Saturday, April 2, 2016

The story about ER in Bali -Buy travel health insurance!

Being an Indonesian born, I never had the habit of buying travel health insurance. In the country where I was born, probably until recently, health insurance is an unknown concept for most of the people. The absence of an obligatory health insurance get the people used of the idea of sickness as a risk. If you get sick, you're going to need to pay for your treatment and medication. Period.

Living in Croatia for over five years changed my point of view of health. Sickness is not a risk. Healthcare is a right of everyone. Take some percentage of my gross salary for health insurance, probably I'd pay some little extra money for an additional health services, I get sick, I go to public hospital, I get cured and I go home, without spending more money.

So do we buy travel health insurance when we go abroad?

Before we had our little one, honestly, we didn't. We would go out of the country with positive thoughts and that's it. Now we'd think twice because a baby is involved. Our daughter belongs to that category of very healthy children, but you really never know what could happen do you?

We were in Greece in July 2015 when we had a little accident with our little one. We stayed at a hotel in Athens, it was probably midnight when a loud cry woke us up from sleep. Still half asleep we found baby girl (she was a little over a-year-old) on the floor facing down crying. Fresh blood was running over her face, looking like she was bleeding from inside her right eye. I nursed her and she fell back to sleep. We wiped the blood and found out that the blood didn't actually run from inside the eye, but from an open wound half centimeter away from the outside corner of her eye, probably scratched by the sharp corner of the nightstand next to the bed she bumped onto while falling. In the morning we talked whether we need to see a local doctor, but she acted completely normal, very active and happy, so we decided not to bother. (Find more details about this trip on this post)

Slowing down with plans, while baby girl recovering and chilling in our hotel
Since then, we buy health insurances when we plan to go outside of the European union. For EU countries we normally don't buy extra insurance because our national insurance covers emergency cases within the union.

I got us some family package (cost around €45) to cover all the three of us now when we were traveling to Indonesia and Turkey earlier this year. In the beginning I thought of just getting one for baby girl and my husband. I thought I didn't need one. But then I got pregnant, exactly before the trip. So I thought it was wise to get an insurance for myself too. Later that week I lost the baby (actually embryo) and I was no longer pregnant when we actually went for the trip, but it's a whole other story I might write sometime later.

Kecak dance performance at the Uluwatu temple

Long story short, all of us were super healthy the first ten days in Indonesia, until we got to Bali. I think it all started when we went seeing the Balinese kecak dance in Uluwatu temple. Usually this dance is performed during sunset, but it was raining the day we went to see it. It was warm though, so we thought we'd stay under the rain. Probably being over exhausted, her immunity decreased, baby girl got a fever right after the performance. That night her temperature was 39.2 Celsius, so we gave her regular paracetamol. In the morning she woke up with an even higher temperature, and we stayed in the hotel that day, trying to put down her body temperature. The day after that, she woke up with a temperature of 39.8 (even after taking paracetamol), which triggered us to take her to the emergency room. We got to the ER of BIMC (Bali International Medical Center) Kuta and she was received quickly and examined thoroughly, diagnosed for common cold and child's bronchitis, she got another set of paracetamol, ibuprofen and regular cough syrup and then sent home. And for all that, we're charged €87, an amount we'd never pay back where we live.

Chilling in the pool of our hotel in Kuta, during the recovery days

She recovered quickly, the cold and cough passed after probably three days, after which she was back to her usual self and we got back in track with our planned itinerary. The moment we got back to Croatia, I got in contact with my insurance company, sent all of the documents we got from the hospital including the bills, and within three weeks they paid back the amount we spent in the hospital to my account. So if you plan to travel with children, and you never thought of getting travel insurance, think twice!

Note: Check with your credit card issuer!

Every credit card offers different benefits for the owner. My American express gives me a travel health insurance coverage up to €5,000 if I buy my international flight ticket with that very card, on my name. I found out about this too late (sigh!) when I had already charged our tickets for that trip on Master card. But it's good to know for the future. Maybe your card offers similar benefit!

1 comment:

  1. A package holiday or a ticket is not purchased from a supplier unless a customer requests that purchase. travel agency