Compare medical travel insurance plans that cover medical expenses if you have an accident or become ill overseas.
While medical coverage is generally covered in most travel insurance policies, travel medical insurance is specifically there to for travelers that have health concerns and could need emergency medical assistance while overseas. Medical travel insurance will generally cover:
- Emergency medical and hospital expenses.
- Medical evacuation services to the closest hospital or to a hospital you choose.
- 24-hour assistance services provide referrals to medical and dental professions in the country and city you’re in.
Travel medical insurance policies are designed to reimburse you for medical bills incurred while traveling.
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What does medical insurance cover?
Travel medical insurance offers coverage for various unforeseen injuries and illnesses that can leave you financially paralyzed if you have a medical emergency. Expenses that are generally covered include:
- The maximum limit for a hospital stay.
- Out-patient medical coverage.
- Intensive care.
- Local ambulance services.
- Emergency room.
- Prescription drugs.
- Treatment of sudden illness if admission to a facility isn’t required.
- Emergency dental treatment and surgical procedures for damaged or lost teeth due to an accident.
- Overnight hospital stays.
- Emergency medical evacuation to the nearest medical facility. You’re also covered for your return trip back to your vacation spot, or back home.
- Any family or friends that were there with you during a medical evacuation is covered for transportation and lodging.
- If you’re not able to finish your trip abroad because of sickness or injury, medical repatriation will cover you for your trip home and to have your treatment continued there. Medical repatriation covers:
- Medical service
- Medical treatment
- Transportation home
- Medical supplies needed for your repatriation
Repatriation of remains means your body will be sent home if you pass away as a result of a medical emergency while traveling.
Can I get additional coverage if I need it?
Most travel medical insurance policies include other optional benefits to protect you from the unexpected while you’re on vacation, including:
- Lost baggage. Provides a benefit for lost, damaged or or stolen luggage and other personal effects.
- Terrorism. Provides coverage if you become injured or ill as a result of an act of terrorism that you weren’t directly involved in.
- Sports and activities. Provides coverage if you’re injured from any activities for leisure, entertainment, recreation or fitness.
- Trip cancellation, delay, or interruption. If you need to return home due to the death of an immediate family member, destruction of your home or if there is a break-in at your home. he cost of a one-way flight or ground transportation back home is covered.
- Pre-existing condition (medical evacuation). Provides coverage if there’s a unexpected recurrence of a pre-existing condition and you need of medical evacuation.
- Accidental death and dismemberment. Offered by most companies as an additional benefit in the event of an accidental death or the loss of a limb during the period of your coverage.
- Stolen passport/visa. Provides coverage in the event that your passport is lost, stolen or damaged.
How does emergency medical evacuation cover work?
Emergency medical evacuation, or medevac, provides transportation from one hospital to the next if you’re injured or sick. Medevac is only provided for covered injuries and illness if the transferring hospital doesn’t offer the course of treatment needed for proper care and recovery. Medical evacuation also covers transportation back to your home country if you need more treatment.
- Medical evacuation coverage is ideal if you are traveling to a country or region where the medical treatment is scarce or not of a high standard.
- Evacuation to the nearest facility or a hospital of your choice in your home country.
- Repatriation back to your home country.
- Emergency reunion with a family member or friend.
- Luggage lost while you are ill or injured.
Pre-existing medical conditions
A pre-existing condition is defined by most insurance companies as a diagnosed medical condition or illness that hasn’t been stable for a period of time with symptoms only able to be managed, not cured. You have to show the insurance company proof that you have been diagnosed with a condition in order to qualify.
Can I get medical coverage if I have a pre-existing medical condition?
Getting coverage for a pre-existing condition can be a hassle. Most travel insurance companies don’t want to cover medical conditions that you already have. However, there are some policies that offer what is known as a pre-existing condition waiver, which is included as an additional benefit when purchased within a specified time frame.
How does the pre-existing waiver work?
A waiver provides coverage for you pre-existing condition if your condition relapses or recurs and causes you to interrupt your trip. When you make your claim, the insurance company will go over your medical records to determine when the medical condition started. This review is known as a look-back period — most insurance company will go as far back as 180 days.
What’s not covered?
Before purchasing a travel medical insurance policy, be aware that there are some conditions and instances that you won’t be covered for. Typical exclusions are:
- Loss, illness or injury suffered while participating in an unlawful act.
- Loss due to psychological, mental or nervous disorders, including anxiety, psychosis, depression or neurosis.
- Injury from extreme high-risk sports like scuba-diving, skydiving, skiing and bungee jumping.
- The cost of a trip that was designated to receive medical treatment outside of your home country, also known as medical tourism.
- Loss due to pregnancy (except complications caused by pregnancy), AIDS, abortion or venereal disease.
- Travel medical insurance will also not provide coverage for childbirth, artificial insemination, birth control, sterilization or reversal of the procedure or treatment for impotency or infertility.
- Routine physical exams and immunizations.
- Joint treatment, unless expressly stated in your certificate of insurance.
- Elective surgeries or treatment, experimental, or investigational procedures for research.