Why Domestic Health Insurance Doesn’t Cover You Abroad

Why Domestic Health Insurance Doesn’t Cover You Abroad

Traveling abroad and seeing new things is an experience that many hope to have in their lives. However, one of the challenges that travelers abroad must face is knowing that their domestic insurance may not cover some or all expenses. Another unique challenge is trying to anticipate which uncovered events may or may not happen during a trip. Travel insurance is an easy way to have coverage when traveling abroad.

Universal Health Care Usually Covers Only Citizens

Many travelers go to countries where, instead of relying on private insurance, doctors and hospitals take government-funded coverage. Although it is helpful for residents of that country, it will not usually apply to travelers. Many health providers will take credit cards, which may ease some of the burden. However, US residents may submit their itemized doctor or hospital bill to their travel insurance company for reimbursement.

Traveling abroad and seeing new things is an experience that many hope to have in their lives. However, one of the challenges that travelers abroad must face is knowing that their domestic insurance may not cover some or all expenses. Another unique challenge is trying to anticipate which uncovered events may or may not happen during a trip. Travel insurance exists to fill that gap.

Emergency Situations

Most travel insurance will provide coverage that covers emergencies under their standard coverage. In most cases, an insurance company considers a medical situation an emergency if it would result in death or disability if untreated. Some examples of other situations that could have emergency status include wounds that need suturing, heat stroke, altitude sickness and bites, especially in areas where rabies is common, are usually considered emergencies.

What About Medical Evacuation Insurance?

Some travelers take out medevac coverage in the event they require medical care, but are unable to return home on a commercial flight. This insurance may also apply in cases where a traveler becomes ill or injured in a place where they require air transport to a hospital. However, travelers need to keep the fact that medevac insurance does not cover all medical emergencies in mind. Evacuations made necessary because of extreme sports injuries or injuries sustained while scuba diving, for example, may not be covered because of the relative risk.

At-Risk Country Travel

When the State Department issues warnings about traveling to at-risk countries, travelers will need to consider the fact that domestic medical insurance is seldom honored. It is in a traveler’s best interests to buy travel insurance. Even when traveling to countries where American travel is common, it is best to shop around for different options. Frequent travelers, for example, may benefit from policies that cover multiple trips.

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