Medical Travel Insurance for Travelers with a Medical Condition

If you have medical condition, it is very likely that you have health insurance. However, if you are an insured American with a pre-existing medical condition and you are planning to travel overseas then medical travel insurance is something that you should consider. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, when traveling overseas, even those without a medical condition are at risk for:

  • Food poisoning and other stomach illnesses caused by infected water
  • Respiratory infections or pulmonary complications caused by the environmental conditions at your destination abroad (air pollution, humidity, extreme altitudes)
  • Injuries induced by falls, burns (includes severe sunburns), vehicle crashes
  • Animal or insect bites and wounds/ Contracting foreign diseases from an animal or insect bites or wounds

Many travelers feel that they are well prepared to travel safely since they consulted with a physician prior to booking but without medical travel insurance, that feeling is misguided. Travelers fail to realize that many health insurance programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, do not cover costs for medical treatment outside of the United States. In addition, those that may have international medical coverage should note that most medical care facilities abroad require full payment at the point of service regardless of coverage provided by the patient’s health insurance carrier.

Hospital care abroad is not affordable for all travelers, especially when the expenses are out-of-pocket. The U.S. Department of State - Bureau of Consular Affairs estimated that medical costs abroad easily reach between $10,000 to $100,000 and sometimes more depending on your location and medical condition.

“Although planning for every possible contingency is impossible, travelers can reduce the cost of a medical emergency by considering the purchase of 3 types of insurance for their trip: travel insurance, travel health insurance, and medical evacuation insurance. These insurance policies can be purchased before a trip to provide coverage in the event of an illness or injury and may be of particular importance to travelers with chronic medical conditions.” - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Medical travel insurance, depending on your coverage, can cover up to $250,000 in emergency medical with no deductible. Medical travel insurance will also provide you with 24/7 assistance when you’re in need of locating the nearest medical facility with availability or pharmacy when you’ve lost your prescriptions. Always remember that your health and safety are a priority, and medical travel insurance exists to protect you.

Date of publication March 9, 2015

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