Medical Coverage While Traveling Overseas


A couple of conversations have come together recently, and I realized that we”ve never talked about health care coverage when traveling, especially overseas.  In the past couple of years, I have known two people who have had serious medical emergencies while overseas, resulting in surgeries and long hospitalizations.  As you can imagine, this stuff gets complicated fast.

When I sat down to write this, I thought I was going to be writing a post about why you need to have travel insurance when you travel so that you would be covered by the medical benefits of the travel insurance.  As I did some research, I discovered that while you still may want to purchase travel insurance, Tricare beneficiaries have outstanding coverage while traveling overseas and probably don’t need additional travel medical benefits.

In general, your medical benefits under Tricare remain the same whether you are in your hometown or in a location outside of the United States.  Deductibles and cost-shares apply in the same way, so your final out-of-pocket costs should not be higher for care received when traveling outside the US.

There are a few things that you need to know:

  • You may have to pay for your care at the time of service and make a claim for reimbursement.
  • International SOS is available to help you work with the medical facility and may be able to coordinate care.  In certain circumstances, International SOS may be able to pay for your care directly.
  • Keep copies of all bills and proofs of payment.

Military  families often have unique opportunities to travel outside  the United States, and I’ve learned that Tricare provides outstanding medical coverage to its beneficiaries who are enjoying the world.  While there are many good reasons to purchase travel insurance, additional medical coverage is probably not necessary for Tricare beneficiaries.

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.