Until this point I had never dealt with insurances, I had been covered by my parents’ and they handled it for me. But to go for a IAESTE internship in Japan, they required a specific kind of coverage, both life and health insurance.
So, after some research, I payed for two insurances at that time, one online recommended by IAESTE Switzerland and one in my own country.
If you go to another country for work, hopefully your employer will handle this and you won’t have to worry. If you go for travel and you already have insurance it really depends on your plan, some just need to be activated beforehand and may or may not have a country restriction.
However, as a student or in case you don’t have one insurance already you should make one before leaving your country. The possibility of you needing a doctor is always there so it is better to be prepared.
At that time, I needed two insurances. And by asking online I was recommended an online insurance. Maybe this can be helpful to you:
This one was recommended by IAESTE, apparently it is already prepared for situations like these. I cannot say whether it was good or bad, because I didn’t use it in the end. But the process of paying for it online is really easy, as most things usually are before paying.
I also payed for a health insurance in my country before leaving and regarding this insurance I can say that I spent the money and in the end it was worthless.
There was this one day I needed to go to a clinic, I was in a relatively small city in Japan, where not many people spoke english, even though it was a “student city”. So I went there, really confused with all the process, did the exam, got the results, payed and asked for the receipt.
What happened is that only after this, did I ask my insurance company how to handle the process. They told me to send the receipts by mail – you should only do this after making a copy for yourself, which I did not. – This was around February/March and in April I returned to my country and called them to know how the process was going. It turns out, that to make the receipts valid I also needed a report from the doctor in english, or in his language and then pay for an official translation, but they didn’t tell me at that time, they waited me to return home and call. So, obviously everything was invalidated and I payed for the insurance and the exam and never saw the money back.
What I recommend is for you to make sure you read all the fine print. To make sure you know what you will need in a similar situation, because they will of course try everything in order to not give you the money.
This is how it worked in my country, how does it work in yours? Is it similar? Did you have problems like this on your travels? Did you have a different experience? Tell me in the comment section.