Medical Travel Insurance

Medical travel insurance offers health benefits to travelers while they are away from home or traveling outside of their home country. Medical travel insurance policies are popular among travelers taking extended international trips, student travelers, immigrants, and US visitors, among others. Policies can also satisfy requirements for travelers obtaining their Schengen Visa. Travel medical insurance can also benefit travelers who are looking for long-term medical coverage.

There are two main medical travel insurance benefits included within most policies: Emergency Medical and Medical Evacuation & Repatriation.

What is the Emergency Medical Benefit?

The Emergency Medical benefit is designed to reimburse travelers for medical treatment in the event of a medical emergency during their trip, such as an illness or injury. This benefit is designed to cover treatment costs associated with an emergency, such as physician services, hospital charges, and ambulance services, however it will not provide coverage for routine medical checkups.

Squaremouth recommends at least $50,000 in Emergency Medical coverage for international travel. For travelers taking a cruise or going to a remote destination, Squaremouth recommends $100,000 in coverage due to increased medical costs.

What is the Medical Evacuation Benefit?

The Medical Evacuation benefit can transport a traveler to the nearest adequate medical facility in the event of a medical emergency while they are traveling. Depending on the situation, this benefit can also transport a traveler home for further medical care if the treating physicians deems it necessary. Because Medical Evacuations can cost tens of thousands of dollars, Squaremouth recommends at least $100,000 in coverage for international travelers. That recommendation increases to $250,000 for travelers taking cruises or visiting remote locations.

Primary vs. Secondary Medical Insurance

Depending on their preferences, travelers can choose a medical travel insurance policy with either Primary or Secondary medical coverage. Primary versus Secondary doesn’t change the actual coverage included within a policy; it only determines the order in which a claim will be paid.

Primary travel insurance policies can pay a medical claim first, even if a traveler has other health insurance. They are able to bypass their primary health insurance to file a claim directly with their travel insurance provider.

Secondary travel insurance policies require a traveler to file a claim with their primary health insurance first, even if they know it will be denied. After that claim has been processed, whether there are some remaining expenses or the claim was denied outright, the traveler can then file a claim for the difference with their travel insurance provider. If a traveler does not have primary health insurance, a Secondary policy can act as their primary coverage.

Emergency Assistance for Help While Traveling

Every travel insurance provider available on has an Emergency Assistance Team available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help travelers in the event of an emergency during their trip. These departments can help arrange a medical evacuation, coordinate payments to a hospital, and help arrange transportation home, among other benefits.