It is very common to hear people say that travel medical insurance is something good to have, but not necessary. Deciding whether you need a travel medical insurance or not, without understanding its purpose, is not right, and furthermore, traveling without it may cause you discomfort.
Let’s take a look at it.
Do I need it?
Opinions may differ, but the answer is so obviously clear. YES. You need travel medical insurance. Of course, purchasing it is a personal decision and no one can figure it out for you. Before you will make a decision, you need to better understand the purpose of a travel medical insurance.
A trip without Travel Medical Insurance is a financial mistake
These days, when travelling seems to be a commonplace event, it is very easy to forget the importance of being protected. Travelling abroad means encountering unfamiliar places, situations and cultural norms. While your vacation can be well planned, it still may carry many unexpected trip scenarios. Something can go wrong, whether you think it will or not. Accidents, illnesses, like car crash or sudden appendix burst can happen everywhere. The best way to mitigate potential problems is to be prepared to face them. You may think that you will save money by traveling without medical coverage, but if you have an emergency, you can end up paying expensive medical bills. Especially if you plan risky activities without insurance, it can lead to financial ruin in the case of evacuation, since the average medical evacuation can cost upwards 25, 000 $, depending on the type of treatment needed and where the person is being transported to and from. The travel medical insurance is designed not only to protect your vacation from financial loss, but also to ensure that you can access immediate medical help.
Travel Medical Insurance is a smart option
When you plan a trip, you take into consideration all the places you want to visit, things you want to do, you plan each day of your vacation. What you probably do not plan for is doctor’s urgent appointment or a visit to emergency room. And you will agree, a sudden medical treatment is never a plan, this is why it is essential to be prepared.
Travel medical insurance is – a type of short-term plan that provides coverage for medical expenses and medical evacuation while you are away from your home country. It will ensure that you are covered in case of emergency, as sudden illness, accident, infection or injury. Depending on the particular policy, travel medical insurance may include evacuation for unforeseeable events, such as natural disaster or terrorism.
Another reason you should purchase the coverage when traveling abroad, is that countries, like the US, Cuba, Antarctica, the UAE, Turkey, Qatar and 26 Schengen countries require visa applicants to have travel medical insurance as a mandatory condition of entry. Many travelers don’t realize that without coverage, they could be sent back from the country they are visiting.
There might be different barriers to face in a foreign country, such as a low-quality medical care, risk of terror attacks, difficulties with transportation system, limited currency exchange. Nearly 7,000 languages are spoken around the world and so, it might be challenging to find an English-speaker in a foreign country in case of emergency. You can get pretty confused with things listed above. But there is always a way out. If you need a help, you can be assisted by your insurance company with communication or simple advice, while you are abroad.
What if I have standard Medical Plan?
You may ask: Do I need a travel medical insurance if I already have a standard medical plan? Yes, you need it.
Travelers assume their health insurance works overseas, but many insurance plans including Medicare and Medicaid do not cover care received internationally. According to Medicare there are few exceptions in which they cover you – for instance, you travel through Canada to get to Alaska when emergency occurs, and the Canadian hospital is the nearest medical facility. The CDC notes that Medicare beneficiaries should examine their coverage carefully and supplement it with additional travel health insurance, as needed. And so, since the benefits of many standard medical insurance policies do not cover you outside your country, a travel medical insurance is what you need to cover yourself while you are abroad.
What about insurance provided by credit card?
Many people think that their credit card provides them with travel insurance coverage, and that they don’t need to purchase a stand-alone insurance. The fact is, majority of the credit cards do not provide any coverage. But it may happen that if you book your trip with your credit card, a company may offer you some basic insurance coverage, though it may be very limited, under a very specific set of conditions and with a long list of restrictions. What is more, you will not be covered through a credit card if you will get sick or injured.
Travel Insurance / Travel Medical Insurance
Many people confuse travel medical insurance with travel insurance. Depending on the policy you buy, travel insurance can be there for your lost luggage, for accidents, both health and non-health related. Basically, it covers trip cancellations, delays, interruptions caused by a covered reason, such as a natural disaster, sickness, injury, death of your travel companion or your destination host, car accident on your way to airport and more. Travel insurance is NOT a replacement for medical insurance and definitely, should not be treated as such. Even if it includes emergency medical benefits, it still doesn’t cover elective, routine or preventive medical care.
There are so many travelers who regret traveling without travel medical insurance and those who are grateful they did. Indeed, travel medical insurance is an important part of your trip. Weighing the risks of traveling without it can help you decide whether travel medical insurance is right for you. No doubt, “it will never happen to me” mindset is good and let’s all hope that tomorrow will be fine, but if tomorrow doesn’t go well, there will be Insured Traveler to bring back your peace of mind and let you enjoy your trip.