Jun 7, 2020
RESEARCH IN ADVANCE
- No single source lists legit hospitals in every country, but U.S. and European embassy websites are good references. Try Patients Beyond Borders, a medical-tourism consultancy that works with health departments around the world to keep a list of facilities that meet standards of care.
- In general, Becker recommends sticking with large private hospitals: “government hospitals in developing countries can have limited resources.” A few solid options are Bangkok Dusit Medical Services, managing Bangkok Hospital, Samitivej and others across Thailand; Apollo Hospitals, throughout India; and Makati Medical Center in Manila, with a network of affiliates in the Philippines.
- Confirm what services are not covered abroad by your regular health insurance. Save findings in a note on your phone.
PACK YOUR HIGHEST- LIMIT CREDIT CARD
- If you need surgery, some hospitals will make you pay in advance because they don’t have the supplies on hand, Becker says. It’s a good idea to pay off the card before your trip.
CONNECT WITH YOUR PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN
- Call your home doc ASAP to consult on the best course of care. Alternately, many travel-insurance companies have 24/7 assistance lines you can call for help and guidance.
HAVE AN EXIT STRATEGY
- If you’re headed to a place with limited care options, invest in medical-evacuation insurance. “Make sure your plan includes transportation home, not just to the closest appropriate facility,” Becker says. VIP Jets (vip-jets.net) is a private charter service that does medevacs from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, southern China, India, Laos and Vietnam to hospitals in Bangkok or Singapore. — K.C. and J.L.S.J.
Before travel, check exactly what your insurance covers or reimburses away from home.