How to Get Health Insurance When Traveling

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Knowing what health insurance options are available is essential if you plan to travel outside of your country. Usually, your regular health insurance plan will not cover you when traveling abroad. This can leave you with a massive bill if something happens and you need medical attention. This guide will discuss the best ways to get health insurance when traveling. We’ll also provide tips for ensuring your trip goes as smoothly as possible!

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Health insurance for traveling abroad

If you’re planning a trip outside the United States, it’s crucial to consider purchasing travel health insurance. Most domestic health insurance policies do not provide coverage outside the country, which means you could be left without coverage if you experience a medical emergency while traveling. Travel health insurance typically covers medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation, and other travel-related issues such as trip cancellation or interruption.

Does Medicaid Cover International Travel

Types of travel Health insurance

Different types of travel health insurance policies are available depending on the type and duration of your trip. For example, single-trip policies cover one specific trip, while annual policies cover multiple trips over one year. There are also policies specifically designed for seniors or adventure sports enthusiasts.

How to choose a travel health insurance policy

When choosing a travel health insurance policy, it’s essential to consider the following factors: coverage limits, deductibles, pre-existing conditions, and exclusions. Read the policy carefully and understand what is covered and what is not. Also, compare policies from different providers to find the best deal for your needs.

Medicare and travel health insurance

If you’re a Medicare recipient, you may wonder if your health insurance covers you while traveling abroad. The answer is, unfortunately, no. Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) does not cover medical expenses outside the United States, with a few exceptions.

Exceptions to Medicare coverage outside the United States

Medicare may cover medical services received on a cruise ship if the ship is in U.S. territorial waters or within six hours of a U.S. port. Medicare may also cover emergency medical care received in Canada if the closest hospital is in Canada and the medical emergency is considered life-threatening.

Options for Medicare recipients traveling abroad

If you’re a Medicare recipient planning to travel abroad, you can consider purchasing a Medicare Supplement plan (Medigap) or a Medicare Advantage plan with travel coverage. These plans cover medical expenses incurred outside the United States, but you should check the policy carefully to understand what is covered and what is not.

Medicaid Travel Insurance

Medicaid and travel health insurance

Medicaid is a state-run program that provides healthcare coverage to low-income individuals and families. If you’re covered by Medicaid and planning to travel outside the United States, you may wonder if your coverage applies overseas.

Medicaid coverage outside the United States

Medicaid generally does not cover medical expenses incurred outside the United States. However, some states may provide limited coverage for emergency medical care in Canada or Mexico.

Options for Medicaid recipients traveling abroad

If you’re a Medicaid recipient planning to travel outside the United States, you may be able to purchase travel health insurance from a private insurance company. Unfortunately, Medicaid does not cover these policies, but you may be eligible for financial assistance to help pay for the premium.

Other considerations for travel health insurance

Pre-existing conditions

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, checking if your travel health insurance policy covers it is essential. Some policies exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions, while others provide coverage with specific limitations or additional premiums. Remember to disclose all pre-existing conditions when purchasing your policy and read the policy carefully to understand the coverage limitations.

Adventure sports coverage

If you plan to engage in adventure sports such as skiing, scuba diving, or rock climbing, ensure your travel health insurance covers these activities. Some policies may exclude coverage for adventure sports or have additional premiums for these activities.

Trip cancellation or interruption coverage

In addition to medical coverage, some travel health insurance policies cover trip cancellation or interruption due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness, injury, or natural disasters. Read the policy carefully to understand the coverage limits and exclusions.

Does your health insurance company cover you when traveling abroad?

When planning a trip abroad, the last thing you want to worry about is whether your health insurance will cover you in an emergency. Unfortunately, many insurance companies do not cover medical expenses outside the United States. However, you can take a few steps to protect yourself.

First, check with your health insurance provider to see if they offer travel insurance. If not, several private companies provide travel insurance policies that will cover you in case of an accident or illness. Another option is to purchase a policy that offers coverage for medical evacuation. This policy will cover the cost of returning you to the United States if you become sick or injured abroad. With a little bit of planning, you can ensure you are covered in an emergency while traveling.

Why you need international health insurance while traveling abroad

While most people think of travel insurance as covering lost baggage or canceled flights, international health insurance is a vital form of protection for anyone traveling outside their home country.

Even if you are healthy and have comprehensive health insurance at home, your policy is unlikely to provide coverage while you are abroad. This is because most health insurance policies have what is known as a geo-restrictive clause, which limits coverage to medical treatment within the geographic boundaries of the country where the policy was purchased. As a result, if you become ill or injured while traveling outside your home country, you will likely be responsible for the total cost of your medical treatment.

