Stay Healthy While Traveling Overseas

Oxford Health Plans Provides Health-Related Travel Tips

TRUMBULL, CONN. (July 8, 2002) - Now more than ever traveling abroad can be complicated. There's a lot to think about, but upon arrival the trip should be fun, exciting and relaxing - not stressful. In the midst of packing and making travel arrangements, it can be easy to overlook some of the details of proper healthcare. A little planning beforehand can help travelers have a smooth and healthy trip.

"Some foreign countries have different diseases and different healthcare systems than the United States," said Ron Brown, M.D., medical director at Oxford Health Plans. "Travelers abroad should be aware of any major health threats and should have a basic understanding of the healthcare system in their destination country."

To help travelers have a healthy trip abroad, Oxford Health Plans offers these tips:

  • Carry your insurance identification card and a claim form.
  • Understand your out-of-area medical insurance coverage. Only emergency care will be covered by Oxford when traveling overseas. Emergency care includes those services that are medically necessary due to an unforeseen illness, injury or condition.
  • Pack a supply of prescriptions, in their original bottles, in a carry-on.
  • If you have a major medical condition, wear a medical condition bracelet.
  • Keep hydrated when in warm climates, especially when active. Use caution around water and ice. In many countries, drink bottled water.
  • Peel fruits and vegetables to avoid contamination from pesticides and from the water used to wash them.
  • Contact the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (IAMAT) at (716) 754-4883 or the nearest U.S. embassy to locate medical facilities and English-speaking doctors in the areas where traveling.
  • High-risk travelers, such as diabetics, severe asthmatics and pregnant women should consult their physicians before traveling to another country. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the safest time for a pregnant woman to travel is during weeks 18-24. Travel overseas is not recommended during the third trimester.
  • Learn words for "doctor," "emergency" and "hospital."
  • For overall safety, travelers should exercise caution and be actively aware of their surroundings at all times.
Founded in 1984, Oxford Health Plans, Inc. provides health plans to employers and individuals in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, through its direct sales force, independent insurance agents and brokers. Oxford's services include traditional health maintenance organizations (HMOs), point-of-service (POS) plans, preferred provider organization (PPO) plans, third-party administration of employer-funded benefits plans and Medicare plans.