Ask Jenny: Healthcare While Traveling


It is that time of the month again! Yep, you guessed it! It’s my monthly ‘Ask Jenny’ post! Wait… What did you think I was talking about?

‘Ask Jenny’ is a series where you can ask me about our travels, logistics, parenting on the road, my life before travel, or whatever else you have a question about. I will post a call for your questions on Twitter and Facebook, or you can leave your question(s) here at the end of my post. Once a month, I will write a post to answer one (or more) of them. The only rule I will have is that the questions be kind.

Today’s question comes to me from Valerie at Minimalism With Kids:

My question is: How does healthcare work? When you travel, and also when in one place for some time, how do you get proper health coverage? Is it all out of pocket?

This is such a great question Valerie!

To be honest, when I had traveled B.Z. (before Zoë) I never worried about healthcare on the road. My tendency not to worry that something would happen while traveling somehow was rewarded with nothing happening while traveling. I am sure God was watching my every step making sure that He covered me since I chose not to be covered by travelers insurance.

My whole thought process changed though as we welcomed our new family member into our travel plans two years ago. Our little one year old girl was not someone I was willing to leave uncovered while we traveled.

Chad researched many available travel insurances before we set off for the big trip  and he found World Nomads through the BootsnAll travel site. It seemed like the best deal for the money and covered all the places that we had planned to travel.

When we left America, we were covered for the first year and a half by World Nomads insurance. The way that this travel insurance worked was that if we had an emergency we would have to pay up front and be reimbursed after filing the proper forms.

Thank goodness we only had one true emergency while traveling, Z’s seizure in Taipei, and one little accident.  Because the cost was so little (and probably because we were traumatized),  we decided not to go through the process of reimbursement.

Despite the fact that we never used the insurance, it was incredibly comforting knowing that if something big happened we would be covered.

Now that we are settled somewhere for a little while, we decided that it was time to get something more than just travel insurance (not only that but Chad recently found out that our travelers insurance is null and void in countries under martial law… so we couldn’t be covered here anyways). We met with an insurance broker that came highly recommended by a friend here and bought some awesome health insurance. Here in Thailand the insurance is paid yearly and in comparison to American insurances is inexpensive and has amazing coverage. Even better, the insurance works for emergencies and accidents in all over parts of the world! Not a bad deal at all.

I hope that answered your question, Valerie!  Thank you so much for reading and asking such a great question!

*Disclaimer- This post is not sponsored by World Nomads insurance or BootsnAll and all the opinions are my own. These are just the products and sites that we used as we traveled.*

Now it’s your turn! Have you purchased travel insurance before? What did you think of it? Do you have any questions for my next ‘Ask Jenny’ post? Leave a comment and join in the conversation!


  23 comments for “Ask Jenny: Healthcare While Traveling

  1. Sue Slaght
    January 9, 2015 at 11:23 pm


  2. Sue Slaght
    January 9, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    Sorry Jenny my phone sent the first comment off too soon. Great info and I wondered about this.

    • andthreetogo
      January 10, 2015 at 8:30 am

      I hope it comes in handy. I am not sure how insurance works in Canada, does it cover travel out of the country?

  3. melissajane01
    January 10, 2015 at 3:07 am

    Well this is good to know. I have never had traveler’s insurance but definitely would if we left the country.

    • andthreetogo
      January 10, 2015 at 8:33 am

      Some health insurance does cover travel so check with your insurance… Regardless though, it is nice knowing that you are covered no matter where you go… Make sure to read the fine print though! We didn’t know that we weren’t being covered here because of the martial law and had paid into it for a few months after the coup. 😉

  4. freebutfun
    January 10, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    I’ve done the same: before kids, I often travelled without insurance but with kids… there has to be something. Kids change things 🙂

    • andthreetogo
      January 10, 2015 at 1:32 pm

      They sure do! In many ways for the better!

  5. Lani
    January 10, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Great post. Shared. Had no idea about the martial law bit. Thanks for the info 🙂

    • andthreetogo
      January 10, 2015 at 1:38 pm

      Of course! Thank you for sharing!

  6. evina
    January 10, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    can you pls post the name of the insurance in thailand you are talking about. thanks!

    • andthreetogo
      January 11, 2015 at 9:59 am

      Sorry about the late reply… 🙂 i think it is called MHS. 🙂

      • evina
        January 11, 2015 at 8:27 pm

        thank you jenny, i will look into it, because we would like to spend our winter months in the near future in thailand…all the best!

        • andthreetogo
          January 11, 2015 at 8:29 pm

          If you plan on coming and staying in Phuket I can recommend a great insurance broker! My email is if you would like it. 🙂

  7. Bronwyn Joy @ Journeys Of The Fabulist
    January 10, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Can’t believe you went travelling without insurance! My friend’s mum and dad had a road traffic accident overseas once and it wasn’t just the enormous expense of being hospitalised in a coma and then medivacced home 2wks later – it was also the help she needed with the logistics of it all. Nightmare. Never do it again!

    (And then of course the travel insurance only covered them for emergency and evacuation, not for ongoing treatment, so lucky they still had their insurance to come home to as well. Cannot believe you were uninsured!)

    Glad you found some suitable products – it’s a limited market for long-term travellers.

    • andthreetogo
      January 10, 2015 at 6:38 pm

      Truth be told we were only uninsured for 2 months while we traveled through thailand and got settled in taiwan.
      I feel so bad for your friends parents! How scary!

      • Bronwyn Joy @ Journeys Of The Fabulist
        January 10, 2015 at 7:27 pm

        I was very scary but the scariest part was how easily it could happen to anyone at any time. Freak accident, not their fault at all.

  8. thankfultravelers
    January 10, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    very cool info. i always love learning the details one might forget to thinkof in traveling, or any area of life.

    • andthreetogo
      January 11, 2015 at 12:22 am

      Thanks! I hope it helps!

  9. thehomeschoolingdoctor
    January 11, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    Sounds like your current insurance is solid. I hate insurance stuff. Always catches somewhere. Once, here, after the birth of our third, we didn’t know/remember in all the chaos of newborn and three, that you had to call and add your new baby. So she was uninsured for about three months until the next re-enrollment. Because you only have a set time after they are born to call, then you can’t enroll them until the next “open enrollment.” I was so scared something bad would happen in that short, but seemingly long few months.

    • andthreetogo
      January 11, 2015 at 8:32 pm

      I have known quite a few families of newborns that have experienced that same situation! As is you don’t have enough on your exhausted mind already… Then you have to deal with insurance crap on top of it! The insurance companies in America made me so mad when I used to work with them! ack. 🙂

      • thehomeschoolingdoctor
        January 11, 2015 at 8:57 pm

        Yes. All true.

  10. Melanie Levy
    January 12, 2015 at 11:53 pm

    Jenny! Thanks for writing this. I am wondering if you know how the travel insurance works when you are traveling to different counties on your trip. Do I have to get new insurance every time I travel to another country? Since I do not have a set schedule, and if this is the case, is it fairly easy to acquire new insurance on the go? Thank you!!

    • andthreetogo
      January 13, 2015 at 8:04 am

      I am sure it depends on the insurance and plan within that insurance.
      All I can say is what I know, and that with World Nomads it covered us for emergencies in all countries (except for if they were in the middle of a war or under martial law) except for America.
      You can purchase insurance for up to a year at a time if you want from them, which I found was much easier than figuring it out as we went along. Check out their website… They should have what you are looking for.
      Thanks for reading and commenting! 🙂

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