We still have US coverage for our family
, and our policy covers international expenses the same as if stateside. What I've found is that generally the costs are so low it's not even worth submitting claim paperwork and dealing with the hassle. Usually it's cheaper than the deductible. Then it gets interesting with some medications that in other countries you don't need a prescription for, or you can get the prescription from the pharmacist, which is different than how the US healthcare stuff works.
In general, I'd do this:
- pay out of pocket for international medical
costs if you're traveling mainly in inexpensive areas (developing and third world countries)
- have DAN international. it's not a panacea, but it's worked well for most people.
- have a credit card that you can put a flight on to get back to the states
- have US coverage that works when you're back in the states. those policies are cheap
if you get ones that require you to be out of the country for ~300 days a year.
We've had surgeries, child birth, pre-natal, dental (including surgery), infections, dermatology, lab work
, and pediatric care done in three countries now, mostly Mexico
In general most people I've talked to find that 90% of your medical
care is handled quite well by non-US physicians. It's when you get into tricky procedures or rare diseases that have very limited pools of talented care providers that you want to be in the first world, which is generally where those care providers are as well.