Will My Health Insurance Cover Me While I Am on Vacation?

Traveling to a foreign country is just as full of risks as it is excitement. There are a lot of things that can go wrong on a vacation, but the right precautions can ensure a fun trip for the entire family. One of the biggest questions raised is whether or not regular health insurance will cover medical issues that occur on a trip abroad.

Will My Health Insurance Cover Me On Vacation?

In short, no, your regular health insurance plan will not normally keep you medically covered if you take a vacation outside the country. There are always exceptions to the rule, however. The U.S. Department of State urges Americans to talk to their health insurance providers before leaving the country to find out exactly what is covered under their current policy for an overseas trip. Medicare in particular has no provisions for overseas policyholders, so it’s usually a really good idea to get a second temporary insurance policy before leaving on your trip.

How Do I Get Coverage for My Vacation?

The simplest way to ensure that you are completely covered during your vacation is to take out a short term traveler’s insurance policy. These are inexpensive and will cover the costs of overseas medical care. In some countries foreign patients who are uninsured can be refused service and in other countries the hospital will require up-front payment for any medical procedures or medications. However, in the case of a genuine emergency where someone’s life is at stake, any hospital in any country should be bound by the medical profession’s morals to give life-saving treatment.

What Does Traveler’s Insurance Cover?

This depends largely on the particular traveler’s insurance policy that you take out, but generally they will cover everything that your normal domestic health insurance covers. This includes operations, clinic visits, medication, and usually they will cover an emergency evacuation to the United States if the situation calls for it. That alone can cost more than $10,000 dollars in some cases. The actual cost of an evacuation depends wholly on your location and the condition, because certain conditions require more in-flight care than others.

How Do I Get Traveler’s Insurance?

The easiest way to purchase traveler’s insurance is through a travel agent, but if you are not using one you can also speak with your current health insurance company, who should be able to recommend a company. Also check with your credit card company, bank and online at travel sites, which often offer travel insurance on services booked through their sites. There are different types of traveler’s insurance available, so consider the place that you are visiting to ensure you have appropriate coverage which will last the duration of your trip.

Taking out a traveler’s insurance policy prior to going on vacation will set your mind at ease if any medical or other problems arise during your vacation. Many foreign countries have excellent healthcare, but it can be difficult to even get treatment if you are not insured.