Tony Novak profile picture
  "AskTony" column archive        


Most Popular

AskTony Archive

This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

Content is the opinion of the author and does not represent the position of any other person or entity. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.

The author is paid for product endorsements and has an ownership or other financial interest in the businesses related to the topics covered.

New questions

Submit consumer finance questions at and health insurance questions at

Sponsored by: Insurance Exchange - your source of valuable information on state and federal health reform benefits.

Core Health Insurance - America's favorite mini-med insurance  with affordable premiums, freedom to choose providers, optional PPO discounts and guaranteed eligibility regardless of medical conditions.

Please support the Web sites that make publication of AskTony services possible.

International toll free support

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If you notice an error or are in doubt, please send a new question by email or ask for an update. Email

Q: The toll-free telephone number of my health insurance company does not work when I am out of the country. What number do I call to get help if I need emergency treatment?

A: Regular health insurance does not provide protection outside of the U.S. so there is little need for U.S. health insurers to provide international telephone support. It is important to take out a supplemental insurance policy that provides this protection when traveling outside of the U.S. This coverage costs less than $20 for a typical one week vacation and covers medical and emergency dental expenses, and also provides protection for trip interruption and loss of luggage. The international medical insurance policies listed at provide toll-free international "800" numbers. This phone service uses AT&T Direct that works virtually anywhere in the world where you can dial an access code. The number for domestic and international support is listed on your ID card and policy certificate.


More resources: