What Is Travel Insurance Medical Coverage? (2024)

Types of travel medical insurance coverage

The two most common types of travel insurance to purchase for medical coverage are comprehensive plans and medical-specific plans. Each covers medical-related costs differently.

Comprehensive travel insurance: With a comprehensive travel insurance plan, travelers will have travel medical coverage as a part of their coverage. If you experience an unexpected illness or injury during your trip, you may file a claim for covered medical and dental expenses. The policy may also offer coverage for the following if you experience a covered medical issue: trip cancellation or interruption, emergency evacuation, and accidental death. Coverage will vary by plan, so be sure to check yours for the specifics.

Medical travel insurance: Medical travel insurance plans are designed specifically to cover gaps in your primary health insurance while you're travelling internationally. While they can cover certain medical costs, they don't offer travel-related coverage options.

Learn more about how travel insurance plans work.

What is emergency medical evacuation insurance?

If you get sick or injured during your trip, emergency medical evacuation insurance can help provide transport assistance to a medical facility suitably equipped to treat you, if your physician deems necessary. Standalone medical evacuation plans are available, but this coverage may also be available through comprehensive and travel medical insurance plans.

Most companies that offer emergency medical evacuation insurance cover the cost to transport you to the nearest adequate facility. But some plans available from Progressive travel insurance through InsureMyTrip may offer a benefit that lets you choose which hospital you go to, possibly for an additional cost. This is known as a "hospital of choice" benefit, and availability ranges by plan.

Is treatment for pre-existing conditions covered?

Treatment for stable pre-existing conditions isn't automatically covered by travel insurance. Emergency medical coverage is automatically included on all comprehensive travel insurance plans. This emergency medical coverage can work in conjunction with your health insurance, or in place of it, to help reimburse the cost of emergency medical care while traveling.

The majority of comprehensive travel insurance plans will also cover pre-existing medical conditions at no additional charge if you qualify for and obtain a pre-existing medical conditions waiver. This waiver prevents the insurer from considering your recent medical history when evaluating a claim. Without the waiver, the insurance company may look back in your recent medical records and use any relevant information to deny your claim. If you're concerned about pre-existing conditions, ask about a medical conditions waiver before purchasing travel insurance.

Does travel insurance cover cancellation due to illness?

Trip cancellation and trip interruption, even for medical reasons, is typically only covered by comprehensive travel insurance plans. If you're concerned about an illness causing you to cancel your trip or cut it short, consider a comprehensive plan with trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage. For the most cancellation flexibility, consider the optional cancel for any reason (CFAR) coverage option. However, this benefit is time-sensitive and has other eligibility requirements, so not all travelers will qualify.

Do I need to purchase a new plan every time I travel?

Some medical travel insurance and emergency medical evacuation insurance policies from InsureMyTrip include annual plan options covering multiple trips so you don't have to buy a new plan every time you travel. Comprehensive plans from InsureMyTrip are only available per trip.

How to file a medical travel insurance claim

If you need to file a claim because you experience an illness or injury on your trip, call the plan provider before receiving treatment or a medical evacuation. If you're unable to contact your insurer immediately, be sure to call as soon as possible. Otherwise, the insurance company may deny your claim.

When you file your claim with the insurance company, you'll need to provide documentation of your illness or injuries, the treatment you received, and how much it cost. Be sure to get copies of your records before leaving your treatment facility, as it can be difficult to get records from a foreign country after you return home. If you need to be evacuated to receive adequate medical care, your insurance company must approve the evacuation and will likely arrange the transport.

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What Is Travel Insurance Medical Coverage? (2024)


What does travel insurance cover for medical? ›

Medical Expense Coverage will cover you for accidents and emergency medical and dental care when you travel abroad. Even if you are covered for basic emergency care overseas (again, a big IF), your current health insurance provider will almost certainly NOT pay to evacuate you and repatriate you back to the U.S.

