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Best Travel Medical Insurance - Top Plans & Providers 2024

Medical bills can ruin any vacation. Relax knowing you're covered with a travel health insurance plan.
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  • Based on our research, the best international travel medical insurance plans come from IMG, Tin Leg, Nationwide, and Faye (skip ahead to view these plans).
  • International travel medical insurance, or travel health insurance, is a specific type of travel insurance plan that helps pay for treatment if you become sick or injured while traveling.
  • 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.
  • Medical travel insurance is the most basic form of travel insurance. It can also be one of the cheapest forms of insurance when you forego added extras such as trip reimbursement.
  • To find the right travel health insurance plan for you, we recommend using a comparison tool. This way, you can compare several quotes for travel insurance with medical coverage at once.

Travel health insurance is the cornerstone of most travel insurance plans—and for good reason.

It can pay out claims if you become sick or injured during a trip, and limits tend to be high for this type of coverage.

Health insurance for overseas travel specializes in paying for nearly any type of medical care required for you to recover, such as:

  • Hospitalization
  • Medication
  • Surgery
  • Lab tests

Medical insurance for travel may also include forms of cancellation and interruption coverage - particularly when it relates to you falling ill before or during your trip.

Almost all comprehensive travel insurance plans have international travel medical coverage included. However, you can also purchase medical only travel insurance as a standalone policy, which is typically the cheapest type of travel insurance.

To help you find the best medical travel insurance for your trip, we compared travel insurance companies that offer this standalone coverage for a wide variety of trips.

So, without further delay, here are our top picks for the best international travel medical insurance.

Our top picks for the best travel medical insurance

Advertiser Disclosure
Best for International Travel Health Insurance

IMG

GET A QUOTE via Squaremouth’s secure website
4.24
Preferred Plan
Patriot Platinum
Covers COVID
YES
Medical & Evacuation Limits Per Person
$2,000,000 / $2,000,000
Best for Cost-Effective Coverage

Tin Leg

GET A QUOTE via Squaremouth’s secure website
4.6
Preferred Plan
Gold
Covers COVID
YES
Medical & Evacuation Limits Per Person
$500,000 / $500,000
Best For Primary Coverage

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company

GET A QUOTE via Squaremouth’s secure website
4
Preferred Plan
Prime
Covers COVID
Yes
Medical & Evacuation Limits Per Person
$150,000 / $1,000,000
IMG
IMG Patriot Platinum
Tin Leg
Tin Leg Gold
Compare plans from providers side by side
Type of medical coverage
Secondary
Primary
Emergency Medical
$2,000,000
$500,000
Medical Evacuation & Repatriation
$2,000,000
$500,000
Covers COVID
YES
YES
Pre-Existing Conditions
YES
Waiver Available
Extension Of Coverage
NO
YES
Non-Medical Evacuation
$25,000
NO
Trip Cancellation
NO
100% trip cost
Trip Interruption
$10,000
150% trip cost
Travel Delays
NO
6+ hours
Missed Connection
NO
3+ hours
Baggage Loss
YES
YES
Baggage Delay
NO
24+ hours
24 Hour AD&D
$50,000
$10,000
Flight Only AD&D
NO
NO
Common Carrier AD&D
$100,000
NO
Sports & Activities
Some Sports
Some Sports
Sports Equipment Loss
NO
YES
Sports Equipment Delay
NO
NO
Sports Fees
NO
YES
Rental Car Damage
NO
NO
Money Back Guarantee
YES
YES
24 Hour Assistance Service
YES
YES
Cancel For Any Reason
NO
Optional Add-on
AMBest Rating
Better Business Bureau Rating

Our picks for the best travel health insurance plans

Advertiser Disclosure

Best for International Travel Health Insurance

Full Policy Details

IMG

4.24
GET A QUOTE via Squaremouth’s secure website
Preferred Plan
Patriot Platinum
Covers COVID
YES
Medical & Evacuation Limits Per Person
$2,000,000 / $2,000,000
Why We Like It

Editor's take

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.

PROS

  • 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

CONS

  • 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 Cost-Effective Coverage

Full Policy Details

Tin Leg

4.6
GET A QUOTE via Squaremouth’s secure website
Preferred Plan
Gold
Covers COVID
YES
Medical & Evacuation Limits Per Person
$500,000 / $500,000
Why We Like It

Editor's take

The Tin Leg Gold plan is one of our most popular plans. It continually ranks as one of the cheapest policies but offers high medical benefits and comprehensive cancellation coverage. This plan is specifically designed for travelers who want coverage for a bit of every scenario while traveling. However, it places high importance on your health while traveling.

The Gold plan’s impressive medical coverage includes a $500,000 limit for both primary emergency medical assistance and medical evacuation assistance – ensuring you can get the treatment you need and are returned home safely should anything happen while away. Best of all, the primary coverage means no deductibles or out-of-pocket expenses. Tin Leg will pay the bills for you.

