Home > advice, travel > Monsoons & malaria: what to do if you get sick or injured while traveling abroad

Monsoons & malaria: what to do if you get sick or injured while traveling abroad

Photo Credit: Paul Barker via stock.xchng

The current events in Japan really got me thinking about being prepared for emergency situations. Plus, how often do you think about emergencies when you’re planning a vacation abroad?  So what should you do in case you get ill or injured while overseas?

  1. Before you leave home, contact your health insurance provider to find out what kind of coverage you will have overseas. Also, it’s a good idea to get their 24-hour hotline number and service providers in your destination.
  2. If your insurance doesn’t provide coverage abroad or you don’t have insurance, you can buy short-term health insurance. You can buy it through a travel insurance company or, separately, through a travel medical insurance. You can also opt to get medical evacuation coverage. Short-term insurance is reasonable—it tends to cost a few bucks a day if you’re young and healthy.
  3. Medicare/Medicaid doesn’t cover you overseas. AARP partners with MedjetAssist to provide health insurance while abroad.
  4. Carry a full supply of your medication in the original bottle.
  5. If you have a pre-existing condition, carry a letter from your doctor explaining it and current treatment. Also include your doctor’s phone number in case you need to reach them.
  6. Check for required and recommended vaccinations before you go.
  7. Should you require medical care, the local US embassy will have information about getting care and emergency assistance.
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