If you’ve purchased major medical insurance before, you know that you can buy different types of health insurance plans. For example, you may already know about HMOs and PPOs because you had one of these plans at work or purchased a family plan. Travel Medical insurance plans work differently than major medical insurance, but you can also buy different kinds of healthcare plans for foreign trips. Knowing which type of plan you want will make it easier to search for the best value.
Types of Travel Medical Insurance
You can group foreign travel health plans into two basic types:
- Fixed or limited coverage: Fixed coverage plans will usually cost the least because they will will only pay a fixed amount for each service they cover. The insurance company will publish a schedule of these payments for you to view before you buy your travel insurance. Some plans may also have a preferred provider organization, or PPO, network that can help save you money; others allow you to visit any doctor for the same rate. You may find some plans that work like an HMO and require you to go to their network doctors for any coverage unless you have an emergency. Choose a fixed coverage plan if you need a budget-friendly option that minimize your risks but doesn’t offer any other travel-related protection besides medical.
- Comprehensive coverage: Comprehensive plans tend to cost more; however, they will also pay more of your bills and offer you more flexibility if you do get sick or injured overseas. Some of these insurers will also incentivize you to visit their network doctors by reducing your deductibles or other expenses. Typically, comprehensive plans also come with extra travel-related protection, like trip cancellation, lost luggage, emergency cash transfers, and so on. Choose a comprehensive travel insurance plan if you’d rather pay somewhat more for greater flexibility and more security when you visit foreign countries.
Carefully Read the Terms of Any Travel Insurance Plans You Consider
Naturally, plans can vary a lot, so you should carefully read the terms of each policy before you choose one. As with any other health insurance decision that you make, you always have to balance the premiums against the benefits to decide which one will offer you the best value for your money. Top insurers always provide a customer service number that you can call to get guidance in using the plan in your own language if you need it.
We make it easy to compare travel medical insurance plans online at any time. You can also purchase your plan and print out your documents right from our website.