Properly covered with international health insurance

Properly covered with international health insurance
Patrick Ott
Martina Martinez
Expert for insurance and finance
4. June 2024

Exploring the world, making unforgettable memories - these are the things that travel dreams are made of. If you are planning an exciting trip abroad, you should definitely think about whether international health insurance makes sense for you. Because despite relaxation and idyll, unexpected illnesses or accidents can happen on vacation. That's why international health insurance should be as much a part of every suitcase as a toothbrush. We'll tell you everything you need to know about it below!

International health insurance: why it's important

Imagine you're enjoying your dream vacation, but suddenly you fall ill or even have an accident. Medical care abroad can lead to considerable costs. Although your statutory health insurance also covers medically necessary services in the EU, you are not covered for trips outside the EU. However, statutory health insurance does not offer comprehensive health protection in the EU either, as it only covers benefits that apply to those with statutory health insurance in the country you are visiting. This is where health insurance for abroad comes into play. It protects you against unexpected costs for medical treatment, hospital stays and medication incurred when traveling outside Germany. With such insurance cover, you don't have to worry about high bills and can concentrate fully on your recovery. Plus, traveling is more relaxed when you know you're covered in an emergency!

What benefits does international health insurance offer?

In principle, travel insurance covers all costs for medically necessary treatment abroad due to unexpected illnesses or accidents. The benefits may include

  • Outpatient treatment
  • Inpatient treatment
  • Necessary medication
  • Free choice of doctor and hospital
  • Rescue and recovery costs
  • Necessary return transportation to Germany
  • Treatment for COVID-19 infections

The benefits vary in detail from insurance policy to insurance policy. You should pay particular attention to cover in the event of a COVID-19 infection, as this is not offered by every insurer. Medication and treatments that are foreseeable before the trip are not covered by international health insurance. Preventive medical check-ups and vaccinations are also not covered by travel health insurance. You should also note that some insurance policies do not cover you if the Foreign Office has issued a travel warning for your vacation destination.

When does international health insurance make sense?

International health insurance is worthwhile as soon as you are planning a vacation abroad. Such insurance cover is particularly useful when traveling to countries where health costs are very high. This applies to the USA and Canada, for example. Adventure vacations also make travel insurance almost indispensable. If you are planning activities such as mountaineering, skiing or diving, there is a higher risk of injury. For longer stays abroad, you should look into international health insurance. This offers you full insurance cover abroad and also covers vaccinations and check-ups.

How much does international health insurance cost?

For a seven-day flight just for you, you can take out one-off insurance for as little as five euros. If you want to insure several trips within a year, you can book annual cover. This is available for as little as ten euros a year. Family cover for one year is available from as little as 20 euros, and you can take out single cover from ten euros. However, prices vary greatly depending on the provider and scope of services, but as you can see, the prices are quite low. In comparison, a one-day hospital stay in the USA can cost as little as 6,000 euros, while repatriation to Germany costs around 90,000 euros.

How do I find the right insurance for my trip?

Finding the right international health insurance may seem overwhelming at first, but by considering a few important factors, you can ensure that you find the right insurance for your trip. These include:

  • Individual needs: Think about how long you'll be traveling, what activities you plan to do and whether you have any specific medical conditions, such as pre-existing conditions. If you are traveling with a pre-existing condition, you should check whether the insurance will also cover necessary treatment for pre-existing conditions. When choosing your insurance, you must pay attention to the countries covered. As healthcare costs are extremely high in the USA and Canada, there are tariffs that explicitly exclude travel to these countries from insurance cover 
  • Compare insurance policies: Compare different insurance providers and their benefits. Pay attention to factors such as sums insured, deductibles and whether your desired destination is included in the insurance cover. Also pay attention to the illnesses excluded from cover. You should also pay attention to the price-performance ratio. Although cheap tariffs are often offered, they often leave out essential benefits

Finding the right insurance may take some time, but the certainty of being adequately protected during your trip is priceless.

Expert advice on insurance abroad

If you are unsure whether and which international health insurance is right for you, you can get advice from experts. Insurance brokers or independent insurance advisors can help you choose travel insurance. For such a consultation, it makes sense that you are already aware of your needs and your travel destination. This way, the search for the right insurance can be tailored to your individual circumstances.

Carefree travel thanks to suitable international health insurance

Exploring the world and creating new memories is undoubtedly incredibly exciting. But in the midst of these adventures, you should never lose sight of your health. The thought of unexpected illness or accidents may be uncomfortable, but with international health insurance tailored to your needs, you can put your worries to rest. From medical care in foreign countries to repatriation to Germany, health insurance for stays abroad offers you a way to go on vacation without worry. Whether you're going on a city break, embarking on an exciting adventure or simply relaxing on the beach, international health insurance should be on your travel list!

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