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Going Abroad for Treatment? Get Medical Travel Insurance

By: Kathryn Senior PhD - Updated: 16 Jun 2024 | comments*Discuss
Medical Travel Insurance Private Medical

If you are travelling abroad to have private medical treatment you are probably paying for the trip and the medical costs yourself. Few private medical insurance policies will cover treatment in private clinics outside the UK. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t need extra insurance for your trip; medical travel insurance is a necessity.

Medical Travel Insurance vs Ordinary Travel Insurance

Whenever you travel, it is a good idea to take out travel insurance, even if you are fit and health and don’t plan to have any medical treatment while you are away. If you fall ill or have an accident when on holiday, the medical costs of treatment there can be very high and you may also face a very large bill if you miss your flight home and have to make alternative arrangements.

It is possible to arrange travel insurance for a particular trip, or to buy annual cover that will cover you and perhaps also the rest of your family for all the travelling you do in the year. This will cover you for medical problems that arise during your trip, but do not cover you for medical treatment outside the UK. If you don’t inform your insurers and fail to take out a specific medical travel policy, you may find that your insurers refuse to pay out for anything, even if all goes well but you need to claim for the loss or damage of your suitcase at the airport on the way home.

Medical travel insurance tends to be much more expensive and covers you if you have a pre-existing medical condition that may need emergency treatment while you are away, or if you are travelling abroad specifically for a planned medical treatment such as cosmetic surgery.

What Does Medical Travel Insurance NOT Cover?

Medical travel insurance cannot pay or offset any part of the cost of your medical treatment when you are abroad. Nor will it cover any part of your travel expenses or your accommodation costs. Going abroad for medical treatment is a personal decision – medical travel insurance is not the same as healthcare insurance – and you usually have to pay all of the costs yourself. Most policies also exclude any problems that are caused by the policy holder engaging in dangerous sports during the trip. This is not likely if you have had surgery, but it’s important to bear that in mind.

Why Have Medical Travel Insurance?

You need medical travel insurance for many of the same reasons that you have ordinary travel insurance. Your medical travel insurance will cover you for trip cancellation, if your belongings, credit cards or cash are stolen, or if your bags are lost at the airport. It will also cover you for around £5 million worth of emergency medical expenses so, if the worst happens and something goes wrong, you can be sure you will get the best emergency care. Medical travel insurance is available to cover you if you travel abroad for infertility treatment, cosmetic surgery, cosmetic dentistry, eye surgery, including laser eye surgery and obesity treatment. Some policies will also cover orthopaedic surgery and more serious operations but it is wise to check with the insurer that your particular procedure is covered.

Things to Check

Not all medical insurance policies are the same and as well as reading the paperwork carefully, there is no harm in phoning the insurance company before you sign to make sure what the policy covers before you sign up. You must, for example, make sure that the policy applies to the country that you have chosen for your treatment – and that the specific clinic or hospital is covered. Some policies only cover particular accredited treatment centres in a named country or region.

Costs of Medical Travel Insurance

It is difficult to give a figure for the cost of medical travel insurance as this will vary so much depending on individual circumstances. It is likely to be much more than you pay for ordinary travel insurance for holidays and the seriousness of the procedure will also hike up the cost of the policy. For major joint replacement surgery or an abdominal operation, check that the policy will cover a change in your plans to travel home; if you are considered unfit to fly, you will need the support and back up for your insurance company to get home at a later date.

