Planning a trip abroad can be the most exciting part, but have you ever wondered how to take care of things when you fall sick? Getting flu or fever is quite common during a trip. Some travelers can face severe accidents and broken limbs requiring immediate hospitalization, surgeries, diagnostic tests, and more. Thus needing a lot of expenditure, which can affect your finances and mental health. So, travel medical insurance is necessary if you want to save money and travel worry-free.
How does travel medical insurance work?
Travel medical insurance helps cover the cost of many medical treatments during a trip. If you are traveling and have an unexpected illness, medical condition, or injury covered by your travel medical insurance, you can receive cashless treatment if you use in-network providers.
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. However, the travel medical coverage is only valid while you are traveling.
Some benefits that you can enjoy:
- Cashless treatment– Sickness and accidents can happen anytime. Falling sick, having an accident, or suffering from stomach flu can give you tough times abroad. A hospital can make you spend some thousand dollars to get treated. There can be numerous tests, doctor’s follow-ups, prescriptions, and other related expenses. In short, you will be leaving the hospital by paying a considerable amount of bills. When you buy a travel insurance plan, the eligible expenses can be covered depending on the policy benefits. However, do check the policy to know what costs it covers.
- Medical evacuation– Hiking, skiing, and other adventure sports are sometimes a part of the trip. If you are trekking in a remote area, far away from the city, you may not be able to access a medical facility immediately. Remote and secluded regions have medical units that may need to be better equipped to give advanced treatments. One must be rescued and taken to the nearest qualified medical care in severe emergencies. Ambulance (by road or air) charges can go up to $50,000. An insurance plan can save you from paying such an amount. You do not have to pay for transportation if your plan covers emergency medical evacuation.
- Access to medical care– An insurance plan gives you access to various clinics, hospitals, and other medical facilities within the PPO (Preferred Provider Organizations) network. Depending on your plan, you will be covered up to the policy maximum inside the network. Plans can cover you outside the network as well but may be subject to deductible, co-insurance, and no negotiated rates. If you go in-network or outside, once you pay your deductible and co-pay, your plan pays up to the policy maximum for all the eligible expenses.
- Trip-related benefits– Many travel medical insurance plans offer trip-related benefits like trip interruption, trip delay, trip cancellation, baggage delay and loss, and personal effects. If you want to cancel the trip, your plan can get you covered for non-refundable trip costs. However, you will be reimbursed if your plan covers the reason. You can upgrade your plan to ‘Cancel for any reason by paying an extra premium. In case of trip interruption or delay, your plan can arrange accommodation and meals during the waiting period.
- Other facilities– Dental, surgeries, diagnostics tests, and other procedures can be covered as per your plan’s policies. Some plans offer add-ons like adventure sports, accidental death and dismemberment, faculty and chaperone rider, and more. If you add extra benefits, you pay an additional premium.
Why travel medical insurance is essential?
- Peace of mind– You do not have to worry about finances or looking for a hospital when sick or injured. You can find the names of hospitals and clinics in your provider’s list (PPO Network) and go to the clinic for emergency treatment. Your plan can take care of the eligible medical expenses.
- Foreign assistance help– Generally, insurance companies operate round-the-clock, helping customers before and after buying the plan. While abroad, you may not be fluent in speaking the country’s official language, and your insurance provider can help you overcome this challenge. They can help facilitate emergency medical services.
- Saving finances– Your plan can cover most expenses when you rush to the hospital or clinic. Whether it is your treatment or prescription coverage, your chosen plan covers you. In short, you do not have to pay the amount as your plan can cover the policy maximum.
What are the distinct types of travel medical insurance?
- Travel medical insurance– US and non-US citizens can consider buying travel medical insurance plans while traveling for a short duration outside their country of residence or country of citizenship for leisure or business.
- Trip cancellation insurance– Trip cancellation travel medical insurance plans cover events that are unknown to travelers. It refunds your money if you cannot travel due to an unfamiliar situation covered under the policy. These plans may or may not include medical coverage but usually include trip interruption, evacuation, and lost luggage coverage.
- Annual travel medical insurance– Annual travel medical insurance plans provide affordable coverage to business travelers or frequent travelers who make multiple trips throughout the year, regardless of the number of trips.
- Long-term medical insurance– Long-term plans are available for US citizens and foreign nationals and are ideal for immigrants and ex-pats living abroad. These comprehensive plans can be renewed annually, allowing the insured to stay on the same plan for a prolonged period. Typically, these plans cover in-patient and out-patient treatment, prescription, maternity, pre-existing conditions, preventive care, emergency evacuation, and repatriation. However, these plans do not cover trip-related benefits.
Both US and non-US citizens can purchase travel medical insurance when traveling or temporarily living abroad for work, leisure, or study. If you are a US or non-US citizen planning to travel outside your country, you can buy either short-term or long-term overseas medical insurance. However, short-term plans do not provide coverage for preventative care. Now, if you are a US or non-US citizen and planning to travel to your own country, you can still buy travel medical insurance plans that cover medical expenses and emergency evacuation.
To know more about these plans, contact NRIOL.net.