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Best Travel Medical Insurance of 2023

Medical bills can ruin any vacation. Relax knowing you're covered with a travel health insurance plan.
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Key Takeaways

  • Travel medical insurance is a specific type of travel insurance plan that helps pay for treatment if you become sick or injured while traveling.
  • Travel health insurance specializes in paying for hospitalization, medication, surgery, X-rays, and nearly any other type of care that may be required for someone to recover.
  • Most travel insurance plans with medical coverage also offer medical evacuation assistance which pays for transportation to the nearest hospital or clinic. This may also include evacuation to your home country, so you can receive adequate medical care.

Travel health insurance is the cornerstone of most travel insurance plans, and for good reason. While you can typically weather the losses if your luggage is stolen or your trip is delayed, having health insurance for travel can protect you from exorbitant medical costs that could reach hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.

Medical insurance for travel can pay out claims if you become sick or injured during a trip, and limits tend to be high for this type of coverage. It’s worth noting that many comprehensive travel insurance plans have travel medical coverage included. However, you can also purchase travel medical protection on its own.

To help you find the best travel medical insurance plans, we compared companies that offer this standalone coverage for a wide variety of trips. Read on to find out which travel insurance companies we recommend for medical coverage, why we like them, and what you need to know before you invest in this protection.

Our picks for the best travel health insurance plans

Best for International Travel Health Insurance


GET A QUOTE via Squaremouth’s secure website
Preferred Plan
Patriot Platinum
Covers COVID?
Medical & Evacuation Limits Per Person
$2 million / $2 million

Why We Like It

IMG Global offers a range of travel medical insurance options, some of which also come with additional types of travel protection. We like the exceptionally high limits for medical care on these plans, as well as the fact COVID-19 is covered like any other illness.

IMG Global’s Patriot Platinum Travel Medical Insurance for international travel is an excellent option for overseas trips since limits are high and plans can be customized to meet each traveler’s needs. This premium plan allows maximum coverage limits of up to $8 million, although a deductible from $0 to $25,000 can apply. Emergency medical evacuation coverage can cost up to the limits of the plan, and you can get coverage for incidental medical expenses in the U.S. for up to two weeks.

This plan also includes coverage for a variety of outpatient and inpatient services during travel, from physician visits to urgent care clinic visits, ambulance services, and evacuation due to a natural disaster. Separately, plans come with extensive coverage for dental treatment, lost luggage, identity theft, pet return, and more.

Pro & Cons

  • A generous selection of plans to choose from
  • Option CFAR coverage reimburses 75% of prepaid travel costs
  • Option trip interruption for any reason (IFAR) coverage is available
  • High coverage limits up to $8 million available
  • Budget-friendly plans may have insufficient coverage limits
  • CFAR and IFAR coverage only available as an add-on with premium plans
  • Only premium plans guarantee care at the hospital of your choice
Best for Comprehensive Coverage

Trawick International

GET A QUOTE via Squaremouth’s secure website
Preferred Plan
Safe Travels Outbound
Covers COVID?
Medical & Evacuation Limits Per Person
$50,000 / $500,000

Why We Like It

Trawick International is another highly-rated travel insurance company that offers plans geared to those who want an international health plan. This company offers both premium coverage and budget-friendly travel insurance plans as well.

This provider’s Safe Travels Outbound Insurance Plan provides temporary and primary medical coverage for U.S. citizens and U.S. residents traveling outside of the United States. You can purchase plans for trips that last from five days up to 180 days, and COVID-19-related expenses are treated as any other illness.

You can tailor each insurance policy’s limits to your needs; however, this plan is available with up to $500,000 in coverage for medical expenses and $500,000 in protection for emergency medical evacuation. It also comes with added coverage that makes it work like a comprehensive travel insurance policy, including up to $1,000 in insurance for baggage and personal effects, up to $50,000 in coverage for repatriation of remains, trip delay coverage worth up to $2,000, and trip interruption insurance worth up to $7,500.

