Summary: Travel insurance provides emergency coverage for travelers who travel from their country to cover a medical emergency abroad.
It covers medical evacuations and emergency situations. It is possible that your home health insurance does not cover you overseas, so it is a smart idea to get travel medical coverage.
Imagine the following: Your husband is on a bike trip in remote Italy. Your husband falls and gets some minor scrapes…but he also suffers a heart attack.
Find the nearest good hospital. To get there, you will also need an ambulance. He will need immediate treatment for his heart attack once he is admitted to the hospital.
You will need to be transported on a medically-staffed plane to return home.
You will have to deal with language barriers as well as questions about hospital bills.
Travel medical coverage is not available. You may be responsible for all hospital and ambulance expenses, as well as any surgery bills, which could add up to thousands of dollars. A special flight to the hospital could cost you $50,000. This assumes that you have found a reliable medical facility.
Travel medical coverage includes: Call the 24/7 assistance number immediately after receiving immediate care. They will help you find the right hospital and arrange transportation if needed. They can help you overcome language barriers and ensure payment. Even the huge med-flight home is covered.
What is travel medical insurance?
Summary: Travel insurance provides temporary medical coverage that protects you during your trip. It covers emergency medical expenses and evacuations. You also get 24/7 assistance.
Your insurance may not be available for you if you travel outside your country. This means that once you have left your home country, your insurance might not cover you.
Even if your plan covers emergency medical expenses in foreign countries, it will not cover medical evacuation expenses. (more below). You can get an ambulance ride, an airlift to a remote area, or medical transport home following a serious injury.
People who rely on Medicare are also out of luck. Medicare does not cover you abroad.
International Medical Insurance, International Travel Insurance or Worldwide Medical Insurance are all other names for travel insurance.
Organisations that recommend travel insurance
- Center for Disease Control (CDC)– “If you are planning an international trip, you should consider getting travel insurance to cover yourself against accidents or illness while you’re abroad.”
- U.S. Department of State – “The U.S. government doesn’t provide medical insurance for U.S. Citizens overseas. We don’t pay for medical bills. Before you travel, it is a good idea to have insurance.
- World Health Organization– “Travelers are strongly advised to travel with comprehensive travel insurance as a matter of routine. It is important to know that overseas medical care can be expensive and only available at private facilities. Travelers may have to evacuate from certain countries if they are not able to access high-quality medical care.
What is travel medical insurance?
- You plan your trip abroad
- For the dates you travel, you can purchase a travel insurance plan
- That’s all.
There are two options for travel medical coverage.
Option A: You have the option to purchase a standalone Travel Medical Insurance policy. This policy would only cover evacuations, medical emergencies, and assistance services.
Option B. Comprehensive Trip Insurance is available. It covers cancellations but also delays, interruptions and medical emergencies.
(Learn more about the differences between the two plans below.
How about a doctor’s exam?
To purchase travel insurance, you don’t need to have a medical exam. Travel medical insurance is temporary and is issued immediately. Any claims are then investigated. The insurance company will verify that you filed a claim during the policy period.
What is Travel Medical Insurance and how does it differ from Comprehensive Trip Insurance?
Many people aren’t sure which type of travel insurance is right for them.
You can get a plan from your cruise line. A plan is offered by the booking site. You can also get a plan from a travel agent.
There are many names for everything: International insurance, trip insurance, trip insurance, international insurance. Vacation insurance, cruise insurance. Travel medical insurance.
Let’s simplify it.
You have two options: Trip Insurance or Travel Medical Insurance.
What is the difference? That’s also what we’ll explain.
The #1 difference: Travel Medical Insurance is designed to cover medical emergencies. Trip Insurance is focused on cancellation coverage.
A Travel Medical plan focuses on evacuation and emergency medical costs.
It would pay for medical expenses if you have an emergency abroad. You are covered for emergency dental treatment and transport (ambulance, airlift) services.
