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5 Things to Consider When Shopping for Travel Medical Insurance

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According to the Palm Beach Post, there are 5 things to consider when shopping travel insurance.

1) The cost of most travel medical insurance policies is based on the length or cost of the trip and your age.

2) With few exceptions, Medicare provides no medical coverage outside of the United States.

3) While some Medigap policies may cover a portion of medical costs outside the U.S., they may not cover everything.  And if you rely on a Medigap policy when traveling, you may have to pay the entire hospital bill up front and wait for reimbursement.

4) The No. 1 claim to travel insurance companies is trip cancellation due to a medical problem pre-departure.  If you become sick or injured before you leave town, travel insurance can cover the trip deposit and other pre-paid, non-refundable costs.

5) Medical travel insurance can also cover pricey medical evacuation from cruise ships, which can run as high as $50,000, and require coordination with the Coast Guard, the ship and shore side hospital.

Travel insurance, sometimes called travel medical insurance, can provide cover for medical expenses while traveling, as well as cancellation and interruption due to medical reasons.  Always consider whether or not the pre-existing conditions are a concern for the traveler.  This can apply to the traveler, a traveling companion, or a family member of either.  Even the young and healthy traveler may have elderly members of the family that need to be considered when selecting the right travel insurance plan.  Pre-existing cover normally is only available for a limited time from the original deposit date, or up until final payment is made.

When Medicare or Medigap either don’t provide any cover, or only limited cover, travel insurance can provide relief.  The emergency medical & dental coverage will specify whether it is primary or secondary.  Selecting primary coverage allows the traveler to file a claim directly with the travel insurance company and not involve the primary health care, such as Medicare or Medigap.  Conversely, secondary coverage requires that all primary health care options be exhausted before the travel insurance medical coverage is used.  Secondary cover can help with the costs of deductibles, co-pays of the primary, and remaining costs of treatment, up to the limit specified by that plan.  In the event that a traveler has primary health care, a secondary or supplemental heath care, and then also travel insurance emergency medical & dental that is secondary, then the travel insurance becomes tertiary, or third in line.

Medical evacuation & repatriation in most cases applies to an ambulance ride or a medical airlift.  Repatriation is the transportation of remains back to the home country and city.  Consider the type of travel and the destination relative to the home, when selecting the amount of medical evacuation & repatriation.  The further from home, and land, i.e. cruises, then higher limits of coverage are more appropriate.

When obtaining a travel insurance quote, make certain to compare the details closely to find the best coverage for the unique traveling party and the specific travel plans.  Always refer to the certificate of insurance for details.