With a 14-day money-back guarantee and 24-hour travel assistance service, Tin Leg Gold goes above and beyond to ensure customer satisfaction and support. This policy truly stands out as a top choice for travelers who prioritize their well-being and want comprehensive coverage for their trips.

PROS

  • Excellent primary coverage for medical expenses
  • High limit for emergency evacuation coverage
  • Optional cancel for any reason (CFAR) coverage available
  • Comes with coverage for hurricanes and inclement weather
  • Coverage for pre-existing conditions is available if purchased within 14 days of the trip deposit

CONS

  • Baggage delay coverage requires a 24-hour waiting period
  • Low coverage limits for baggage and personal effects

Best For Primary Coverage

Full Policy Details

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company

4
GET A QUOTE via Squaremouth’s secure website
Preferred Plan
Prime
Covers COVID
Yes
Medical & Evacuation Limits Per Person
$150,000 / $1,000,000
Why We Like It

Editor's take

Why We Like It

Best for Customer Service

Full Policy Details

Faye Travel Insurance

4.5
GET A QUOTE via the Faye website
Preferred Plan
Faye Travel Protection Plan
Covers COVID
Yes
Medical & Evacuation Limits Per Person
$100,000 / $500,000
Why We Like It

Editor's take

Faye is a new travel insurance disruptor that offers an innovative solution to travel insurance with a digital-first approach. What sets them apart is their user-friendly solution to a traditionally bureaucratic system. With Faye, users can manage everything online or via the Faye app – including the entire booking and claims process. Although it’s a newer provider in the travel insurance industry, Faye is already rising as a fan favorite among young, tech-savvy travelers and digital nomads who want quick, convenient, and reliable travel insurance without having to go through an agent.

Apart from their online-first approach, Faye is easy to use and caters to all types of travelers including those who may want help via phone support.

Another feature that sets Faye apart from the competition is their plan offerings. Faye offers one base plan with an array of comprehensive coverage and optional add-ons to customize your plan.

Potential Add-ons include:

  • Pet care
  • Rental car care
  • Cancel for any reason
  • Vacation rental damage
  • Adventure & extreme sports

If you are looking for a convenient and cost-effective way to insure your vacation, consider opting for Faye travel insurance. *Note: Coverage limits and availability may vary by state of residence.

PROS

  • Friendly agents
  • Easy-to-use mobile app
  • Fast reimbursements for eligible claims
  • Prompt replies to questions

CONS

  • Long wait times for reimbursement
  • Difficulty reaching Faye outside of email & virtual chat
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How we chose the best travel medical insurance providers

Our top medical travel insurance providers were selected based on the variety of benefits they offer. These range from levels of emergency medical coverage, evacuation and repatriation coverage, COVID-19 coverage, and coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Our selected policies provide high payouts for emergency medical insurance, ensuring you are covered should you face the worst during your vacation.

What is international travel medical insurance?

Travel medical insurance international 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 emergency medical travel 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 in Italy or the Dominican Republic for example, 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 it as a standalone policy.

Common types of international travel medical insurance

There are different levels of medical insurance for overseas travel depending on the plan and company that you choose.

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

General international travel medical insurance

As we have already mentioned, general international 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 in medical emergency insurance 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 emergency medical insurance in that 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, or international medical 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 your health insurance when abroad.

You may find it useful to get international travel health insurance if you’re 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 international travel medical insurance plans. Where a single-trip plan can work well if you only have one major trip to plan for, such as one week in Mexico, 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 the best trip insurance and all the types of coverage that fall within this category.

Can I just get medical travel insurance?

Yes, medical-only travel insurance plans are available and are often the cheapest. Stand-alone medical travel insurance policies include medical treatment, evacuation during your trip, and cancellation due to an illness or accident. Battleface Insurance is an excellent choice for medical-only travel insurance as it allows you to only buy the type of coverage you need.

Primary vs. secondary coverage

Medical travel insurance international policies are broken down into two separate groups, primary and secondary. Primary medical coverage means you will submit your claim directly to the insurance provider first and they are solely responsible for picking up the bill before any other provider. For example, if you break your ankle and need emergency medical treatment immediately, you will submit your insurance claim directly to your primary insurance provider to cover the cost.

On the other hand, a secondary insurance policy cover will only pick up the remaining cost once you have submitted a claim to your primary insurance provider. It may be the case that your primary insurance provider is your US-based insurance. If you are on vacation, this may be denied, as US insurance policies are limited or even void abroad.

Do I need to have primary health insurance in the U.S for travel insurance?

Whether you need primary health insurance in the U.S. to be eligible for overseas travel health insurance depends on the coverage you have. If your travel insurance policy refers to your medical coverage as primary then you do not need another health insurance policy. However, if you purchase a policy with secondary medical coverage, you will require primary health insurance.

