Insurance Blog

Posted: 02/07/20233,285 Views

Travel medical insurance is recommended for many travelers who are venturing abroad outside the US, and visitors medical insurance is recommended for many who are traveling to the US from another country. However, this sort of coverage isn’t suitable for everyone. To ensure that you purchase coverage that meets your needs and expectations, let’s discover the situations where travel medical insurance isn’t appropriate to purchase.

If You’re Taking a Domestic Trip

Travel medical insurance and visitors insurance coverage is designed for international travel. If you’re taking a trip within your home country, it will not provide coverage. You can likely utilize your domestic health insurance during your trip, so there would be no need to buy travel medical insurance. 

Instead, US residents traveling domestically should purchase travel insurance. A travel insurance plan can protect your nonrefundable, prepaid trip costs in case you need to cancel your trip for a covered reason, plus benefits such as travel delay, trip interruption, and lost baggage protection. You can even receive coverage for emergency medical care in case your trip takes you outside of your usual health insurance network.

If You’re Traveling for Medical Tourism

Many people take international trips solely for the purpose of receiving medical care. You may need to have surgery or a procedure done that’s not commonly available in your country, or the procedure is not covered by your insurance and is cheaper to have done abroad. Others take international trips for the purposes of medical tourism simply because the level of care available in another country is better than what is available in their home country.

In any case, travel medical insurance or visitors insurance will not provide coverage for medical tourism. A travel medical insurance plan is designed to cover new illnesses, injuries and accidents that occur after the effective date of the policy. You can still purchase a travel medical insurance plan in case you suffer a new sickness or injury during your trip. But any procedures or surgeries you’re planning to get ahead of time or are elective would be considered medical tourism, and you will have to pay the entire cost for them out of your own pocket.

If You’re an Expatriate Seeking Long-Term Coverage

Travel medical insurance or visitors medical insurance plans are designed for short-term trips, typically between five days and one year (though the exact available duration will depend upon the individual plan). If you’re planning to live, work, or retire outside your home country for an extended period of time, you should instead look into expatriate health insurance. These are annually renewable major medical plans that are much more suitable for living abroad for extended durations.

In Conclusion

Think of travel medical insurance or visitors medical insurance like the emergency spare tire on a car. It’s something that’s essential to have during a journey, and could be a lifesaver in an unexpected situation. However, it’s not something you’re going to plan on using every single day. 

So, if you’re taking a short-term trip abroad, be sure to have travel medical insurance or visitors insurance. But if you’re traveling domestically, traveling solely for the purpose of medical tourism, or planning to live abroad for many months or years at a time, it may not be suitable for your situation.

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