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Think you don’t need medical travel insurance while exploring abroad? Think again. Most domestic health insurance plans do not provide medical coverage outside of the United States. This includes Medicaid and Medicare.

This means the majority of U.S. travelers abroad are without medical travel insurance protection. Getting treatment for a medical emergency isn’t the problem; it’s getting the cost of the treatment covered.

Here are the various medical options for travel insurance plans.

Travel Insurance Plans for Medical Coverage Vary

There is not one standard travel insurance policy to protect all your medical needs. The most basic medical travel insurance plan covers emergency care while overseas, but that won’t cover a flight back to a U.S. hospital.

Depending on your health, consider adding Medical Evacuation and Repatriation to your travel insurance plan, or obtain a separate rider for this. With this insurance fee, you will be covered for emergency care to stabilize your medical condition and fly back to the U.S. hospital of your choice.

If you have an existing medical condition, a low-end emergency medical travel insurance plan may not cover this. There are travel insurance plans that will add a waiver to cover treatment of a pre-existing health condition. It costs more but may be necessary and you will also need to purchase a plan like this within a set amount of days of making a payment (whether full or partial) towards your trip.

Additional line items for more medical travel insurance include prescription benefits. If your prescription drugs were lost or stolen while abroad, this benefit will cover a replacement prescription.

Medical Travel Insurance Pricing

Prices for travel medical insurance follow two structures. One method offers a per trip travel insurance policy. Prices will range from 5 to 12 percent of the cost of the trip. For example, an all-in-one, per trip travel insurance policy would cover a basic medical emergency. You would need to purchase additional add-ons and riders to ensure coverage for pre-existing conditions, long stays, medical travel to a facility of your choice and so on.

Also, frequent travelers can purchase annual medical travel insurance. This plan would typically provide coverage during travel within the United States as well as abroad and is therefore suitable for frequent, short road trips as well as foreign travel.

Like health insurance plans, medical travel insurance plans are regulated at the state level. Prices, plans and carriers will vary according to your state policy.

Traveling without health insurance can be an expensive risk to take, especially for those who enjoy exotic foods, multi-course meals and adventure travel. Play it safe with travel insurance.

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