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 international travel medical insurance:

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

Does international 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 travel insurance.

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.

Travel insurance vs travel medical insurance

Travel insurance plans can be divided into two categories: a travel medical insurance policy and a comprehensive travel insurance policy. Health insurance for travel will provide coverage related to all things medical, while a comprehensive plan covers everything from health travel insurance to trip cancellations or rental car coverage.??

Below is a brief outline of what you can generally expect from a travel medical insurance policy and a comprehensive travel insurance policy:

Coverage Type Travel Medical Insurance Comprehensive Travel Insurance
Trip cancellation X ?
Trip delay Limited ?
Emergency medical evacuation ? ?
Baggage delay Limited ?
Lost baggage Limited ?
Accidental death and dismemberment ? ?
Rental car coverage X ?

How much does international travel medical insurance cost?

The cost of emergency medical travel insurance varies as some 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 foreign medical insurance covering two 40-year-olds traveling to France for two weeks in September 2024.

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

Travel Insurance Company Estimated Plan Cost
Battleface $48.38
IMG $53
Tin Leg $156
Seven Corners $116
World Trips $166

To provide another example, we also applied for quotes for two 65-year-olds traveling to India for two weeks in June 2024.

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

Travel Insurance Company Estimated Plan Cost
IMG $83.80
Tin Leg $176
Seven Corners $178
World Trips $176

The charts above show the average cost of travel health insurance abroad 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:

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Understanding limits, exclusions, and deductibles

Whenever you compare travel medical insurance policies, it is important to understand the variety of limits, exclusions, and deductibles that are in place. The price of international traveler’s insurance can vary depending on these three factors, so consider them before settling on one particular plan.

Here is a breakdown of the terminology and how it affects your overall quote:???

Exclusions:
Exclusions are specific activities and events that are excluded from your final plan and are not covered by your insurance. This can include activities deemed too high-risk risk such as extreme sports. It is therefore important to check the policy to ensure you are covered for any activity you plan to partake in during your vacation.??

Limits:
Limits are monetary caps on certain coverage. For example, you may be covered for baggage loss or emergency dental treatment, yet only up to $50 per item or $500 per treatment. Any costs over the stated limit will be your responsibility to pay.??

Deductibles:
A deductible is an amount you pay before your insurance policy reimburses you. For example, if you purchase a policy with a $100 deductible and your insurance claim totals $500, the insurer will only reimburse you $400. Bear in mind, that the lower the deductible the more expensive the policy will be.

Do I need international travel medical insurance?

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

Especially for senior citizens, international 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 international travel medical insurance when you leave your home country, whether you are traveling across the border for a weekend in a neighboring country or planning a backpacking trip through Europe. In that case, don’t forget to purchase a Schengen visa if you are going to the Schengen Area, such as Spain. 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 you break a bone or suffer a heart attack during your trip to Brazil. Not having international travel medical insurance can leave you paying bills and expenses for any and all care you receive while away.

When you don’t have international 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

1

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, we recommend at least a $50,000 medical limit on trips within the US and North America, but you may be able to get by on less. For further abroad, you should look for travel medical policies that include at least $250,000 worth of coverage in both medical and emergency evacuation coverage.

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2

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. It is also important to check whether you have trip interruption or cancellation coverage. You will want to be covered should your trip get interrupted or canceled due to you falling ill and not all medical-based plans include thos a s standard.

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3

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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4

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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5

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 international travel medical insurance?

The process involved in using international 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 international travel medical insurance if I have health insurance?

Generally, yes. It’s worth it to 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.

Having health insurance or Medicare within the United States doesn’t mean you have health insurance overseas if you become sick or injured in another country. In fact, it’s unlikely your standard policy provides health insurance when traveling abroad, even for emergencies.

Consumer Reports also notes that Medicare plans typically do not provide international medical insurance for travelers, although some Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans do offer worldwide emergency care.

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

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

For trips overseas, you can purchase medical insurance for international travel even if you don’t have health insurance in your home country. You may also be able to purchase travel emergency medical 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.

Does travel health insurance cover pregnancy or childbirth?

Most travel medical insurance plans are geared towards unexpected medical emergencies, so a healthy pregnancy or birth would not be covered. Certain unexpected emergency scenarios or complications may be covered, so it’s important to check with your policy provider. For more details, read our detailed guide on pregnancy travel insurance.

Will my medical insurance cover me in another country?

Generally speaking, U.S.-based health insurance companies can’t pay out to foreign medical providers. Therefore, it’s important to purchase a travel insurance policy when you go on vacation, as your domestic medical insurance won’t work while you’re traveling abroad.

What is the average cost of travel medical insurance?

The average cost of travel medical insurance depends on many factors. These include your age, destination, trip cost, and length of the trip. Generally speaking, your insurance policy will cost between 5% and 6% of your total trip cost.

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.