A Guide on Travel Medical Insurance

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Thinking about buying travel medical insurance? You’ve come to the right place. This guide will explain how the insurance coverage works, and it benefits you internationally. Feel free to compare travel medical insurance quotes in our store. Safe travels!

Find travel insurance here.

Buy Travel Health Insurance

Shop and compare international travel medical insurance for your trip abroad.

What is Travel Medical Insurance?

Travel medical insurance, also known as travel health insurance, is a combination of travel insurance and medical insurance. Medical plans provide coverage for travelers needing temporary health insurance coverage while traveling for business or pleasure anywhere outside the traveler’s home country. Domestic health insurance will not cover medical care or dental expenses while traveling abroad. The comprehensive medical expense coverage is meant to protect the traveler from emergencies and evacuations.

Medical travel insurance is not included in your credit card, so be aware.

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Travel Medical Insurance vs. International Health Insurance?

Travel medical insurance provides medical benefits, dental care, and sometimes vision while visiting abroad for a short period of time, like a vacation or a business trip. International Health Insurance is a health insurance policy for those who live outside their home country for longer than 12 months. The difference between the two is the payment method and the coverage area.

Choose a Travel Insurance Plan

Do I Need Travel Insurance Coverage?

You will need a travel insurance plan in a foreign country. Most domestic medical insurance plans do not cover you once you leave the United States. With that said, if you get sick or have an accident while traveling, your medical bills might not be covered. In some cases, you will not be able to leave the visiting country until the medical bill is fulfilled, consequently not returning home. 

Note: The best health insurance for travel to the USA is called Visitors Insurance.

Emergency medical coverage examples

  • Get injured working abroad.
  • Getting food poisoning eating at a restaurant.
  • Contracting infectious diseases.
  • Toothache while overseas.
  • Going to the Emergency Room.
  • You need an ambulance.

Why You Need Travel Medical Insurance

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What treatments does International Travel Insurance cover?

Medical benefits and medical services in a typical travel medical insurance plan include:

  • Medical Emergencies
  • Hospitalization Room & Board
  • Intensive Care
  • Surgery
  • Physician Visits and Services
  • Radiology
  • Prescriptions
  • Home Nursing Care
  • Emergency
  • Local Ambulance
  • Dental Treatment
  • Emergency Evacuation Coverage
  • Return of Remains for Burial or Cremation
  • Return of Minor Children
  • Political Evacuation
  • Natural Disaster Evacuation
  • Terrorism (Terrorist Incident)
  • Urgent Care Clinic
  • Walk-In Clinic
  • Physical Therapy
  • Emergency Room
  • Hospital Indemnity
  • Accidental Death Coverage
  • Identity Theft
  • Trip Interruption 
  • Lost Luggage and Personal Belongings
  • Bedside Visit
  • Laboratory Work
  • Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy
  • Reconstructive Surgery
  • Anesthesia
  • Chiropractic Care
  • Extended Care Facility
  • Emergency Eye Examination
  • Pet Returns
  • Natural Disasters
  • Trip cancellation
  • Travel delays

Insurance Upgrades

Adventure Sports Rider

For Adrenaline Junkies or Thrill Seekers, you can add supplemental coverage to your travel medical plan, which will protect you from injuries caused by extreme sports.

Evacuation Plus Rider

While your medical travel insurance provides medical evacuation coverage for life-threatening injuries and illness, the Evacuation Plus rider (an upgrade) provides coverage for non-life-threatening injuries and illness for medical evacuations.

Chaperone/Faculty Leader Replacement Rider

If you are a designated chaperone/faculty leader and experience an unexpected death of a relative, a medical emergency, or the destruction of your residence that causes you to cancel or interrupt your travel, this rider covers reimbursement for a round trip economy airline ticket up to $3,000 for a replacement chaperone/faculty leader.

Enhanced Accidental Death & Dismemberment

Additionally, accident health insurance includes an AD&D rider that upgrades your death benefit up to $400,000 in case of an accident.

How much does Travel Health Insurance cost?

Travel health insurance costs can vary on several factors, and the rates change constantly. However, a typical plan can range from as little as $4.31 per person per week and go upwards of $100 for a short trip abroad. The premium amounts are based on:

  • Trip Length
  • Trip cost
  • Traveler’s Age
  • Traveler’s Gender
  • Deductible Amount
  • Medical Coverage Amount

How to Buy Travel Medical Insurance 

When you buy international travel health insurance, there are 3 steps to follow to get coverage:

  1. Get a travel insurance quote from a licensed insurance agent (not a travel agent).
  2. Read the fine print.
  3. Complete the travel medical insurance application.
  4. Receive a Certificate of Insurance.

How to Extend Your Coverage

Within a few weeks before your coverage expires, contact the travel insurance provider to extend the coverage.

Filing a Claim (Step by Step Process)

Step 1: Contact Your Insurance Provider to File a Claim.

This starts the process with the travel insurance company and gets the ball rolling. Great travel insurance companies will provide advice on how to make this inconvenient situation as smooth as possible.

Step 2: Collect Receipts

Since most plans require you to pay upfront for medical expenses, you need to collect all bill receipts for reimbursement. Always ask for a detailed bill as well. Have the service or facility itemize each procedure. Also, make sure the bill and receipt be printed on official letterhead or stamp.

Step 3: Submit Claim Online.

This is the easiest way to record all documentation. Submit receipts via email or mail. Additionally, communicate as much info as possible. These steps will provide a full picture of the occurrence.

Step 4: Monitor Claim.

Finally, monitor the claim closely. Monitor the claim daily to avoid any hold-ups. You might have to submit additional documentation, for instance. After that, the insurer will mail a check. Additionally, you should be provided an Explanation of Benefits (EOB). The EOB details how and what was paid on your claim.

The time you file a claim to the time you collect a reimbursement check could range between 30 – 90 days. For that reason, you should be very diligent in the claim process. Typically, the process takes around 30 days.

Who should buy International Travel Medical Insurance?

Frequently Asked Questions

Which type of insurance is best for international medical insurance?

People traveling outside their home country on a vacation are better suited for travel medical insurance.

International health insurance is the best type of travel insurance for people living outside their home country. International health insurance is more similar to a health insurance policy than a travel insurance policy.

Conclusion

In conclusion, purchasing travel health insurance should be a “must-have” purchase on all international trips. You never know what is going to happen especially if you travel in a remote area.

  • Travel Medical Insurance is for short-term travel like a vacation.
  • International health insurance is for long-term relocation to another country.

Buy Travel Health Insurance

Shop and compare international travel medical insurance for your trip abroad.

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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