Your Health Abroad

The U.S. government does not provide medical insurance nor pay for medical bills for U.S. citizens overseas. You should purchase insurance before you travel.  Before you go abroad, learn what medical services your health insurance will cover overseas.

Look for a Travel Health Insurance allows the following:

  • Pays for emergency and/or routine medical services overseas.
  • If you have health insurance in the United States, find out if it covers emergencies abroad.
  • If your health insurance coverage is not adequate, consider buying a short-term supplemental policy; a policy that will make payments to hospitals directly.

If your health insurance policy provides coverage outside the United States, remember to carry both your insurance policy identity card as proof of insurance, and a claim form.

Although some health insurance companies pay “customary and reasonable” hospital costs abroad, very few pay for your medical evacuation back to the United States. Medical evacuation can cost more than $50,000, depending on your location and medical condition.

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.

Are you covered abroad? Travel Insurance should 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

Look for a Medical Evacuation Insurance allows the following:

  • 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.