International health insurance can help bridge this gap by providing coverage for medical emergencies while you are abroad. In addition, international health insurance can also provide access to a network of English-speaking doctors and hospitals, which can be invaluable if you find yourself in an unfamiliar place. For these reasons, international health insurance is an essential form of protection for anyone who plans to travel outside their home country.

What is travel emergency insurance? (emergency medical insurance)

Travel emergency insurance is a type of insurance that provides coverage for emergency medical expenses while traveling. It is important to note that this coverage is not the same as health insurance, which typically does not provide coverage outside the policyholder’s home country.

Travel emergency insurance can be purchased as a standalone policy or as an addition to a travel insurance policy. It is essential to carefully read the terms and conditions of any policy before purchase, as there can be significant variations in coverage levels and exclusions. Some policies may also cover other emergencies like lost luggage or trip cancellation. Travel emergency insurance can provide peace of mind and financial protection in an emergency.

Is it worth it to get travel health insurance?

When planning a trip abroad, you may wonder if getting travel health insurance is worth it. After all, most people don’t get sick while on vacation. However, several reasons why it’s wise to purchase travel health insurance.

First of all, medical care can be costly in some countries. If you were to get sick or have an accident while on vacation, travel health insurance would help cover the cost of your medical bills.

Additionally, travel health insurance can cover lost luggage and missed flights. So, if your bags are lost, or you miss your flight home due to an illness, you won’t be stranded without any way to get back home.

Finally, travel health insurance can give you peace of mind while on vacation. Knowing you’re covered in an emergency can help you relax and enjoy your trip. So, while there’s no guarantee that you’ll need it, travel health insurance is always worth the investment.

Do I need additional medical insurance when traveling abroad?

When planning a trip abroad, it’s essential to consider your health and safety. While your regular health insurance may cover you in an emergency, it’s important to remember that many insurance policies don’t extend coverage to foreign countries. That’s why purchasing travel medical insurance before leaving on your trip is a good idea.

Travel medical insurance will cover you if you need medical care while overseas. It can also provide evacuation coverage if you must be transported to a nearby country for treatment. In addition, travel medical insurance can give you peace of mind knowing that you’re covered in case of an emergency.

So before you pack your bags and head off on your next adventure, purchase travel medical insurance.

How does health insurance work when traveling abroad?

One benefit of health insurance is providing coverage when you travel abroad. However, some things to remember when using your health insurance while traveling.

First, check with your insurer to see if they provide coverage outside your home country. Some policies only cover emergency medical expenses, while others may provide comprehensive coverage.

Second, determine what type of documentation you need to submit a claim. In most cases, you must submit a copy of your passport and travel itinerary.

Finally, be aware of any exclusions or limitations to your policy. For example, some policies exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions or elective procedures. Understanding how your health insurance works when traveling abroad can prepare you for any eventuality.

Next Steps

Now that you understand the importance of having health insurance when traveling, it’s time to find a plan that fits your needs. We’ve provided some tips for finding the best travel health insurance and information about how to claim if something goes wrong. Don’t leave home without travel health insurance! If you have any questions or need help getting a quote, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help make your next trip worry-free.

Health Insurance When Traveling

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is hotel booking protection?

Hotel booking protection is a service that helps protect your reservation in an emergency. You can typically cancel your reservation for a small fee without penalties. Hotel booking protection can also cover expenses like lost baggage or medical emergencies.

Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Me internationally?

BCBS’s travel insurance company, GeoBlue, offers comprehensive coverage for international travel and additional benefits such as trip interruption and lost baggage.

Can I use my health insurance in another state?

If you have health insurance through your employer, the chances are good that your coverage will extend to other states.

How much does international health insurance cost?

The cost of international health insurance varies depending on several factors, including the country you are visiting, the length of your stay, and the level of coverage you need. In addition, some policies may have a deductible or co-payments that you will need to pay in the event of an accident or illness.

Why do we need travel health insurance?

Your regular health insurance may not cover you if you travel outside your home country. If traveling to a remote or dangerous location, your health insurance may not cover evacuation or rescue costs.

Do I need travel health insurance in Europe?  

Yes. Standard health insurance plans will not provide coverage while you’re abroad in Europe.

*Disclosure: Some of the links in this guide may be affiliate links. I may receive a commission at no cost to you if you purchase a policy. It helps us keep the lights on!

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

I’m a licensed financial professional focusing on annuities and insurance for more than a decade. My former role was training financial advisors, including for a Fortune Global 500 insurance company. I’ve been featured in Time Magazine, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, Entrepreneur, Bloomberg, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, and Women’s Health Magazine.

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

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