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What Is Travel Health Insurance?

Published: May 2017

Travel health insurance is a type of coverage often included in a travel insurance policy. Some insurers refer to this coverage as "emergency medical benefits." If you become seriously injured or ill during your trip, travel health insurance may help cover you during an emergency situation.

Hiker on mountain overlook.

What Does Travel Health Insurance Cover?

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) states that travel health insurance may help pay for the following:

  • Medical and/or dental expenses that you incur during travel due to a covered illness or injury requiring urgent or emergency treatment.
  • Emergency transportation to the nearest appropriate medical facility following a covered illness or injury.

If you slip and break your ankle while hiking in a remote area, travel health insurance may help cover the costs of being airlifted to the nearest hospital. Or, if you become seriously ill during your trip overseas, this coverage may help pay for the hospital stay.

Additional Things to Know About Travel Health Coverage

If you're thinking about purchasing travel insurance, it's important to understand that what your policy may help cover versus what you may have to pay for out of pocket. Ask your insurer about the following:

  • Deductibles
  • Coverage limits
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Trip interruption coverage

Deductible
Travel health coverage may come with a deductible — typically up to $1,000. (As with any insurance policy, keep in mind that lower deductibles typically mean a higher premium.

Coverage Limits
Make sure you know the limits of your travel health insurance coverage. Consumer Reports says some policies are capped at $10,000 — if you need emergency medical care, you would be responsible for paying for any associated costs that exceed your limit.

Pre-Existing Conditions
You may want to ask the insurer about coverage for pre-existing conditions. According to the NAIC, some policies may not cover treatment for pre-existing conditions, or they may charge a higher premium to do so. The NAIC also states that some insurers may charge more for coverage based on your age.

Trip Interruption Coverage
While travel health insurance may help pay for emergency medical expenses due to a covered illness or injury, you may still need to recoup some costs if your trip is unexpectedly cut short. The trip interruption coverage that is part of some travel insurance policies may help reimburse you for pre-paid expenses if your trip is shortened because you, a traveling companion or a family member becomes seriously ill or injured, says Consumer Reports.

This content is for informational purposes only and may not be applicable to all situations. © 2020 Allstate Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL.
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