Your health insurance is likely to cover your medical costs when you are on an international holiday. However, you may want to purchase a foreign travel insurance contract because it can bring benefits that your normal health insurance will not.
Most health insurance contracts cover you in an emergency wherever you travel. Your share of the costs is likely to be the same as if you were on the network, even if you are not, if you are looking for emergency treatment. The insurance company does not expect you to come to the nearest network hospital if you just break your leg or have a heart attack.
Medicare and some other domestic insurance contracts will not provide any coverage abroad. You should read the agreement to make sure that coverage is provided in any country you can travel to.
Routine care is rarely well covered on international journeys. Your plan may not provide any coverage for routine care unless we use network health providers. This makes sense because you can usually manage or plan when you need routine care.
Most of us are able to plan our holidays so that we do not need routine health care when we are away from home. This is fortunate because when we try to use a regular provider rather than a network provider, most insurance plans do not or will not.
Some health insurance will include routine care if you use a provider outside the network at a higher cost. It may not be covered at all. You will probably pay more for the care if it is covered.
If you have sufficient health insurance and are happy with how it will pay if you have a medical condition outside the network, you may not need to purchase a separate travel insurance policy to cover your health bills. However, there may be other reasons why you might want an international travel itinerary.
A travel insurance company may have more experience handling claims outside the US. For example, they will probably be better able to handle correspondence in other languages.
International travel insurance plans will often have emergency evacuation coverage. This means that if you cannot get the care you need where you are, your policy can pay you to fly you home to get it.
Travel insurance contracts are usually very cheap. Therefore, the idea of dripping your state insurance when you are overseas is an alluring idea.
However, these plans should only be used as a temporary insurance supplement to your regular coverage. Trying to save money by dropping state health insurance when traveling outside the country could put you at risk.
When you return home, your travel itinerary will no longer cover you or will cover you only for a short time after you return home. This means that you will need to apply again to get health insurance when you return home. There is no guarantee that your old insurer or any other company will accept you as an insured person.
It is better to have average national health insurance than to have a large international health insurance contract and potentially without cover when you return home. Therefore, it is usually wise to maintain regular health insurance when traveling outside the country, whether you are buying an international travel plan or not. If you cancel your contract if you are traveling abroad, the insurer may not be obliged to provide you with insurance after the trip.