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Why your health insurance isn't enough to cover you when you travel abroad

Team Faye
Apr 12, 2022

Did you know that most health insurance policies do not fully cover travel outside of the United States? In fact, most U.S. health insurance providers firmly limit themselves to domestic coverage. It’s no surprise - foreign healthcare systems, languages, and currency can be complicated, and limiting medical coverage to domestic trips makes things simpler.

That's why you need a travel insurance policy that goes where you go, providing the help you need when you need it most, smoothing out those bumps in the road that can occur while you’re abroad.

So what does my U.S. health insurance cover for travel abroad, if anything? 

The short answer is: it varies. When a health insurance company does cover international travel, it tends to have strong limitations. Make sure you understand what your policy includes if you plan to rely on it for coverage while traveling abroad. 

Here are a few common restrictions of most U.S. health insurance policies for international travel: 

  • Emergency care, but not urgent care. What’s the difference? Life-threatening conditions that require emergency care can be covered. But an illness or injury that can’t wait until the next day and thus falls under the category of urgent care, usually isn’t. 

  • Copayments and deductibles. Even when U.S. healthcare plans cover international situations, there are usually substantial copayments and deductibles, sometimes as a portion of the total cost of treatment.  

  • Medical evacuation outside of the country. Few U.S. healthcare plans offer this coverage. This is important to consider especially if you are visiting countries where medical care is not top-notch.

  • 24/7 proactive support and assistance. Relying on travel insurance built by avid travelers means you gain benefits that you don’t get elsewhere - especially from health insurance providers and legacy travel insurance providers alike. Faye’s customer experience team is available 24/7 via the Faye app, WhatsApp, and by phone with support and assistance 365 days a year. Rely on them to handle the tricky parts of travel, while you sit back and relax. That’s something your health insurance provider won’t do.
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Why you should consider whole-trip travel insurance 

Since most healthcare policies don’t include comprehensive medical coverage on trips abroad, and an increasing number of countries now require visitors to show proof of insurance when you arrive, holistic travel insurance is your best bet on staying safe and looked after when away from home.

Faye’s whole-trip travel protection covers your trip, your stuff and your health. More specifically, coverage and assistance related to unexpected events resulting in cancellations, interruptions or medical emergencies. 

If you have pre-existing medical conditions, you can still purchase Faye travel insurance as long as you purchase your plan within 14 days of booking your trip, and are medically able to travel when you purchase. Faye’s plan also covers you if you experience pregnancy complications while traveling. 

Are COVID-19 health-related expenses covered?

Yes, Faye covers health expenses related to COVID-19. If you become ill with COVID-19 before you depart, Faye will cover your cancellation claim. And if you become ill with COVID-19 while traveling, Faye will cover your emergency medical expenses as well as your trip interruption claims. 

Working when you shouldn’t be

For Faye’s customer experience specialists, there’s no destination too far and no trouble too tricky. Your time away is precious, and we’re not here to waste it. That’s why we’re available to you 24/7, there to help with any health-related incidents that occur in-trip, along with any other scenario you need assistance with.

Looking for more helpful content on travel insurance and all things travel? Read more with Faye here.

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Faye is the brand name for customizable travel protection plans offered by Zenner, Inc. and its subsidiaries including Zenner Insurance Services LLC, California license #6006067. Plans consist of travel insurance underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company and non-insurance assistance services provided by Zenner, Inc., and Global Excel Management Inc. The information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and does not include all terms, conditions, and exclusions of the travel insurance coverage. Some or all coverages may not be available in your state. Click here to review the full disclaimer.