to receive medical care and health care in countries where healthcare involves very high costs  (such as the USA or Canada), and is also strongly recommended in countries where the quality of care and hygienic conditions- health are below acceptable standards.

It is also advisable to take out a health urgent care insurance policy when you are in remote locations and emergency medical transport is required to appropriate medical facilities, which may be hundreds of kilometers away.

How to choose the health policy: direct payment or reimbursement?

Among the main guarantees of good travel insurance are on-site health care and payments for medical and dental bills, but  be careful what the companies offer . First of all, it is necessary to verify whether the  payment of medical expenses is direct or reimbursable.

In the event of illness or injury, it would be unpleasant to incur a significant outlay, with consequent inconvenience and delays in receiving the necessary treatment.

This is why it is better to opt for health coverage that provides for the  direct payment of medical expenses. In this way, the insurance company will get in touch with the hospital, so the insured does not have to advance money to receive assistance.

For minor expenses, such as the purchase of  drugs , reimbursement is usually provided  upon return from the trip , but be careful: to obtain it, it is mandatory to show the purchase receipts, so remember to keep the receipts.

Maximum amounts and days of hospitalization

When choosing health insurance for abroad, it is very important to pay attention to the  ceilings for medical expenses , which usually vary according to the destination of the trip and the level of coverage chosen. If you are traveling to countries such as the USA or Canada, where the health system can have very high costs, it is better to choose insurance with high ceilings, in the order of a few million euros.

It is then necessary to check the  days of hospitalization  to which you are entitled. In fact, all travel insurances have a limit to the days of hospitalization that can be taken over.

Medical repatriation

Countless unforeseen events can happen during a holiday. In the most serious cases, following an emergency, it may be necessary to resort to  medical return . It usually involves organizing  transport by air ambulance  or by scheduled flight. In any case, it is always the operations center of the company that takes care of managing the repatriation and, given that this service is provided in cases of serious injury, illness or death, the procedures and bureaucratic practices to be carried out are numerous and vary from nation to nation.

What to do when you feel bad abroad?

When traveling with medical insurance, you can rest easy even in the most extreme emergencies. If necessary, the first thing to do is to  call the operations center , which manages health care on behalf of the company with which we have taken out the insurance.

This is why it is very important  to carry the telephone number of  the assistance center which can be found on the insurance certificate. During the first contact with the support operators, you will need to report your name, surname, policy number and a telephone to contact you throughout the management of the case. This is the preliminary information. Then you will have to describe the pathology or the injury and you will have to give precise information on where you are . While it may seem like a nuisance or a waste of time, especially in a health emergency situation, this information is vital to enable practitioners to provide the best possible medical care, in the most effective and timely manner.

Attention to the operations center

Not all operations centers are the same. First of all, it is important to rely on an operations center that  is active 24 hours a day , which answers in Italian and is equipped with multilingual staff. The presence of an on-site doctor who is able to provide consultations in real time is also fundamental .

Another element that makes the difference is the security of being able to count on an  international network  of medical centers, hospitals and health professionals: having a widespread network is the only way to  communicate effectively with local doctors  even in the most remote places on the planet. .

Imaway  is part of  the IMA Group which has an international network capable of providing assistance all over the world. Furthermore, Imaway has an operations center in Italy with  certified quality according to the UNI EN ISO 9001: 2015 standard.

What does Imaway health insurance offer?

Imaway travel insurance offers  direct payment of  medical expenses in the three levels of coverage Easy, Smart and Top. Here are the benefits and limits of Imaway in the  travel medical expenses guarantee :

  • Hospital and surgical expenses:  € 5 million  in the USA / Canada
  • Up to  100 days of hospital  stay
  • Reimbursement for  medical and pharmaceutical expenses : 3,000 euros
  • Expenses for  treatment upon return  (including physiotherapy): 500 euros
  • Urgent dental treatment : 500 euros

But Imaway also offers 24-hour travel assistance, baggage protection, trip cancellation and much more. Discover all the guarantees and  make a quote with Imaway  to receive the best health coverage for your next trip.