Health Insurance While Traveling

Parent Q&A

  • Health Insurance when travelling

    (2 replies)

    Now that I'm getting to be a senior citizen, I'm curious as to what folks do about health insurance when they travel outside the US. I know Kaiser will cover any emergency and perhaps urgent care situation, but what is the best way to be 100% covered in case something bad were to happen? Do you purchase short-term insurance? What are good policies? Are there companies you can recommend? Are there any brokers you would recommend? How much coverage is enough? Do you opt for something that also includes med-evac in case you are seriously injured or ill and want to be treated at home? 

    I also have a child who will be aging off my plan in a year. However, she is also married and living abroad. As a US citizen does she still need to have a health care plan? Would having one protect her from being disqualified at a later date for a pre-existing condition if she were to have a lapse in coverage? Would it be a good idea to have double coverage (in the US as well as her home country) so that when she travels home she is protected in case of an emergency? 

    I would love to hear what others have to say on this complex topic.


    Getting travel insurance is cheap and easy and definitely worth the peace of mind. If you just want the health coverage, Allianz has a plan that is very inexpensive (like $50 or so) and gives you $250k of emergency transportation and $50k of health expenses, as well as other benefits:

    I've used their other plans where they cover trip interruption, and did have to make a claim and they were very responsive and quick about paying out for my delayed luggage and the costs I incurred as a result (i.e. buying new clothes to work in!).

    This is what travel insurance is for... but you want to make sure the policy provides primary coverage. If it only has secondary coverage, you'll have to submit first to Kaiser, then send any "rejection of claims" to the company providing the travel insurance. A good company that I have used extensively is Travelex. It provides primary coverage while overseas. Just purchase a policy with at least $1 per person of cancellation protection (but might as well make it $500 per person, as the premium would be exactly the same). A Travelex Select policy provides $50,000 per person in emergency medical expenses, $500 in emergency dental coverage, and $500,000 in medical evacuation to the nearest qualified hospital.

    You would purchase one policy for each trip you take outside the country.

    If you want medical evacuation that will take you to the hospital of your choice, look into MedJet Assist. (Note that MedJet does not include health insurance).

    You can purchase either policy online, or your travel agent can do it for you.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Health insurance while traveling in SE Asia

Jan 2005

Has anyone used supplementary insurance plans while travelling in SouthEast Asia? I am looking into health insurance and also supplementary air evacuation insurance. The latter would be for a sitution where someone is hospitalized and can get appropriate care abroad but would want to be flown back to the U.S. (so as to avoid a family member having to travel there). ''Worried Mom''

Check out Travel Insurance Services I started using them for travel to South Asia in the 1980's. They were always responsive and efficient, so I continued to use them, most recently in 2002. Because of how easy it was to set up, I stopped camparison shopping after the first few trips, so I'm not sure how they rank these days by value. More importantly, I never had to file a claim, so I have no idea how they are on that end. lisa

We signed up at when we travelled to Russia. Fortunately we did not need/use it, but I called their customer service for some questions, and they were extremely helpful. Safe travels! Steff

I can heartily recommend Anthony Freeman in Richmond as a reliable and honest health (and other) insurance broker. He may be able to help you with health insurance as he has for me. 510- 235-0353 X17 (at M.A. Hays and Associates). Also, there is a plan for scuba divers, called Diver's Alert, which is an insurance plan that will transport one to decompression chambers as well as home by air if there are scuba and perhaps other travel injuries. It is on the internet and I don't think that you necessarily have to be a scuba diver. The proceeds help to fund decompression chambers and training all over the world as well. Jay