8 People Who Need Travel Health Insurance


Is Travel Health Insurance for you? Stand-alone health insurance for trips abroad is something a lot of people decline…sometimes with a pride akin to triumphing over that electronics sales person who was pushing an extended warranty.

But unlike an Xbox 360, being more covered than you need could be a matter of life and death (or at least bankruptcy and financial prosperity) when it comes to your health in a foreign land…

…Here are eight of the most common people who may think they don’t need travel health insurance (but really might) and what they need to know:

Is Travel Health Insurance for you_Airplane

You, if you’re not already covered
Some health insurance plans don’t, in-fact, cover you for travel outside of the U.S. Many do. The rule of thumb for all of the below is to check out the details of the plan in question in the fine print, online, or call…yes, call. As with anything to do with insurance, what might seem like a hassle will likely be a few minutes well-spent.

If you only have travel insurance that covers a few medical items
If your current at-home plan doesn’t cover you for travel abroad, buying such a plan for the number of days you’re away is never a bad investment. The key is picking the features that will matter if worst comes to worst: Be sure your plan is an actual medical insurance one that covers you for direct medical expenses and not just a travel insurance plan that happens to cover you for a few health-related items such as sickness, death, etc…

You, if you are already covered
Even if your current medical insurance covers you while abroad, check to see exactly what it covers you for. In many cases, a dedicated travel health insurance plan can fill in important gaps in your monthly health insurance coverage when abroad: Are you covered for extended hospital stays? Will your insurance pay upfront for medical costs so you don’t have to worry about getting reimbursed later? Are you covered for emergency evacuations?

Those traveling to countries with healthcare significantly less advanced than in the U.S.
A good policy will pay for emergency transportation to adequate medical care and even emergency transportation back to the U.S. As this can cost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars, travel health insurance may be worth buying if for no other reason than the fact that it should cover you in the event that such a trip is necessary.

One of the most important things a stand-alone student medical travel insurance policy should cover is all costs upfront: Especially important for those on a budget where paying out-of-pocket is a serious concern.

Pregnant women
Any existing or stand-alone travel health insurance plan for pregnant women should cover expenses due to pregnancy-related complications and evacuation coverage that guarantees you will be evacuated only to the U.S. or a facility that will deliver the type of care specified by your travel insurance plan.

The older you are, the harder it is to get dedicated travel health insurance. The key for seniors is to be persistent. Keep looking until you find a policy that covers your needs. A good place to start is your existing health insurance provider, as you’re more likely to get the coverage you want with a company that already knows and insures you.

People with pre-existing conditions
In this case, you will want a comprehensive plan that doesn’t exclude anything (if you already have health issues, you don’t want to risk additional issues or complications of your existing condition.) Chiefly, you want a plan that covers every conceivable incident that could arise as a result of your condition. Consulting with your doctor is a good way to double-check the must-have’s for such a plan. Finally, if you decide you need it, be sure to get such coverage in place as far in advance of your travel as possible.

With the eight archetypes above, we’ve hopefully painted an introductory picture of when you need travel health insurance and examples of when it might be useful to recommend it to others.

Any other cases you can think of where stand-along health insurance could really save someone when (or before) traveling? What have been your experiences?


7 comments on “8 People Who Need Travel Health Insurance”

  1. Juanita Gallegos

    Admitting Registrar Technician – 10 Years Experience
    Dedicated quality-focused professional, offering strong qualifications in; service delivery, customer service, and Emergency Admitting Registrar activities and Patient Financial Counselor. Sound judgment and decision-making skills, detail-oriented worker with proven communication skills with ability to facilitate multiple tasks.

    Summary of Skills & Qualifications

    10 years plus experience as an Emergency Admitting Registrar, Patient Financial Counselor in direct support of management functions
    Skills and knowledge in Microsoft Office Programs – MS Word, Excel, Star, and MS Internet Explorer
    Able to complete projects/meet goals in a deadline driven environment
    Excellent Communication skills and Public Etiquette
    Office Coordination, General Bookkeeping, Database Management and Process Development
    Typing skill 75 wpm, filing, faxing, scanning, and excellent phone skills, accounts receivable
    Dependable, reliable, and self motivated
    Bilingual (English / Spanish)

