Friday, October 24, 2008

Foreign Threat

Most of us stay home, or at least limit our travel to the 50 states.

Some like to travel to far and exotic parts of the world.

Probably one of the last things we think of when planning a trip is health insurance. In some cases, particularly traveling out of country, it should be one of the first.

Britt Leis and Leah Koehn were attacked Thursday on a beach in the South American country. Leis, 35, was stabbed 18 times, according to his father, Ronald Leis. Koehn, 24, was assaulted but able to seek help.

For certain, this is an unusual medical situation. But according to a report on NBC, 1 in 4 American's have reported assaults while traveling abroad. Some involve robbery while others are simple battery. But there are also a handful of stories like this that make you think.

Natalie Holloway took a senior trip to Aruba and has not been seen since. Other stories have made headlines as well.

Leis had 3 surgeries in Ecuador and was recently stable enough to be evacuated by medical ambulance stateside at a reported cost of $55,000.

U.S. based health insurance offers limited coverage outside the states and no coverage for medical evacuation or translation of medical records which can easily run in the thousands.

International medical coverage is available for literally a few dollars. I recently placed a plan on a fellow taking a two week ski trip to Antarctica. The premium was $46.

To help pay for the flight and Leis' medical bills, the couple are accepting donations under the Britt Leis Medical Assistance Fund at any Bank of America branch or the Britt Leis Donation Fund at any Bank of the Cascades.

Friends of the couple have also set up Web sites, including and to solicit donations.

Anything you can do to help will, I am certain, be appreciated by the families.
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