International travel medical insurance is a type of insurance that protects you against the cost of medical care abroad. If you’re on vacation and suffer a sudden injury or illness, you’ll likely need to receive care from a local facility, which your domestic health insurance might not cover. Depending on your location, you might even require transportation to a more advanced facility via Helivac or other specialized medical transport.
Without travel medical insurance, coverage is up to the discretion of your insurance provider. If not covered, you could be responsible for thousands of dollars in medical bills by the time you return home, especially if emergency medical evacuation services were involved. If you have a travel insurance plan with medical coverage, your insurance provider will cover expenses up to your coverage maximum.
Travel medical insurance can be sold as a part of a larger travel insurance plan or as stand-alone coverage. When bundled with standard travel insurance, you’ll gain benefits like compensation for delayed baggage and nonrefundable trip costs if you’re forced to go home early. Most plans also include 24/7 assistance services that can help communicate with local medical staff and arrange care payments on your behalf.
Travel medical coverage can be ideal if your domestic health insurance does not extend to injuries and illnesses sustained abroad. Consider a limited travel medical plan that provides secondary coverage if your health insurance has a higher deductible or out-of-pocket maximum. Like other types of travel insurance, this coverage works on a reimbursement-based model — so be sure to keep documentation of all medical expenses you incur while on your trip.