International Travel and Medical Insurance

Hello - I’m in the process of researching which travel and medical insurance is best to purchase while traveling internationally. I’m a US citizen, 61 years old with moderate arthritis, and do not currently have medical insurance, as I’ve just retired. I’m planning to travel abroad for approximately 8 months, part of it on pet sits with THS and part of it sightseeing on my own or with friends/family. I’m interested to know of insurance companies you would recommend and/or ones you would steer clear of and why. I would also like to know about specific policies with these companies that you have found helpful as well as any other advise that I may not have thought about. What’s a reasonable average cost and what should I be sure to include? It’s all very confusing. Thank you in advance for your help. Cindy

I live in the US and have used Generali insurance multiple times. I’ve had to make claims (hospital costs for broken bones, and the cost of rearranging travel due to the accidents) and was happy with the process.

I can’t advise on the different policies because there are so many variations, but if you are sitting with THS, i would be sure to check their cancellation policy. If a homeowner cancels after you have bought flights or incurred other travel costs, you will wand that reimbursed.

I am about your age and have just got catastrophic medical insurance in the US. Since I need to pay out of pocket for most things, I do my routine procedures in Ireland where my family lives. That might be worth considering. I get my dental checkups, DEXA scans, and more in Ireland. The quality of care is excellent and the cost is much lower.

You need to make sure any travel insurance covers you for the amount of time you are looking to be away. Its common here in the UK for it to be 30 days extended to 90 at extra cost. Or there is specialist travel insurace for longers stays, you would need to declare every health issue even if you have only been for tests otherwise it would be void, you also need a confirmed return ticket. You home insurance wouldn’t be covered in the UK if you leave your home unattended for more than 30 days. I don’t know the rules for your country but I expect the rules are similar. At least 30% of holiday/health claims are turned down because of none disclosure of details. A lot of people don’t know also that if you have had alcohol and have any kind of fall/accident you are given a blood test at the hospital your claim will be invalid. I am only putting this on as a warning as I worked for the Financial Ombudsman dealing with complaints about claims not being paid.


I would not assume that. All this kind of stuff is very different in different countries.

Indeed but most complaints for none payment of claims comes from not reading the boring and long small print which applies in any insurance policy


This is what the rules are within the EU and some other countries. I have looked it up now because I will travel to the UK and I was not sure about consequences of Brexit but not much has changed in this regard:

I have the card but it does not affect my rights as a Swedish resident. It might make things a bit easier sometimes but hospital administrations would know how to handle Swedish cases without that card.

Rules will vary country by country. I live in the Netherlands and our ‘continuous travel insurance’ packages are usually up to stays of max 180 days abroad, but assuming one has a health insurance policy at home. Then we also have travel & medical insurance for those who go overseas for at least 3 months and do not hold a medical insurance at home. They’re valid for as long as you pay, but max 4 years I think.

(Example from NL)

Thank you everyone :slight_smile: Lots of great advise. Cindy

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I’d consult a US based insurance company. I know you can buy a policy that covers you abroad for 6 months…maybe more. I learned alot from watching Go with Less channel on Youtube. Go to the search under their channel and look up medical insurance.

The EHIC allows you free treatment at the point of contact but is not a substitute for travel insurance because it does not cover the cost of repatriation in the case of serious illness or injury, etc.


That’s right and in a lot of countries such as France they charge each day for food and your room separately. You can’t leave the hospital without an arrangement to pay. A friend was in an accident and in hospital for 6 weeks. The bill at the end was £27,000 for just that, the hospital treatment was free. The insurance covered the bill.

A good YouTube channel to follow is a retired couple 2GoRoam they have had a lot of medical issues whilst travelling so it’s interesting to see what they did along the way and how they got cover.