Travel is opening up again in many areas of the country. While this is normally seen as a good thing, there is one concern that many travelers should have. Does my health insurance cover me when I travel domestically?
This article will guide you through the process of being medically prepared to travel out of state, the questions you should ask your healthcare provider, and how to purchase supplemental healthcare insurance to insure travel security.
Preparing for Travel
Pack those bags! Getting ready to hit the road requires a lot more than throwing some clothes into a suitcase, grabbing the map and keys, and hitting the road or jumping on a plane. What if an emergency were to arise or an injury were to occur? Planning ahead for medical emergencies is crucial to enjoying a safe and happy trip for all involved.
Here are some medical planning practices to enact whenever scheduling travel:
- Check to make sure no medical appointments are being missed
- Pack all over the counter medications needed for travel
- Pack all prescriptions needed for travel
- Make a call to your health insurance carrier to be sure you are covered in the area to which you are traveling
- Pack you glasses or contacts
- Pack basic medical supplies, such as bandages, insect repellent, sunscreen, and antiseptic
Questions to Ask
Checking with your health insurance provider before traveling is paramount to safe domestic travel. When calling your insurance company, be sure to ask the following questions.
- Which of my benefits are covered when I travel to _______?
- Will my insurance card be recognized at an emergency room at my destination?
- Will my prescription card be honored at a pharmacy at my destination?
- Do I need to purchase supplemental travel insurance?
Purchasing Supplemental Travel Insurance
If your health insurance will not cover you at your travel destination, you may need to consider purchasing supplemental travel insurance. However, some trips are not insurable. These trips include business trips, inexpensive short trips, and trips taken using miles or reward points. However, if you are able to insure your trip, there are several benefits to purchasing supplemental travel insurance (Danise, 2020).
- Value of your luggage and contents are covered
- Medical expenses incurred while traveling are covered or, sometimes, reimbursed
- Rental car damages are covered
- Sometimes accidental death insurance is included
Some credit card memberships already come with travel insurance (Perkins, 2019). This might be something that a frequent traveler might want to check into if he/she has multiple credit cards such as American Express, Discover, or Visa.
If your health insurance provider recommends that you purchase supplemental travel health insurance, keep this in mind. The insurance that you purchase is good only for the dates of travel that you schedule.
Remember, do your homework before purchasing any policy, travelers or otherwise. Explore all your options and be sure you are covered under any foreseeable circumstance. In all situations, it is a really good idea to talk to your travel advisor to get advice. They can very likely walk you through all the different avenues and options available to you when you travel domestically.
Perkins, E. (2019, July 11). How does travel medical insurance differ from travel insurance and do you need it? Retrieved November 25, 2020, from https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/advice/2019/07/11/travel-medical-insurance-what-you-need-know-before-buying/1709718001/
Danise, A. (2020, September 11). Best Travel Insurance Companies 2020. Retrieved November 25, 2020, from https://www.forbes.com/advisor/travel-insurance/best-travel-insurance/