Travel Essentials – Travel Health Insurance With the rising costs of hospital and medical services, today’s traveler should think twice before departing on a vacation or business travel trip without having purchased travel health insurance. With the high cost of a medical emergency you will want to be sure to have travel medical insurance that provides comprehensive coverage and benefits. Without travel medical insurance, the cost of emergency medical care, prescription drugs or hospital care can be overwhelming. NOTE: If you live in the USA, here’s our info on travel health insurance for Americans. Travel Health Insurance for Domestic and International Travel MEDEX – Travel Medical Insurance from $1.22 per day. Before traveling domestically to another province or state, or international travel to a different country, you will need to evaluate what health benefits coverage your present government, employeer or private health insurance policy offers you, if any, when you travel. International travel involves risk. You may arrive at your destination to find that your luggage with personal items has disappeared. A personal emergency may necessitate your early return to your home country. You may be involved in a sports activity while at a resort that requires emergency dental care. A medical emergency may require hospitalization or even air evacuation. In most cases, your existing insurance will not provide adequate protection for these and other risks during overseas travel. Without international travel insurance, you may be exposed to significant financial costs and debt. Selecting the best travel insurance can help take the risks out of international travel, so that you can have an enjoyable – and worry-free trip. Annual Travel Health Insurance Plan vs Per Trip Travel Insurance Most credit card companies, such as American Express and VISA, offer optional travel insurance protection which you pay an additional fee through a monthly or annual premium. You can purchase annual plans which cover an unlimited number of trips whose per trip length doesn’t exceed 10 or 30 days, depending on the travel insurance plan you purchase. The AMEX Global Assist travel insurance can be purchased in several configurations including enhanced travel insurance packages which bundle emergency medical insurance with flight and travel accident insurance, and baggage and personal effects insurance. If you make more than a couple of trips per year, it is worth considering buying an annual travel insurance plan, since you’ll save both time and money compared to arranging and purchasing travel insurance each time you travel. Understanding your Travel Health Insurance Policy Be sure you read the policy and understand its limitations and exclusions. You need to know who is covered, for how long and whether there are any restrictions on coverage. Be aware that it is common for travel insurance policies to have clauses that exclude coverage for pre-existing medical conditions. And the restrictions increase with the age of the insured person. Finding Cheap Travel Insurance and Getting the Best Deal Where to start? First, find out what, if any, travel medical insurance you may already have through an employer plan, or through a credit card that carries extra benefits. You may have some basic coverage which just needs a minimal extra travel insurance policy purchased for the specific trip. Read the fine print, make sure you understand what is covered and what isn’t. If the policy isn’t clear, ask the insurer questions until you are comfortable it’s the right travel insurance policy for you. Or if you don’t have any or even basic out of country coverage, you’ll need to purchase a per-trip policy that covers the exact number of days you will be out of the country. As in any other industry, there are travel insurance companies whose reputation stands out. MEDEX is the oldest and largest independently owned provider of global travel security and medical assistance in North America. All MEDEX travel medical insurance programs include 24-hour, multilingual support for everything from international prescription replacement to emergency medical evacuations. Plus the MEDEX Emergency Response Center has the experience to give you confidence – they handle nearly 30,000 cases a year in over 200 countries. MEDEX Insurance Services offers policies starting at $1.22/day and can include up to $500,000 in coverage for emergency medical expenses and evacuation.