Pro & Cons

  • Includes some other travel protections for trip delays, baggage, and trip interruptions
  • Offers up to $500,000 in coverage for emergency medical expenses
  • Comes with coverage for coronavirus
  • Comes with up to $500,000 in coverage for emergency medical evacuation
  • $200 maximum benefit on baggage delay insurance
  • Trip interruption coverage is capped at $7,500
Best for Premium Travel Medical Coverage

Seven Corners

GET A QUOTE via Squaremouth’s secure website
Preferred Plan
Travel Medical Plus
Covers COVID?
Medical & Evacuation Limits Per Person
$50,000 / $500,000

Why We Like It

Seven Corners offers many types of travel insurance plans for people to choose from, and this is also true of their travel health insurance plans. We like their medical plans because they offer comprehensive travel health insurance worth up to $5 million.

The Travel Medical Plus coverage from Seven Corners is great for trips that last between five days and 364 days, and it lets you tailor the coverage for your needs. For example, you can opt for a total medical benefit ranging from $500,000 to $5 million. However, if you’re between the ages of 64 to 74, you can only secure limits for medical coverage up to $100,000.

This health plan covers a variety of medical conditions and treatments, including emergency room visits, acute onset illness relating to pre-existing conditions, ambulance services, telehealth consultations, emergency dental care, and more. Interestingly, this plan comes with many non-medical coverage types as well. These include lost luggage reimbursement for checked baggage, trip interruption insurance, travel delay coverage, personal liability coverage, and insurance for included adventure activities.

Pro & Cons

  • Premium coverage with high limits for medical care available
  • Non-medical travel insurance benefits included in each plan
  • Plans are available for trips of five days to 364 days
  • Covers flare-ups of pre-existing medical conditions
  • Not available to travelers ages 75 and older
  • Lower limits are available to travelers ages 64 to 75
  • Dental accident coverage is capped at $500
Best for Flexibility


GET A QUOTE via Squaremouth’s secure website
Preferred Plan
Atlas Premium
Covers COVID?
Medical & Evacuation Limits Per Person
$50,000 / $1 million

Why We Like It

WorldTrips offers a range of travel medical insurance plans, including their most basic coverage, a premium travel medical insurance plan, group travel medical insurance, and an annual plan. We like this provider’s plans because they offer adequate coverage for medical care while including other important travel protections automatically.

The Atlas Premium Insurance plan from WorldTrips offers up to $2 million in all coverages total, with up to $1 million in protection for emergency medical evacuation. Up to $15,000 in trip interruption coverage is also included, as well as up to $200 per day in travel delay coverage and up to $100,000 in protection for liability.

We like that plans from WorldTrips let you choose your own deductible, thus letting you tailor your coverage and travel insurance premium to your needs. Plans are also available for all ages, including people over 80 years old.

WorldTrips can cover nearly any type of medical care required. However, some noteworthy benefits of their plans include hospitalization, outpatient physical therapy, emergency room visits, ambulance transportation, and hospital room and board.

Pro & Cons

  • Coverage for COVID-19 included
  • High limits for emergency medical care and medical evacuation
  • Tailor your coverage and deductible to your travel insurance needs
  • Available to travelers of all ages
  • Deductibles can apply to access your coverage
  • Dental expense coverage is capped at $300
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What is travel medical insurance?

Travel medical insurance is a specific subset of travel insurance that pays for medical care and treatment you receive while you are traveling.

This type of travel coverage is crucial if you want to protect yourself from mishaps relating to illness and bodily injury while away from home.

Typically, travel health insurance is used for trips out of the country, but can also be useful if you are traveling domestically and are concerned about health coverage.

Even if you have health insurance at home or you are on Medicare, you’ll need travel medical insurance if you want coverage for care outside the U.S. The costs of medical treatment can vary around the world. Coming home with an exceptionally high bill for the care you received while away is not something most people will want to deal with after a trip abroad.

Keep in mind, you can typically purchase travel health insurance as part of a comprehensive travel insurance plan, but it’s also possible to buy travel health insurance as a standalone policy.

Common types of travel medical insurance

There are different levels of medical coverage depending on the plan and company that you choose.

Here is a list of common types of travel medical insurance and the differences between them.

General travel medical insurance

As we have already mentioned, general travel medical insurance aims to pay for care relating to a medical emergency you have away from home. This could be an illness or an injury, and coverage will pay for treatment and medical care either way. Some items included with this type of plan are hospitalization, emergency room treatment, X-rays, emergency dental care, and more.

