Whether one is on sabbatical (like me) or without activity after resigning (like Anh), health insurance entitlements continue for one year.
So no worries about traveling in France or Europe: you’re covered!
If you travel outside of Europe, it gets complicated. Only urgent care can possibly be reimbursed. You will have to advance the funds and the social security will assess on the basis of the supporting documents whether your expenses are legitimate and can be reimbursed. In case of refusal, no contestation is possible. In case of acceptance, reimbursement will be made on a lump sum basis and not on actual expenses.
In short, it’s far too random when you’re about to live a year outside Europe.
Please note that if you are travelling for less than 3 months, your Visa or Mastercard offers interesting insurance in case of a big problem. Beyond 3 months, you are no longer covered.
In our case, beyond the possible coverage of medical expenses, we were mainly looking for assistance. If I break my knee during a trek in Nepal, I want someone to pick me up by helicopter!
Insurance has a significant cost in the budget of a round-the-world trip, but don’t overlook it. Medical expenses abroad can be extremely expensive and the order of magnitude of a medical repatriation is 50 000 to 100 000 €. There are too many dramatic stories of travelers who have had a serious accident without insurance. The family is then forced to go into debt or call for solidarity via an online jackpot.
I’m sure you want to avoid that.
Which insurance was chosen?
Our choice was Chapka Insurance.
- Chapka is affiliated with the insurer AXA, which is reassuring in the sense that the company isn’t in danger of closing down overnight.
- They have an offer dedicated to travelers around the world
- The rates are affordable, we will come back to this later
- This insurance was recommended by other bloggers
What does the insurance cover?
A lot of things, that’s what’s good 😃
- All costs related to unpredictable illnesses
- All costs related to accidents
- Emergency dental care
Concretely, if you have a big crap that requires repatriation, sending a doctor or medication to the place, everything will be taken care of.
The coverage is quite wide: you can go scuba diving (which isn’t the case with all insurances), motorcycle riding (up to 125 cc), trekking in high altitude, …
Some services can also be very practical:
- Legal assistance
- Reimbursement in case of theft with breaking and entering or assault of your luggage
- Reimbursement in case of loss of luggage (by the carrier)
- Psychological assistance
What isn’t supported?
As with any insurance, Chapka has many exclusions that you must be aware of.
As an example :
- Glasses 😔
- Care related to pre-existing illnesses
- Comfort care (acne for example)
- Routine checks
- Some extreme sports (skydiving, paragliding, …)
Really take the time to read the terms and conditions in detail or call a counselor to fully understand the limitations.
How much does it cost?
The price list varies according to 3 criteria:
- Your destinations (Europe / Worldwide excluding USA and Canada / Entire fashion including USA and Canada)
- Your age
- Number of persons (Single / Couple / Family of 3 persons / Family of more than 3 persons)
As an example, one year of insurance for a person under 35 years old costs :
- 432 € for Europe only
- 576 € for the whole world except USA / Canada
- 744 € for the whole world
In our case, it comes down to 86 euros / month for both of us.
I had fun calculating what our health protection cost us every month when we were employees (between the social security contributions, employers’ contributions, the CRDS and the compulsory mutual insurance company)?
Result : 1 200 € / month !
It’s hard to compare, I admit. I imagine that in case of serious pathology, it is the social security and its solidarity system which, after Chapka’s repatriation, would take care of us.
But selfishly, the comparison of what our health costs us before and after is eloquent.
How do I register?
Everything is done online in a few minutes.
To ask for a quote and then proceed with the registration it’ s here.
Payment is made online for the entire duration of the membership (one year in our case).
That’s it! You are insured!
Shortly afterwards, you will receive your membership certificate, your membership number and the telephone number of the 24/7 support platform by e-mail.
Information to keep warm is the kind of information you don’t need to look for hours when you need it!
In our case, we put it in our EDC Kit.
Did you need this insurance?
It has been just 3 months since we left at the time of writing. We are in good health, everything is fine, thank you for us 😃
But yes! We used our insurance during our stay in Thailand.
We had just spent an idyllic week on the beaches of Koh Tao and Ko Pha Ngan. Only the mosquitoes had come to disturb us a little bit in this corner of paradise.
Problem: Some bites looked like something other than mosquitoes.
