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Travel insurance vs your own medical insurance coverage


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New to traveling outside of USA.  I know travel insurance helps with costs of cancellations of plans.  But on the medical side of things doesn't your own medical insurance cover you for healthcare?  I've read some stories of people getting hit with huge bills after becoming ill (heart attack etc) on cruise ships and not having travel insurance.  Just trying to understand how this works.

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Our Medicare Advantage HMO has paid for all medical services on the ship while cruising the Caribbean.  Both on the ship, and in port at the beginning of the cruise, the providers involved all billed our insurance directly.  Had hospitalization been prescribed, that's where the travel insurance is valuable, to fly a patient to a modern hospital. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As others have said, most US health insurance providers do not cover international expenses OR you may run into the issue that wherever you're at just doesn't even accept your insurance. Travel insurance - the type that includes medical - is designed specifically to cover you anywhere in leiu of your home policy.

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Also, if you happen to have "traditional" Medicare, it does not cover any costs incurred outside the USA.  Many Medicare Advantage plans will reimburse costs outside the country as "out of network", but you still have the pitfalls/risks expressed by others above. At best, you would likely have to pay out of pocket (will they accept a credit card???) and then submit bills for reimbursement back home.

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14 hours ago, Galveston Steve said:

At best, you would likely have to pay out of pocket (will they accept a credit card???) and then submit bills for reimbursement back home.

I had inquired of my medical insurance if they cover out of the country. I was told I would have to pay out of pocket and then seek reimbursement (a rate of which sucks)

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