Medical evacuation insurance

Medical Evacuation Insurance pays for your transportation for medical care. This could include a pricey trip in an airplane or a helicopter, or even an ambulance ride to the nearest hospital or clinic. In some cases, evacuation coverage will pay for transportation to your home country for treatment. This coverage differs from general travel medical insurance as some general plans do not cover transportation or evacuation to a hospital. If you only travel in your own country and don’t plan on participating in extreme sports during your vacation it is worth comparing cheaper travel insurance.

International health insurance

International health insurance is a type of coverage geared toward expats and travelers who are consistently away from home. This coverage can pay for emergency medical treatment as well as preventative care. Since it includes preventative care, it essentially takes the place of health insurance while abroad. An example of people who may find this useful is an expat living abroad or a student studying in a foreign country.

Single vs. multi-trip insurance

Also, note that you can purchase single-trip or multi-trip travel medical insurance plans. Where a single-trip plan can work well if you only have one major trip to plan for, multi-trip coverage in annual trip insurance works well for travelers who have several trips planned in a single year.

As you shop for a medical insurance policy that will work for your next trip, consider all the types of coverage that fall within this category.

What is covered by travel health insurance?

The answer to this question depends on your plan and the insurance provider.

That said, the lists below show common situations and treatments that typically are covered by travel insurance plans and ones that are not:

Here is a list of what’s typically covered by travel medical insurance:

Here is a list of what’s typically not covered by travel health insurance:

Does travel medical insurance cover Coronavirus?

Since the pandemic, the vast majority of travel insurance plans now include COVID-19 coverage as they would cover treatment of any other illness. This means that coronavirus treatment is typically included when it comes to medical coverage.

That said, it’s important to read over the inclusions and exclusions listed in the travel medical plans you’re considering. Some plans offer more coverage than others. One example is lost expenses relating to an unexpected quarantine. However, regarding medical care for COVID-19, you should most certainly be covered.

If you have questions or doubts, it’s a good idea to contact your insurance provider to find out for sure.

How much does travel medical insurance cost?

The cost of travel medical insurance varies as some travel medical plans have much higher coverage limits than others.

Also, plans can apply for different lengths of time which can affect the overall cost.

To give you an idea of how much travel health insurance costs, we put together a small study and got quotes for trip insurance covering two 45-year-olds traveling to France for two weeks in September of 2023.

Here are some of the travel medical insurance quotes we received for a 14-night trip:

Travel Insurance Company Estimated Plan Costs
Trawick International $57
Seven Corners $67.50 to $101.62
IMG Global $111.76

To provide another example, we also applied for quotes for two 65-year-olds traveling to India for two weeks in September of 2023.

Here are some of the travel medical insurance quotes we received for this 14-night trip:

Travel Insurance Company Estimated Plan Costs
Trawick International $144.90
Seven Corners $178.12 to $306.76
IMG Global $278.26

Factors that determine cost

The charts above show the average cost of travel health insurance for two different trips, but it’s important to note that each plan we profiled comes with a different breadth of coverage and limits, making them difficult to compare.

For this reason, we overwhelmingly recommend the use of a comparison tool like the one found on our site.

With that in mind, here is a list of the factors that typically influence the cost of travel medical coverage:

Do I need travel medical insurance?

In our opinion, buying travel medical insurance (as a minimum coverage) is a “no-brainer”.

Especially for senior citizens, travel medical insurance is the most important coverage to look for. Read more about our top selections for senior travel insurance.

We think it’s crucial to purchase travel medical insurance when you leave your home country, whether you are planning a backpacking trip through Europe or simply traveling across the border for a weekend in a neighboring country. You shouldn’t take it for granted that you will be safe.

Overseas medical treatment can easily cost tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Imagine as an example you break a bone or suffer a heart attack during your trip. Imagine if you need emergency medical evacuation in a helicopter from a remote area or even from somewhere more commonplace, such as from the middle of a highway.

Not having medical coverage can leave you paying bills and expenses for any and all care you receive while away.

When you don’t have travel medical insurance in place, you have no protection from sudden and unexpected costs required to help you recover or save your life in an emergency. For this reason, we think it’s best to expect the unexpected and purchase medical coverage before leaving on a trip.

