The freedom of traveling is something everyone should be able to enjoy, but for those living with a disability, it can often be difficult. According to analysis conducted by the BBC, up to 57% of disabled people worldwide find travel prohibitively difficult, with particular emphasis placed on flying. Another big part of why traveling can be daunting for disabled people is medical care, with communicating medical needs difficult in translation. The key to this is being able to scrutinize and obtain good quality health insurance, which is sometimes more difficult than it seems. Get it right, however, and your trip will create memories to last a lifetime.
Travel insurance basics
Travel insurance is the gold standard product for disabled people traveling frequently or living abroad. Health insurance is often complicated and differs from country to country, and so travel insurance offers a private method of ensuring that complex health requirements always have a safety net on which to fall back. Most important here is to focus on the wording of a policy and cover levels; according to US Today, many travelers will undervalue their cover requirements if you plan on staying in a country for an extended period, despite needing a lower premium to remain financially secure. For many, an extended stay in any country will benefit from bespoke health insurance; switching to qantas health insurance provides an extra layer of protection to enable a sense of settlement in the country.
Health insurance abroad
Health insurance is often all-encompassing, but the key to doing it properly is research. As the New York Times revealed in January 2019, health insurance can be difficult to activate abroad due to differing quality of facilities and attitudes towards illness. Some disabilities, especially invisible illness, can be addressed without the required level of scrutiny abroad. As well as researching local facilities to ensure that you will be able to access the required care, it can be beneficial to actively network and find support in the destination country.
Finally, before moving to your destination, it’s important to take note of any discrimination against disabled people in that country. According to NPR, only a quarter of the world’s 196 countries have laws that explicitly guarantee the right of health to disabled people. While the situation is constantly improving, and tourists and expats generally have access to better levels of care and medical attention than on average, it remains that there can be patchy coverage for disabled people. Alternatively, facilities can be unresponsive to the acute needs that disabilities present, regardless of the presence of insurance to act as a help or any networking. Stay safe, and thoroughly research your destination before you head out – insurance plan in hand or not.
Being disabled shouldn’t be a barrier to seeing the world, but for many, it is. The key to backing yourself is to have comprehensive insurance and to clearly understands it’s terms. Finally, while your insurance might cover you, the reality in-country may not; research your destination country in full to make sure there won’t be any hitches.