Bed chips ? Sand fleas ? We didn’t know, but we were starting to psychoanalyze.
It must be said that nothing is more unpleasant than bed fleas. These terrible creatures can indeed lay eggs in your luggage. They will accompany you everywhere and it is a hell to get rid of them.
This perspective was beginning to haunt us.
Once back on dry land in Krabi, we decided to consult to be fixed once and for all.
We make an unexpected visit to a private clinic a few meters from our hotel.
We are instantly taken care of by nurses who take care of the administrative formalities, take our blood pressure and our temperature.
Once these things are done, the nurses take us to a room where, in no time at all, we all find ourselves on a hospital bed (Quick! How do you say “I’m not coming for surgery” in Thai?).
A doctor then comes to do the consultation under the watchful eye of… 3 nurses ready to intervene at the slightest alert. Unfortunately, my talents as an actor do not allow me to fake a malaise.
The doctor is reassuring: for my part, I only have mosquito bites. He makes fun of me by telling me that as a white person, I am an obvious victim (I already knew it, thank you, if in a room of 50 people there is only one person, the bite will be for bibi). Anh also received a visit from an unidentified insect but the doctor assures us that it isn’t fleas. She takes the opportunity to talk about her stomach aches.
The process will take about 30/45 minutes and we will leave with a small bag with our medication and the bill we pay ruby on nail: 75 euros!
Each medication has its own little label to tell us when to take it. It’s a change from my pharmacist’s big illegible marker.
Everything was done in a perfectly professional manner, a much better service than we would have had in France, until a small detail destroyed all this wonderful work.
When we leave, the doctor asks us to take a picture with him… for the clinic’s Facebook page.
One is missing and that will make the Dalton’s
Thank you for this exciting story, did you get your money back?
We doubted it, as a mosquito bite isn’t a particularly serious event
But if you’re going to take out insurance, you might as well give it a try.
The process is quite simple and is again 100% online.
We provided :
- The medical questionnaire to be filled out by the doctor (always carry it with you at all times)
- The invoice
- A copy of the passport (not clear why)
- A copy of the Thai visa (to make sure we were there on the date of the invoice)
I quickly receive a return confirming that the file is complete and that I will have an answer within 15 days.
15 days later, good news! The refund is 100% accepted and we will receive it a few days later by bank transfer.
EDIT: We subsequently requested reimbursement following two more consultations, one in the Philippines and one in Uruguay. Plus 3 emergency dental consultations: in Turkey and Canada.
Namely for the United States and Canada
As you have seen, Chapka’s rates are higher if you wish to be covered for the United States and Canada. This is due to the exorbitant prices there.
On top of that, a 35€ deductible is applied in these two countries.
If you paid €150 to go to the doctor, you will only be refunded €115.
About Dental Care
Chapka covers you for all emergency care. It is therefore important to ask the dentist to fill out the treatment form, specifying the urgency of the procedure.
In Turkey, I had to go to a dentist because of a filling that blew out, I got a 100% refund.
Please note that Chapka’s reimbursement for dental care is limited to €600 per year per person. In North America, we don’t do much with 600 € at the dentist, Anh was able to verify this in Canada… but there are no small savings..
Example: 1st dental bill sent to Chapka: 200$CA out of pocket (133€) for 2 cavities, 98€ recovered.
In 3 years, we used Chapka Insurance for several minor problems (in Thailand, Philippines and Uruguay) + big dental bills in Turkey and Canada but it was a no fault
- Registration is just a few clicks away
- Rates are affordable
- The procedure for requesting reimbursement is simple
- E-mail contacts are very easy and answers are fast
We are therefore able to recommend Chapka Insurance to you.
To get a free quote from Chapka for your world tour insurance, click here.
The experience in Thailand also amazed me by imagining the quality of treatment I would have had in France for a similar case.
I should have made an appointment with my attending physician in Paris who would have received me on a 15-minute watch in hand (this is no joke).
The consultation would have cost me 60 euros (reimbursed by social security… 16.10 €) and the medication would certainly not have been fully reimbursed.
I’m proud that we have a universal health care system that allows everyone to be treated before we apply for our credit card. However, I think that to continue to think that France has the best healthcare system in the world is a complete myth.
To get a free quote from Chapka for your world tour insurance, click here.