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Medical distress while traveling? Wait until you get the bill

image courtesy of Dirk Van Elslande from Pixabay

New research revealed the most expensive countries to make a medical claim while traveling and what the most expensive and common claims are.

The team at William Russell analyzed their internal international health insurance claims data to discover the most expensive countries to get sick or injured without cover while traveling and which claim types are the most expensive.

The 10 countries with the most expensive healthcare claims

RankCountryTotal Claims (2021)Total Amount ClaimedAverage Claim Value
1Denmark3USD 18,824USD 6,271
2Taiwan13USD 43,173USD 3,320
3Qatar26USD 64,561USD 2,482
4Lebanon32USD 79,226USD 2,474
5Switzerland38USD 77,761USD 2,044
6Malawi60USD 105,185USD 1,751
7Spain65USD 112,370USD 1,728
8Trinidad and Tobago14USD 22,180USD 1,584
9Thailand525USD 736,687USD 1,402
10Czechia3USD 4,139USD 1,379

Denmark has by far the highest average claim value of USD 6,267, indicating that international health insurance is incredibly important not just for protecting your health but also your wallet.

Second place Taiwan has an average claim value of USD 3,318 from a total of USD 43,125 split across 13 separate claims, while Qatar took third place with an average claim value of USD 2,480.

The 10 most expensive health insurance claim types

RankClaim CategoryTotal ClaimsTotal Amount ClaimedAverage Claim Value
1Medical evacuation7USD 80,669USD 11,521
2Pregnancy complications and emergency procedures12USD 117,556USD 9,796
3Treatment for cancer154USD 1,113,567USD 7,231
4Cover for newborns1USD 4,933USD 4,903
5Terminal illnesses and palliative care20USD 85,872USD 4,293
6Home nursing costs12USD 51,419USD 4,285
7Advanced diagnostic and genome tests244USD 143,294USD 4,124
8Prosthetic implants & appliances9USD 32,016USD 3,557
9Hospital accommodation and nursing744USD 2,027,608USD 2,724
10Hospital treatment34USD 53,428USD 1,572

Medical evacuation is the most expensive category you can claim for on your health insurance, with the average claim sitting at a huge USD 11,519.

The next most expensive category is pregnancy complications and emergency procedures, which refers to any issues you have with your pregnancy while travelling, including the need for an emergency c-section. The average costs for claims in this category is USD 9,792, so it’s definitely worth being covered as these claims are not issues that can be put off for another time!

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Further findings

•             The most common health insurance claim in the UK is for ‘GP and specialist consultations’ with 558 claims of this type totaling USD 139,587 in 2021.

•             The most expensive health insurance claims made in the UK were for ‘malignant neoplasm of bronchus & lung’ with average claims for this costing USD 6,391.

•             Hungary came out as having the cheapest average claim value at just USD 25, followed by Antigua and Barbuda at USD 29.

•             The least expensive claim type was found to be a trip to the dietician, costing just USD 5 on average, followed by ‘children’s routine check-ups and vaccinations’ with claims averaging USD 60.

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About the author

Linda Hohnholz, eTN editor

Linda Hohnholz has been writing and editing articles since the start of her working career. She has applied this innate passion to such places as Hawaii Pacific University, Chaminade University, the Hawaii Children's Discovery Center, and now TravelNewsGroup.

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