Can You Use US Health Insurance in Europe?

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Understanding Health Insurance Coverage Abroad

No, US Health Insurance is Not Typically Valid in Europe

Primary Example:

  • A US citizen with standard health insurance travels to Europe. They fall ill and seek medical attention. Their US health insurance does not cover the expenses, and they must pay out of pocket.

Need for Travel Medical Insurance

  • Travel Medical Insurance: A specific type of policy for international travel. It covers emergencies, illnesses, and accidents abroad.
  • Why Necessary: Standard US health insurance plans often do not provide coverage outside the US. Travel medical insurance ensures healthcare access during international travel.

Benefits of Travel Medical Insurance

  1. Emergency Medical Coverage: For unexpected illnesses or injuries.
  2. Medical Evacuation: If specialized treatment is needed elsewhere.
  3. 24/7 Assistance Services: Help in finding local healthcare providers.

How to Obtain Travel Medical Insurance

  • Before Traveling: Purchase from insurance providers specializing in travel-related policies.
  • Coverage Options: Choose based on the length of stay, destinations, and personal health needs.

Comparison of Standard US Health Insurance and Travel Medical Insurance

FeatureStandard US Health InsuranceTravel Medical Insurance
Coverage AreaPrimarily within the USGlobally, including Europe
Emergency ServicesYes, within the USYes, worldwide
Medical EvacuationRarely coveredOften included
24/7 AssistanceLimitedYes, globally


To ensure healthcare coverage in Europe, US citizens must opt for travel medical insurance, as standard US health insurance is typically not valid outside the US. This specialized insurance provides crucial coverage for medical emergencies and support services, making it an essential component of travel planning.

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Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Shawn Plummer is a licensed financial professional, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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