Travel Insurance and Medical Travel and Complications Insurance, also known as medical tourism insurance, are significantly different. However, many Americans still have misconceptions about what Travel Insurance and Medical Tourism Insurance provide and what is included and excluded in coverage.
What Travel Insurance Does
Essentially, Travel Insurance is intended for unexpected occurrences when traveling, primarily for vacation or business. Travel Insurance helps relieve the burden of unforeseen financial expenses should a covered incident occur. These incidents can include trip cancellation or interruption, luggage or credit card theft, and unexpected medical expenses during travel abroad. For our purposes, it is important to note that your standard travel insurance only covers unexpected medical expenses or emergencies. Most Travel Insurance policies have an exclusion if travelling for the purpose of receiving medical care. How is this different from Medical Travel and Complications Insurance? It’s all about the increased exposure and the intent of travel.
Medical Tourism Insurance
Hundreds of thousands of Americans travel outside of their home country for medical tourism, which is defined as receiving medical care or treatment in a foreign country. Unlike the type of medical emergency or accident that may trigger Travel Insurance, the procedures involved in medical tourism are carefully planned in advance. There are many reasons why patients choose to do this. Some of the reasons include paying less for procedures, undergoing treatments or medical procedures that have not yet been approved in their home country, and to receive care from a provider who shares the traveler’s culture and/or language.
Medical Travel Insurance Is Not Health Insurance
This is important. If a person is traveling abroad for the express purpose of receiving medical care, neither Travel Insurance, Health Insurance, nor Medical Travel Insurance will pay for the cost of the procedure itself. Most patients who choose medical tourism must self-pay for their procedures and often choose to do so because of the lower healthcare costs in other countries. However, some state funded health insurance plans in different countries are starting to see the value in allowing insureds to travel for cost savings or access to care and will occasionally pay for a procedure abroad. Certain procedures performed outside of the United States can save anywhere from 50% to 80% of the US procedure cost.
What Medical Tourism Insurance Does
Medical Tourism Insurance for individuals provides coverage for complications that may occur during the patient’s procedure or during recovery. With all the benefits of medical tourism, there are certain risks as with any procedure. While the benefits generally outweigh the risks for those looking for less expensive medical care, the informed patient will still want to have the added protection of Medical Travel and Complications Insurance. In the event of complications, this insurance provides relief from any financial hardship that may be incurred while abroad or while recovering at home. It is truly a necessity for anyone considering International Medical Tourism Travel.
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