Tips for choosing travel health insurance


Look for a policy with adequate limits for emergency medical care.

The most important components of travel medical insurance include coverage for medical expenses and emergency evacuation. Generally speaking, you should look for travel medical policies that include at least $250,000 in coverage in both of these categories.

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Decide which benefits you want.

Some travel medical policies also come with emergency travel assistance as well as coverage for trip delays, lost baggage, or repatriation of remains. If you want to have these additional benefits, make sure to check for plans that include them.

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Check for age limits and coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Read over different policies to see which ones might limit coverage based on age. Also, make sure you know how pre-existing conditions are treated within the plans you’re considering.

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Read the fine print.

It’s extremely important to read over all the fine print on the policies you’re comparing as well. Make sure you understand any waiting periods that apply, as well as whether your travel heath insurance plan has a deductible. Also, check for exclusions in your plan.

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Shop around and compare pricing with several companies.

The best step to take to find the right travel medical plan involves shopping around for coverage. Get a travel medical coverage quote from at least three or four providers, then use that information as a basis to compare plans, included coverages, and premiums. Using a comparison tool like the one found on our site makes this process quick and easy.

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How do you use travel medical insurance?

The process involved in using travel medical insurance varies from company to company.

However, you should check whether you need approval for some types of medical care before you receive it. Almost all policies also require you to get prior authorization for emergency medical evacuation, and they offer a hotline your hospital can call for this purpose.

Most travel medical plans pay for the care you receive directly, although you may wind up paying for some of your treatment upfront and then asking for reimbursement from your travel insurance provider.

Before you invest in travel medical coverage, make sure you understand the process of the insurer, what is and isn’t covered in your plan, and when you need to get treatment pre-approved before you receive it.

Travel Health Insurance FAQ

Do I need travel medical insurance if I have health insurance?

Generally, yes. You should buy travel insurance if you plan to travel abroad or if your traditional medical insurance doesn’t cover you while traveling outside your local area.

The fact you have health insurance or Medicare within the United States may not help you if you become sick or injured abroad. In fact, it’s unlikely a traditional health insurance plan provides any coverage outside the United States, even for emergencies.

Consumer Reports also notes that Medicare plans typically do not provide any international coverage, although some Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans do offer worldwide emergency care.

Can I get travel medical insurance if I don’t have health insurance?

Yes, almost anyone can get travel medical insurance if they are willing to pay for it.

You can purchase travel medical coverage for trips overseas even if you don’t have health insurance in your home country. You may also be able to purchase travel health insurance if you are traveling within the US. One type of coverage does not impact or limit the other.

Does travel health insurance cover pre-existing conditions?

Some travel medical insurance plans cover pre-existing conditions, although various terms and conditions can apply. Make sure you check the plans you’re considering to find out how they treat pre-existing conditions and whether you can get coverage for medical conditions you have had in the past. You can also read more about buying travel insurance for pre-existing conditions in our help guide.

What medical conditions are covered by travel insurance?

Almost any medical condition can be covered by travel insurance, including broken bones, a heart attack, a stroke, pre-existing conditions, and more. Coverage will depend on the plan and provider. Make sure you read over the exclusions in your plan so you know which medical conditions may not be covered. When purchasing a plan you can look for specific inclusions and exclusions using filters on our comparison tool.

Holly D. Johnson
Holly D. Johnson Finance Expert

Holly D. Johnson is an award-winning personal finance writer who covers topics like insurance, investing, credit and family finance. As a leading voice in the travel and loyalty space, Johnson has traveled with her family to more than 50 countries over the last decade. 

The author has also written extensively on the power of household budgeting, and she even co-authored a book on the topic. Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You’ll Love was originally published in 2017, and it teaches families how to use zero-sum budgeting to reach their financial goals. She is also the co-owner and founder of the family finance and travel website, ClubThrifty.com.

Johnson’s 10+ years of writing have focused on helping families make important financial decisions at each stage of their lives. The author also applies the financial principles she teaches to her own life, and she is currently on track to retire in her late 40’s with her partner. She currently lives in Central Indiana with her husband and children, and she is a regular contributor for Bankrate, CNN, Forbes, U.S. News and World Report Travel and many other notable publications.