If you are planning an upcoming holiday, it is important to be aware of what your health insurance covers you for when travelling abroad. Before you leave on your trip, you should be aware of some common misconceptions about overseas health insurance cover:


Health insurance while abroad

Most health insurers provide cover for A&E abroad up to a set amount which generally ranges from €55,000 to €100,000. However, this usually only covers trips up to 30 days in duration. It is important to remember that this is only for emergency treatment; most cover will not extend to out-patient benefits or a visit to the GP. Your health insurance policy will not allow you to claim back for things such as lost baggage, stolen money, missed flights, etc. If you do have cover for A&E abroad up to €55,000 on your health insurance, most travel insurance providers will apply a discount to your policy.  Check your policy documentation to ensure this is covered as part of your plan.


European health insurance card

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) entitles the holder to the state-funded health care scheme in the country, in which you are staying. It is important to note, that the EHIC will not cover any of the costs involved in transporting you back to Ireland following an accident. The card can only be used to provide cover in the public healthcare system for countries within the EU / EEA & in Switzerland. Source HSE, August 2018.


Do I need travel insurance if I have health insurance?

A small number of health insurance plans have built in travel insurance. In some instances, you can also select this as an add-on to your existing health insurance cover. If your health insurance plan has travel insurance included, you should not need to purchase an additional standalone travel insurance policy (unless, you are engaging in extreme sports, travelling outside the area nominated in your policy, or travelling for a longer duration than the policy allows).


If your health insurance does not have travel insurance included, then it is advisable to take out a standalone travel insurance policy to compliment the overseas cover on your health insurance, especially if you are visiting a country with high cost medical treatment such as the United States.


If you are unsure as to the level of cover on your current health insurance plan or whether this is sufficient for your particular needs, then speak with one of our Health Insurance expert advisors today on (01) 420 0999 or get a call back here. For more information on how you can buy worldwide multitrip cover from only €72.40* with protection for you and your family all year-round (including wintersports) learn about our Travel Insurance.