Travel Health Insurance
How to get the best deal, and how to get coverage for pre-existing conditions
If you are covered under Medicare and a Medicare Supplement Plan, you may not have any medical coverage when you travel outside the United States. Some supplemental Medicare policies do provide coverage, but they rarely cover the costs of an emergency medical evacuation.
“If you are covered under Medicare and a Medicare Supplement Plan, you may not have any medical coverage when you travel outside the United States.”
Travel medical plans come in two forms. One covers only your medical and medical evacuation, and typically it will cover you for an extended trip abroad. The other is a general travel insurance plan that covers your medical expenses and emergency evacuation, but also provides cancellation insurance, coverage for your baggage, and trip interruption coverage.
The plan you need depends on how long you are traveling and what kind of trip you are taking.. If you are taking an extended trip (longer than 30 days) and do not have a specific travel agenda, then you will likely need to get a medical-only plan.
Most packaged travel insurance that provides general travel coverage limits the length of the vacation to 30-45 days. These plans also require you to have a specific set of travel dates.
“If you are taking a shorter vacation, then it is smarter to buy a general travel insurance policy that provides broader coverage.”
If you are taking a shorter vacation, then it is smarter to buy a general travel insurance policy that provides broader coverage. These plans still cover your medical expenses and medical evacuation, but they also cover trip cancellation if you become ill and can’t take the vacation. The trip interruption coverage will help you resume your trip if you are hospitalized during the vacation. It can also help you return home if you are ill and refund the penalties for the balance of your vacation that you have lost, up to the limits of the policy.
Most travel health insurance policies exclude losses resulting from pre-existing conditions. While the policy language may vary from company to company, policies generally exclude any condition treated or that is recommended to be treated in a 60- to 180-day period prior to the purchase of the policy.
Some “Good” policies and all “Better” and “Best” policies available on TripInsurance.com include a provision to waive the pre-existing condition exclusion, if you purchase the policy shortly after your first payment for your trip, generally within 15 to 21 days.
It is smart to buy a policy with a pre-existing conditions waiver within the recommended time period. If you have to file a medical claim from your trip, your claim will be processed much faster because the insurance company doesn’t have to get a copy of your medical records to check for a pre-existing condition
The better policies you compare will have this pre-existing conditions waiver, but read the certificate to make sure you’ve bought the right coverage. Once you have the waiver, you must make sure you call the insurance company within 14 days of any change in your trip costs. For example if you buy your airline tickets and the cost of your trip goes up, you must call the insurance company or comparison website such as TripInsurance.com to adjust your policy. If the cost of the policy goes up, you just have to pay the difference.
“If you don’t maintain the declared cost of your trip in a timely fashion, the insurance company may disqualify your pre-existing condition waiver.”
If you don’t maintain the declared cost of your trip in a timely fashion, the insurance company may disqualify your pre-existing condition waiver. See this article for more information about pre-existing medical coverage
Call our toll free number at 877-219-8169, and our licensed travel insurance experts will answer any questions for you. There is no obligation to buy. We’re just happy to help.