It’s that time of year again—the winter months have set in and many of us are already yearning for escape to warmer weather. If you’re in the process of planning a trip abroad this winter, you should consider purchasing Medical Foreign Travel Insurance. As Wealth Advisors at RegentAtlantic, we don’t sell any financial products. Rather, it’s our duty to provide information and planning techniques that will allow our clients to make informed decisions regarding issues that could impact their financial independence in retirement, and this includes making sure you’re protected against the worst-case-scenario. Medical Foreign Travel Insurance is often overlooked if we have a domestic health care plan, but it offers important coverage abroad. For about the cost of a nice dinner out per week, this form of insurance protects yourself and your family against unexpected—and potentially expensive—emergencies that may arise while you travel. Below are some facts about Medical Foreign Travel Insurance to consider as you plan for your upcoming trip.
Types of Coverage
There are three main types of Medical Foreign Travel Insurance:
- Health and Accident Insurance, also known as travel health insurance, supplements your domestic health insurance and covers medical needs that arise during your trip such as doctor or hospital bills.
- Medical Evacuation Insurance covers the cost of emergency evacuation and ensures a local team is available to aid in logistical arrangements.
- Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance reimburses you if you have to cut your trip short for medical reasons, covering costs such as non-refundable hotel reservations.
We find that there are a few commonly held myths that you should be aware of when considering Medical Foreign Travel Insurance:
Myth #1: It covers general check-ups and pre-existing conditions
– This is one of the most common misconceptions. Travel insurance only covers emergencies that happen abroad – you can think of it as a form of accident insurance.
Myth #2: It covers third-party liability
– If you injure someone else abroad, you’re not covered under your travel insurance policy.
Myth #3: Coverage lasts for however long you want it to
– Travel insurance only applies to temporary trips lasting six months or less. If you are travelling abroad for more than six months, you would purchase International Medical Insurance instead. International Medical Insurance serves as your primary health insurance and includes preventative medical services, while travel insurance only covers reactional medical needs for short-term trips.
Pricing and Coverage Amounts
You can purchase any of the three forms of Medical Foreign Travel Insurance à la carte or as a bundle. Bundling multiple forms into one plan is typically the cheaper option for those seeking more diversified coverage. Medical plans vary in price and are dependent on age, trip length, and coverage amount. When choosing the appropriate amount of coverage for your upcoming trip, consider the amount of risk involved in your plans: If you’re going to the theater in London every day, you’ll likely need less coverage than if you’re climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
Emergency Evacuation and the Medical Assistance Benefit
Emergency evacuation may be more expensive than you anticipate, costing upwards of $100,000 for evacuation from remote locations. Depending on where you are travelling, emergency evacuation insurance can provide significant protection against this potentially high cost.
Comprehensive emergency evacuation insurance will also offer what’s called a “medical assistance benefit”; this gives you 24/7 access to a local assistance company. This company will arrange your medical evacuation and ensure that you get proper treatment at an appropriate hospital, which can be crucial if you are in a country with limited medical resources. This medical assistance company can help with other travel-related issues that may arise during your trip as well, such as legal troubles or lost passports and credit cards.
Other Points to Consider
Providers of Medical Foreign Travel Insurance will not cover “reckless behavior,” which is defined differently by individual policy providers. If you’re planning to go hang-gliding in the Swiss Alps, check with your prospective provider to see if they cover accidents resulting from that activity.
Some U.S. health insurance providers cover you abroad, so you should talk to your domestic provider to avoid doubling-up on coverage. However, keep in mind that domestic coverage abroad is often limited to medical care provided at hospitals that are in-network with your insurance provider, so you should ensure that there are in-network hospitals near where you will be travelling should you need immediate care. If there aren’t, Medical Foreign Travel Insurance will cover you regardless of where you receive treatment from.
Medical Foreign Travel Insurance not only covers the monetary expense of a medical emergency abroad, but it also helps to ensure that you get proper and prompt medical care wherever you travel. Some hospitals either won’t provide treatment or won’t let you be discharged until they have received a guarantee of payment. Travel insurers typically provide these guarantees, while other health insurers may not. This feature of travel health insurance can be necessary for receiving medical care if, for example, the hospitals nearby don’t accept foreign credit cards.
Where can I get quotes?
Insuremytrip.com provides lists of quotes from various travel health insurance providers. You can also go directly through the insurance provider to get individual quotes.
Do I ever have to worry about being refused coverage?
Travelers are typically only refused coverage if they have been diagnosed with life-threatening, pre-existing medical conditions. If this is applicable to you, you should check with the individual insurance provider to determine if they will cover you abroad. It is also important to consider age when applying for Medical Foreign Travel Insurance; many companies require an extra premium beginning at a certain age, which can vary from 55 to over age 70 depending on the provider.
How far in advance should I purchase Medical Foreign Travel Insurance?
You can purchase Medical Foreign Travel Insurance when you book your trip, up to 24 hours before your departure date, or any time between. However, keep in mind that age or pre-existing medical conditions can require longer processing times.
Contact your Wealth Advisor to discuss purchasing Medical Foreign Travel Insurance for your upcoming trip!
Important Disclosure Information
Please remember that RegentAtlantic does not sell any insurance products. Please consult with an insurance professional of your choosing prior to purchasing any of the insurance products discussed in this article.
Please remember to contact RegentAtlantic if there are any changes in your personal or financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing our previous recommendations and services, or if you wish to impose, add, or modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment management services. A copy of our current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for your review upon request. This article is not a substitute for personalized advice from RegentAtlantic. This article is current only as of the date on which it was sent. The statements and opinions expressed are, however, subject to change without notice based on market and other conditions and may differ from opinions expressed in other businesses and activities of RegentAtlantic. Descriptions of RegentAtlantic’s process and strategies are based on general practice and we may make exceptions in specific cases.
Important disclosure information
Please remember that different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, including the loss of money invested. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Therefore, it should not be assumed that future performance of any specific investment or investment strategy, including the investments or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by RegentAtlantic Capital, LLC (“RegentAtlantic”) will be profitable.
Please remember to contact RegentAtlantic if there are any changes in your personal or financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing our previous recommendations and services, or if you wish to impose, add, or modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment management services. A copy of our current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for your review upon request.
This article is not a substitute for personalized advice from RegentAtlantic. This article is current only as of the date on which it was sent. The statements and opinions expressed are, however, subject to change without notice based on market and other conditions and may differ from opinions expressed in other businesses and activities of RegentAtlantic. Descriptions of RegentAtlantic’s process and strategies are based on general practice and we may make exceptions in specific cases.
RegentAtlantic does not provide legal or tax advice. Please consult with a legal and or tax professional of your choosing prior to implementing any of the strategies discussed in this article.