Can I Use My Health Insurance Plan Outside of My State? What to Do When You’re Traveling

close-up of a stethoscope on a book

Traveling can be an exciting and thrilling experience—whether you’re traveling to just one state over or across the world, getting out of your comfort zone and traveling is always a good idea. But one important thing to think about before booking your plane ticket and packing your bag is your health insurance. 

You never know what could happen, from a minor injury to a major accident, and you want to ensure you’ll be covered. So what should you know about using health insurance outside of your home state?

Why You Need Health Insurance While Traveling

Insurance coverage is probably the last thing on your mind if you’re planning a trip, but it’s something that needs to be thought of—with 15% of travelers dealing with some sort of medical problem on their trip, you need to make sure you know what to do in these situations. Having health insurance that will provide coverage while you’re out of state is important for a few reasons. 

One, medical expenses can vary greatly around the world and you don’t want to end up having to pay for a doctor visit out-of-pocket. Two, if you need to do something like refill a prescription while traveling, you want to be sure this is possible so you don’t have to go without your prescription medications. And three, having medical insurance while traveling will offer peace of mind. 

When you’re on your adventure, you don’t want to have to worry about what you’ll do if you get sick or hurt. This way, you can take your surfing lessons in Honolulu, HI knowing you’ll be covered if you end up getting hurt. Ensuring you have health insurance coverage while traveling will give you one less thing to worry about.

Does Your Policy Offer Coverage While You Travel?

Before booking your trip, you should check with your current insurance provider to see if your policy will offer coverage where you’re traveling to. While most insurance policies don’t offer great coverage for overseas locations or for prescription refills, most insurance providers do offer some coverage within the states, especially for emergency services. 

Costs may vary from state to state, but you’ll likely be insured in some way. But you should call your insurance provider to ask—tell them where you’re going, how long you’ll be there, and find out the details for coverage in that location. Many times, any medical care you receive will be reimbursed, but because you’re not in your home location, costs will be higher.

Consider Short-Term Insurance For Traveling

If you’re going to be traveling for a while and your current insurance doesn’t offer great coverage for where you’re going, you may want to explore other options. Short-term insurance plans are great for travelers—these plans can be purchased as needed and can last anywhere from one month to one year. So if you’re going to be traveling for a few weeks or months and want to make sure you’ll have health insurance, you should look into some of the best short term health insurance options. 

These temporary insurance plans are easy to enroll in, offer flexibility with coverage, and are often a lot less expensive than traditional insurance plans. While you probably don’t even want to think about the possibility of getting sick or hurt during your trip, you need to be prepared. Investing in temporary insurance for traveling is an easy and convenient way to make sure you’ll be prepared if something goes wrong.

Don’t make the mistake of not thinking about your insurance coverage before you travel—having the right health insurance can make a big difference if something happens on your trip.