Do you really need travel health insurance? ›

Travel health insurance is especially important if you have an existing health condition, are traveling for more than 6 months, or doing adventure activities such as scuba diving or hang gliding. Check if your current health care covers emergencies that happen while traveling.

What is the average cost of travel medical insurance? ›

The average cost of a standard travel insurance policy is $221, according to research conducted by the MarketWatch Guides team. However, the destination, number of travelers, trip price and more can affect the exact cost of a policy.

What is not covered by travel insurance? ›

Reasonably foreseeable events. Known storms, epidemics, acts of war. Travel restrictions imposed by government authorities. Pre-existing conditions, unless the Premium plan is bought within the window for coverage.

Can you buy just medical travel insurance? ›

Travel medical insurance is offered either as part of comprehensive travel insurance plans, or may be purchased as a stand-alone plan. If you have a comprehensive plan, you may also be covered by other travel-related coverages, such as trip cancellation or interruption.

What is the difference between travel insurance and medical travel insurance? ›

International health insurance is designed to provide a comprehensive level of health care to those relocating from their home country for a sustained period of time, whereas travel insurance provides cover for emergency treatment while you are in another country for a shorter space of time.

What is the best medical travel insurance? ›

Based on our comprehensive review, the companies offering the best travel medical insurance are Faye, IMG, Travelex, AIG Travel Guard and Allianz. Travel medical insurance is a specialized type of coverage that helps pay for medical bills and emergency evacuations if you're hurt or become sick while traveling.

What happens if you have a medical emergency abroad? ›

The nearest US embassy or consulate can help travelers locate medical services and notify your friends, family, or employer of an emergency. They are available for emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, overseas and in Washington, DC (888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444).

Do credit cards come with travel insurance? ›

While it would be ideal if all credit cards provided travel insurance benefits, this simply isn't the case. Travel rewards credit cards often offer insurance, though coverage limits and types of protections vary by card. You'll generally see the highest levels of coverage with high-annual-fee travel credit cards.

Does my health insurance cover me when I travel internationally? ›

U.S. health insurance plans typically do not cover regular and routine medical care required overseas. This means your health insurance won't pay for care if you need to visit a doctor for a prescription medicine, or if you need treatment for a condition that is not considered an emergency.

Is 100000 medical travel insurance enough? ›

Every plan is different, but the coverage amounts and benefits may vary. Determine how much you really need. For example, SquareMouth recommends international travelers get around $50,000 in Emergency Medical coverage and $100,000 for cruises or travel to remote areas.

Is 250000 enough for medical travel insurance? ›

If you read any of our other articles, you'll remember that we always offer a simple recommendation for Medical Insurance. Overseas travelers should have these minimum levels of protection: Medical Insurance Coverage - $100,000. Medical Evacuation Coverage - $250,000.

Does travel insurance cover doctor visits? ›

Medical expenses and emergency evacuation

If you travel within the U.S., your health insurance should cover any illness or injury you sustain. If you're traveling abroad, though, your plan may provide little or no coverage. The right travel insurance should cover doctors' fees and hospital bills, Durazo said.

When should I buy travel insurance? ›

If you're wondering when you should buy travel insurance, the simple answer is as soon as possible. Ideally, you'll buy coverage no later than 15 days prior to your trip.

Does AARP offer international travel insurance? ›

While there are no AARP travel insurance products or discounts available for seniors, members can use the AARP website for trips and tricks on how to plan for international travel and information regarding how to choose the right insurance plan for older travelers.

How does travel insurance work if you get sick? ›

You will usually receive reimbursem*nt if your trip is cancelled for: unexpected illness or injury of you or a traveling companion that deems you unfit to travel; hospitalization or death of non-traveling family member; weather or common carrier issues; unforeseen natural disaster at home or the destination; a legal ...

Is 50000 enough medical travel insurance? ›

Every plan is different, but the coverage amounts and benefits may vary. Determine how much you really need. For example, SquareMouth recommends international travelers get around $50,000 in Emergency Medical coverage and $100,000 for cruises or travel to remote areas.

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