In 2016, 66 million Americans traveled to an international destination – a number that is expected to continue to grow with each subsequent year. Often times when traveling people don’t think about the possibility of a medical emergency, but it could happen at any time. There’s no worse time to get sick or injured than when you’re traveling. It can make the entire experience incredibly unpleasant for you and anyone you’re traveling with as well. If there is an International trip in your future, you may want to consider the option of purchasing International Travel Health Insurance as a safeguard.
There are several different types of travel insurance available to travelers and you should consider all of the options before you make a decision whether or not it’s right for you. For the most part, travel health insurance will be a short-term policy bought for the specific time period in which you would be traveling unlike most health insurance policies. It may even provide you better coverage than your regular insurance policy because the time frame is so short. You can purchase a supplemental international travel health insurance policy, even if your normal insurance carrier provides travel-related benefits.
Insurance providers often offer several types of international travel health insurance, designed to meet your specific situation – whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure. If you’re a business traveler working overseas you’ll need some medical and evacuation coverage as most health insurance plans don’t extend beyond the US. If you’re planning some type of long-term trip, you’ll also want to consider travel insurance especially if you’re visiting multiple countries as it would allow you to have the same coverage no matter where you travel. Missionaries and foreign aid workers like those in the Peace Corps should definitely consider purchasing this coverage to ensure they’re protected in case of a medical emergency or in need of an evacuation. Some travel insurance plans have deductibles and some don’t just like your typical medical insurance, you’ll need to decide which type of plan is right for you.
It’s also important to consider the options based on your destination, depending upon the medical facilities available to you there. If you’re traveling to a country with limited medical facilities maybe in South America or Africa, you may want to add a medical evacuation benefit. Most plans include this, but it would be worth verifying. Maybe you’re visiting somewhere with Socialized Medicine like Canada and you’re thinking your healthcare would be free. However, the same level of care is not provided for visitors to the country, as they’re not citizens who pay for this healthcare.
There are three main types of Travel Medical plans – single trip travel, multi-trip travel, and long-term major medical. Single trip travel is the most commonly purchased type, and will cover you up to six months for a single trip. Single trip travel is paid up front, and will often allow you to be reimbursed for your expenses. Multi-trip travel can be purchased in three, six, and twelve month segments and covers multiple trips. This would likely be a good option for someone traveling frequently for business. The final type, long-term major medical, is continuous coverage for the long term traveler, is paid on a monthly basis typically, and is able to be renewed.
Fortunately for travelers, medical insurance is quite economical and can be added to your trip budget for very little cost to you. Most single-trip costs are around $30-$80 for a relatively short overseas trip though the premium depends on age, length of trip, and coverage limits. If this coverage sounds like a good idea for you, be sure to compare travel insurance plans from all companies, get quotes, and buy online. The other option is to quote and buy directly from an insurance company – though most prefer the comparison as it offers them more options.