What Is The Real Cost Of Getting Medical Treatment Abroad?

In Family, Individual, Insurance by Tom Pullinger

One in 10 British holidaymakers does not secure suitable travel insurance before venturing abroad, a decision that leaves them at risk of facing potentially astronomical medical bills should they become unwell or injure themselves, says Moneysupermarket.

In fact, when you consider that one in 10 Brits requires medical treatment while holidaying abroad, it’s actually quite a significant risk many holidaymakers are taking – especially when you take into account the cost of medical treatment in foreign countries.

Indeed, while 40% of British holidaymakers say the cost of travel insurance is prohibitive, the reality is that the cost of emergency medical care far outweighs that of travel cover.

Many people are oblivious to how much medical treatment abroad costs, which is one of the main reasons why they choose to forgo travel insurance while holidaying. But the bottom line is that if you’re travelling uninsured and you fall sick or have an accident, you are likely to face a medical bill of tens of thousands of pounds.

For example, according to Moneysupermarket, South Korea tops the list when it comes to the highest average medical treatment fees (£28,938). Tunisia (£22,513) and Russia (£21,833) rank second and third respectively, while Mexico (£20,596) sits in fourth place.

Moreover, the cost of specific medical treatments varies widely from country to country. For example, in Italy, the cost of food poisoning treatment is, on average, around £350. However, in the US, the same treatment will set you back £1,250. Also, as you’d expect, treatment for more serious conditions costs significantly more e.g. asthma treatment in South Africa costs an average of £180, while treatments for heart conditions are regularly £10,000+.

How Can Travel Insurance Help?

Firstly, whenever you are considering buying travel insurance, make sure you do so as soon as possible after you’ve booked your trip (preferably at the same time). Many travelers neglect to do this and find themselves lacking cover in the event of an unforeseen circumstance affecting their ability to travel.

The right travel insurance can even provide protection if you choose to cancel your trip altogether.

Obviously, it’s really important to make sure that any travel insurance you are considering fully covers your needs. For example, while most policies will cover common elements like medical expenses and personal belongings, not many also extend to protect sports equipment.

What If I’ve Got An EHIC?

While a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) provides cover throughout the European Union (EU) and in Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, it only covers certain medical expenses. An EHIC also doesn’t cover against cancellations and other unforeseen mishaps. That’s why you should still obtain suitable travel insurance even if you’ve got an EHIC.

Furthermore, what will happen to the EHIC scheme post-Brexit remains unknown, making travel insurance an absolute must going forward.

You can apply for a free EHIC on the NHS website.

Could you afford to pay for overseas medical treatment if you fell sick or injured yourself abroad and didn’t have travel insurance?

For more information and to obtain a free quotation, contact Premier Choice today.

A highly motivated result’s driven individual with a wealth of experience in the Healthcare & Group Risk market. I have established strong relationships with large multinational clients through excellent interpersonal skills. I have advanced listening, negotiating & influencing skills that allow me succeed in a team based environment. I have comprehensive knowledge of the UK Healthcare & Group Risk market. This knowledge has been obtained through the Chartered Insurance Institute & self study.