How Much Medical Travel Insurance Do I Need? | Travelers Insurance (2024)

How Much Medical Travel Insurance Do I Need? | Travelers Insurance (1)

While travel exposes you to new sights and cultures, it can also bring challenges and difficulties when it comes to your health and well-being. If you’re dreaming of traveling abroad, it can be helpful to consider the potential expenses associated with getting hurt or becoming seriously ill while in a foreign country.

Travel medical insurance can help offset those costs so you don’t have to worry about wiping out your budget because of an unexpected medical emergency. Here’s how health insurance for traveling abroad works:

What Is Travel Medical Insurance?

Travel medical insurancehelps cover the cost of many emergency medical treatments during a trip. If you’re traveling and have an unexpected illness, medical condition or injury that’s covered by your travel medical insurance, you typically will be reimbursed up to the plan limits.

Generally, most domestic health insurance policies are not accepted abroad, so there is a benefit to purchasing travel medical insurance as a supplement to your health insurance coverage. The travel medical coverage is only valid while you’re traveling.

The Benefits of Travel Medical Insurance

Investing in a travel medical insurance policy offers a number of benefits. Here are a few:

  • Peace of mind– Medical emergencies can happen without warning. It may provide some peace of mind knowing that your vacation budget won’t be decimated by the cost of unexpected injuries and illnesses.
  • No need to delay care– With travel medical insurance, you can focus on getting the care or treatment you need right away, rather than delaying treatment until you’ve returned home.
  • Foreign language help– Unless you’re fluent in the country’s official language, communicating with medical personnel about your condition can be challenging. Your travel medical insurance provider can help facilitate emergency services so you can effectively have these conversations.

Without travel medical insurance, you’ll be handling these unexpected expenses on your own. At best, that could put a dent in your vacation budget, and at worst, it could put you heavily into debt or put your health at risk.

How Does Travel Medical Insurance Differ from My Health Insurance?

Travel medical insurance is different from your health insurance because travel medical insurance is a supplemental policy that helps protect you while you’re traveling. It’s only valid for the length of your trip and is meant to supplement your health insurance when you’re out of network.

If you suffer a medical emergency while you’re on your trip, your health insurance policy may not cover the cost of the treatment and services you receive. Even if you travel within the United States, your policy may not provide coverage out of network.

Travel medical insurance can help fill in the gaps while also providing additional coverage to help keep you safe and healthy on your trip.

Do I Need Travel Insurance if I Have Health Insurance?

One common misconception about travel medical insurance is that it’s unnecessary if you have any form of health insurance.

Remember, many health insurance policies are only valid in network and within the United States. If you’re traveling to a foreign country, or even traveling within the United States but out of your provider’s network, another health system may not accept your insurance.

What Is Covered by Travel Medical Insurance?

Travel medical insurance covers many emergencies, but it is not meant to be used for preventive treatments or regular medical care. It’s used to cover emergencies such as:

  • Broken bones
  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes
  • Emergency dental procedures
  • Medical evacuations
  • Emergency transport
  • Emergency repatriation

Anything that constitutes a medical emergency and forces you to seek treatment while you’re on your trip typically should be covered by a comprehensive travel medical insurance policy. If you’re going to a doctor for a routine checkup, you’ll be required to pay out of pocket or submit a claim to your health insurance provider.

Who Needs Travel Medical Insurance?

Purchasing health insurance for traveling abroad is a simple way to save money in an emergency, and anyone can benefit from the coverage.

If you’re traveling to a country in which your health insurance provider doesn’t provide coverage, buying travel medical insurance is a must. If your insurance provider will cover healthcare costs in the country you’re traveling to, buying coverage can still help lower your expenses and reduce potential out-of-network costs for any emergencies that may arise.

This is also the case if you’re traveling on a cruise ship. Typically, you’ll be able to receive some medical care on board the ship and should be able to use your health insurance to cover those costs. But if your injuries require transfer to a medical facility on shore, a travel medical insurance policy can be useful.

You may also want to research the country you’re planning to visit in order to learn whether you’ll need travel medical insurance. Some countries, including Aruba, Costa Rica, French Polynesia, St. Maarten, Turks and Caicos and United Arab Emirates, may require you to show proof of travel medical insurance prior to entering their country.1

How Much Does Travel Medical Insurance Cost?

When you’re covering the cost of a vacation, the thought of paying for health insurance during international travel may seem like an unnecessary expense. Fortunately, travel medical insurance is typically very affordable.

Policies average between $40 and $80. Keep in mind that higher coverage limits and longer coverage terms typically increase the cost of the policy.

How to Choose Medical Travel Insurance

Purchasing a quality travel medical insurance plan is an excellent way to help protect yourself from unexpected medical costs while you’re traveling abroad. Look for an insurance provider that offers you the types of coverage and coverage limits you need so you can focus on the enjoyable experiences of your trip.

Travel protection is offered from our trusted partner, Travel Insured International — a leading travel insurance provider offering domestic and international trip protection, products and services. Learn more about travel insurance.


