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Good reasons for international health insurance

When you think about your holiday, you usually dream of sunny beaches, dreamlike landscapes or snow-capped mountains. The gray tiles of a doctor’s office, on the other hand, are unlikely to come to mind. But even abroad, no one is immune to illness and injury – which can be quite expensive under certain circumstances.

This is because the statutory health insurance sometimes does not cover the complete treatment costs, even in countries of the European Union. The dream vacation can quickly turn into a financial disaster. Fortunately, however, no one has to do without long journeys. Because international health insurance ensures security even in faraway countries. So the holiday can be enjoyed carefree.

What is international health insurance?

Basically, an international health insurance works exactly like its domestic counterpart: You pay a monthly contribution and the costs are covered in the event of illness. Abroad, however, there is another special feature: Especially in the case of serious injuries, a normal return journey to Germany may not be possible at times. In this case, the international health insurance also covers the return transport to Germany. Under certain circumstances, this can be considerable costs – for example, if a special aircraft with medical equipment is needed. For this reason alone, taking out supplementary insurance makes sense and is urgently advised.

Who needs special insurance for abroad?

In Germany, health insurance is generally compulsory. However, this does not apply to trips abroad. From a legal point of view, no one is forced to take out a corresponding policy. For the reasons mentioned above, however, it makes sense to take out a policy in most cases. Basically, the further away the trip is and the longer it takes, the more sensible it is to take out international health insurance. So if you only go to Switzerland for shopping, you can probably do without the additional protection. For air travel to distant developing and emerging countries, on the other hand, the situation is quite different.

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Where can international health insurance be taken out?

The business also seems to be quite lucrative for the providers. At least the number of offers has continued to increase in recent years. For example, international health insurance is sometimes already included in credit card contracts or automobile clubs. In order to avoid unnecessary duplication, it is therefore advisable to take a closer look at the transcript of benefits. Often, international health insurance can also be booked for an additional fee. Alternatively, traditional health insurance companies also offer corresponding offers. This large number of providers can be a bit confusing for the customer at first. But it also ensures that prices remain affordable.

What do I have to pay attention to when taking out international health insurance?

Before taking out a new international health insurance, you should therefore compare the different offers and pay particular attention to the following points:

  1. The price: Logically, who wants to pay an unnecessary amount of money?
  2. The range of services: The costs for medical treatment and medication should be covered in any case. The same applies to the possibly necessary return flight to Germany.
  3. The duration: Often the policies are only valid for a certain period of stay abroad. In this case, you must take out international health insurance that conforms to your own travel plans.
  4. Pre-existing conditions: In some cases, there are special exclusion clauses for customers with chronic illnesses. It is imperative to read the fine print here to ensure that the insurance company actually covers the costs in an emergency. The same applies if you are already travelling abroad with an injury – such as a foot in plaster.
  5. Additional services: Only when these three essential points have been clarified should it be looked at which additional offers the providers use to advertise for customers.
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Does international health insurance cover all risks?

If you choose the right insurance, you can go on holiday with peace of mind: an injury or illness will not cause unbearable costs. However, even the best insurance cannot cover all risks. For example, self-employed people can suffer severe financial losses if they are absent for a longer period of time due to illness.

However, this risk must be additionally covered by both statutory health insurance in Germany and international health insurance. The same applies, for example, to certain special forms of treatment – such as homeopathy. As always, it is therefore advisable to determine in advance exactly which protection is required individually – and then to take out the appropriate insurance.

Conclusion: Health insurance abroad is important

Medical treatment abroad can quickly cost you your financial existence. For example, there are known cases in the United States in which patients were presented with bills in the high five-digit range after their stay in the emergency room. In the case of longer-lasting treatments, the costs can also quickly rise to even higher ranges. Because the statutory health insurance often does not cover this in full, an appropriate supplementary insurance should be taken out before every trip abroad. This does not prevent the stay in the hospital from possibly overshadowing the vacation a little. But at least it ensures that there is still enough money left over for further trips in the next few years.