Travel Medical Insurance – Overview
Getting sick or injured while on vacation is the last thing you want to happen. Travel medical insurance is designed to help in these situations.
It becomes extremely important, especially when you are traveling outside of the US, where your current insurance provider may have limited or no coverage at all.
You can’t even rely on Medicare to provide insurance coverage everywhere around the globe.
What is Travel Medical Insurance?
Travel medical insurance covers the cost of emergency medical expenses during a trip abroad.
If you come down with a sudden illness or injury while traveling outside of the US with valid health insurance, then the plan will reimburse you according to its limits.
According to documents, travel medical insurance pays “reasonable and customary” expenses for bills, including:
#1. Doctor’s fees
#2. Ambulance service charges
#3. Hospital and emergency room service charges
#4. Diagnostic tests such as x-rays, lab tests, anesthetic and treatment
#5. Prescription drugs and medicine charges
#6. Dental care (for less than US$ 500)
There are two main types of travel medical insurance:
#1. Standalone medical insurance plans – These insurance plans cover emergency medical and dental expenses you incur while traveling.
#2. Comprehensive travel insurance plans – These insurance plans also include cover for trip cancellation, trip delay, emergency medical evacuation, baggage loss, and more.
Basically, travel medical insurance is for covering the cost of emergency medical services while traveling abroad. It does not pay for non-emergency and elective procedures.
What is not covered by Travel Medical Insurance?
The terms and conditions of specific insurance providers vary greatly. The individual company will decide the extent of coverage offered to policyholders under their travel medical insurance plans.
Some of the most common exclusions under different travel medical insurance providers are:
#1. Pre-Existing Conditions – Your insurance provider will decide the extent to which, if any, your pre-existing conditions are covered under the policy.
This is because different companies define “pre-existing conditions” differently.
Generally, you may get coverage for pre-existing conditions under travel medical insurance if you buy a policy within 2 weeks of making the first trip deposit.
#2. Intoxication and Drug Use – Travel medical insurance does not usually cover treatment for intoxication or drug use.
For instance, if you get injured while intoxicated, then the company will not provide any insurance coverage.
#3. Dangerous activities – Some insurance providers do not cover expenses related to adventure activities, such as mountain climbing, parasailing, etc.
Who should buy Travel Medical Insurance?
If you are planning to travel abroad, then you should buy travel medical insurance.
Without the right coverage in place, you will find it extremely difficult to get emergency medical treatment in case of sudden sickness or injury.
You may end up paying the cost of treatment out of your pocket.
This is especially true for senior citizens who love to travel outside the US. This is because your Medicare policy does not offer coverage outside the US.
How to buy Travel Medical Insurance?
It is highly advisable to compare quotes for the different insurance providers before buying travel medical insurance.
You can find free quotes on the websites of most insurance companies. However, apart from price, you should seek an insurance policy that offers the most extensive coverage.
The best insurance companies will offer a vast range of coverage options, all at a fair price.
The exact cost of a travel medical insurance plan usually depends on your age, length of trip, and the chosen coverage limits.
If you are traveling abroad, then you need to buy travel medical insurance. Make sure that your choice of insurer offers coverage in the countries you plan to visit on your trip abroad.
It is highly recommended to do a little research online before deciding to buy a travel medical insurance plan.