2022 Survey: Traveling Americans Unsure About Health Insurance Outside the U.S.
Last updated on 03/28/2023
WARWICK, R.I., May 31, 2022 -- An alarming number of Americans are unclear whether their health insurance works outside the U.S. A new survey from InsureMyTrip found nearly 50 percent of travelers surveyed did not know whether their domestic health insurance plan would cover any emergency doctor or hospital visits while traveling outside the country.
Does your domestic health insurance cover you while traveling outside the U.S.?
Not Sure: 49.4%
Travelers unclear on if they have coverage should contact their health insurance company on whether emergency medical coverage will extend outside the U.S. Depending on a specific plan and area of travel, medical coverage can vary widely.
Policyholders may discover they have either "in-network" coverage, limited coverage, or no coverage at all. Travelers should also be aware of the following:
Deductibles: the amount a patient must pay for covered services before insurance kicks in
Co-insurance: the amount a patient is responsible for a covered health care service
Co-payments: a set amount owed for a covered health care service
A Word About Medicare
Original Medicare does not cover emergency medical care for travelers outside the U.S. There are supplemental plans such as Medicare Advantage and Medigap that can provide limited additional coverage, for more details visit Medicare.gov.
Emergency Medical Evacuations
According to the U.S. State Department, very few domestic health insurance companies will pay for a medical evacuation back to the United States, which can easily cost $100,000, or even more, depending on the condition and location of the patient.
Travel Insurance Options
Travelers should know about any limitations of domestic health insurance policies while out of the country. In most cases, there are gaps in coverage. Some gaps are significant. Travel insurance is recommended because it can act as supplemental or primary coverage.
Both comprehensive and travel medical insurance plans are a valued supplement while traveling overseas, offsetting possible coverage gaps evident in some domestic health insurance plans including emergency medical coverage and emergency medical evacuation.
Some travel insurance policies may also cover pre-existing medical conditions. To learn more about eligibility requirements, visit the learn section on InsureMyTrip.com.
In addition to seeking proper medical protection, travelers should also understand any destination-specific requirements, including required vaccinations. The U.S. State Department is a helpful resource.
Survey was sent to those identified as Americans, male or female (18+), who use websites in the Google Surveys Publisher Network. The survey was conducted from May 23, 2022 – May 24, 2022, and generated 1,329 completed responses.
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