What Americans need to know about health insurance when traveling internationally

Nearly half of Americans didn’t know if their local health insurance plans would cover any emergency physician or hospital visits while traveling abroad, according to a survey by InsureMyTrip, a leading travel insurance comparison site.

“Travelers should be aware of any restrictions on local health insurance policies while abroad,” the company said.


In most cases, there are gaps in coverage. Some of the gaps are big. Travel insurance is recommended because it can act as supplemental or basic coverage.”

Travel insurance. (Image via scyther5/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Travel advisors couldn’t agree more.

“I always recommend travel insurance to my clients, especially when traveling internationally,” said Amy Daniel, owner of Custom Design Travel.

“I told them that many private insurance companies do not cover you while traveling abroad. Sometimes a minor medical issue while traveling can turn into a disaster without proper insurance. Travel insurance provides an extra layer of protection for you while you are traveling.”

Daniel noted that it’s also important for customers to have a policy that provides covered medical cancellations in addition to medical coverage and emergency services.

“I never personally travel without it,” she said. “If clients seem hesitant, I tell them true stories of things that have happened to clients over the past 25 years.

“They would always reply with ‘Oh my God, I never thought about that.'”

And while the epidemic has subsided, it is clearly not over yet.

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“When you add COVID to the mix — and the COVID testing requirements to return to the United States — travel insurance is a must,” said Jennifer Donsez, president of VIP Vacations.

“VIP Vacations primarily recommends Travel Insured, which has quarantine coverage at a set compensation rate per day in case anyone Doncsecz tests positive before returning home,” she said.

If our clients are only interested in medical coverage while abroad and a destination quarantine allowance, we highlight that with Travel Insured. They can buy a policy that provides for both of those items without buying a full policy that covers cancellation before travelling.”

Doncsecz said this is especially recommended for “clients who are close to their travel dates and nervous.”

“When we send our clients their documents and notice that they refused to purchase insurance from the start, we kindly suggest adding medical/health insurance and it is often purchased before they travel.”

Another compelling reason for travelers to choose insurance is flight delays, said Tami Levent of Elite Travel. “With all the airline delays these days, my customers are choosing this more and more.”

There are also excellent reasons for older travelers in particular to choose travel insurance.

“My clients tend to be a little bit older, so one of the first things I told them was that if they had Medicare, they wouldn’t get medical coverage outside of the US,” said Trish Gastino, owner of Simply Specialty Travel. “It’s something they haven’t thought of.”

One of her current selling points, Gastino said, is “a travel policy I’m offering to cover $200 per person per day in the event that clients are quarantined if they test positive abroad for COVID.”

Gastino said the per diem benefit is valid for 10 days, providing travelers with “a hotel meal and transportation benefit of approximately $2,000 per covered passenger.”

“Given the times of COVID, the uncertainty regarding flight schedules, and the US government’s insistence on a 10-day waiting period before those who test positive can return to the United States, every traveler with us must carry travel insurance,” Churchill and Touraine said. General Director.

“It’s a ‘travel smart’ thing. If you’re not smart enough to want proper insurance, you’re not smart enough to be a guest at Churchill and Turin.”

“The new reality is that insurance or not insurance is no longer a question. The only question is whether or not a guest will/should supplement travel insurance with emergency medical evacuation coverage like that offered by Med-Jet.

Turin advice?

Look at the insurance policy’s medical evacuation line. “If it’s less than half a million dollars, go to the next policy,” he said.

These days, many travel consultants insist that their clients sign concessions. “They theoretically absolve the counsel of legal responsibility,” Turin said.

“So what? I don’t care about the legal repercussions. I care about the guests and their well-being. It’s too stupid to guarantee – visit Disneyland instead of Tuscany.”

In the end, I err on the side of caution.

“Emergencies are nothing but – emergencies!” A custom design scholarship for travel said.

“No one is planning for one, but you want to be protected if this happens to you.”

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