Travelers, Beware: Foreign Visitors’ Travel Health Insurance May Exclude Pandemics

May 19, 2020 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under COVID-19 for Employers, COVID-19 for the Workforce

Last modified May 20, 2020

On March 11th, the World Health Organization declared the spread of the coronavirus a worldwide outbreak. This article discusses how travelers who purchased plans after that date should take extra care to make sure they have medical coverage for COVID-19.

Most plans offer health care coverage in case a person needs medical attention during a trip. But policies are staggeringly different depending on the company – holding limits on payouts, copayments, and circumstances, (i.e. such as whether they cover an evacuation). “Most travel insurance plans contain exclusions for known or foreseen events,” said Kasara Barto, spokesperson for Squaremouth, an online service that allows travelers to compare insurance options.

Common in insurance policies is the pandemic exclusion, in which the insurance company will not pay a traveler’s medical expenses if they are related to an outbreak, such as the coronavirus. “It’s definitely something that they should be aware of, that not having coverage to cover [medical care] could lead to such a financial loss,” Barto said.

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