Health insurance for international travel is one of those things that’s generally a good luxury to have. There are certainly plenty of people that don’t buy travel insurance and just hope for the best. More often than not, things work out fine. However, that wasn’t the case recently for a foreign family who moved to Los Cabos.
At the start of the month, an Australian family living in Los Cabos had to deal with a health scare involving their 7-year-old son. The Lomax’s are an Australian family that moved to Los Cabos recently to work remotely from the Mexican resort town. They expected the low cost of living to allow them to afford perhaps a better life. However, they are currently facing financial trouble after having to rush the 7-year-old Harry to the hospital.
The boy suffered a seemingly inconsequential fall while out walking with the family. It wasn’t until he started vomiting that his parents got worried and rushed them to a Cabo hospital. At the local hospital, it was revealed that Harry had ruptured his spleen and was suffering from internal bleeding. He had to have emergency surgery and spend several days in the hospital afterward.
The story has a happy ending in that Harry is back home and healthy. The problem is his parents were left with a 25,000 dollar medical bill they had to pay outright because they let their travelers’ insurance lapse in December. Should you get traveler’s insurance for a trip to Los Cabos? The answer is likely yes.
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Why Getting Travel Insurance Just Makes Sense
There’s no question that the tale of the Lomax family is an outlier case. It is a reminder, though, that these types of things can happen. With even decent traveler’s insurance, they would’ve ended up saving quite a bit of money. These days travelers can purchase insurance for lower than 50 dollars a month. That insurance could see them be covered for a medical bill of up to 250,000 dollars. While only having to pay an extra 250-dollar deductible.
Of course, there are a ton of insurance companies out there, and each traveler knows which features they’d like included in their coverage. For example, if your upcoming trip to Los Cabos includes surfing or any other type of extreme activity, getting extended coverage is a safer option. Los Cabos, in general, is a very safe spot, but you just never know what could happen.
Private Hospitals Are Usually A Better Bet In Los Cabos
Apart from arriving in Los Cabos equipped with health insurance, it’s a good idea to know what type of medical facilities you should look to head towards in case of emergency. For example, if you suffer a fall and you need stitches, getting help from the local red cross is going to be a cheap way to deal with the issue. Even without insurance, these red cross venues typically offer low-cost help. Just don’t expect a plastic surgeon to be on hand to help close the wound.
If it’s a more serious issue, you’re probably going to be better off heading to a private hospital than a public IMSS clinic. There are a couple of reasons for this. Number one, you’re more likely to find someone that speaks English at a private facility. Also, virtually all of the private facilities in Cabo have more experience working with travel insurance companies. Therefore, dealing with the paperwork of filing a claim should be easier than at a public hospital.
Heading to the IMSS clinic is perhaps the last resort option for a foreigner. These are public hospitals that cater to Mexican workers. That doesn’t mean they offer free services to tourists. You may get preferential treatment because, as a nonaffiliate of the IMSS network, you have to pay for the service in full. That’s exactly the problem, though. Public hospitals are known for charging a lot of money to people outside the network that come in for treatment.
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Monday 27th of February 2023
It is wise before your trip to know which private hospitals the US Consulate says are non preditory. Some of the private hospitals-while care is excellent-does not mean your bills will be completely paid by the travel insurance companies.
For the Baja area-on the US Mexican Consulate site-much of the medical facilities are under Tijuana since this is where the main consulate is.
Know ahead of time which are the approved hospitals, ambulances.and doctors for your travel insurance. I cant stress that enough.
You may have to put a money retainer down up front. Yes, they take credit cards.
Ambulances often have agreements with resorts and hospitals. Do not go to a center where your insurance will not pay.
We learned the hard way and we had both primary and secondary travel insurance.