Even if you are fit and healthy, don’t travel without health insurance – accidents do happen. Declare any existing medical conditions you have – the insurance company will check if your problem is pre-existing and will not cover you if it is undeclared. You may require extra cover for adventure activities such as rock climbing. If your health insurance doesn’t cover you for medical expenses abroad, consider getting extra insurance – check Lonely Planet’s website for more information. If you’re uninsured, emergency evacuation is expensive; bills of over US$100, 000 are not uncommon.
Find out in advance if your insurance plan will make payments directly to providers or reimburse you later for overseas health expenditures. In many countries doctors expect payment in cash. You may prefer a policy that pays doctors or hospitals directly rather than you having to pay on the spot and claim later. If you have to claim later, make sure you keep all documentation. Some policies ask you to call back reverse charges to a centre in your home country, where an immediate assessment of your problem is made.