Travel Medical Insurance

Please carefully evaluate the policies for:

  • any exclusion of existing medical conditions (diabetes/heart disease etc)
  • activity restrictions (scuba diving/mountaineering etc)
  • destination exclusions (countries with travel advisories)
  • maximal costs covered
  • medical evacuation to your home country, in air ambulance, with medical personnel as appropriate.
  • coverage of hospitalization
  • amount of any deductible
  • billing procedures
  • availability of a 24 hour hotline in English and access to medical professionals
  • repatriation of one’s remains in case of death

There are several reliable companies that specialize in travel medical insurance - please discuss with your travel specialist.

Practical tips to avoid headaches and hassles:

  • Some countries require proof of appropriate travel medical insurance for entry, check with the embassy of the country you are traveling to for their current requirements.
  • We would suggest that at minimum the insurance cover hospitalization for all causes and medical evacuation in an air ambulance.
  • Medicare insurance will not cover medical expenses in another country. 
  • Private medical insurance may not cover cost of medical care overseas, you need to clarify it with your provider and have it in WRITING. Having spoken to Jane or John Doe does NOT matter, they usually say yes to anything to get you off the phone.
  • Importantly, medical evacuation may not be included in your private medical insurance unless specifically included in the policy. Clarify this with your current medical insurance carrier and have it in WRITING.
  • Even if your private medical insurance includes coverage for care overseas, overseas medical facilities may not accept insurance papers or cards but require cash payments for services. Do not argue, pay the money, get the care and keep all your bills to submit to your insurance company once you return home.
  • The International Association of Medical Assistance for Travelers can be of help if you are having difficulties in getting care overseas. You can contact them at iamat.org or 716 – 754 – 4883.

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