When purchasing a travel insurance policy, you will typically have the option to select from several different maximum benefit levels for medical treatment. This is referred to as the medical maximum and can range from $10,000 up to $1,000,000. In the event of a medical emergency, while traveling, the insurance company will only be liable for paying medical claims up to this maximum benefit level. Since the cost of health care can vary greatly from one country to another, always make sure to purchase enough coverage for the worst-case scenario. You will find that increasing the medical maximum limit will not increase your premium payment substantially. Persons of older age may be limited to the number of medical maximums that are available to them.
In addition to choosing a medical maximum limit, you will also need to select your deductible. These deductible choices may range from $0 to $5,000 or higher. In the event of a medical emergency, you will be responsible for meeting this selected deductible amount before the insurance company is liable for paying claims on covered services. Your selected deductible should be an amount that you are comfortable paying in the event of a claim. For travel insurance for trips of longer periods, the deductible will be reset on the 12 month anniversary of your policy purchase. In addition, the deductible is per insured person on the travel plan. Some insurance companies may offer per person limits on policies that cover a family, such as three times the per person deductible for a family, regardless of the number of insured family members.
Some travel insurance plans may require a coinsurance for covered services once the deductible has been met. Coinsurance is the share of cost that you must pay toward medical treatments and other benefits covered under the plan. On many travel insurance plans, a coinsurance may only be required of non-U.S. citizens that are purchasing travel insurance for trips to the United States.
Another consideration in choosing a travel insurance policy may be the renewal policies of the insurance company. In the event that you need to extend your trip, some insurance companies may allow you to extend your existing coverage for the remainder of your stay. When a travel plan is renewable, the deductible will not typically be reset for the extended period of coverage. In addition, if you have received emergency medical treatment or developed an illness during your original benefit period, this illness will not be considered pre-existing. If you are uncertain of the length of your trip, a renewable policy is an important factor in comparing available plan options.
As with any health insurance plan, the two most important factors to review on a quoted policy are the travel insurance benefits and the travel insurance exclusions. These two standard portions of the travel insurance policy determine the effectiveness of the insurance coverage for your particular circumstances and needs. Failing to review these sections and confirm that they meet your medical and travel needs could result in denial of claims coverage and leave you stranded in a foreign country without access to affordable or safe medical care.
Some travel insurance companies offer international assistance programs and doctor referral services. A doctor referral may result in discounted rates for medical treatments and ease of claim filings. A referral service can also be very helpful in traveling to a country of which you are not familiar. When in need of medical treatment, you can contact the insurance company with your location and they will direct you to a physician or hospital that meets your specific needs.
* Please refer to our legal terms and conditions for disclaimers pertaining to the content on this page.