Travel Medical Insurance

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We’re heading on our big trip of the year next month and I’ve been looking into our health insurance coverage.  I’ve taken dozens of overseas trips for fun or for work over the years, but I’ve honestly never bothered to understand how I was covered for any medical issues.

Recently, a of couple situations came up that caused me to rethink my ‘ignorance is bliss’ approach.  First, on a cruise a couple years ago, our son developed a severe fever that ended up with him in the ship’s hospital getting an IV and tests.  He was fine in 24 hours, but that cost us $1,500 out of pocket.  Earlier this month, a friend had an ATV accident and they actually airlifted him from a rural area to a regional hospital.  Again, he was also fine after a few days recovery, but the helicopter ride was over $27,000.

With those incidents in mind, and understanding that our primary health insurance only covers 50% of most medical expenses over our $13,500 deductible when we are ‘out-of-network’, I decided I should look into travel coverage.

At first the only policies I could find were comprehensive travel plans including medical, trip cancellation, trip interruption, baggage loss, and rental car collision coverage. That’s more than I was really looking for and the quote was for $400 per person for our 3 week trip.  Way more than we needed.

Then I discovered that Blue Cross/Blue Shield (which is our primary carrier) offers something called BlueGeo which just covers medical expenses.  This coverage is only $92 form wife & I combined.  I’m not one to generally buy travel insurance of any kind, but I think this will be good piece of mind for us.

While I don’t generally buy ‘add-on’ insurance, I feel like it makes financial sense since medical costs can get out of control so quickly.  One small issue like our son ran into on would pay out sixteen fold on the cost of the premium.  I probably should have been more knowledgeable about this is the past, so I thought it might be helpful to share here and see what plans other folks make when traveling.

Anyone else have experience with medical insurance coverage for travelers?

Image Credit: Pixabay

8 thoughts on “Travel Medical Insurance

  1. I do generally buy travel insurance, especially for international trips. I’ve never needed to use it — so far. But peace of mind for a “Person of Age” overseas is priceless. I fund it through the money I save by not buying “extended warranties” on gadgets!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I avoid extended warranties. I can self-unsure a $200 TV. I worry about how much a catastrophic medical issue might be overseas.

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  2. Nomadicmatt.com just posted on his blog about Everything you need to know about travel insurance and companies he has used. You might find some helpful info. He definitely recommends travel insurance. I never considered it before, but as I’m getting older, medical travel insurance really does make sense.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have bought “travel insurance” twice, once when my mother was in very poor health, we might have had to reroute our trip and then again last spring for a trip to Paris. I fell at the Arc de Triomphe. The next day I walked to the American Hospital one mile from our hotel. I got two X-ray’s, a consult and a sling along with a peace of mind that my elbow was only a contusion not a break. $450 which was reimbursed less $50 deductible within ten days of return and prior to receiving the credit card bill. I plan on large trips as we age to buy it on a case by case basis

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    1. Paris actually one of our stops on this trip. Appreciate you sharing the first-hand experience. That is exactly the kind of problem I would worry about. I’m sure you could afford $450, but it more than covered the cost of the insurance, and protected you against medical costs getting out of hand quickly if something more serious happened.

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  4. AmEx sells a la cart travel insurance. I buy (medical only) for my mother when she flies up from Florida. It was $32 for 4 weeks. It says it will cover $100K medical as secondary insurance if it is not 90 day pre-existing condition.

    Liked by 1 person

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