Understanding Travel Medical Plan Costs
Travel medical insurance plans are designed to cover international travelers in the event that they contract an illness, are involved in an accident or suffer an injury while outside of their home country. Generally, domestic health insurance plans won't cover you if you get sick or are injured while outside of the country
As you start your search for travel insurance, you'll soon discover that some plans are more expensive than others. Why is that? And what can you do to make sure you have the best travel insurance plan for your budget?
Travel insurance is an investment that protects the policyholder so that if something goes wrong, the insurance company will be responsible for the majority of the expenses. In the case of travel medical insurance, you pay a small cost up front so that you'll be financially protected if you need medical attention while abroad.
Generally speaking, a plan that costs more will also offer more benefits and coverage. U.S. travel insurance prices are regulated, so identical plans will always have identical prices, no matter where you purchase the plan. Be aware of online scams that try to sell travel medical coverage at higher prices.
What Factors Affect Cost?
However, certain variables can impact travel insurance cost. Let's take a look at some of those factors:
- Age of the travelers: Older travelers will usually need to pay higher premiums as they may be more susceptible to illness or injury.
- Destination country: Some countries, like the United States, have higher healthcare costs than others. Depending on your destination, you may have to pay different amounts for your travel insurance policy.
- Policy maximum: Depending on the plan you choose, you may have multiple choices for a policy maximum, or the maximum amount of money a plan will pay toward qualified expenses. These can range from $10,000 to $2 million. Higher policy maximums will generally result in higher premiums.
- Deductible amounts: The deductible is the amount of money that you as the policyholder must pay out of pocket before the insurance policy begins to cover costs. Higher deductibles mean that you'll have to pay more in the event of an emergency, but the initial policy will cost less. Lower deductible amounts are generally recommended, especially for shorter international trips.
- Types of benefits: Comprehensive travel medical insurance will cost a little more. For example, CoverAmerica-Gold is a slightly more expensive travel insurance plan than Atlas America. However, that's because they contain very different benefits. CoverAmerica-Gold includes more comprehensive benefits designed for visitors to the U.S.
- Coverage of pre-existing conditions: The majority of travel insurance policies only cover illnesses and injuries that began after your policy effective date. There are some exceptions, however.
- Adventure sports coverage: If you plan on adventurous activities on your trip, you may need additional coverage added to your travel insurance plan. If you plan to ski, snowboard, snorkel, whitewater raft, scuba or do any other activity where you have a higher risk of injury, you may need to add on an adventure sports rider, depending upon which plan you choose. This will also increase your premiums as you are engaging in more high-risk activities.
All of these factors can impact travel medical costs and make some insurance plans more expensive than others. So pay attention to these details when doing your research. The cheapest travel insurance might not always be the best travel insurance for you.
Need help deciding on a travel insurance plan? Our Customer Success Team is happy to help.