How Much Medical Travel Insurance Do I Need? | Travelers Insurance (2024)


How much medical coverage should I get for travel insurance? ›

How much travel medical insurance do you need? Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison site, recommends buying at least $50,000 in emergency medical coverage for international travel. For travelers going on a cruise or to a remote destination, the site recommends at least $100,000 in coverage.

Is 250000 enough for medical travel insurance? ›

If you read any of our other articles, you'll remember that we always offer a simple recommendation for Medical Insurance. Overseas travelers should have these minimum levels of protection: Medical Insurance Coverage - $100,000. Medical Evacuation Coverage - $250,000.

How much medical insurance do I need for travel to Europe? ›

A comprehensive travel policy with at least $50,000 in medical coverage is recommended when traveling to Europe or any country where you don't have health insurance. Travel medical insurance will cover expenses related to an unexpected injury or illness.

Do I need additional medical insurance when traveling abroad? ›

Make sure you have a plan to get care overseas, in case you need it. Consider buying additional insurance that covers health care and emergency evacuation, especially if you will be traveling to remote areas. Enroll with the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment ProgramExternal Link (STEP).

What is the best medical insurance for international travel? ›

Based on our comprehensive review, the companies offering the best travel medical insurance are Faye, IMG, Travelex, AIG Travel Guard and Allianz. Travel medical insurance is a specialized type of coverage that helps pay for medical bills and emergency evacuations if you're hurt or become sick while traveling.

What is the difference between travel insurance and medical travel insurance? ›

International health insurance is designed to provide a comprehensive level of health care to those relocating from their home country for a sustained period of time, whereas travel insurance provides cover for emergency treatment while you are in another country for a shorter space of time.

Is $50,000 enough for medical travel insurance? ›

For example, SquareMouth recommends international travelers get around $50,000 in Emergency Medical coverage and $100,000 for cruises or travel to remote areas. Carefully review the full details of your travel insurance policy. To find a basic plan that's affordable, search SquareMouth now.

Can I just get medical travel insurance? ›

Travel medical insurance is offered either as part of comprehensive travel insurance plans, or may be purchased as a stand-alone plan. If you have a comprehensive plan, you may also be covered by other travel-related coverages, such as trip cancellation or interruption.

What happens if you have a medical emergency abroad? ›

Special care if you become ill or injured while traveling

Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for a list of local healthcare providers and medical facilities. If your illness is serious, consular officers can help you find medical assistance. If you want, they can inform your family and friends.

What happens if an American goes to the hospital in Europe? ›

Be aware that you will likely have to pay out of pocket for any medical treatment, even if your insurance company provides international health care coverage. A visit to the emergency room can be free or cost only a nominal fee, or it can be expensive, depending on where you are and what treatment you need.

How much does international medical insurance cost? ›

How much does international health insurance cost? The annual cost of an international medical insurance plan will range from as low as $500, with limited benefits, to as much as $8,000 for a comprehensive global medical insurance policy, including coverage in the USA. The average cost is $5,500 per year.

What are the best travel medical insurance companies? ›

Consider getting multiple travel insurance quotes through to get an idea of the cost of coverage for your upcoming travel plans.
  • Allianz Travel Insurance: Best Overall.
  • AIG Travel Guard: Best for the Cost.
  • Generali Global Assistance: Best for Medical.

Do I need travel insurance if I already have insurance? ›

Even if your health plan does cover you internationally, you may want to consider buying a special medical travel policy. Much of the additional coverage available is supplemental (or "secondary"), so it covers whatever expenses your health plan doesn't, such as deductibles.

Will my medical insurance cover me in another country? ›

U.S. health insurance plans typically do not cover regular and routine medical care required overseas. This means your health insurance won't pay for care if you need to visit a doctor for a prescription medicine, or if you need treatment for a condition that is not considered an emergency.

Is Allianz good travel insurance? ›

Allianz is a popular choice among business travelers due to its AllTrips Executive travel insurance policy with coverage for lost, stolen or damaged business equipment and rental car insurance. Earning 4.1 out of 5 stars, our expert reviewers think Allianz is a great choice for international travel insurance.

Is travel healthcare worth it? ›

So, is travel nursing worth it? Yes! With more money, flexibility, career options, travel perks, and personal growth, it's still one of the most exciting nursing opportunities in 2024.

Does travel insurance cover all medical expenses? ›

If you travel within the U.S., your health insurance should cover any illness or injury you sustain. If you're traveling abroad, though, your plan may provide little or no coverage. The right travel insurance should cover doctors' fees and hospital bills, Durazo said.

Does regular medical insurance cover travel? ›

Generally, most domestic health insurance policies are not accepted abroad, so there is a benefit to purchasing travel medical insurance as a supplement to your health insurance coverage. The travel medical coverage is only valid while you're traveling.

Does travel insurance count as medical insurance? ›

Emergency medical coverage is automatically included on all comprehensive travel insurance plans. This emergency medical coverage can work in conjunction with your health insurance, or in place of it, to help reimburse the cost of emergency medical care while traveling.

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