If you are a health share member and you’re planning a trip, you might have some questions about how your health share will work if you need it while on vacation. No one wants to think about getting sick or injured on vacation. But, it’s reasonable to be prepared in case someone you’re traveling with ends up needing medical attention.
This may be a real concern if you have dealt with the in-network restrictions of traditional health insurance. Even the largest provider networks can be challenging if you end up needing care in a remote area. Fortunately, it is far easier to seek care away from your home base as a health share member.
Vacation emergency or illness
Since most health shares have moved away from using a provider network, more health share members than ever before have the freedom to seek care from their preferred provider. If you end up dealing with an emergency away from home, your preferred provider might simply be the provider that is closest to you.
For example, many families enjoy camping during the summer, and often campgrounds are fairly remote, which means that there might be just one option if you need to seek care. Fortunately, as a health share member you won’t have to worry whether the closest hospital is in-network.
Activities to avoid
While you’re planning activities for your trip, keep in mind that your choices could impact whether or not any unforeseen medical expenses are shareable or not. Every health share has a list of expenses that are ineligible for sharing, so not every injury or illness that may occur will be shareable–no matter if you are at home or on vacation. However on vacation, you may participate in some activities that you wouldn’t normally do at home.
If you participate in any activity that would violate your membership guidelines–including the statement of belief or principles of membership–any injury or illness you suffer as a result of those activities will likely be ineligible for sharing.
For example, if you break your leg hiking, that is likely a shareable medical incident; however, if you break your leg sky diving any related medical expenses are unlikely to be shared.
Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean you should restrict yourself from experiencing something you’ve dreamed of doing. What it means is that you should be prepared for what to expect in case something doesn’t go according to plan.
If your travels take you out of the country, you should know that not all health share companies will share worldwide. Many will share in expenses incurred outside of the United States, so long as the expenses are determined to be medically necessary, are performed by licensed providers, and itemized bills are provided.
If you are shopping for a health share and this feature is important to you, make sure you read the guidelines carefully. If you are a current member and you are planning to travel internationally and are unsure whether your health share works worldwide, contact your health share to ask about their international sharing policies.
As a health share member, at some point you may want to travel specifically to receive care from a specialty provider. If travelling to such a provider is your only option, is medically necessary, or will result in significant cost savings, your health share may help with expenses related to your travels.
Some health shares directly state that they will share in medical tourism, while others simply indicate that they are willing to consider such expenses if one of the three conditions above apply (and others expressly state that they will not share in medical tourism).
Being a health share member gives you a lot of flexibility. You can travel anywhere in the world and have peace of mind that you can get help with your medical expenses. However, your health share is not obligated to help you with any expense just because you are a member. Make sure you clearly understand your membership guidelines and responsibility, so you know what to expect from your health share when you go on vacation.
- Verify there is a licensed medical provider near your destination(s)
- Keep your health share’s contact information handy
- Bring your member ID information with you