In times of a global pandemic, such as the COVID 19 Outbreak, overseas workers, expatriates, and vacationers are at risk of being exposed to the disease. Although global pandemics are now classified as “foreseen events,” some insurance companies have loosened their policies to cover such situations. It’s a welcome development for people who need protection during these trying times.
If you’re one of the persons mentioned above, here’s how your insurance can help you during the time of COVID-19.
Seek medical advise
If you start developing symptoms such as dry cough, difficulty in breathing, fever, and diarrhea, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) advice is to seek medical help immediately. Local authorities can direct you to their designated COVID-19 healthcare facilities. A medical team can assess your health condition and prescribe the best treatment. They can also issue a clean bill of health for your insurance claims.
Verify your coverage
Verify your insurance coverage, especially if you are in a country with higher health risk assessments. This is important as some companies might not cover medical emergencies such as health pandemics. Also, some private hospitals might require an upfront payment for the services they rendered. If you have life insurance and live in the Philippines, search for your insurance provider’s local office. Inquire about your coverage and how they can help you in case of a medical emergency.
List down your personal medications
It’s vital to keep a list of personal medicines as this will help first responders and hospitals know if you have allergies or pre-existing health conditions. Avoid lying about your medical history because it’s critical in any life-or-death situation. We also recommend to always keep a copy of prescriptions to help prevent problems when buying medicines from the pharmacy.
Locate your country’s consulate or embassy
Locating and coordinating with your consulate or embassy is crucial in situations such as a global pandemic. Your embassy’s officials are mandated to send health advisories. They should coordinate with the local health authorities, contact your family in case you’re confined or quarantined to a medical facility, and discuss emergency repatriation plans if ordered by your country of origin.
However, your consulate cannot shoulder medical expenses, authorize medical certificates, or decide on a patient’s medical condition or situation.
Travelers are reminded that their home country’s embassy cannot shoulder medical costs due to emergencies. They must pay for their own medical expenses, and the embassy will not bail them out. However, their assistance will always be invaluable.
In times of disasters and pandemics, it’s always best to stay calm and think of strategies on how to get out of sticky situations. Living overseas is difficult because you need to assess what’s going on and how to respond to it immediately. That’s why it’s essential to examine your insurance policy and coverage.
Aside from your country’s embassy, your insurer can cover your medical expenses, health facility transfers, and access to emergency funds if needed. Take the necessary health precautions and heed the advice of local health authorities.