28 February, 2024
- By Natalie

Cover the thing that is most important on your trip – you.

Medical travel insurance protects for emergency expenses you incur on your overseas trip for accidental injury or unforeseen illness.

If you didn’t know already, needing medical attention overseas is very expensive! A 14 day stay in hospital can easily cost $50,000. If you don’t have that sort of cash lying around (and let’s be honest most of us don’t) it’s really is a no-brainer to get medical travel insurance for your trip.

Why do I need medical insurance?

We know every trip is different. If you’re backpacking on a budget and don’t want to pay for all the bells and whistles, but still want the peace of mind that you’re covered in the event of an emergency – a medical policy might be just the ticket.

Of course, if your trip is all about luxury and Louis Vuitton you may well want to consider some sort of personal belonging protection. Or if you’ve just put down a hefty deposit on a round-the-world cruise, you’ll probably want some sort of cover for your pre-paid expenses. But really it’s down to your trip type to figure out if you need the extra cover.

What does medical insurance cover?

Medical-only policies do what they say on the tin - they provide medical protection for travellers overseas, without the extra benefits of cancellation, delay, lost luggage and a host of other benefits. They typically include:

24/7 emergency assistance: Get access to trained specialists, nurses, and doctors around the world. Help is just a phone call away 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Emergency evacuation: Should you need, you'll get helicopter evaculation or air ambulance to get to a hospital fast.

Your treatment: Hospital stays, specialist doctors, nurses, surgery, tests, scans- you name it. All your hospital expenses are covered.

Emergency dental: To your natural teeth, if you break a tooth on holiday or suffer an infection on your trip.

Travel expenses: Including additional accommodation for your travelling companions and family members whilst you are sick overseas. As well as cover for transport expenses for your companions if you need to be moved to a different location/hospital.

Cover for family members: If you’re not in a good way, most travel insurance policies will pay to get your nearest and dearest flown to be by your side.

Repatriation: Cover for the cost to bring you back to your home once you are fit to travel again, or returning your remains if you die overseas.

A funeral or cremation: The cost of either a funeral or creation if you die as a result of injury or illness on your holiday.

What isn't covered?

Pre-existing conditions (unless the insurer has agreed to cover them for an additional cost) Travel insurance covers the unforeseen, not illnesses you already know about.

Elective surgery: For similar reasons, if you are going overseas for treatment you already know about you are unlikely to be covered. Here are some options for elective surgery providers here.

Routine treatment and medication: If you have a regular prescription you need, make sure you have enough meds to get you through your entire holiday. Running out overseas in a foreign country, potentially with a different language could be challenging to say the least. Plus, any medications you regularly take wouldn’t be claimable as they are not considered unknown and unforeseen.

Medical treatment in Australia: Australian travel insurers are not permitted by law to pay medical expenses to Australians who are travelling within Australia. That’s what Medicare is for!

How much does medical treatment around the world cost?

We’re not pulling your leg when we say medical costs in a foreign country can be cripplingly expensive. You should never underestimate the true value of travel insurance when it comes to medical cover. Without it, you run the risk of going into thousands of dollars of debt.

Medical costs can vary dramatically between regions and countries. But the USA is well-known as being one of the most expensive. To give you an idea of the costs you could face, here is a snap shot of some common illnesses and injuries around the world.

  • $2,000, Indonesia, Bali: Rabies vaccination and treatment for monkey bite
  • $5,500, Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh: Hospital treatment for injuries resulting from motorbike crash
  • $8,000, Africa, Ghana: Eight- day hospital treatment for malaria
  • $11,200, Vanuatu, Port Vila: Three treatments for decompression sickness
  • $25,000, Japan, Niseko: Hospital admission and surgery for broken arm
  • $50,000 Thailand, Bangkok: 14-day hospital treatment for seizures
  • $120,000, Germany, Bavarian Alps: Cost of helicopter air ambulance
  • $800,000, USA, Houston: 18-day hospital treatment for pneumonia

How much does travel medical insurance cost?

In comparison travel insurance is cheap! It depends of course on your destination, length of trip, your age and a few other factors- but for context a medical only policy, for a 2 week trip to Bali for two can be anywhere from $45 - $150.

Get medical only quotes

Don’t risk it – protect yourself with no-frills travel insurance that focuses on protecting you. Compare medical travel insurance quotes today to save time, worry & loads of money!

Natalie Smith

Natalie Smith

Having travelled to over 40 countries, studied tourism management and worked as a flight attendant for over three years, Natalie knows more than a thing or two about travel! She’s an adventure-lover, whose favourite trips have been trekking Machu Picchu and volunteering in an animal shelter in the Amazon. Qualified in Tier 2 General Insurance General Advice and specialising in travel insurance for the last five years, she in passionate about helping travellers get the most out of their holiday.

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