Do you Need Travel Insurance?
When booking a flight online, you are at some point given the option to buy travel insurance. Travel insurance covers medical expenses, evacuations, and accidents. There are four factors to consider when deciding on whether travel insurance is worth the cost.
1. Where you are traveling:
If you are traveling outside of the U.S. buying travel insurance is worth the expense. Most health insurance plans do not cover medical expenses abroad. If something does happen and you need to see a doctor or go to a hospital, without travel insurance you will have to cover the entire bill.
If you are traveling within the U.S. for an extended length of time, travel insurance might be worth it since most health insurance plans do not cover doctors outside of your home state.
2. Type of health insurance:
If you are on Medicare and your trip meets the criteria above, buy it. The price of having it and not using it is most certainly less expensive than needing it and not having it.
If you are not on Medicare and are traveling abroad, check with before your insurance provider before you leave. There are a few plans that cover health costs abroad.
3. Cost/length of trip:
If you are in good health and are going on a short trip in the U.S. or got a great deal on a ticket, consider skipping the insurance. The insurance could be more than your ticket.
4. Pre-existing condition:
Most travel insurance policies do not cover injuries or problems associated with a pre-existing condition. If you have a pre-existing condition, Consumer Reports advises to buy a pre-existing medical condition waiver “7 to 30 days of making your first payment for your travel.”