All expats need to read Sam’s story

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Sam Bloom’s story

International health insurance won’t prevent accidents or illness, but it can ease the burden if your life plans are suddenly overturned by unexpected circumstances. For Sam Bloom, having no health insurance meant that her treatment, her family’s finances and her recovery hung in the balance after her devastating accident.

An unforeseen disaster changed Sam’s life forever

While traveling in Thailand with her husband and three young sons, Samantha Bloom leant against a railing on her hotel balcony only to feel it give way. She fell five metres onto the tiles below suffering a broken spine, collapsed lung, and bleeding on the brain. Although the hotel admitted the railing was faulty, the compensation they paid was only a fraction of the costs involved.

Treatment seemed out of reach
As if facing life-altering injuries and their impact on her family and her future wasn’t tough enough, Sam and her husband faced another challenge in the immediate aftermath of her devastating accident. That of figuring out how they could get her the treatment she urgently needed and how they could possibly afford to pay for it. With no health insurance in place, they felt totally on their own, isolated in an unknown country where they had little knowledge of the healthcare system.

Stress, anxiety and fear of financial ruin

While accidents like these are out of our control, the stress, trauma, and potential financial hardship that can follow is avoidable. In Sam’s case, while the horror of her accident was sinking in, her family was desperately trying all avenues to get medical advice they could trust, haunted by the reality that her treatment could be compromised by lack of finances. This part of the nightmare, at least, would have been avoidable if Sam had adequate health insurance in place at the time.

Finally, evacuation and treatment…
After an agonising period of uncertainty, Sam’s family discovered that she had some travel insurance included when she booked the trip on her credit card. At this point, they were able to organise an emergency evacuation from Thailand. However this took almost three weeks to organise and in the meantime she had to rely on the basic care available to her locally, all the while worrying that the delay would have long-term consequences for her recovery.

A life-changing injury resulting in a lifetime of crippling costs
While the flight and medical expenses in Thailand were eventually covered by credit card insurance, there were insufficient funds to cover what would turn out to be a long, costly and necessary series of medical treatments and home improvements. Now confined to a wheelchair with no feeling from her chest down, Sam feels lucky that she can still hug her boys. Having proper insurance in place wouldn’t have changed Sam’s medical prognosis but it would certainly have eased what turned out to be an enormous financial burden.

Don’t take risks with your health and well-being.
When you are setting up home abroad, it is critical to have appropriate insurance in place for all family members. For expats, international health insurance is a must to ensure that your family has immediate access to high standard health care in case of an accident, emergency, or any other medical issue. While it is not something you want to think about, it is a relief to know that your family’s health would not be at risk due to a lack of funds or an inability to access to services.

Recovery from adversity takes time and money
Insurance can soften the impact of a medical emergency on your family and your finances. If you want to find out more about this or understand whether your current protection is sufficient, do something today. Get in touch and let’s ensure you have the right medical backup plan in place.

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