If you’re going to be traveling for an extended period of time, you need to be aware that traditional healthcare solutions may not apply as you expect. There’s such a thing as out-of-area costs. Basically, many healthcare plans only cover you in a certain area. There are a number of reasons why, and they’re besides the point. What’s important to remember is that your at-home costs won’t be the same as on-the-road costs.
This is especially considerable in light of recent increases in the cost of health insurance. According to Healthcare.com, “…annual out-of-pocket costs for Americans in the workforce have increased by nearly 230 percent in the past decade.”
If you don’t have healthcare on the road, it’s possible you’ll end up paying a lot more. Here’s a common scenario: you pay in cash at an urgent care clinic of some variety, be it some UCLA institution or another private enterprise, and when you’re home a few months later, you get a bill in the mail.
Now, you paid for everything up-front when you got the healthcare service from the urgent care. You got a receipt. The money was deducted from your account. But because of some “system error”, your bill was doubled, and now if you don’t pay—even though you’re not obligated to legally—it will negatively affect your credit score. What a bother!
If you’ve got the right healthcare insurance, at the very least you can reduce or eliminate such out-of-pocket costs so that you don’t have to worry about any situations where you’re accidentally double-billed.
Something else you can do to reduce healthcare costs while traveling is to get into a regimen of daily exercise. This can be hard on the road, but there are gyms which cross the country—like Planet Fitness, or 24-Hour Fitness. Either of these solutions can help you stay in shape, and so “buff up” your immune system. Also, with many travelers,walking plays a vital role in exploration—this can be great exercise.
Proper diet and exercise are the best thing for your immune system in general, so even if you’re not traveling, it’s wise for you to work toward getting into some sort of healthy equilibrium going forward. What you spend in time and gym memberships you get back in health, peace-of-mind, and possible extension of lifespan.
Additionally, you may want to notify your healthcare provider of your travels and see what options are available to you. Sometimes there are options, sometimes there aren’t. On occasion, you may be able to add insurance provisions for an extra fee that is temporary. It all depends on your health insurance provider, and your budget.
Hopefully you don’t need health coverage as you travel, but you can’t discount this possibility entirely. Murphy’s Law is always there to make an appearance and befuddle your plans. So your best bet is to expect the worst and hope for the best, then prepare accordingly.