The Center For Debt Management
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Traveling Overseas?
Do You Have Travel Insurance?

Travel Insurance Can Cover Trip Cancellation or Delay To Supplemental Medical Insurance

Before going abroad, learn what medical services your health insurance will cover overseas. Your health insurance may not pay your medical bills, except for emergency care, when you travel outside your carrier's normal provider network. If your health insurance policy provides coverage outside the United States, remember to carry your insurance policy identity card as proof of such insurance, as well as a claim form.

Although many health insurance companies will pay "customary and reasonable" hospital costs abroad, very few will pay for your medical evacuation back to the United States.

You should check with your insurer before traveling to make sure you understand the rules laid down in your policy. In some cases, especially if you plan to be traveling for an extended period, you may want to obtain additional coverage for that period.

In addition, private insurance companies offer travel insurance for both domestic and international travel. These policies can cover a range of situations, from trip cancellation or delay to medical evacuation. Such policies can be enhanced with supplemental medical insurance, baggage insurance and policies that cover money lost if a travel vendor defaults, or already include such protections in the basic premiums. Information on these types of insurance is generally available through travel agencies.

In the event that a U.S. citizen should require medical assistance while traveling abroad, the Office of American Citizens Services and Crisis Management (ACS) of the Bureau of Consular Affairs in the United States Department of State (DOS) can assist in locating appropriate medical services and informing family or friends. If necessary, a consular officer can also assist in the transfer of funds from the United States.

 

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