4 things you should know about insurance providers and coverage while traveling overseas
The U.S. government does not provide medical insurance for U.S. citizens overseas. They do not pay medical bills. You should purchase insurance before you travel.
Before you go, consider your insurance options.
- In general, Medicare and Medicaid do not cover medical costs overseas.
Medical Evacuation Insurance
- Pays for medical care and emergency transportation.
- If you are traveling to a remote destination or to a place where care is not likely to be up to U.S. standards, consider buying medical evacuation insurance.
- It can be purchased separately or as part of your travel health insurance policy.
Travel Health Insurance
- Pays for emergency and/or routine medical services overseas.
- If you have health insurance in the United States, find out if it covers emergencies that happen abroad. More information is available on our page about your health abroad.
- If your health insurance coverage is not adequate, consider buying a short-term supplemental policy. Look for a policy that will make payments to hospitals directly.
Trip Cancellation Insurance
- Covers your financial investment in your trip, such as flights, cruises, or train tickets.
- Carefully examine the policy to make sure that it covers what you need it to cover.
- May not cover any medical care you need overseas, so you may need a separate travel health insurance policy.
Familiarize yourself with your travel and medical coverage before going overseas.
Considerations When Looking at Travel Insurance
Travel insurance varies widely and one should carefully read the terms of an insurance policy to make sure it fits the needs of the traveler.
For example, does it cover:
- Emergency medical care
- Medical transport back to the United States
- Travel/accommodation costs
- 24 hour contact line
- Sufficient financial coverage
- The region(s) you travel in
- Duration of travel
- Pre-existing conditions
- Activities you plan on engaging in