Money Fix: medical travel insurance
As you plan your summer getaway, you've figured out what outfits you'll bring, the book and beach gear, but what about medical travel insurance? Is it necessary?
"There are a lot of situations where medical travel insurance would come in handy -- trips abroad or to remote places where illness becomes a serious financial consideration due to transportation and medical costs," says Brian Kelly, founder of ThePointsGuy.com, a travel news and advice website.
The specialized insurance is designed to protect travelers from the costs of unforeseen illnesses and accidents, medical translation help, long-term hospitalization if you're unable to fly home, out-of-pocket costs and emergency family transportation, says Carrie McLean, director of customer care of eHealth Insurance.com.
Since the policy only lasts for a set period of time, travel insurance is affordable, says McLean. "Depending on your age and other factors, you could find a two-week policy for overseas for as little as $20," she says.
Read the fine print. Many medical travel insurance plans exclude things like pre-existing conditions, and travel to dangerous areas.
Buy from a reputable source. The U.S. Travel Insurance Association has a list of affiliated insurance providers that are thoroughly vetted, says Kelly.
Shop around. Airlines, hotels or cruise lines sell policies, but if you look at insurance aggregators like Insure My Trip, says Kelly, "you'll find more comprehensive policies and ones that cover you if your travel provider goes out of business."