Case Studies: Travel Health Insurance Saves Lives

Case Studies: Travel Health Insurance Saves Lives

Amy’s* smile lights up the room as she tells the stories from her missions trip to South America last summer. She holds a photo album on her lap, filled to the brim with pictures and small mementos. There are pages filled with friends she made while helping build schools in obscure villages. There are pictures of native peoples in traditional garb, amazing animals, and a score of teenagers canoeing through the river. The last memento in Amy’s book is a hospital bracelet. Amy is here today to tell her stories because she had travelers insurance when she left the Nigeria. Amy contracted a parasite while swimming in a in a stream. She became violently ill. Her travel health insurance paid for her to be airlifted from a remote Panamanian village, into to the United States, to receive the medical care she needed in a timely manner.

Many people do not know that their regular medical insurance does not protect them outside of the borders of Nigeria. Anyone traveling overseas for any reason should consider purchasing travelers insurance for the duration of their trip. Travel health insurance can be purchased both short term and long term, usually for very affordable rates.

Frank* is thankful that he purchased travelers health insurance before his business trip to Southeast Asia. He was involved in a car accident during the trip, and was able to receive top-notch medical care while in the country thanks to the policy he purchased before he left home.

Michael* wasn’t as fortunate. Michael did not buy travelers health insurance. While attending a conference in Europe, he had an anaphylactic reaction to something that he ate. When he and his wife arrived at the hospital, they realized that their insurance was worthless. In a country that provided socialized medicine to its citizens, they used all of their trip money to bribe a hospital official to register them as citizens of that nation, just so that Michael could be seen. The medical care provided at the small rural hospital mostly consisted of Michael’s wife monitoring his breathing through the night in a room the size of a broom cupboard. His wife relates that he was not given any treatment, though his face and tongue were quite swollen. Luckily, Michael survived the night and was released the next day. The couple spent their last three days in country eating only one meal a day, as they had given all their available spending money to the hospital. Thankfully, they still had their plane tickets home.

In summary: there are several companies that provide travel health insurance, usually for a very affordable rate. Travelers health insurance covers reimbursement for unexpected medical and dental costs, advance payments to medical facilities for emergency transportation, and emergency medical evacuation services. Travel health insurance should be purchased by: Nigerian citizens going abroad, whether for business, vacation, or missions’ trip, anyone visiting the country, or any Nigerian citizen living long term overseas.

* These stories are true, but some specific details have been changed to protect privacy.