The cost of traveling without a medical cover

Cautionary tales on travelling gone wrong without insurance are widely available online. Whether it is forgetting the cover for cancellation, emergencies, loss of valuables, or anything else – there is a hefty price to pay when you face misfortune along the way.

There was a story about an Australian living and working in Thailand who accidentally let his travel medical insurance lapse. One morning, he woke up urinating blood, but when he went to the hospital, they sent him home with urinary infection diagnosis. Few days later he returned to the hospital after losing consciousness, admitted into the intensive care with what would be diagnosed as a rare blood disorder known by the abbreviation TTP – a condition where the blood starts clotting and requires extensive transfusions. Until the 1980s, there was no known treatment and it was fatal in about 90 per cent of the cases.

Around two nights in Samui hospital later, his bill reached the astronomical amount of USD 10 000. The flight to transfer him to a private hospital in Bangkok cost another USD 13 000. The following ten days in intensive care and four days in the ward, the poor traveller was billed for approximately USD 86 950.00 The poor Australian finally turned to his parents to pay the bills, under threats of penalty and confinement by the Thai authorities due to lapse in making payment.

The Australian story teaches the lesson that no matter how fit and young you think you are, nobody is invincible. It is definitely wiser to protect yourself with affordable, yet reliable travel insurance package researched and purchased online before embarking on any trip. Be sure to renew it if you want to prolong your travel and read all the fine prints before making your payment!

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