Medical Travel Insurance Fills Gap in Coverage: 5 Basic Types of Insurance

International travelers are often medically uninsured and exposed.  When planning to travel abroad, it is best to think globally when it comes to your health insurance.

Domestic medical insurance, in most instances, will not cover a medical emergency beyond the borders of the United States. Due to this reality, travel medical insurance is an important consideration when planning all the details for that international dream vacation or business trip.

An uninsured medical event abroad can result in catastrophic medical bills, which translates into significant out-of-pocket costs. This type of situation can be reduced or rendered nonexistent with the right coverage. The primary function of travel medical insurance is to provide medical benefits and access to quality emergency care while traveling abroad, and most plans do this at an affordable cost.

Just like with regular medical insurance, there are a variety of plans designed to suit different types of travel and lengths of stay. For instance, a business professional may travel to China and Malaysia six times per year, whereas a student may embark on a four-month study abroad program – each scenario requires a different type of travel medical coverage. In order to accommodate the variety of needs, travel medical policies are typically structured in the following ways:

1.)  Single-Trip Plan: This is a standard plan for a single trip abroad and may be written for individuals or families.

2.)  Multi-Trip Plan: Covers multiple international trips throughout the year and may be written for individuals or families.

3.)  Group Plan: Insures a group of unrelated individuals under one policy at a discounted rate. An example could be a church group on a mission or sightseeing adventure.

4.)  Long-Term Plan: Perfect for expatriates or long-term travel, this policy will encompass major medical benefits beyond catastrophic, mirroring benefits found in domestic plans.

5.)  Student Plan: International student health insurance for study abroad.

Travel medical insurance should not be confused with travel insurance and trip cancellation insurance, although sometimes these components will exist within a travel medical insurance policy. Combined plans will package all three types of travel insurance together, whereas à la carte offerings will include options for supplemental travel benefits.

It is important to underscore that only some travel medical insurance plans cover routine care.  Most are only for emergency care. The Segal Group is here to help you identify your travel medical insurance needs and reduce unnecessary exposure. In our next blog regarding medical travel insurance, we will review 6 benefits to look for in a travel medical plan.

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