What to Know About Medical Travel Insurance

Travel health Insurance is the most secure way to travel.  According to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention, half of the American tourists heading to another country will experience a health problem of some sort while they are gone. Most American insurance companies do not provide health insurance coverage for their policyholders when they are outside of the United States. Those companies that do pay out-of-country medical expenses usually limit the amount they will pay.

When planning any type of vacation, travel health insurance might be a wise investment. For those travelers who are frequently abroad, international health insurance may be the better option.

What is Travel Health Insurance?

Many people have never heard of travel health insurance, or know the benefits that come along with it. Travel health insurance provides American citizens with health insurance while they travel. It may also help cover expenses for canceled flights, lost baggage, and vacation interruptions or delays. In extreme cases, travel health insurance can provide medical evacuation back to the United States, when local medical care is not adequate.

American consulates can provide some assistance in getting Americans medical treatment in other countries, but will not cover the actual expenses incurred.

Many Americans realize the importance of having medical insurance at home, but don’t ever think about getting sick or injured while on vacation. The reassurance of temporary health insurance while traveling can make a vacation more enjoyable. The added security of knowing that help is available if problems were to arise can really ease a persons mind.

Pick a Plan

Like any other type of insurance, travel health insurance can be custom-fit to suit each traveler’s needs. Several companies offer comprehensive travel insurance that covers a wide variety of incidents. Some companies offer only health insurance. A good insurance provider will help determine the best available package based on the length and type of trip being taken.

Basic travel health insurance covers medical bills acquired in foreign countries. These expenses can come from illnesses or injuries. In many cases, travel health insurance can help cover the cost of emergency transportation to the hospital, as well as hotel accommodations for family members of the injured.

Sometimes a foreign country does not have the medical technology needed to properly treat an injury or illness. In cases such as these, travel health insurance can pay to have the insured evacuated back to the United States. Without short-term health insurance, evacuations can cost close to $20,000, depending on the country the person is being evacuated from.

Comprehensive travel insurance can include much more than hospital bills and evacuations. Some of the extended features can include reimbursements of non-refundable payments for trips that have to be canceled or interrupted, expenses incurred due to delayed flights, and help in tracking down lost luggage.

The extensive options for travel insurance can offer many choices for people to consider before taking their trips. For some, the basic short-term health insurance will be enough. For others, a comprehensive plan may be the way to go. Either way, there is usually something that will be just right for any kind of traveler.

Travel Health Insurance Rates

There are plenty of travel health insurance companies to be found online. These companies make it easy to get health insurance coverage details and travel insurance quotes by putting the information right on their websites. Travel agencies can also offer information on companies that provide travel insurance. Finally, some employees’ regular health insurance companies can provide travel insurance to them at discounted rates. Any and all of these places are worth checking in to when considering purchasing temporary health insurance.

Most insurance companies are going to base their rates on the length and cost of the trip. Age can also be a factor. A person taking a weekend trip to Mexico can expect a much lower rate than someone taking a week long cruise through the Mediterranean. A parent can expect a higher rate than their children will be charged, etc.

When to Buy International Health Insurance

Travel insurance is temporary and best suited for short trips. Someone who is planning on spending a significant time in another country should look into international health insurance. This type of health insurance covers a person both in and outside of the United States, and for up to a year at a time.

Since travel insurance is based on the length of time to be spent in another country, international insurance is often a much cheaper option for those who are going somewhere for a long period of time. International insurance is most helpful for people who are studying or working overseas, but maintain citizenship in the United States.


Looking for travel health insurance can be an enjoyable experience. Like any aspect of preparing for trip, insurance shopping is just another opportunity to get excited about what is to come. Yet, many people don’t want to think about bad things happening on their vacations. Being prepared is not something that should just be left to boy scouts.

Being able to seek medical treatment while in another country, without having to worry about the cost, can save a lot of worry and fear if something does happen on a trip.

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