How can we help?

Active policy holders are encouraged to submit all policy renewals, corrections, or cancellations online through your account for timely processing.

Sign in to your account

Talk to a Licensed Insurance Specialist:

+1 (866) 384-9104

7:00AM - 6:00PM PT (Mon-Fri) Open

Other ways to reach us:

VisitorsCoverage logo
Travel Insurance

Why Checkups Aren’t Covered By Travel Health Insurance

Why Checkups Aren’t Covered By Travel Health Insurance

Many travelers are surprised to discover that preventative care and routine checkups and services even flu shots and the COVID-19 shot, regular prescriptions aren’t covered by their travel medical insurance.

There are several reasons that travel medical insurance plans don’t cover routine care, but the primary reason is cost. Essentially, if every travel insurance company was required to pay for routine care and checkups as well as emergency care and services, a lot of insured travelers would visit the doctor for minor health issues and preventative care while abroad. This would cause the cost of travel insurance to skyrocket.

Travel Insurance Covers Sudden Illnesses

Some visitors to the U.S. believe that they can buy travel medical insurance and get medical treatment for minor and routine situations. For example, a visitor with an existing heart condition who’s on blood pressure medication may make the mistake of believing that as long as they have travel insurance they can stop into a medical facility for a blood pressure check. This is not true.

Travel insurance is meant to help travelers who need sudden and emergency medical care while they are away from their home country. It’s not meant to act as a direct substitute for their domestic healthcare. If you’re facing a genuine medical emergency, a sudden illness, or injury which manifests after the policy effective date, your medical treatment will be covered by travel insurance. This means that you can get the emergency care you need without going into crushing medical debt.

What Constitutes Emergency Medical Care?

So what exactly constitutes emergency medical care? Here’s a look at the types of events that most travel medical insurance policies may cover provided they occur with the policy effective dates:

  • Treatment of injuries resulting from a car accident
  • Severe dehydration resulting from the flu
  • Surgery to repair a broken hip resulting from a slip and fall accident
  • Treatment for continuous vomiting due to food poisoning
  • Emergency treatment for a snake bite

The common characteristic of all these medical events is that they are sudden, unexpected events.

Travel Insurance & Medical Tourism

While some people suffering terrible illnesses and injuries can, with careful planning and very specific permissions, come to the United States for a much needed surgery, U.S. visitors can not expect to use their travel insurance for these kinds of situations.

Some may attempt to take advantage of better treatment, better medications, and better care the U.S. has to offer, but travel medical insurance is limited to emergency medical events that occur during the effective policy dates. In some cases, working immigrants might bring their parents and other family members to the U.S. expecting them to receive free, quality medical care.

However, the reality is that these family members would likely not receive medical attention and if they did, the medical expenses would be devastating. So it’s crucial to understand that travel health insurance covers only the insured and is limited to medical events that occur while that individual is covered.

The U.S. healthcare system is not designed to care for foreign visitors and medical care is not free.

Tourists to the U.S. have only two options to get emergency medical care in the U.S.:

  • Pay for medical treatment out of pocket
  • Purchase adequate travel health insurance while booking the U.S. trip to cover emergency medical care needed while in the U.S.

Travel medical insurance is only for emergency medical or urgent treatment of sudden and unexpected illness or injury while you are traveling in the U.S. It will usually not cover pre-existing conditions.

If you have questions about what is covered and what is not covered by travel health insurance, visit our page on travel medical insurance or get a quote about a visitors travel insurance plan. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact our award winning Customer Success Team for help.

Related Articles

Travel Medical Insurance – Direct Billing Or Cash Payment Upfront

Do we have to pay upfront and then get reimbursed, or will insurance company pay…

Emergency Room Coverage – When to Use It

Emergency room (ER) Visits in the U.S. are extremely expensive. This is true even for…

Understanding the Basics of the Affordable Care Act

In 2014, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as ObamaCare, came into…

Will My Health Insurance Cover Me When I Travel Abroad?

Unfortunately, most domestic health insurance policies dont provide coverage outside your home country. In general,…

Whitewater River Rafting

Floating downstream through rock-strewn rapids, past breath-taking scenery, whitewater rafting is a popular outdoor thrill…

Infographics: Breathtaking Adventures and Their Dangers

Anyone who loves the outdoors has probably enjoyed their fair share of adventurous activities. Experienced…

Infographics: Traveling While Pregnant

Expecting mothers should take extra precautions when traveling, and in some cases may want to…

Travel Medical Insurance & US Healthcare

Healthcare costs around the globe can vary a great amount depending on where you visit….

CoverAmerica-Gold Plan Unveils New Enhancements

Updated July 28, 2021 **This plan has been updated! Read all about the enhancements made…

Sri Lankas Bold New Visa Policy

In the last 10 years, Sri Lanka has become an exciting destination for many travelers…

10 Cities to Visit Post-Pandemic

We’ve put together a list of some of the most exciting and breathtaking cities around…

Tips for Seniors Traveling During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we travel. This is especially true for senior…

Find COVID-19 Coverage Before Your Next Trip

*Updated July 29, 2021 If youre thinking about traveling, you might also think about travel…

VisitorsCoverage Wins Two Customer Service Awards

VisitorsCoverage is honored to receive two awards: the 2021 Business Intelligence Group Excellence in Customer…

The Four Most Common Travel Emergencies

Although traveling can be an incredibly rewarding and fun experience, theres always a possibility that…


Plan features listed here are high level, provided for your convenience and information purpose only. Please review the Evidence of Coverage and Plan Contract (Policy) for a detailed description of Coverage Benefits, Limitations and Exclusions. Must read the Policy Brochure and Plan Details for complete and accurate details. Only the Terms and Conditions of Coverage Benefits listed in the policy are binding.