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travel insurance

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New York
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travel insurance

Hi,

Does anybody know if US citizens need to get travel insurance in order to obtain entry into istanbul? I know you can get the tourist visa at the airport but will they also ask for proof of travel insurance? Is that mandatory?

Thanks.

New York
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1. Re: travel insurance

Just to clarify, travel insurance specifically in terms of health insurance coverage while in turkey.

Thanks.

Mount Dora, Florida
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for Istanbul
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2. Re: travel insurance

Hi Yaysnow, The answer to your question is "no", you are not required to provide proof of health insurance to enter Turkey. The only thing a visitor needs is the visa purchased at the airport and he may stay in Turkey for three months.

I personally always purchase medical insurance with a medical evacuation clause simply because it makes me nervous to travel abroad, and I want to have a way to get back to the US quickly if a health crisis should occur.

When I researched the Turkish health system I learned that there are many private hospitals in Istanbul that rival European and US hospitals in services and skills and almost all doctors who work in these hospitals speak English. In fact, Turkey is becoming a hot spot for elective medical procedures, and I think they have the largest dental office in Europe in Istanbul.

Private hospitals will expect to be paid in cash. Your own health insurance may cover medical expenses you might experience in Turkey, but would only be able to re-pay you after you pay medical expenses out of your own pocket. You might want to check with your US health insurance company. We have Blue Cross, but it is a PPO plan so they will only pay about 70% of charges we incur with an out-of-network provider, and there are, of course, no network providers in Turkey.

There are also public hospitals available in Turkey. I think they serve the local population more exclusively than visitors and are less expensive. Possibly a local Destination Expert can provide additional information about these facilities.

Turkish pharmacists have much more latitude in the process of diagnosing minor ailments and suggesting medications. They are my first recourse for smaller issues, and many medications that require a prescription in the US can be obtained over the counter in a Turkish drug store.

Ruhr Area, Germany
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3. Re: travel insurance

Hi,

I would always recommend to close an health insurance contract for foreign countries while travelling.

Some years ago I had an accident at Turkey and they brought me into one of the private hospitals where there was somebody who spoke German (at daytime).

And fortunately the hospital balanced account with my assurance directly, I had to pay nothing.

If I would just had have my usual health insurance from at home it might have been much more complicated.

AZ
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117 posts
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4. Re: travel insurance

Hi,

I had to respond to this post because just today I was checking out travel insurance. We have never bought it before because I guess that we felt that we were in good health and therefore, invincible.

I have been browsing the TA forum and have learned two things: As Busy-retired said, it seems that they require cash in Turkey for medical expenses. Secondly, I have read that medical services in Turkey are expensive.

So far, I have only seen AIG Travel Guard recommended in the forums and so that is the company that I am checking into. It seems that they charge by trip cost and age. It appears that it will cost about us approx $200 each.

Likely, nothing will happen as we are in good health. However, unforseen accidents do happen (my husband recently stepped on a stingray while in Mexico and required medical attention.) So,I think that it is a worthwhile investment in our case.

Either way, have a great trip!

Laurie

Mount Dora, Florida
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
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243 reviews
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5. Re: travel insurance

I believe that we used AIG Travel Insurance. I paid $300 for a policy that covered five of us for one month. It was a basic policy, and we did not get trip replacement insurance or lost luggage insurance. We just got medical insurance and medical evacuation insurance. I never travel outside the US without medical evacuation insurance.

Medical services are expensive in Turkey, but much less expensive than they are in the US. Lots of people from Europe and even the US go to Turkey for elective surgery, particularly plastic surgery, because it is much less expensive than similar procedures in their own countries.

AZ
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6. Re: travel insurance

Hey Busy-retired,

I didn't mean to infer that Turkey is more expensive than other countries regarding medical expenses.

However, many American's have medical insurance. For example,it costs me $20 to visit a doctor due to my insurance. I do not actually pay the doctor's fees.

So, it would be a shock in any country to pay the actual medical fees and it would be much more expensive than my own country due to my insurance benefits. Especially if I had to pay for emergency medical services, hospital or MEDEVAC services.

In fact, even a doctor's visit might cost more than my insurance. This was posted by someone living in NY who thus, might feel the same sticker shock as me if he/she had to pay for 100% of the medical fees.

It is an simple ROI.. Risk vs return on investment.

Just wanted to explain what I meant.

Laurie

PS. You really are busy retired. It must be late in FL.. lol!

Perrysburg, Ohio
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7. Re: travel insurance

I've used AIG....well, never actually used it, but had it if needed. Another excellent one is TravelGuard. Both are very reputable companies.

AZ
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117 posts
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8. Re: travel insurance

Hi Jo,

The brochure that I have says AIG Travel Guard and I did a search on Google and when I typed in AIG or Travel Guard, the same contact info came up. Maybe they merged?

Laurie

Ruhr Area, Germany
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14,829 posts
118 reviews
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9. Re: travel insurance

Hi,

in Germany you can get a supplement health insurance for foreign countries for about 6 - 9 EUR/year for trips till 6 weeks.

That is nothing compared to the costs of a treatment, especially if you have to go to a hospital.

And they will bring you back to your home country by plane if it is required for the medical care.

As I tend to little accidents(lol) I would never travel without.

Gocek, Turkey
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3,307 posts
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10. Re: travel insurance

AIG is a monster with many tentacles.

What you need to ensure is that you have adequate medical evacuation coverage, because this will be by far the most expensive thing should you need to be evacuated from Turkey to North America. Health care costs in Turkey are, naturally, nothing like as onerous as in the USA, but you will have to pay for treatment even in a public hospital - some of which are excellent.

Another point to bear in mind is whether you can get the insurer to cover pre-existing medical conditions, which are generally excluded unless declared, when you will probably have to pay a hefty additional premium to include them if the insurer is willing to do so.