You will be transported to a hospital or other medical facility if you need it. Repatriation coverage covers you if your body is damaged or lost during your trip.
Trip Insurance covers you for the possibility of losing all your pre-paid funds if you cancel your trip.
Trip Insurance provides coverage for cancellations due to sickness, hurricanes, fires at home, jury duty, job loss, and other circumstances. It also covers cancellations due to unexpected or unforeseen circumstances.
You also get coverage for an interrupted trip, lost or stolen luggage, delay in flight, delayed baggage, medical care, evacuation, and medical.
Most people think of travel insurance as cancellation coverage. They don’t want to lose any money if they cancel.
While travel medical plans may include coverage for baggage damage or interruptions, the coverage limits for Trip Insurance are generally much higher than those of Travel Medical Plans. Therefore, it is not considered primary coverage.
Travel Medical may also offer Accidental Death And Dismemberment (AD&D), and/or term-life benefits. These benefits are paid regardless if you have any insurance back home that covers a covered injury. This coverage can supplement your life insurance and provide additional coverage for your family in case of serious accidents.
2. The difference: Travel medical insurance is more affordable than trip cancellation insurance
Trip Insurance is calculated based on the trip cost you insure. It will cost you more to insure a $10,000 cruise than a $250 flight.
The cost of standalone Travel Medical Insurance is much lower because it doesn’t cover cancellations.
Travel Medical insurance is actually so affordable that people “get it “… they realize it’s an easy decision when traveling abroad.
Prices for medical plans vary based on the length of your trip, age, and coverage amount.
It usually costs only a few dollars per person each day so it is very affordable to obtain emergency medical coverage abroad.
This is a sample pricing chart to help you understand the differences between Trip Insurance and Travel Medical Insurance.
Sample Trip: Two 44-year-old travelers travel abroad for a week. The quote for the Travel Medical plan is for $100,000 in medical coverage. Trip Insurance covers a $3,000 trip, with $100,000 medical coverage.
These prices include 2 people for the whole week.
The Trip Insurance quote would cover cancellations, baggage delays, and more. These plans often cost hundreds of dollars and typically cover 4-10% of the insured trip costs.
Bottom line: You will get travel insurance if you purchase trip insurance that covers your entire trip (cancellation and baggage delays, etc).
You should consider a Travel Medical Insurance plan if you do not want cancellation coverage, and you are planning to leave your country.
What is Travel Medical Insurance?
The following are covered by travel medical insurance. These same coverages are available in Comprehensive Trip Insurance with Cancellation Insurance.
- In the event of an emergency, reimbursement for unplanned medical expenses
- Unexpected dental costs incurred as a result of an accident will be reimbursed.
- You can make advance payments to hospitals and get medical transport if you are hurt.
- Coordinate and pay for emergency medical evacuation services. This includes medical care providers who will attend to you until your reach a suitable medical care facility.
- Accidental death & dismemberment (AD&D), a travel accident benefit, is available to provide care for you and your family in the event that you are seriously injured or even killed while on vacation.
- You can get emergency travel assistance to locate the right medical facility in your area to treat your own medical issues and those of your loved ones.
Here are some examples of emergency medical coverage you might need
- While on a business trip, you get food poisoning.
- A cobblestone road can cause you to trip and fracture a tooth.
- You travel ahead of your church missionary team to arrange housing and in a traffic accident.
- When you travel with your children in another country, you get hurt in a fall.
- Travel medical assistance services are available to assist you in an emergency.
It might be bought by travelers.
These travelers should consider purchasing travel insurance for medical reasons.
- US Citizens going abroad. The typical U.S. health insurance plan does not cover international travel. Therefore, if you are traveling abroad, you will need to have travel medical coverage in case of accidental injuries or illnesses that occur outside of your coverage area.
- Visitors to the US. Family members visiting the US from abroad should have insurance coverage.
