When it comes to travel, health insurance is probably the most confusing consideration you have to make. You probably realize that your home contents insurance doesn’t cover your belongings when you are abroad, and that you don’t already have trip cancellation insurance included in your domestic insurance packages. But does your health insurance plan cover you when you travel overseas?
It is important to make sure you understand what your coverage extends to when traveling or you may find you are traveling without adequate insurance protection. If you are a US citizen and have a US health insurance plan, your insurance will, in all likelihood, cover you for accident and injury as you travel around the United States. But outside of the United States is a different matter.
Many people assume they are covered by their domestic plan when they go overseas but this is hardly ever the case. Most US healthcare insurance plans will not help you if you are injured or fall ill when outside of the US. And even if you are covered for basic medical care abroad (and not many plans include even basic coverage), you will not be covered for things like emergency medical evacuation. It is important to consider this coverage when you travel abroad, particularly if you are visiting a developing country. If you need to be airlifted using a medical plane to a suitable healthcare facility the cost can run to tens of thousands of dollars. And without insurance many people would struggle to pay.
Travel insurance that includes health coverage and emergency evacuation coverage is an essential addition to your regular domestic health insurance plan. Think of the cover as specific for your trip. You can buy a single trip policy, or sign up for an annual plan if you travel abroad regularly.