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Travel Insurance

Yes, I know travel insurance is a must, but the prices I am getting are about 1K. (we will be staying for about a month in England). We have Medicare Plan G which is supposed to give you some travel expenses. Then also, I am looking at our credit cards for travel expenses for some travel issues (not medical). Any advice?

Posted by
8653 posts

Only insure costs that can’t be cancelled for a refund. Perhaps your entire trip budget is $5000, but $2000 of that is hotel rooms with 24 hour cancellation/refund policies. You don’t need to insure that $2000.

In addition, make sure you have medical evacuation coverage. This is probably one of the costliest events that could derail your trip and family finances.

Posted by
5688 posts

Take a look at annual policies. They typically cover medical evacuation and medical insurance, but very little with regard to trip cancellation/interruption. Or look specifically at medical evacuation policies.

I typically don’t take out coverage for trip cancellation/interruption and ”self-insure” for those expenses. I would be bummed if I lost the cost of my pre-paid expenses, but I wouldn’t go bankrupt.

However, I always have medical evacuation and medical coverage. Medical evacuation can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Posted by
5162 posts

Credit cards usually don't cover pre-existing conditions, but sadly you'll need to read those policies, each of which is usually about 50 pages.
Good luck!

Posted by
5065 posts

Always read the fine print. The policies that come with many credit card seem to be good until you read them in detail. And then they are not so good -- in most cases.

For example, most policies will evacuate you only to the nearest medical facility that can treat you. Some might bring you back home -- only reading the details will let you know what they will cover. There are some companies (MedJet Assist is one) that have policies that will bring you back home. But it is not medical or travel insurance -- just evacuation insurance. Once again, read the details.

Posted by
70 posts

One man's opinion only,
I am in my mid 70's (sigh!) but have continued to travel in Europe and am planning a trip to England for 2024. I am also a retired RN.
I too have Medicare (Plan N) and a Supplement.
When I see people buying insurance for medical evacuation, I wonder where they are traveling to. Botswana?
Most Medicare plans have provisions for emergency care and, believe it or not, Europeans have a pretty good health system.

I cannot think of an event that would require or even benefit from medical evacuation. The most common major emergencies (heart attack, stroke, life threatening car accident) require immediate intervention. The money spent on evacuation insurance would be better spent securing care at a private hospital in the location where you are.
And if an anvil does not fall on your head, that leaves more money for wine, food etc

I am just sharing my thoughts and respect that others may feel differently


Posted by
8653 posts

@Dennis. Go to MedJet site and watch some of their testimonial videos or read some of the costs they have paid in a medical evacuation. You may change your mind.

Posted by
2924 posts

Dennis, anyone can get injured or sick when traveling. A friend’s 25 y/o daughter fell getting on a train in France, breaking her leg in multiple places. After emergency surgery she was med evac’d home. After two more surgeries the past year she’s doing OK.
As we get older, falling is more of a risk, not to mention the chance of medical emergencies. There have been multiple posts over the years about med evac costs.
If you are willing to take the risk and able to self-insure the $100,000+ for med evac that is your choice. Not everyone can, so $315 Medjet policy is a good option for us.

Posted by
4604 posts

I'm with horsewoofie on this one, every time I buy medevac I grumble and every time I didn't need it I'm quietly grateful. But if I ever do ...

Stuff like trip cancellation is frosting.

Posted by
5688 posts

A friend of mine’s college-aged daughter slid down a rocky slope while doing archeology work in Greece. She broke her ankle and foot in multiple places and had surgery in Greece. In order to be able to fly home to the U.S. after she had sufficiently recovered, a nurse had to accompany her. Her medical evacuation covered this.

If you were seriously injured in a foreign country, would you want to (or be able to) stay there indefinitely without family or friends? While it is true that medical care in Europe is very good, some injuries are such that people are unable to fly home alone on a commercial flight.

Posted by
349 posts

I have to agree with Dennis. I am also a retired RN (ICU for 30+ yrs in a major med ctr). And I am aging. With the exception of being by family and friends, I am not sure why someone with a surgically repaired fracture would need to be med-evaced home. Given some general recovery time, a regular flight home should be fine. And we're talking days of recovery here, not months. Even hip replacement patients generally stay a max of 1 night in the US.

If one researches healthcare in general, the current system in the US is overpriced with health outcomes that are worse than those in Europe. In this situation, I would rather pay the airline change fee than med-evac. But that is me.

Posted by
845 posts

Sounds like you want travel insurance. But 1k does sound high. You should be able to get it for at least half that. You don’t say for how many people. Then there is the slant here towards medjet, but that is for medical transport. Do you want other insurance such as baggage, flight, hotel, car, delay? All that makes for copious reading of policies.
Note the medjet policy for over 75 if you are that age.
There is a tremendous amount of worry on these boards about travel insurance, especially for medical reasons is very pronounced.
Unless you live dangerously or are medically already compromised, your most significant medical emergency will involve a traffic accident, as a passenger, driver, pedestrian. Could be significant.
You have to assess your own risk profile and act accordingly within your budget.
We have an annual Allianz policy. It covers what we need.
Realize that most insurance is after the fact, reimbursement. So you need to have excess funds to front yourself during the problem. Even if you have your Medicare G. You will have to claw back your expenses.
For OP, I would say that going to England is a lot different than going to Africa in regards to availability and quality of medical services.
It is all about personal risk tolerance. At your 1k for a month that is $33 a day. That is the crux of the matter.