What Is Travel Medical Insurance?

While searching for your all-inclusive resort, you may have stumbled upon opportunities to add trip cancellation insurance and/or travel medical insurance. If you already have health insurance and are staying at a domestic resort, then you probably don’t need to add on travel medical insurance. You’re already covered locally! Some health insurance plans may include coverage for traveling abroad, although covering very little, and you may want to add additional insurance for your big trip.

Travel medical insurance typically covers emergency health care costs incurred while traveling abroad. Its primary function is to protect you in cases of unexpected illness or injury. Many companies offer various packages to keep you covered, but the price you pay will ultimately be affected by three things; Your age, duration of stay, and coverage amount. The more you pay, the more you’re covered.

Let’s say you decided to take advantage of the sunshine and provided snorkel gear at your resort and head for the beach. You’re making your way into the ocean when ouch! Suddenly you step on a sea-urchin! Basic travel medical insurance plans would typically provide the local ambulance ride, the emergency room co-payment, the bill for your hospital room and board, and many other eligible medical expenses associated with the injury.

What’s Typically Included?

You’ll need to do your homework in finding the best travel medical insurance for you. Generic benefits are included, however, additional items to your plan will cost extra. Here’s a list of the most common benefits included in basic travel medical insurance plans:

  • Medical Evacuation Coverage. This typically includes any ambulance and air-evacuation transportation to a local hospital
  • Coverages in case of Death. This would ensure that your body is transported back to your family at no cost to them
  • Unforeseen Circumstances. This usually includes kidnappings, political evacuations, natural disasters, and terrorism incidents
  • Transportation Coverages. This would ensure that your children and/or other family members are returned home, in case of an emergency to you
  • Travel Assistance Services. This gives you access to 24/7 support and customer care from the company you buy the insurance with
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment. Commonly known as AD&D, it is basically a limited form of life insurance, and is generally less expensive

What’s Typically Excluded?

Standard travel medical plans do not cover everything. Other items that are typically excluded are:

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Routine medical examinations and care (i.e. wellness exams, ongoing prescriptions, etc.)
  • Routine prenatal, pregnancy, childbirth, and postnatal care
  • Medical expenses for injury or illness resulting from participation in some extreme sports
    • Extreme sports and activities will almost always have a waiver for you to sign exempting the company from any responsibility or financial obligations in case of an emergency or injury
  • Medical expenses related to any form of cancer
  • Mental health disorders
  • Injury due to the effects of intoxication or drugs (this does not refer to drugs taken in accordance with treatment prescribed by a physician)
    • By all means, have fun and enjoy your libations, but remember to be smart and responsible about your choices. Never drink and drive!

Although travel medical insurance is not a requirement before your vacation can start, it is a good idea to include it in your packing list. We always assume that we’ll be healthy enough and that no injury or accident will occur as we rest, relax, and experience new adventures. Sadly, an unfortunate circumstance can happen, and you’ll want to be covered before it’s too late. The last thing you’d want during your vacation is being injured or falling ill, then having to fork over an arm and a leg in medical expenses. Uninsured injuries and illnesses abroad can lead to outrageous medical bills and leave you taking home huge financial burdens as a vacation “souvenir”. If you’re going abroad, purchasing travel medical insurance could be a good idea.

Feel free to browse Travel Insurance Review for a great list of companies that offer travel medical insurance. After you’ve used our All-Inclusive Resort Search and have chosen your resort, be sure to read their fine print. Often, resorts have a doctor and first-aid supplies at their disposal.