    Professional Experience

    Patient Financial Counselor
    Scottsdale Healthcare, Scottsdale, Arizona March 2007 – June 2010
    Registered/Pre-registered outpatient/inpatient surgery
    Pre-registered patients for all ancillary departments
    Obtained accurate patient demographics
    Provided copies of insurance care orders and any other forms needed for ancillary departments
    Initiated phone contact with patients to advise them pf required documentation
    Contacted the insurance companies to determine eligibility/benefits and co-pay/deductibles, co-ins with procedure codes
    Verified AHCCCS eligibility status for non-insured patients and Medicare-insured patients with no secondary coverage. Runs Transunion
    Ran PCA on Medicare
    Ran DDE on Medicare
    Contacted patients to advise them of their financial responsibility
    Insured patient’s complete understanding of registration process
    Juanita Gallegos page two
    Professional Experience
    Admitting Registrar February 2002-March 2007
    Phoenix Baptist Hospital, Phoenix, Arizona
    Registers/Pre-registers patient in a timely manner, as evidenced by minimal to no patient waiting and minimal registration time
    Obtain accurate patient demographics when registering/pre-registering patient
    Provide adequate notes in Meditech system by documenting all payer-related information, patient issues, physician office communications, and any account-related communication
    Ensure complete pre-registration by preparing payer-related forms, consents, arm band, eligibility, insurance verification, and Medicare-related forms
    Ensured correct forms are filled out and signed out and signed for each registration, payer-related forms, COA, Medicare notification letters
    Ensure that patient handouts are given out and explained (i.e.: Patient Rights and Responsibilities, Advance Directives, Financial Assistance, etc.)
    Ensure insurance cards, orders and any other forms are copied as needed for ancillary departments, nursing units, Medical Records, Business Office, etc., and disperses paperwork appropriately
    Verify AHCCCS eligibility status for non-insurance patients and Medicare-insured with no secondary coverage. Runs transunion
    Contact the insurance company to determine eligibility/benefits and co-pay/deductibles
    Obtain authorizations/pre-certification from physicians office/insurances company for all scheduled tests when required

    Maricopa Intergrated Systems September 1999-January 2002
    Accurately obtained demographics from patients
    Informed patients of hospital policies and ensured their understanding
    Pulled patients records from system to update all information
    Precisely entered all insurance information from applications
    Assisted with AHCCCS Insurance, retrieved all information from patient, made copies of insurance cards, and called to obtain authorization for service
    Obtained authorizations/pre-certification from physicians office/insurance companies for all scheduled tests when required
    Checked records for accuracy
    Scheduled all appointments and answered phones, transferred calls throughout the hospital to appropriate departments in a timely manner

    Front Office Surgery Scheduler
    Dr. Ronald Gordon, M.D., Phoenix, Arizona
    Set-up patients for three different offices for Op, Pre-op, and Anesthesiologists
    Arranged patient accommodations with local hospitals
    Scheduled all appointments and answered telephones for three offices
    Contacted the insurance companies to determine eligibility/benefits and co-pay/deductibles
    Obtained authorizations/pre-certification from physicians office
    Full charge of all patient medical records and ensured the accuracy of patients files
    Recognized for outstanding customer service skills

    Juanita Gallegos page three
    Professional Experience
    Account Representative
    Yuma Regional Medical Center, Yuma, Arizona
    Registered outpatient/inpatient surgery/procedures
    Informed patients of hospital policies and ensured their understanding
    Retrieved all demographics from patients, and made copies of insurance cards
    Contacted the insurance companies to determine eligibility/benefits and co-pay/deductibles
    Scheduled all appointments and answered telephones, transferred calls throughout the hospital


    AWC College, Yuma, Arizona
    Account Receivable Courses

  2. Travel health insurance is one of those things that very easily gets lost in the long checklists of to-do’s when preparing for overseas travel, especially when you’re traveling for fun (who wants to think about getting sick while on vacation?) or you’re generally healthy (“I haven’t been to the doctor in over 3 years…”). But when you’re not feeling well and far away for home, or worse – you are injured in an accident, the last thing you want on to deal with is the added stress of wondering if your insurance is going to get you access to the necessary healthcare or if it’s going to help pick up the tab. Even here in the US, where we speak the same language as our healthcare providers and we have quick access to some of the best facilities and equipment in the world, trips to the doctor or hospital don’t always go smoothly. So, I wholeheartedly agree with the advice above – do your homework on the healthcare services available at your destination and make sure your insurance is ready to serve you if you need it while overseas.

  3. Just about all of whatever you mention happens to be supprisingly precise and that makes me ponder the reason why I hadn’t looked at this with this light previously. Your piece truly did turn the light on for me as far as this specific subject goes. But at this time there is one point I am not necessarily too cozy with so while I make an effort to reconcile that with the actual core idea of your issue, permit me see what all the rest of the visitors have to point out.Very well done.


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