The 5 Best Travel Medical Insurance Plans for 2023 News2america

Buying travel insurance is a smart move for any type of trip, but there are situations where you only need certain types of coverage. For example, on a two-week trip to Europe you may want comprehensive coverage with protection for trip delays, lost or delayed baggage, trip interruptions, and emergency medical expenses. However, planning several months in an international destination may mean you only need protection for unexpected medical expenses that pop up, as well as emergency medical evacuation coverage.

If you’re planning to stay in a specific destination long-term, you may even want an international health insurance plan that provides medical benefits for routine care and preventive services. In any case, U.S. News compared the best travel insurance companies on the market today to see which ones offer the best medical coverage for nearly any type of traveler.

If you’re comparing travel insurance plans and hoping to find the best option for unexpected medical expenses, read on to learn more.

The Best Travel Medical Insurance Plans for 2023

Recommended plan: Travel Medical Plus

Pros:

  • Purchase comprehensive medical coverage worth up to $5 million

  • Comes with nonmedical benefits for trip delays, lost luggage and more

Cons:

  • COVID-19 coverage is only included in the Travel Medical Plus plan (not in Choice or Basic)

  • No coverage for routine medical care

U.S. News recommends the Travel Medical Plus plan from Seven Corners, particularly for individuals who want to tailor their coverage limits and medical insurance deductible to their needs. Individuals up to the age of 64 who invest in this policy may qualify for medical insurance in amounts up to $5 million, although lower medical limits starting at $50,000 can lead to more affordable premiums. The deductible for each plan can range from $0 to $5,000, and up to 10 individuals can be covered with a single policy.

Coverage can pay for a range of unexpected issues and medical conditions that occur during a trip, including hospital room and board, emergency room services, chiropractic care, and more. Up to $500,000 in coverage for emergency medical evacuation and repatriation of remains upon death is also included.

This policy also comes with a range of nonmedical benefits that make it similar to more comprehensive travel insurance plans. For example, insured travelers get coverage for lost luggage, trip delays, trip interruptions and personal liability. Eligible adventure activities are also covered for medical expenses up to the policy maximum.

It’s worth noting that older travelers (ages 65 to 74) who purchase this plan are limited to policies with lower coverage limits overall.

Recommended plan: Atlas MultiTrip

Pros:

  • High limits for medical insurance and emergency medical evacuation

  • Covers multiple trips over a period of up to 364 days

Cons:

  • Deductible of $250 required for each covered trip

  • Co-payments required for medical care received in the U.S.

While WorldTrips offers medical insurance for individual trips outside your home country, the company also offers an annual medical travel insurance plan that can work best in some situations. In fact, the Atlas MultiTrip plan may be ideal for business travelers who regularly travel abroad for work, or for frequent travelers who spend a lot of time overseas at their leisure.

Ultimately, the Atlas MultiTrip plan from WorldTrips provides up to $1 million in maximum limits on coverage, up to $1 million for emergency medical evacuation and up to $25,000 in coverage for personal liability. COVID-19 is treated like any other illness with this plan, and the insured can add coverage for their spouse and children when required.

This plan provides medical coverage for a range of situations that may occur, including a need for hospitalization, urgent care or treatment in a hospital’s intensive care unit. Other important benefits include coverage for certain trip interruptions, travel delays, lost checked luggage and political evacuation.

Recommended plan: OneTrip Emergency Medical Plan

Pros:

  • Coverage for preexisting conditions is available as an add-on

  • Coverage for COVID-19 is included

Cons:

  • Relatively low limits for medical expenses

  • No coverage for trip cancellations or trip interruption

While Allianz offers a range of high-quality insurance plans for international travel, the company offers a basic travel health insurance plan for single trips. The OneTrip Emergency Medical Plan offers all the essential protections most travelers need when planning a trip where their own health insurance doesn’t apply, including coverage for COVID-19.

