Health insurance is essential if you travel frequently! Don’t risk being caught out, facing thousands of dollars of overseas medical expenses. In some instances you may not even be permitted to legally leave a hospital or even the country until your medical bills are settled.
The type of health insurance that you should select if you travel frequently will also depend on the reasons why you’re travelling. If it’s business related and you work for a company, many employers will provide you with travel insurance which they receive at a corporate rate. For leisure travel, some companies still allow you to purchase this same cover through them, often still at a good rate.
If your employment doesn’t provide this type of arrangement with travel insurance, you will need to purchase cover independently. It can be useful to review all the current insurers, banks and other organisations you’re affiliated with to see if value add coveris available for you. Your current domestic health insurer may offer travel insurance with a multi policy discount offer, or your credit card may offer complimentary or subsidised insurance as a part of their concierge offerings, so always compare health insurance to see which ones suit your best. Whatever you select, check that a variety of health services are covered including hospital stays, ambulance transport (or the equivalent of),and also dental, as even minor medical procedures can be costly as a foreign visitor to a country.
There are some options available to you when purchasing travel insurance. The frequent traveller will get the most cost effective cover via an annual multi trip policy. This policy will cover you for multiple trips at a single flat rate, usually with an excess of your choosing. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of these policies as some restrictions will apply. For example, be mindful that if one trip is over a certain amount of days, it could be more cost effective to purchase a single policy for that trip rather than cover it under your multi trip policy. If many of your trips are lengthy, individual policies for each trip may be your only option.
On a side note, you may be able to get overseas travel suspension of your domestic health insurance which will save you some dollars if you are out of the country, but be aware if you earn a certain amount, this suspension could affect your Medicare levy surcharge.Also domestically, you may choose to review your regular health insurance to suit your jet setting lifestyle. For example, selecting extras that provide benefits for travel vaccines that you incur out of pocket expenses for.
Finally, best practice is to finalise your insurance well ahead of travel. In situations such as illness, the death of close relative or other unforeseeable circumstances (like your tour operator going bankrupt), you can be reimbursed if your policy covers this and is valid at the time that the incident occurs that prevents you from travelling. So be prepared to help you enjoy your trip with peace of mind.