Well, it’s not like anyone plans to have a medical emergency in a foreign country, and of course, of greatest concern if a medical emergency occurs while traveling abroad is making sure everyone makes it back home in as good health as possible.
However, if the immediate medical emergency has passed, you may have started puzzling over how to submit the claim to your health insurance. You may be wondering whether your health insurance will cover your expenses in a foreign country at all.
Of course, your health insurance company is the one who can tell you for sure what you will need, but having recently been through an emergency hospitalization while hiking in Peru, here are some tips that I have learned:
While you are in the hospital:
• Talk to the Hospital Administrator about Your Health Insurance Situation. Some hospitals who see many travelers have relationships with American health insurance companies, and may be able to facilitate the claims process with your health insurance company.
• Document Everything. Get copies of all paperwork, reports, tests, receipts and anything else that documents why you were hospitalized, why it was an emergency and what your out-of-pocket costs were. It is extremely unlikely any of the healthcare providers you are seeing are in your health insurance network, so you will need clear documentation that it was an emergency situation covered by your health insurance. (Remember: your American doctor(s) will need a copy of your reports and test results to keep your medical files current as well).
• Get Translations of Your Documentation. When you submit your claims, your health insurance company will need translations of your documentation into English as well as conversion of all local currency amounts in to U.S. dollars. If your hospital can provide the translations for you, take advantage of it.
• Get Contact Information for Possible Follow-up. In the event your health insurance company or physician need further information, make sure you know who to contact and the best way to contact them.
When you get home:
• Find Out How to Submit Your Claim. If your health insurance company has a separate process for the submission of foreign claims, see if you can send it there directly instead of having to wait for it to be re-routed through multiple offices.
• Submit the Claim to Your Health Insurance as Soon as Possible! Many health insurance companies have an additional review process for foreign claims, so it is very likely that it will take much longer to process and issue payment. If your health insurance carrier has follow-up questions, it will take longer still. When I called my insurance company to follow-up on my claim from Peru, customer service told it would take 30 to 45 business days to process my foreign claim. Save yourself some anxiety and submit your claim as soon as you can!
If your health insurance claim is denied, here are some tips on what you can do to fight for your claim: What To Do If Your Health Insurance Claim is Denied
No related posts.