Lawton_It's common among travelers to purchase health insurance while traveling overseas. But what happens when that medical coverage expires?
Those of you who travel out of the country, or even your home state, might want to check out that health insurance policy before departing. The policy might not cover health costs in certain areas should you experience a medical emergency. There are optional short-term health insurance policies you can purchase to make sure you are covered, and many travel agents even include that information in their discussions with clients.
But sometimes even the best planning can't cover all of the bases. That's the case for the family of Lawton resident Daniela Barron. Barron is a Lawton resident and has learned this lesson first hand. Her mother, Iris, paid a visit to her family here in the U.S. Iris is from Germany so, naturally, she purchased traveler's insurance for her trip. Iris needed it, because around two months later she suffered a massive stroke that left her paralyzed.
Iris' insurance was a coverage plan for 60 days. Since her policy expired on July 15, she was left with no coverage for the remainder of her hospital stay. If Daniela's mother were to stay in the hospital here, with continued care, the cost would be more than the family could afford--$60,000. "Here in the States my mother had to buy insurance, but the insurance," Daniela said, " The insurance ran out after two weeks...and she was told she had to leave the hospital."
In many European countries, and in Germany, the cost of a medical visit is paid for, at no charge to the patient. Of course, that doesn't mean that health care is free. European's pay a hefty tax for this privilege. But, when a traveler comes to the U.S. from a country where fees are covered by the government, it can be quite a financial shock. As it was for Daniela's mother and the rest of the family.
The most practical way to take care of Iris is to send her back home to have her health monitored with a system that is financially reasonable for the family. Sadly, the hospital sent Iris home just before the insurance company's policy would have been responsible for the flight back. Daniela has been told that it is possible to have her mother flown to Germany on a stretcher so that she could remain in a reclining position for the duration of the journey. But, they will have to pay $30,000. It's a financial burden that seems reasonable in comparison to the cost of healthcare beyond Iris' insurance coverage.
But, with other family health problems and many more medical bills. Daniela is reaching out. The family needs help to get Iris home to get the care and treatment she needs.