ST. PETERSBURG, FL – November 13, 2012 – As the holiday travel season approaches, many travelers will purchase travel insurance to protect their vacation dollars. In addition to cancellation and delay benefits, medical coverage is often a primary concern. For international travelers, emergency medical coverage is one of the most sought-after benefits. The coverage available with travel insurance is usually different from the coverage offered through health insurance plans. As a result, the phrase “emergency medical” can be confusing. Experts from travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth, aim to clear the perplexity associated with this benefit.
“Travelers are often confused by the term ‘emergency medical,’” explains Chris Harvey, CEO of Squaremouth. “The questions are usually related to what constitutes a medical emergency. To one person, getting a cold is a medical emergency, but to another, only life-threatening sickness or injury constitute an emergency.” In terms of travel insurance, any injury or illness that manifests itself post-departure and requires treatment is considered a “medical emergency.”
While this coverage may be more liberal than the term indicates, there are exclusions to be aware of.
According to Harvey, pregnancy is one of the most common exclusions that customers ask about. “It is unlikely that emergency medical coverage will cover any costs associated with normal pregnancy; however, medical complications related to pregnancy are usually covered.” Even with pre-existing medical coverage, pregnancy is typically excluded.
Another exclusion that travelers should note are mental and emotional conditions, whether diagnosed or not. This means that treatment for emotional disorders, chemical imbalances and other mental conditions are not covered. Additionally, substance abuse of any kind is normally excluded, as are any injuries that occur under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances. “This is a potentially important exclusion for travelers who plan to consume alcohol, whether excessive or not, during their trips,” says Josh Walker, Product Manager at Squaremouth. “Any accidents or injuries that occur as the result of intoxication will not be covered by most policies.”
A final exclusion that travelers should be aware of are dental injuries and procedures. Most emergency medical benefits include a nominal maximum for medically necessary treatment to sound, natural teeth. It is important to note that this maximum is different from the overall emergency medical maximum. For example, Trawick International’s Safe Travels USA policy has an emergency medical maximum of $50,000, but a dental maximum of $250. This is a substantial difference worth noting. In addition, dental appliances such as dentures, night guards, and retainers do not usually qualify for coverage.
For a full list of exclusions to emergency medical benefits, Squaremouth recommends that travelers refer to policy certificates, as additional stipulations may exist. For further information regarding emergency medical or any other travel insurance benefits, Squaremouth representatives are available Monday-Friday from 9am-9pm to assist.
Squaremouth is America’s fastest-growing travel insurance comparison site, providing the tools to instantly quote, compare and buy policies from every major provider. The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, FL, with offices in Fort Wayne, IN. For more information on Squaremouth or its extensive network of partner sites worldwide, visit www.squaremouth.com.
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