June 24, 2024
Best Travel Insurance For Medicals

Medical insurance for travel covers expenses related to care for medical and dental emergencies that occur during insured trips, and it’s typically available in single- and multi-trip options. Medical coverage is included with most travel insurance plans, yet some companies also offer this option as a stand-alone policy.


Along with paying for medical visits, necessary testing and ambulance rides, travel medical coverage usually includes medical evacuation and repatriation costs. However, unlike regular health insurance, it doesn’t pay for routine care.


Travel medical coverage limits vary by insurer, plan, and medical services and depend on the traveler’s age. Insurance plans typically set a per-person limit for emergency medical coverage ranging from $50,000 to $500,000. The limit for medical evacuation coverage, on the other hand, tends to go up to $2 million. Most insurers allow you to choose from different medical coverage limit options, but services like medication, dental care and ambulance rides may have separate limits.


Most insurance companies allow you to choose your deductible amount and some even offer no-deductible options, albeit at a higher price point. After you meet your deductible, your travel insurer should cover eligible medical costs up to the limits specified in your policy.


You may still be responsible for a copayment for doctor visits and have to pay for expenses that exceed your coverage limits.


Standard health coverage

The best travel insurance companies offer plans that pay for various standard healthcare services. These include doctor visits for illnesses and injuries, emergency dental services, lab work, X-rays and necessary medications. Some plans also pay for physical therapy visits necessitated by a condition that develops while traveling and cover telemedicine visits abroad.

Travel health insurance plans normally don’t cover routine care. This includes physical exams, dental checkups and cleanings, vaccinations, doctor visits for managing existing conditions, pregnancy care and medication refills.


Plus, coverage usually doesn’t apply to health services needed due to substance use, self-harm or participation in dangerous or illegal activities. However, some plans can be augmented with add-ons that cover risky recreational activities such as surfing and snowboarding.


Emergency medical care

Even basic travel medical insurance policies cover necessary treatment for emergencies such as heart attacks, broken bones, breathing problems and severed limbs or fingers at foreign hospitals. Some examples of covered costs include hospital stays, anesthesia, surgeries and diagnostic services.


Emergency medical travel insurance generally also includes interpretation services for arranging care. The insurer should have a 24/7 helpline where you can speak with a representative in English and advice on how to get to a medical facility and communicate your medical emergency to hospital staff. Plus, a service representative may call and check on your status while you receive treatment and contact relatives back home if needed.


Emergency evacuations

The emergency evacuation component of travel medical insurance pays for you to travel to the closest medical facility that can treat your specific emergency. This not only includes a regular ambulance ride but also emergency air transport if needed. The coverage may allow for a companion to travel and join you if you find yourself in the hospital for an extended time, too.

Travel medical insurance costs

The cost of travel medical insurance depends on factors such as your age, the length of your trip and the plan’s coverage limits and deductible. Typically, plans start out at a few dollars per day per traveler and go up depending on the plan’s features and coverage level. Travel insurance companies provide quote tools on their websites to help you estimate the cost of coverage.


Similar to regular health insurance premiums, the cost of travel medical policies runs lower for younger applicants and those who opt for a higher deductible or choose a plan with lower coverage limits.


And since the duration of the trip also influences the price of coverage, a one-week trip will be much more affordable than a month abroad. You’ll also find more affordable coverage if you don’t have pre-existing conditions or plan to participate in risky activities. Cancel-for-any-reason travel insurance policies usually cost more as well.


When setting a budget for travel medical insurance, weigh the features of a cheaper plan against the risk of incurring higher out-of-pocket costs due to coverage limits or exclusions. Buying a slightly more affordable plan might not make sense if you must meet a high deductible to receive treatment.


As with any insurance product, it pays to shop around and compare plans from different insurers to find the best deal for the coverage you want. Just choose a trustworthy insurer rather than go by price alone.


Travel medical insurance pros and cons

While it does add to your travel costs, medical-only travel insurance offers useful benefits that can provide you peace of mind and help you reduce potential medical expenses so you can better enjoy your vacation. Nevertheless, there are exclusions and out-of-pocket expenses you should be aware of before purchasing coverage.



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