Picture this: You’re traveling overseas and you come down with a fever. You don’t speak the native language and you’re uncertain if your health plan covers medical care, like a visit to a doctor or hospital, abroad.
While this is probably the last scenario you want to consider while planning your trip, medical emergencies happen. But here’s the silver lining: You can easily find out what your insurance will cover while traveling abroad by asking your provider a few key questions. To determine what coverage you have, and what you’ll need when traveling overseas, start by asking these five questions.
1. What does my health plan cover overseas?
The level of medical coverage available for international travel can vary widely, depending on your domestic health care provider and plan. The State Department advises contacting your insurance company prior to your trip and inquiring about the specific overseas medical services that are included in your coverage.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also encourages travelers to ask what is excluded from their policy, such as risky activities. And depending on what is available to you, the CDC advises considering a supplemental policy. The State Department also recommends inquiring about specifics such as whether the plan includes coverage for emergency evacuations to the US and pre-existing medical conditions. You should also familiarize yourself with any out-of-pocket costs that you may encounter for overseas medical procedures or services.
2. What if I have Medicare?
Keep in mind that Medicare does not cover emergency medical services for travelers out of the country. There are some Medigap plans that can offer supplemental coverage but remember that there is a lifetime cap of $50,000 for foreign travel emergency coverage.
3. What about emergency medical evacuations?
Few domestic health insurance providers will pay to transport