July 21, 2015 1:30 am
In most cases, InsureMyTrip says, there are gaps in coverage. The U.S. State department estimates very few domestic heath insurance companies will pay for a medical evacuation back to the United States, which can easily cost up to $100,000 or more, depending on the condition and location of the patient. Unless an individual has a supplemental plan (like Medicare Advantage or Medigap, Medicare does not cover travelers outside of the U.S.
Travel insurance can act as supplemental or primary coverage for emergency medical care (when a traveler requires a doctor or hospital visit while traveling abroad), emergency evacuation (when a traveler requires transportation to another medical facility, or back home for further care), and 24/7 emergency assistance (when a traveler needs help with a medical or safety-related issue, needs to find a doctor or hospital, or requires translation services).
Some travel insurance policies also cover pre-existing medical conditions. Most travel insurance providers offer two types of plans:
1. Comprehensive Travel Insurance – Offers the most protection for travelers. Provides a variety of benefits, including trip cancellation, trip interruption, emergency medical evacuation or coverage, 24/7 emergency assistance and baggage protection.
Example: For a $5,000 two-week vacation to Aruba, a comprehensive travel insurance plan will cost a couple in their fifties around $200. This includes a $50,000 medical limit and $250,000 for medical evacuation.
2. Travel Medical Insurance --- Provides emergency medical coverage, 24/7 emergency assistance and emergency medical evacuation coverage. Trip cancellation is typically not included.
Example: For the same trip to Aruba, a travel medical insurance plan will cost a couple in their fifties around $80. This includes a $50,000 medical limit with a $250 deductible and $500,000 medical evacuation.
Both comprehensive and travel medical insurance plans are a valued supplement while traveling overseas, offsetting possible coverage gaps in some domestic health insurance plans.
Published with permission from RISMedia.