The Ultimate Travel Medical Insurance Guide - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

The Ultimate Travel Medical Insurance Guide

travel medical insurance
Originally posted on The Annuity Expert

What is travel medical insurance?

Travel medical insurance is for travelers (individual, families, and groups) who need temporary health insurance while traveling for business or pleasure anywhere outside their home country.


In other words, your domestic health insurance will not cover your medical or dental expenses while traveling abroad.


The coverage is meant to protect you from medical emergencies and evacuations.






Travel medical insurance is also known as:

International Medical Insurance

Visitors Insurance

International Health Insurance

Travel Insurance

International Travel Medical Insurance

Foreign Travel Insurance

Travel Health Insurance




Is travel health insurance the same as health insurance?

Travel medical insurance covers medical, dental, and sometimes vision while abroad.

The difference between the two is the payment method and the coverage area.

Travel medical insurance typically requires a reimbursement payment method while health insurance does not.

Travel medical insurance is coverage for traveling internationally while health insurance is for domestic travel.




Do I need travel medical insurance?

Most domestic medical insurance plans do not cover you once you leave the United States.


With that said, if you get sick or have an accident while traveling, you might not be covered.


In some cases, you will not be able to leave the visiting country until the medical bill is fulfilled consequently not returning home.



Emergency medical coverage examples

    • Get injured traveling abroad.

    • Getting food poisoning eating at a restaurant.

    • Toothache while overseas.

    • Going to the Emergency Room.

    • You need an ambulance.



How Travel Medical Insurance Works


What treatments does international travel medical insurance cover?

    • Medical Emergencies

    • Hospitalization Room & Board

    • Intensive Care

    • Surgery

    • Physician Visits and Services

    • Radiology

    • Prescriptions

    • Home Nursing Care

    • Emergency Local Ambulance

    • Dental Treatment

    • Emergency Evacuations

    • Return of Remains for Burial or Cremation

    • Return of Minor Children

    • Political Evacuation

    • Natural Disaster Evacuation

    • Terrorism

    • Urgent Care Clinic

    • Walk-In Clinic

    • Physical Therapy

    • Emergency Room

    • Hospital Indemnity

    • Accidental Death

    • Identity Theft

    • Trip Interruption

    • Lost Luggage

    • Bedside Visit

    • Laboratory Work

    • Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy

    • Reconstructive Surgery

    • Anesthesia

    • Chiropractic Care

    • Extended Care Facility

    • Emergency Eye Examination

    • Pet Returns

    • Natural Disasters



What does trip insurance cover?

    • Trip Cancellation

    • Trip Delays

    • Baggage Coverage (Delayed, Lost, Damaged, or Stolen)

    • Emergency Medical and Evacuation Coverage




How much does a night in a hospital cost?

To put into perspective, a typical night in a hospitalin the United States can cost you $2,424 (2017 Stats).




What types of travel medical insurance plans are available?


U.S. Residents Traveling Abroad (Short Term)


Expats Living Broad (Long Term)


Students Studying Abroad


Mission Trips and Volunteer Work


Travel Medical Insurance for Seniors (Age 65+)


Travel Medical Insurance for Marine Professionals


Visitors Insurance for Travelers Coming to the United States


Visitors Insurance for Seniors (Ages 65+) Visiting the United States




How much does travel medical insurance cost?

    • The cost can vary on several factors, and the rates change constantly.

    • A typical plan can range from as little as $4.31 per person, per week and go upwards of $100 for a short trip abroad.

    • The premium amounts are based on

      • Trip Length

      • Traveler’s Age

      • Traveler’s Gender

      • Deductible Amount

      • Medical Coverage Amount



What is the best company for international medical insurance?

I recommend IMG Travel Medical Plans for the following reasons:


    • Cheaper Than Competitors

    • More Medical Plan Options

    • Customizable

    • Established in 1990.

    • $2.6 billion-dollar insurance industry leader.

    • Rated A (Excellent) by A.M. Best.

    • Rated A- by Standard & Poor’s.

    • 24/7 Emergency Medical and Travel Assistance.

    • Multilingual staff




How do visitors medical insurance work?

Plans typically pay for emergency medical care or dental work via reimbursement.


Filing a Travel Medical Insurance Claim (Step by Step Process)


Step 1: Contact Your Insurance Provider to File a Claim.

Firstly, contact the insurance company.

This starts the process with the insurance company and gets the ball rolling.

Great insurance companies will provide advice on how to make this inconvenient situation as smooth as possible.



Step 2: Collect Receipts

Secondly, collect all receipts.

Since most plans require you to pay upfront for medical expenses, you need to collect all bill receipts for reimbursement.

Always ask for a detailed bill as well.

Have the service or facility itemize each procedure.

Also, make sure the bill and receipt be printed on official letterhead or stamp.



Step 3: Submit Claim Online.

Thirdly, submit receipts to the filed claim.

This is the easiest way to record all documentation.

Submit receipts via email or snail mail.

Additionally, communicate as much info as possible

These steps will provide a full picture of the occurrence.



Step 4: Monitor Claim.

Finally, monitor the claim closely.

Monitor the claim daily to avoid any hold-ups.

You might have to submit additional documentation for instance.

After that, the insurer will mail a check.

Additionally, you should be provided an Explanation of Benefits (EOB).

The EOB details how and what was paid on your claim.




How long does a claim process take?

From the time you file a claim to the time you collect a reimbursement check could range between 30 90 days.

For that reason, you should be very diligent in the claim process.

Typically, the process takes around 30 days.


What is not covered by travel medical insurance?

Trip Cancellation (varies by policy).




Who should buy travel medical insurance?

    • U.S. Citizens Traveling Abroad

    • Relatives Visiting You From Out of Country

    • Travelers on Cruises, Safaris, or Guided Tours

    • Students and Scholars Studying Abroad

    • Groups Traveling Abroad for International Student Programs

    • Dependents Traveling Abroad

    • International Business Travel

    • Employees Working Abroad

    • Government Employees Working Abroad

    • Missionaries

    • Foreign Aid Workers

    • Expats

    • Long Term Travelers

    • Seniors Traveling Abroad

    • Marine Captains and Crew

    • Recently Arrived Immigrants

    • Foreign Au pairs and Nannies

    • Families sponsoring exchange students





In conclusion, purchasing travel health insurance should be a “must have” purchase on all international trips.


You never know what is going to happen. Therefore, you must be protected.


The insurance is affordable and provides you peace of mind.


Finally, check out the different medical plans above.

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