Healthcare is an important issue for a great many Americans and has become even more top of mind in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. What you might not realize is that if you travel outside of the United States and its territories, Medicare will not cover your medical expenses.If you rely on Medicare for medical coverage and plan to travel internationally, you will need a travel insurance plan to cover you for any accidents, injuries or medical care while you are on your trip.
Like most people enrolled in Medicare, you're likely 65 or older, and may have medical conditions that require prescription medication or special care. For these reasons, it's crucial that you look for some specific benefits on a travel insurance plan.
- Acute onset of pre-existing conditions: This benefit is key for any person with a health condition that could flare up while abroad. Acute onset of pre-existing conditions is effective if you have an unexpected reoccurrence of a symptom associated with a chronic condition such as diabetes, arthritis or a heart condition.
- Comprehensive coverage: As opposed to limited coverage, comprehensive coverage can cover 100% of costs (after the deductible is met) rather than a set dollar amount or smaller percentage of your health bill. If you could have high medical bills, comprehensive coverage is a prudent choice.
- Emergency medical evacuation & repatriation: If you're traveling on a cruise or to a remote area, including mountain resorts, emergency medical evacuation can be crucial to your survival if you have a medical emergency. Unfortunately, it can also be very expensive. For example, if you need to take a helicopter to the nearest medical facility or be airlifted to a larger hospital, these kinds of transfers can cost upwards of $500,000 without insurance. Similarly, if your mortal remains need to be returned home to your family, it can be prohibitively expensive. If you end up in one of these situations, this benefit can protect you and your loved ones from extreme costs.
- 24-hour emergency assistance: Many plans include a service helpline that you may call if you need help with your plan or how to best utilize your benefits. This can also help you determine whether something is covered by your plan or not. However, if you're in an emergency situation, be sure to call the local emergency services (911 in the U.S.) rather than this type of helpline.
A travel medical insurance plan with these benefits can help you travel with peace of mind, knowing that should an emergency occur, you'll be covered.
One plan to check out is GlobeHopper Senior, a travel medical insurance plan specifically designed for travelers on medicare. This comprehensive coverage plan covers acute onset of pre-existing conditions and all of the other important points listed above.
If you're traveling to Europe, Europe Travel Plus can be the best plan for seniors because of its comprehensive medical coverage. This plan also meets the requirements for travel medical insurance required for the Schengen Visa.
If your next adventure is on a cruise ship, we recommend the SafeCruise insurance plan as it covers policyholders for medical emergencies in addition to protection if the trip must be canceled or postponed.