Most travel insurance policies will cover your medical expenses incurred while travelling (provided you have medical coverage in your home country). However, what about your mental health? Does your travel insurance policy cover therapy sessions, psychiatrists, and psychologists’ fees? Find out in this article.
What To Look Out For
You must read the fine print of your travel insurance policy carefully before making a claim. Just because the therapy sessions, psychiatrists, and psychologists’ charges are categorized as ‘medical’ under ‘physical illness’ does not mean they are automatically covered under your travel insurance policy.
If you are wondering whether or not to make a claim for therapy sessions, psychiatrists, and psychologists’ fees, here are a few things to consider:
Repetitive Stress Syndrome
Did you know that a lot of mental illnesses have a physical manifestation? Things like irritability, depression, and anxiety are all common mental illnesses that can be attributed to one thing – too much stress. If you are prone to getting sick from stress, especially in a country where the environment is a shock to your system (big city vs. small town), you might want to consider making a special claim for Repetitive Stress Syndrome (RSS).
Repetitive Stress Syndrome is an illness that occurs when your body is constantly in fight-or-flight mode. Your hypothalamus secretes adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which regulates the synthesis and secretion of cortisol from your adrenal gland. Elevated cortisol levels in your blood stream can cause your hippocampus (responsible for short-term memory) to shrink – potentially leading to Alzheimer’s disease. If you think that your travel insurance might not cover this type of illness, visit your local Allstate Agent today.
Did you know that taking one’s own life is considered a criminal offence in most countries? If you are going to a country where the legal system is different, you might want to consider bringing your own psychiatrists and psychologists along for the trip. If you are worried that your travel insurance might not cover suicide attempts, bring a doctor’s note to the immigration officer at the airport to prove that you are not a risk to yourself or others.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Did you know that after a traumatic experience your body reacts by secreting a hormone – termed ‘stress hormone’ – that temporarily alters your mood and cognitive functions? If you have recently been through a psychologically or physically traumatic event, like war or an earthquake, you might want to consider making a special claim for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). If your travel insurance does not cover this, you might be able to get some extra coverage through a rider. Speak to an insurance expert to find out what riders are available. Most health insurance policies will cover the costs associated with PTSD therapy in the United States.
Mental Health Reimbursement
If you are making a claim for therapy sessions, psychiatrists, and psychologists, you must notify your travel insurance company as soon as possible after the treatment. The sooner you notify them, the better. Most travel insurance companies will cover the costs of mental health treatments if you had treatment while traveling. However, it is in your best interest to find out what the policy wording is before making a claim. Some policies will only cover treatment while you are on the road, while others will cover the entire cost of therapy sessions, all the way up to the deductible. Ask your insurance agent or call the policy number directly to get the specifics.
What Is The Standard And Accepted Therapy For Travelers?
When making a claim for therapy sessions, psychiatrists, and psychologists, you must provide the name of the practitioner who treated you. Your insurance company will usually request your medical records, so be sure to bring those along as well. The standard therapy for travelers is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Your travel insurance company will most likely request that you go through a course of CBT – either online or in person – before they will cover the costs associated with the therapy sessions. If possible, it is a good idea to get individual sessions with a psychologist or psychiatrist before your trip so they can help you get prepared for the transition to another country. If you are anxious about going to a new place, it can be helpful to work through some problems with a trained professional. Just remember to bring your medical records with you so they can verify the therapy was necessary.
If You Need Mental Health Insurance
Is it time for an upgrade? If you need mental health insurance, it might be time to look into an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization). HMOs are usually accepted everywhere, and they can be cheaper than PPOs (Preferred Provider Organizations). If you live in the United States, you might want to check out New York Life’s Health Savings Account. It’s never too late to save for the future, and the IRS allows you to make tax-free withdrawals from your Health Savings Account.
Unfortunately, not all mental illnesses can be easily treated abroad. If you or a loved one is suffering from a mental illness that requires constant care, it might be best to consult with a travel agent to see what options are available. Just remember to bring your passport and visa with you so they can issue you a health visa if necessary. If you have travel insurance, it will usually cover the costs of therapy sessions, psychiatrists, and psychologists overseas – as long as you are hospitalized once the insurance coverage period begins. There are additional terms and conditions that you need to be aware of, so it’s always a good idea to review your policy documents carefully.