The OneTrip Emergency Medical Plan comes automatically with up to $50,000 in coverage for emergency medical expenses, up to $250,000 in protection for emergency medical transportation and a 24-hour assistance hotline. Other benefits travelers receive include coverage for lost or damaged baggage, baggage delays, travel delays, and travel accidents.

Recommended plan: Safe Travels Outbound

Pros:

  • Flexible plan lets you tailor policy limits to your needs

  • Comes with several nonmedical travel insurance perks

Cons:

  • $500 deductible per policy period applies

  • Does not come with trip cancellation insurance

Trawick International has a range of travel insurance plans for nearly any type of trip, including travel medical insurance plans for U.S. citizens and residents as well as foreign nationals who are traveling outside the U.S. The company’s Safe Travels Outbound plan is best for flexibility since it lets you purchase coverage for specific trips and tailor medical benefits and your premium amount to your needs.

The Safe Travels Outbound plan also lets travelers lock in $50,000 to $500,000 in coverage for emergency medical expenses, and COVID-19 is covered as any other illness. Up to $500,000 in coverage for emergency medical evacuation is included, as well as another $25,000 in coverage for nonmedical evacuation. Other benefits that come with the plan include coverage for baggage and personal effects, baggage delay coverage, trip delay insurance, trip interruption coverage, and 24/7 travel assistance services.

Recommended plan: Xplorer Premier

Pros:

  • Qualify for international health insurance with no annual or lifetime caps

  • Use coverage within the U.S. with select providers

Cons:

  • Deductible from $500 to $10,000 can apply

  • Doesn’t come with any nonmedical travel insurance benefits

U.S. News recommends the Xplorer Premier plan from GeoBlue for long-term travelers seeking travel health insurance that applies anywhere in the world. This plan is offered on an annual basis for individuals and families who spend at least three months of the year outside their home country, and it lets consumers customize coverage to suit their needs and budget.

Plan participants qualify for an unlimited annual and lifetime maximum benefit for medical care, and preexisting conditions are covered with proof of previous coverage. Xplorer Premier also includes preventive care and treatments, and there are no deductibles required for office visits, preventive care, prescriptions and more.

This plan lets consumers use any health care provider outside the U.S., as well as providers in the Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO network in the U.S. However, coinsurance applies to health care expenses incurred in the U.S.

Travel Medical Insurance FAQ

Many travel insurance policies cover emergency medical expenses you incur during a covered trip. However, the included benefits of each policy can vary widely, and so can the policy limits that apply.

If you’re looking for a travel insurance policy that offers sufficient protection for unexpected medical expenses, you’ll typically want to choose a plan with at least $100,000 in coverage for emergency medical care and at least $250,000 in protection for emergency medical evacuation and transportation.

However, higher limits can provide even more protection from overseas medical bills, which can become pricey depending on the type of care you need. As just one example, Allianz says the average cost of emergency medical evacuation in European countries such as Germany or France can range from $50,000 to $100,000, whereas the price tag can climb to well over $200,000 in Asia, Australia and the Middle East.

Your U.S. health insurance policy almost never covers medical expenses incurred abroad. The same is true for most people on Medicare and especially Medicaid. If you want to ensure you have travel medical coverage that applies overseas, you should purchase a travel insurance plan with adequate limits for every trip.

The cost of travel medical insurance can vary depending on the age of the travelers, the type of coverage purchased, the length of the trip and other factors. You can use a comparison site like TravelInsurance.com to explore different travel medical insurance plans and their cost.

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Holly Johnson is an award-winning content creator who has been writing about travel insurance and travel for more than a decade. She has researched travel insurance options for her own vacations and family trips to more than 50 countries around the world, and has experience navigating the claims and reimbursement process. In fact, she has successfully filed several travel insurance claims for trip delays and trip cancellations over the years. Johnson also works alongside her husband Greg, who has been licensed to sell travel insurance in 50 states, in their family media business.

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