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Travelling to Turkey for gastric sleeve surgery. Need a quote for medical/travel insurance please
Kaye Lynch - 16-Jun-24 @ 9:38 PM
I would like travel cover for bariatric treatment in Europe. I live in the UK. Can you assist?
Bambi - 1-Apr-24 @ 1:38 PM
Hi I am from uk travelling to USA for symmastia repair. I would like Insurence to cover any unexpected problems that might occur due to surgery during my time in USA. Can you help please
Bekki - 27-Mar-24 @ 1:10 PM
Would like cover for gastric bypass in april. Could i have a quote please
Faye1512 - 26-Feb-24 @ 8:51 PM
please can i have a quote for going to turkey for gastric sleeve
Anne - 12-Feb-24 @ 6:35 PM
I'm travelling to Turkey to have a gastric sleeve done on the 23rd Septembercan u quote me a insurance abroad price please
Donna - 31-Aug-23 @ 8:38 PM
I'm travelling to Turkey for a gastric sleeve. Please can you give me a quote for medical cover please
Vicky - 29-Apr-22 @ 7:42 AM
I am going for a rhinoplasty in Turkeyin December 2020, is there any insurance that will cover me whilst the FCO advise against all but essential travel to the country? I have looked online but no where does insurance specifically for going abroad for surgery except medical travel shield and looks like their insurance in void during Covid.
S - 27-Nov-20 @ 8:53 AM
I would like to get quote for operation in turkey which will be happening on the June 2021 for BBL and liposuction
Dominika - 11-Nov-20 @ 7:39 AM
Gastric Sleeve Surgery in Turkey - quote required please
Jo - 4-Nov-20 @ 9:27 PM
I am getting liposuction for a medical condition called lipedema in Turkey.
Dee - 30-Oct-20 @ 1:00 PM
I'm going to Turkey for gastric bypass November whats the best medical insurance pleae
Tina Bothwell - 19-Oct-20 @ 8:36 PM
I’m going to turkey in July 2021 for breast lift and augmentation can I have a quote please
Charlene - 7-Oct-20 @ 1:07 AM
Im going to Turkey in thr new year for gastric band. What cover do i need and at what cost please
Jo - 19-Sep-20 @ 6:36 PM
I'm am travelling end of September for gastric surgery surgery from Ireland to Turkey is there a insurance policy I can buy
mel - 13-Sep-20 @ 12:20 AM
Hi i am traveling in September for dental treatment do you have travel insurance that will cover this
kel - 26-Aug-20 @ 10:35 PM
Looking to have a gastric balloon done in Turkey via endoscopy route. May I have a quote please
D - 16-Aug-20 @ 5:59 PM
I am going to istanbul in September 2020 for nose reshaping surgery can I have a quote please
chell - 16-Aug-20 @ 3:41 PM
Enquiring about medical travel insurance for gastric sleeve surgery in Turkey. Quote ?
Danni - 15-Aug-20 @ 3:37 PM
Hi I’m going to Turkey for Bariatric bariatric surgery is their any insurance that covers me if when I get home anything goes wrong
Char - 14-Jul-20 @ 7:12 PM
Hi I I goin to Turkey for sleeve surgeryinsurance quote plese
Maria da costa diniz - 8-Jul-20 @ 10:48 PM
Can I have a quote for insurance for gastric band fitting in Poland please. On 28th this month.
Jo - 2-Jul-20 @ 4:25 PM
Hi I am travelling to Turkey Sunday 8th March for breast augmentation, could I have a quote please. Thank you
Barbara Mayo - 7-Mar-20 @ 2:13 AM
Hi can you quote me for insurance for a hair transplant abroad
k - 24-Feb-20 @ 5:41 PM
Sciatica, needing info on cheap package deal for private hospital for spinal blockinjections
Ben - 30-Jan-20 @ 11:56 PM
I am travelling to Lithuania for gastric sleeve surgery, could I get a quote please.
Lion - 17-Jan-20 @ 3:35 PM
I am traveling to Turkey for obestity surgery. Could you give me a quote please
Hanpan - 11-Jan-20 @ 2:51 PM
Hi im going to lithuania for a breast uplift at the end of january 2020 can you give me a quote for me and my boyfriend on travel insurance please
Sarah - 9-Jan-20 @ 2:11 PM
hi , I am going to Turkey for a hair transplant surgery very soon , can anybody please recommend a good / reliable medical travel insurance company ? . Thank you so much for any help .
Dee - 6-Jan-20 @ 12:44 AM
I'm going to istanbul for gastric bypass surgery.Can I have a quote please
Donna Kirkland - 23-Dec-19 @ 8:45 PM
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