Before getting on a plane for their vacation, some people will purchase travel insurance to help cover any medical expenses they incur on their trip. This can be a very important thing to do if you are traveling internationally and unnecessary if you are taking a domestic vacation. Travelers insurance also covers many other situations besides medical expenses.
When to Buy Coverage
If you are taking a domestic vacation, buying travel health insurance is unnecessary for people who already have health insurance. When traveling out of state, your current health insurance will cover any medical expenses when you need to visit a doctor, go to an emergency room or buy a prescription while you are gone. Even Medicare will cover your medical costs if you have an accident or get ill on vacation.
For travelers taking an international vacation, buying travel health insurance can be a wise thing to do in case of an accident or if they get sick while traveling. Although some medical insurance plans will cover the expenses for a doctor or hospital visits in another country. Plans such as Medicare do not cover this. You would have to pay any medical expenses you may have out of pocket.
If you do have Medicare and you have a chronic medical condition, such as diabetes, it is a good idea to buy travel health insurance. If you became ill on your trip, your doctor and hospital visits would be covered and, if necessary, being transported back to a hospital in your local area would be covered as well. Without a travel insurance plan, you could find yourself stuck in a hospital in a foreign country until you are well enough to be released.
Buying Travel Health Insurance
Most travel health insurance is included in packages that have several other types of coverage included in it. Along with medical coverage, a travel insurance plan may cover your expenses if your flight is cancelled or if a prepaid travel expense, such as your hotel room, is unavailable when you get there. In addition, it may also cover lost and stolen items like your luggage, computer or camera.
This coverage could also pay a named beneficiary if you were to die on your trip or you could receive benefits for being disabled. Some plans even cover cancellations or missed train reservations or cancellations of activities like skiing if the resort were to close due to lack of snow or an avalanche. Most of the expenses that are covered are things you paid for in advance and not just for reservations you have made.
Verifying Insurance Information
Many companies offer travel health insurance and you can usually find information about available policies online. Rather than go to individual company websites for general information and rates, you can look up sites that will help you compare coverage by providing information on several different companies. Once you've narrowed down the coverage that you will need, and then you can find out more by calling those insurance companies or visiting their websites.
If you are going to be traveling in remote areas of a country, you should check on which doctors and hospitals in the area are covered by a company's travel health insurance policy. In some cases, if you are in a remote area without coverage for a hospital or doctor, your claim will be denied, and you will have to appeal the denial. In the meantime, you would need to pay your medical expenses out of pocket and be reimbursed if your claim is approved.
There are some insurance companies that will sell plans that only cover medical expenses. If you haven't prepaid for any of your travel expenses like hotel rooms or activities, then you can buy travel health insurance to cover any unforeseen illnesses or accidents. The cost of most travel insurance policies is nominal, but your premium could be higher if you are an older person.
Some insurance companies will not sell travel health insurance to customers 65 or older because they are a higher risk than younger people are. However, you can still find some coverage if you are willing to pay a higher premium in order to be covered for medical expenses.