Travel Health Insurance

A loyal California-based reader, Jon, asked if I could do a post on how he is covered when traveling overseas from a medical perspective. Luckily, I haven’t needed any medical attention during any of my trips but I know what my coverage will be if I do.

There are 2 major types of plans here in the US which are PPO and HMO plans. PPO plans let you choose any doctor to treat you but there are in-network and out of network payouts which can vary so always try for an in-network doctor. With HMO plans you have to identify a primary care physician and don’t cover out of network (out of state) treatments. I’ve always selected PPO plans as I travel domestically and internationally thus requiring the out of network option.

You’ll need to call your insurance provider to know what is covered when traveling internationally but if you want to purchase supplemental insurance below are a few recommended providers from fellow travelers which offer travel insurance and includes travel health insurance. (AIG) (Travelex)

Note, travel insurance and travel health insurance might be provided by your credit card provider so always check with them. Your employer might have a Travel Health Insurance policy (ex. Cigna MBA or BlueCross GeoBlue) as well which covers you during business trips and also personal travel attached to the beginning or end of a business trip if they have the Sojourn option added.

Based on my experience with travel insurance this year, they limit the covered reasons so read through the coverage documents in detail.

Have you had to use Travel Health Insurance? If so, who was the provider and were they easy to work with?

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