I know first-hand how important travel medical insurance is. It's one of those things you hope you never have to use, but when you do, you're glad you've got it.
Even though some employer-sponsored healthcare plans offer some level of insurance protection abroad, travel medical and emergency medical evacuation insurance are both necessary for adequate protection.
Basic plans like Medicare don’t even cover emergencies when you leave the country, and there aren’t many other options available for Americans who travel to any other country, either in North America or overseas. Your best choice is to choose travel medical insurance or a good evacuation insurance policy.
Understanding Travel Medical Insurance
More than 15% of travelers have some kind of medical problem that would require the use of travel medical and emergency medical evacuation insurance. Whether you get private health insurance, original Medicare or the more advanced Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans, your coverage is likely to be minimal when it comes to traveling outside the US.
Travel medical insurance is designed especially for instances when you need to travel outside the country. You purchase it as an extension of your regular healthcare plan, and it helps to pay for foreign medical services for yourself and your family, should they be needed. Emergency transportation and dental care may also be covered, depending on your policy and the country you travel to.
When it comes to the best travel medical and emergency medical evacuation insurance plans, top quality travel insurance policies can offer anything from emergency reunion and medical repatriation to the return of your children in case of a medical emergency, or the cost coverage associated with accidental death and dismemberment.
Travel medical insurance can be somewhat expensive, depending on factors such as age, health problems and the likelihood of visiting a doctor’s office abroad. The cost is anything from $15 to $600 per week, and your payment may be increased if you take part in activities like skydiving, bungee jumping, mountain climbing or snowboarding.
The Importance of Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance
Emergency medical evacuation and transport is covered by some travel plans, although most will not include it. As a result, you might have to pay for it separately, if you want it.
Evacuation insurance ensures repatriation through ground or air transportation or transportation to the nearest adequate clinic or hospital, in the event of an accidental injury or the contracting of disease. Sometimes medical evacuation and repatriation plans will pay for your transportation back to the US, however, the cost can be steep.
What to Consider Before Buying a Travel Plan
Does your travel medical and emergency medical evacuation insurance plan cover overseas care or healthcare for pre-existing conditions? Do they require pre-authorized treatment, and do they support coinsurance payments? These are only a few of the questions you have to ask before buying a good travel plan.
It’s also important to inquire about any exclusions, ask about handling deductibles, and find out as much as possible about the process of filing a claim once you’re back home. Don’t leave unprepared, and remember that you might have to pay upfront for some medical services. Also, it’s important to remember to ask foreign medical doctors for clear copies of bills and medical records, as they will help with your claim later on.
Experts consider travel medical plans to cost up to 17% of a trip’s cost, and most of them will not cover pre-existing conditions, evacuation costs or accidents during high risk activities. So, you will have to pay special care, and consider carefully your specific needs when it comes to travel medical and emergency medical evacuation insurance.
Nate can often be found on ski slopes around Europe in his spare time. Having taken a few tumbles in his time, he knows how important being protected is and enjoys helping other travellers with his advice.