An Overseas Clinic Visit Made Me Realise the Importance of Travel Insurance

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This is a story of me going to a medical facility while on my America Road Trip and how lucky I felt when I knew I would be covered by travel insurance.

December 2017, I went on a road trip to the United States of America (USA) – it was during the winter period but not that it mattered anyway I guess.
I was on my way to the Grand Canyon when halfway through the bus ride there I started vomiting.
I vomited and felt uncomfortable in the stomach – it was miserable, especially since I was kind of confined to the single bus seat.
Every time there was a break, I would either remain on my seat to rest (if I’m lucky) or I would alight to empty the vomit bag, get a new one, then proceed to vomit more in the toilet (I have no idea how I got so much stuff to puke as well).

By the time I reached the Grand Canyon Lodge, I was half dead.
I alighted the bus and warmed myself in the Lodge.
After a while, I gave up! I felt too miserable that I booked a cab via the reception to drive me to the Grand Canyon Clinic – yes they do have a medical clinic there.

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I got myself checked into the clinic and waited about 45 minutes before any medical personnel could attend to me.
Once it was my turn, I was put on IV (intravenous therapy) aka tubes carrying liquid poked into my veins to transfer liquid substances into my body.
Then I had tubes carrying oxygen put into my nose so that I had air going into my body.
Apparently, the nurse said that I was experiencing altitude sickness – more about it HERE
This was how I looked like while lying on the clinic’s bed

After 1.5hours of being on IV and given oxygen, I was discharged from the clinic with some medication and isotonic drink.
The bill turns out to be USD 376.12 – which translate to about SGD $500+

Honestly, that was a big bomb! That 2.5 hours visit wiped out nearly 10% of my road trip’s budget!
I knew seeing a doctor in America was expensive, I just did not expect it to be this expensive!
At that moment of paying the bill, I was so glad that I actually bought travel insurance!
If I didn’t have insurance, I’ll probably wait until I was near death before I would go see a doctor because it is just too expensive!
A $100+ in travel insurance cost ended up saving me $400 in medical cost and nearly dying – quite worth it!

I remember going to Taiwan last time with my friends and they had food poisoning. We too went to visit their hospital and good thing they had travel insurance to cover their visit. It is a good thing I was not the who got the food poisoning as I did not buy insurance back then because I did not think I will need it.
So, it turns out it is really easy to fall sick while overseas – so buy travel insurance!
It saves lives!

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