Travel Medical Insurance protects you in the event of an illness or injury when traveling outside your country of residence. It provides key medical benefits in case of an emergency. The level of international medical coverage provided by your domestic insurance provider can vary greatly depending on your plan, so you may have limited coverage or no coverage at all.
When you’re planning an overseas trip, you should call your insurance company beforehand to ask if your plan includes overseas health insurance. Some do, some don’t, and some will cover you only in certain situations. The U.S. Department of State suggests some questions to ask your insurer, including:
- Does my plan cover emergency expenses abroad such as returning me to the United States for treatment if I become seriously ill?
- Do you require pre-authorizations or second opinions before emergency treatment can begin?
- Do you guarantee medical payments abroad?
Your definition of “emergency” may differ from your insurer’s definition, and you may find yourself on the hook for medical expenses you thought were covered. That’s why buying travel medical insurance is so important, U.S. News reports, because it “can help fill any gaps in domestic health insurance coverage.”
Blue Cross Blue Shield offers group and individual travel medical plans that cover 190 countries and territories. Their services include 24/7 concierge-level assistance, including appointment scheduling and a mobile app that helps their members find doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies. Knowing your health plan will be there for you while you’re away from home is an important part of enjoying your next trip.