Answers to your main questions about travel medical insurance | Business Insurance

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What exactly is the type of protection that travel medical insurance provides? In this article, insurance business explains how these policies work and what their benefits are by answering the top seven questions American travelers have with this type of coverage.

1. What does travel medical insurance cover?

Travel medical insurance helps cover the cost of emergency medical expenses while traveling. Follow a reimbursement-based model and pay up to plan limits. Policies come in two forms: stand-alone travel medical insurance, which can be purchased separately but often excludes trip interruption and lost baggage coverage, and emergency medical insurance as part of a comprehensive policy, which offers a wider range of protection.

Coverage varies among insurance providers, but generally includes the following:

  • Emergency medical bills: These include all hospital expenses related to the illness or injury. According to travel insurance marketplace InsureMyTrip, coverage starts at $50,000 and can exceed $2 million.
  • Emergency dental expenses: Visits to the dentist and other dental procedures may also be covered, with limits ranging from $100 to $500. In some cases, the costs may be included in general medical expenses.
  • Medical Evacuation – Commonly the most expensive bill, this includes the cost of transporting a patient to a medical facility. Evacuation, however, must be ordered by a doctor to be covered by insurance. Limits start at $500,000. Some insurers offer unlimited coverage.
  • Accidental death or dismemberment: Policies include coverage for repatriation expenses, usually capped at $50,000.
  • 24-hour emergency assistance: Insurers, through their emergency assistance line, help policyholders find a doctor, especially if a language barrier hinders emergency medical efforts.
  • Trip Interruption – Often included only in comprehensive travel insurance policies, this pays for costs incurred if a trip is interrupted due to illness or injury. The maximum limit can reach $10,000, according to data from InsureMyTrip.
  • Lost Baggage: Mostly excluded from stand-alone travel medical insurance, coverage to replace lost or delayed baggage is capped at $1,000. There is also a monetary limit for each item in luggage.
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Injuries due to alcohol and drug abuse, and those resulting from extreme sports or activities are often excluded from coverage. Pre-existing conditions may also not be covered, but travelers may be eligible for an exemption, depending on when the travel policy was purchased.

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2. Is it worth taking out travel medical insurance?

A common reason many American travelers put off getting emergency medical insurance is the belief that it’s an unnecessary expense, especially if they already have health insurance. However, experts say that many of these health plans, including Medicare, provide little or no coverage outside the country.

“Domestic health plans are generally not accepted outside of the US, so it is especially important to obtain travel insurance with medical coverage and emergency medical transportation when traveling abroad,” Durazo said. “If you get sick or injured while traveling, these benefits can cover your medical costs, including doctors’ fees and hospital costs.”

“Overseas medical bills and costly evacuations can be financially devastating for uninsured travelers,” he added.

3. Does travel medical insurance cover expenses related to COVID-19?

Unlike at the start of the pandemic, when COVID-19 coverage was rare, travel insurance providers have since stepped up their game and started offering protection against coronavirus-related medical expenses. But not all insurers do this, so it’s important for travelers to check what level of COVID-19 coverage a policy provides before buying.

Coronavirus medical coverage will generally be within the plan’s travel medical insurance limits and pays for costs associated with contracting COVID-19 while traveling, including hospitalization, medical fees, and medications.

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4. How much does travel medical insurance cost?

There are several factors that affect the cost of travel medical insurance, including the age of the traveler, the destination country, the length of the trip, and the level of coverage.

insurance business did a quick search for travel medical coverage for a two-week stay in the Bahamas worth $3,000 for a 30-year-old tourist from Texas on the InsureMyTrip quote aggregator and found the cost of policies ranged from $ 14.14 and $188. When she switched to a comprehensive plan, the premiums ranged from $64 to $244.67. These policies cover a trip from June 17 to 30, 2022.

5. How much travel medical insurance coverage do you need?

Ideally, the travel medical insurance payout should be enough to cover the cost of treatment should the policyholder undergo an emergency procedure and the cost of a medical evacuation should they be airlifted to a safe place.

According to Forbes Advisor, good plans provide at least $100,000 in coverage for medical expenses and $250,000 for emergency evacuation.

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6. When is the right time to buy travel medical insurance?

The consumer financial advice website added that it’s best to purchase travel medical insurance within the first two weeks of paying your first travel deposit, as it gives policyholders access to a pre-existing medical condition exclusion waiver.

Travelers, however, can still avail of travel insurance until the last minute, although they may not be able to access some core coverage features.

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7. How can you choose the right travel medical insurance plan that suits your needs?

Deciding on the best policy depends on the traveler’s personal situation and any additional protection they may already have. Tourists can choose from a variety of policies to suit the type of trip or coverage required.

Depending on the plan, travelers can choose between primary and secondary coverage. Primary medical plans pay before any other health insurance the policyholder has, while secondary policies allow a person’s other health insurance plans to pay first.

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Vacationers can also benefit from a single trip or multiple trip policy, depending on how far they travel.

“Single trip coverage begins when you leave your home and travel to your destination (or destinations) and ends when you return home. The plan covers you for the duration of your trip,” explained Forbes Advisor. “Also known as annual travel insurance, [multi-trip travel medical insurance] It covers you for one calendar year and is good for travelers who take three or more trips per year.”