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Laos

Travel insurance

Even if you are fit and healthy, don’t travel without health insurance – accidents do happen. Declare any existing medical conditions you have – the insurance company will check if your problem is pre-existing and will not cover you if it is undeclared. You may require extra cover for adventure activities such as rock climbing. If your health insurance doesn’t cover you for medical expenses abroad, consider getting extra insurance –check lonelyplanet.com for more information. If you’re uninsured, emergency evacuationis expensive; bills of over US$100, 000 are not uncommon.

Find out in advance if your insurance plan will make payments directly to providers or reimburse you later for overseas health expenditures. (In many countries doctors expect payment in cash.) Some policies offer lower and higher medical-expense options; the higher ones are chiefly for countries that have extremely high medical costs, such as the USA. You may prefer a policy that pays doctors or hospitals directly rather than you having to pay on the spot and claim later. If you have to claim later, keep all the documentation. Some policies ask you to call back (reverse charges) to a centre in your home country where an immediate assessment of your problem is made.