Travel Medical Insurance plans are designed to cover international travelers in the event that they contract an illness, have an accident or an injury while they are outside of their home country. Generally, domestic health insurance plans will not cover you if you get sick or injured while outside of the country.

Some plans, however, are more expensive than others. Why is that? And what can you do to make sure that you have the best travel insurance plan while staying within your budget?

Any type of insurance policy is an investment by 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 as the purchaser are paying a small price so that if you need medical assistance while in a foreign country, the travel insurance company will help you offset healthcare costs.

Generally speaking, a plan that costs more will also offer more coverage. U.S. travel insurance prices are regulated so identical plans will always have identical prices, no matter where you purchase the plan. While certain unscrupulous companies may try to trick consumers into inferior plans by not disclosing the cost differential by age or other terms, rest assured that prices are regulated so that identical plans can not be sold at different prices.

The prices of different plans, however, will vary based on factors such as:

  • Age of the travelers: Older travelers will usually need to pay higher premiums as they are more likely to become ill or injured.
  • 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 will 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: Better and more comprehensive benefits in a plan can also make that plan more expensive. For example, CoverAmerica-Gold is a slightly more expensive plan than Atlas America, however, this is because they contain very different benefits. CoverAmerica-Gold costs a little more because it includes more comprehensive benefits designed for U.S. visitors.
  • 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. Some plans will cover for the acute onset or worsening of pre-existing conditions, the most comprehensive of which is INF Elite.
  • Adventure sports coverage: If you plan to engage in 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 the price of your travel medical insurance plan and make some plans more expensive than others. So pay attention to these details so that you can pick the best plan for your needs and not just the cheapest.

If you want help choosing a travel insurance plan, talk to our licensed, experienced, and awesome travel insurance advisors, who can help you make your decision easy.