Healthcare in the US is very expensive and could set one back by a few lakhs in Indian rupees.
Medical needs are mostly not planned. The only concern at that unfortunate time is to get well. That mostly means you need to generate enough resources at a very short notice to fund medical emergencies. To solve this problem, all of us are advised to buy medical insurance policies. But, what if the medical treatment requires one to travel abroad? Of, what if you face a medical emergency when on a trip to the US while holidaying, visiting relatives or visiting children?
Healthcare in the US is very expensive and could set one back by a few lakhs in Indian rupees. According to debt.org, America’s debt-help organisation, the average hospital bill is close to $4000 and the average of the hospital stay is about $16000 or Rs 12 lakh in INR! And, this obviously is not for – God forbid – serious diseases that need extended stay and treatment.
Although it is mandatory to get international medical insurance before you take your flight to the US, to be on the safer side, you may need liquid funds too. There could be out-of-pocket hospitalisation expenses that may hit your budget and, therefore, you need money when you travel abroad.
Also, your health cover will typically reimburse hospital expenses abroad on cashless basis. However, there could be a situation when the individual has to pay the medical cost upfront and later get reimbursed from the insurer. So, it is smart to have enough dollars.
Even for Indians not travelling abroad, there could be a planned or unplanned need to access the top-notch healthcare facilities in the US. The health insurance policy that you have in India typically helps you meet hospitalisation costs within the country. Without overseas health insurance, traveling may prove financially damaging.
While one always wishes these scenarios don’t arise, the smart thing to do is to make investment in dollars. In bad times, it serves a cushion by making dollars available to you. And, if the worst does not happen, it provides you the benefit of some of the world’s best investment opportunities.