That’s a good question. Travel medical insurance is an excellent investment for some people; but for others, it may be a waste of time and money. As with any travel insurance policy, you need to ask the right questions to determine whether or not it’s the best fit for you.

People who may benefit the most from buying travel medical coverage will generally fit one or more of these criteria:

  1. Traveling outside your home country (always call your primary medical insurance provider to find out what they will cover when you’re abroad).
  2. Insured through Medicare, which does not provide any coverage at all for out-of-country travel.
  3. Older travelers, or those with a history of medical problems.
  4. People traveling for six months or more — major medical plans can not only help you in case of an emergency while you’re traveling, but can also provide you with wellness care and coverage for prescription drugs if needed.

There are several different types of travel medical insurance, ranging from the basic single-trip medical plans to multi-trip plans, major medical coverage, and plans designed exclusively for medical evacuation. It’s important to first investigate what kind of medical insurance you already have, and what kind of benefits it will provide to you during your trip, before making a decision about purchasing travel medical insurance of any kind.