- International business travelers. You will need to have some evacuation and medical coverage in case your U.S. health insurance doesn’t cover you if you work overseas.
- Long-term and expat travelers. You should ensure that your health insurance, even Medicare, covers you if you travel outside the United States.
- Foreign aid workers and missionaries. You are not meant to cause harm by traveling because you want to make a difference in the lives of others. You should ensure you are covered in the event of a medical emergency and evacuation to safety.
What are the different types of Travel Medical Plans?
There are three types of travel medical plans:
- Single-trip travel medical is the most common type of coverage. It covers one trip for up to six months. This covers the duration of the vacation and is payable upfront.
- Multi-trip medical coverage – This covers multiple trips, and is often purchased in 3- to 6-month segments.
- Long-term major health – This is continuous medical coverage that covers long-term travelers. It is usually paid monthly. These plans can be renewed.
You would require single-trip Travel Medical Insurance for most trips.
What is the cost of Travel Medical Insurance?
The cost of travel medical insurance is usually very affordable since it does not offer trip cancellation or other benefits like package-like ones.
For a short trip overseas, a typical single-trip travel medical plan will cost between $40 and $80. The premium amount of a travel medical plan depends on:
- The trip length
- The traveler’s age
- Limits on medical and evacuation coverage
Some travel medical plans may cover some package-like benefits. However, most travel medical plans do not cover trip cancellations, trip interruptions, baggage loss, travel delays, or other benefits that are typically associated with packages. For overseas travelers who need medical insurance coverage beyond their home network, travel medical plans can be helpful.
Compare different travel insurance plans
There are two options when it comes to purchasing travel insurance. The best is to compare plans across companies and get quotes before you purchase your plan online.
- Compare plans from all companies: Compare travel insurance plans from all companies, get quotes, and buy online.
- Quote and buy direct: Review the travel insurance companies and plans and purchase directly from the company.
All travel insurance companies include a free look period with a refund that lets you review the plan documentation. You can cancel your policy, or make any changes to it, if you feel you need something different.
FAQs about Travel Medical Insurance
What is the difference between primary and secondary coverage for travel medical insurance?
Prior to any other coverage, primary coverage pays first. This means that you can directly file a claim with your insurance company and they will handle it from there.
Secondary coverage is available after all other insurance has been used. If you have coverage through your home insurance, it would first be used. Then, travel medical would follow.
Your secondary coverage becomes your primary coverage if you don’t have any other insurance.
Primary has the advantage of fewer companies to handle claims.What’s the difference between Travel Medical Insurance and Trip Insurance?
Travel insurance provides coverage for medical emergencies and evacuations.
Trip insurance, also known as Trip Cancellation, or simply Travel Insurance, covers cancellations and interruptions. It also covers baggage delays, medical evacuation, medical treatment, and more.Is it worth buying travel medical insurance?
Absolutely! You might not be covered by your home insurance (Medicare does not), or you may not be covered if you evacuate.
Travel insurance can be purchased separately or as part of a Comprehensive Trip Cancellation Insurance policy if you leave your country.What time should I purchase travel medical insurance?
Travel insurance coverage should be available for anyone who leaves their home country. This could be a Travel Medical plan or a Trip Insurance plan.What time can I purchase travel medical insurance
Travel medical insurance can be purchased up to the day of your departure and even before you plan your first trip.Can I buy travel medical insurance after departure?
It does cover new incidents, however. You cannot purchase travel insurance if you’re on a trip and are in an emergency.What do I do if I have an emergency?
Seek immediate medical attention if possible to avoid further injury. For further assistance, call the insurance company’s 24/7 help line.How can I make a claim for my travel medical insurance?
Contact the claims number as soon possible. They will provide advice about any special procedures.
- The primary focus of travel medical plans is on evacuation and medical coverage
- This plan is usually very affordable because it doesn’t offer many benefits as part of a package.
- For those who travel abroad, this type of coverage is essential to safeguard against financial loss due to illness or injury.