U.S. State Department Travel Insurance Advisory

Check your coverage well ahead of time and act accordingly

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U.S. State Department
Travel Insurance Advisory

The following is taken verbatim from two distantly separated sections of medical insurance advisory pages from the U.S. State Department website.

It's good sound advice from the government agency that handles the problems and complaints of U.S. travelers year after year.

You can’t assume your personal insurance will go with you when you travel. It’s very important to find out BEFORE you leave whether or not your medical insurance will cover you overseas.

You need to ask your insurance company two questions:

Does my policy apply when I’m out of the United States?

Will it cover emergencies like a trip to a foreign hospital or a medical evacuation?

In many places, doctors and hospitals still expect payment in cash at the time of service. Your regular U.S. health insurance may not cover doctors’ and hospital visits in other countries. If your policy doesn’t go with you when you travel, it’s a very good idea to take out another one for your trip.

If your health insurance policy provides coverage outside the United States, remember to carry both your insurance policy identity card as proof of such insurance and a claim form.

Although many health insurance companies will pay "customary and reasonable" hospital costs abroad, very few will pay for your medical evacuation back to the United States.

Medical evacuation can easily cost $10,000 and up, depending on your location and medical condition.


If an American citizen becomes seriously ill or injured abroad, a U. S. consular officer can assist in locating appropriate medical services and informing family or friends.

If necessary, a consular officer can also assist in the transfer of funds from the United States. However, payment of hospital and other expenses is the responsibility of the traveler.

Read complete list of medical tips from the U.S. State Department.

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