Simple Tips to Help You Stay Healthy When Abroad
About five million foreign nationals visit the US every month. Well, this is not the case now case due to coronavirus outbreak. However, this has been the case for many years in the past. The United States has also been home to many immigrants seeking a better life out of their home country.
Foreign visitors coming to the US need to have travel insurance, which includes coverage for medical emergencies and evacuations. Whether you're traveling to the US for the holidays or are seeking permanent residency in the US, here's what you should keep in mind:
1. Medical Costs in the US are High
The United States and Canada top the list of countries with the highest medical costs in the world. A simple treatment procedure can cost you hundreds of dollars.
A foreign national visiting the US without travel health insurance will be required to clear the bill from their pocket. Yes, you can get welfare hospitals in the United States, but you'll have to wait for a long time especially if you need immediate medical care. What's more, most of these hospitals have gone bankrupt. Travel health insurance, therefore, comes in handy if you need prompt and proper medical care when in the US.
2. There's No Free Medical Care for US Visitors
It is important to understand that neither the U.S. nationals nor visitors receive free healthcare in the US. Well, this can be bad news for you, especially if you come from a country with a free healthcare system.
Besides, unless you have a temporary working permit or a student, you will not be allowed to get your own medical insurance in the USA. This applies to tourists with short-term visas as well.
3. Temporary Foreign Workers and Students Need to Buy Health Insurance
Both the students and those on temporary working permits are required to get qualified health insurance. If you're working, you'll have to get medical insurance in the USA through your employer. Students, on the other hand, will get it through the university.
But what will happen if neither the employer nor the university can provide the kind of health insurance you need? Well, you'll have to visit the government healthcare site, select your location and look for an appropriate plan.
Remember your travel health insurance will cover you while traveling from your country until you get health insurance in the US. This way, if you fall sick before your medical insurance policy becomes effective, travel health insurance will pay the medical costs. If, on the other hand, you don't have travel health insurance, you'll be required to pay the medical cost from your pocket.
4. Emergencies Services Are Not Free
If your medical condition requires you to visit the emergency room, you'll have to pay treatment costs, including medical supplies, surgeries, ambulance transportation, etc. Foreigners who have no health insurance are likely to be taken to welfare-based hospitals.
5. Pre-existing Medical Conditions Are Not Always Covered
Sometimes your travel insurance provider can deny your claims as a result of a pre-existing condition. This can be due to various reasons, including:
- A condition that you control by taking medications regularly
- A condition that your doctor didn't explain to you
- A non-diagnosed condition but symptoms were treated
Tips to Help You Stay Healthy When Living Abroad
To minimize health challenges when in a foreign country, you need to apply some tips. Living abroad comes with many new opportunities which can sometimes make you forget some important aspects of your life, including diet and exercise. Below are some healthy tips you should keep in mind when abroad:
1. Eat Healthy Food
New places will present new opportunities and experiences. While you can't completely avoid exploring new dishes, don't allow it to be your daily routine. If you do, you might gain excess weight that will form the genesis of health problems.
If possible, cook your meals at home and take a lot of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, proteins, healthy fats, and dairy.
2. Consider Your Routine
One of the critical things you need to do when you move to a foreign country is to change your routine. If, for instance, you used to procrastinate in your home country, you should change and embrace a habit of regular physical activity. In other words, you need to get out of your comfort zone.
Wake up every day and challenge yourself to do more. This will not just help you feel better about yourself but will go a long way in promoting self-confidence. Remember, your health plays a key role in promoting a better state of mind, so be sure to exercise more often.
3. Drink Clean Water
Water, either for domestic use or food production, plays a key role in ensuring we stay healthy. Drinking contaminated water can lead to illness and even death. People living abroad should keep this in mind and should take steps to ensure that they have access to clean drinking water at home and work.
To avoid diseases such as typhoid, diarrhea, dysentery, etc. be sure to treat or boil water before drinking. After all, you'll need to stay hydrated whether at home or abroad.
4. Consider the Potential Health Risks
Sometimes you may need to travel a lot when abroad. You, therefore, need to be aware of the potential health challenges you may face, including respiratory illness, tropical diseases, etc.
While these health conditions may not present a great health challenge at first, they can easily deteriorate and become life-threatening. As a rule of thumb, seek medical help immediately you feel sick.
What's more, be sure to consult medical professionals about any potential health risks and the required vaccinations.
5. Create Social Connections
Apart from bodily and physical health, you'll also need to consider your emotional fitness. Maintaining a healthy social life will go a long way in ensuring that you have good physical and emotional health. This is a good thing, especially for people living abroad and experiencing new experiences.
To find like-minded people, consider learning a new skill, sport, language, etc. This way, you'll increase your social connections and stay emotionally healthy.