What to Know About Medical Insurance for European Travel


What to Know About Medical Insurance for European Travel

  • Posted on 05 Nov, 2019
  • 0 47
ETIAS, the visa-free travel waiver going into effect in 2021, doesn't require medical travel insurance. But travelers should still make sure they're covered.

Travelers Should Know their Options

While carrying medical travel insurance is a requirement when applying for a Schengen Visa, that is not so for ETIAS. When you apply for ETIAS, you may need to fill out questions of a medical nature, but approval does not hinge on whether or not you’re covered by a medical travel insurance policy. Regardless, it’s always a good idea to understand your options.

ETIAS doesn’t require medical travel insurance. Should you get it anyway?

Not requiring medical travel insurance eliminates some hassle, but it also brings up the question of whether or not you want to travel without adequate health insurance. When you’re weighing your options, take the following into consideration:

I you don’t get ETIAS approval, you’ll need to apply for a Schengen Visa, and you’ll need proof of medical travel insurance.

The coverage needs to be valid in all Schengen Area countries and should be valid from the day you leave your country of origin to the day you return there. If for some reason you cannot get ETIAS approval, you will need to apply for a Schengen Visa. Those visiting longer than 90 days within a 180-day period – regardless of ETIAS approval – will also need to apply for a Schengen Visa.

Important to Note: A Schengen Visa requires a minimum of $50,000 in medical coverage.

See if European Travel Coverage Exists Within Your Domestic Policy.

Some U.S policies cover medical expenses while traveling internationally, but the coverage may not be what you’d like. Take a closer look at your own policy, or your employer’s if you’re traveling short-term for a conference or client meeting.

Most European Travel Insurance Policies Cover Basic Medical, and More.

When you buy travel insurance, you’re getting more than medical coverage. Make sure you know the details. Popular travel policies cover medical costs like the emergency room and urgent health care visits. Many have exclusions for riskier activities like extreme sports – climbing or skiing the Alps, for example. 

In addition to medical, you’ll find that policies cover things like trip interruption and cancellation, delays due to weather and lost or stolen baggage. As with any agreement like an insurance policy, it’s smart to read the fine print.

Pre-existing Conditions Might Require Supplemental Coverage.

If you have a pre-existing condition like heart disease or diabetes, you may want to get a supplemental policy. Why? Because most travel insurance policies do not cover pre-existing medical conditions, but there are supplemental plans that do.

Vaccination Requirements May Differ Between Countries

It’s important to know what vaccinations you’ll need for travel to the Schengen Area. Some countries insist on other vaccinations, but most require routine vaccinations for illnesses like measles and whooping cough, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and rabies. Look at the country you’re visiting for details.

Pack Important Medical Documents and Bring Your Prescriptions.

Any documentation from your doctor is a must-bring when you’re traveling at all, let alone international travel. Also, be sure to bring enough prescription medication to last the length of your stay.

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