With the holiday season just around the corner, most of us will be focusing on our summer wardrobe, buying suncream and making sure we have money in the right currency. Whilst these concerns are all valid, it’s also vital to ensure health care doesn’t slip to the bottom of the list of priorities.

Figures from the UK’s largest travel association ABTA revealed that 22 per cent of people travel without any insurance. This trend is being driven by younger travellers, with over a third of 16 to 34 year olds saying they don’t take out travel insurance.

To avoid getting stung on health care costs whilst overseas, consider the following simple tips:

Take out travel insurance

These days, travel insurance prices are increasingly competitive so it’s well worth getting it to ensure you’re covered for potentially high medication and treatment costs if you’re injured or fall ill abroad. When you’re travelling overseas, The Foreign and Commonwealth Officeadvises that you choose cover that includes the following:

  • Emergency medical treatment costs including hospital and ambulance fees
  • Returning you home after medical treatment abroad if you can’t use your original ticket
  • Reasonable transport and/or accommodation expenses for a relative or friend to stay with you or escort you back to the UK

When you’re choosing travel insurance, make sure you consider factors such as how often you’re planning to travel overseas this year, the length of your trips, where you’re going and what sort of holiday you’re going on. For example, if you’re planning a mountain biking or scuba diving trip, you’ll need to make sure your policy covers you for these types of sports.

Get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

It’s well worth getting a European Health Insurance Card if you’re planning a holiday to Europe. If you have one of these, you’re eligible for the same level of state-provided medical care as someone who lives in the country you’re visiting. However, be aware that the local level of care may not be quite the same standard as in the UK and you will have to pay for part of your bills, if that’s how the local system works.

Consider a health care cash plan

In addition to travel insurance, a good way to keep yourself and your family healthy whilst on holiday is by having a health care cash plan from Sovereign Health Care. A cash plan allows you to claim money back towards a range of everyday health care costs including glasses, contact lenses, dental check ups and treatment, physiotherapy and much more. What’s more, you can claim for treatment received anywhere in the world from a qualified practitioner. All claims are paid in pounds sterling at the exchange rate for the relevant currency on the date the claim is settled.

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