One of the most important benefits of travel insurance is the medical benefits. If you are traveling out of the country, these benefits can be even more important to you. We won’t kid anybody that this area of travel insurance can be complex and confusing at times. But it is worth the effort to understand what is and is not covered by a plan before you buy it.
As we have said many times before, all plans are not the same. While most policies will included the same general types of coverages, the dollar limits and exclusions will vary. So take the time to know what you specifically need, both in terms of coverage types and dollar limits.
Medical/Dental expense coverage
If while on a trip you suffer any injury or illness that requires medical attention, most plans will pay what they call “reasonable and customary” charges. These are subject to the maximum amounts specified in the policy. These are always shown in the schedule of benefits for any plan.
You might find there is a deductible specified. These have to be satisfied first before any reimbursement is received just as in the case of any medical insurance you might have. They will also usually specify that the reimbursement is only for medically necessary treatment.
Emergency dental treatment is also usually included. This is intended to treat acute pain or an injury to natural teeth. It is limited to a per tooth maximum amount specified in the policy. So don’t wait until you are on vacation to have that dental work done and expect to collect from your travel insurance.
In addition, the insurer will usually reimburse you for medically necessary covered expenses to treat the injury or illness within one year of the date of the accident or onset of the illness as long as the initial treatment was received during your trip.
- Most policies will typically pay for:
- Services of a Physician or Registered Nurse (R.N.);
- Hospital charges;
- Local ambulance service to or from a hospital;
- Artificial limbs, artificial eyes, artificial teeth or other necessary prosthetic devices.
Most insurers will offer a range of plans and various upgrades that allow you to have different maximum limits. So it’s important to compare coverages before you make a decision. Also, timing is important. Some insurers will offer upgraded benefits if you purchase your coverage within a specific number of days of making your trip payment.
Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation Coverage
If you are traveling out of the country, this coverage is extremely important. MAKE SURE you have it. If you or someone traveling with you is seriously injured or dies and an evacuation or repatriation of the remains is necessary, that transportation can be very expensive. In some cases it could range from $50,000 – $100,000. Unless you have specific coverage for this, you will be faced with a huge expense that won’t be covered by normal medical insurance.
Again, plans will vary in the covered benefits as well as the maximum amounts that will be paid. You need to decide what the appropriate coverage for you or your family is. But don’t ever let yourself be exposed to this risk when traveling out of the country. The cost of the coverage just isn’t worth taking the risk.
Pre-existing medical condition coverage
A pre-existing medical condition is any condition that you have experienced the conditions of or had diagnosed and treated prior to your trip. Many plans exclude pre-existing conditions but will grant a waiver to the exclusion under certain circumstances or for an additional premium payment. There are restrictions that apply to this coverage.
If you have such a condition, it is our advice to consult with the insurance carrier to determine if your situation would be covered under the policy you are considering.
Compare Quotes for the Best Value in Travel Insurance
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