Women who are traveling to the US while pregnant will surely want to be assured that if something were to happen during their trip, they would have the proper health insurance to cover them, so as to avoid physical or financial hurt. However, in the majority of cases, it is very hard (or not possible at all) to find travel insurance that covers pregnancy-related issues, except in some rare cases. Even then there are limitations as to the amount and nature of the coverage.
Does Travel Insurance Cover Pregnancy?
No, unfortunately, most travel insurance companies do not cover pregnancy nor pregnancy-related issues, such as going into labor, going to the doctor for a routine check-up, or treatment for morning sickness.
If you go to the doctor for a pregnancy-related issue while you are in the US, you will have to pay the bill from your own pocket. If you go into labor while you are in the US, you will have to pay the medical bill from your own pocket. If there’s a complication during labor and you have to stay in the hospital for a longer period of time and receive additional medical treatment, you will have to pay for those expenses yourself as well.
The most that travel insurance companies will cover is any complications that may come from pregnancy, but that are not usual or expected in a normal pregnancy.
For example, complications of pregnancy in travel health insurance terms usually means an illness or condition that is made worse from pregnancy, but not actually caused by pregnancy – therefore a condition that is not common or associated with pregnancy. Complications of pregnancy may include miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, and eclampsia, or hyperemesis gravidarum.
Additionally, even if a health insurance plan does offer coverage for pregnancy, the amount of coverage that they offer is very limited.
Why Don’t Travel Insurance Companies Cover Pregnancy?
Travel insurance companies do not cover pregnancy because, in medical terms, pregnancy is considered a period of high-risk, and as such, they will not take financial responsibility for it, especially if it is a normal pregnancy.
Travel health insurance is intended to cover any accidents or illnesses that can happen while you are traveling. This is why they do not cover the cost of medical procedures related to pre-existing medical conditions either.
However, even though most travel insurance plans do not cover pregnancy, it is still a good idea to purchase visitor health insurance when visiting the US to cover other medical emergencies that may happen, simply because health care costs in the US are incredibly high!
Is Pregnancy Considered a Pre-Existing Condition?
No, health insurance policies do not consider pregnancy as a pre-existing condition, so you do not really have to declare it when you purchase travel insurance. However, they will still not cover pregnancy, just like they do not cover pre-existing conditions.
What Does Travel Health Insurance Cover?
Most travel insurance plans cover the cost* of the following medical procedures:
- Consultation or visit with a doctor
- Hospitalization (the cost of the hospital room)
- The cost of prescription drugs and medicine
- Surgical procedures
- Emergency services, such as the ambulance and ER
- The cost of lab tests and X-rays
- Physical therapy
Some health insurance plans also cover the following, but not all:
- Maternity/pregnancy (usually very limited!)
- Acute onset of a pre-existing condition
- AD&D (accidental death and dismemberment)
*The amount or percentage of the cost that they will cover depends on the specific insurance plan that you choose.
Getting the Best Travel Insurance During Pregnancy
When you decide to purchase travel health insurance, you have to do your research well, to make sure you are purchasing the right insurance for you. There are two types of travel health insurance: comprehensive coverage and fixed coverage.
- Comprehensive-coverage health insurance. This type of travel health insurance policy will pay a percentage of your medical bill up to a certain amount, then it will cover 100% up until the policy maximum. For example, the insurance company will pay 90% of your medical bill for the first $2,000 then 100% until the policy maximum (which can be $50,000; $70,000; $100,000 or millions depending on the policy maximum you purchased.)
- Fixed-coverage health insurance. This type of travel health insurance will only cover a fixed amount of your medical bills, and you will have to cover the rest of it. Sometimes, the “fixed amount” is relatively low and if the medical bill is high, then you will have to pay a pretty substantial amount from your own pocket.
However, as already mentioned, health insurance policies do not cover that much of the price for pregnancy-related issues.
When purchasing your travel health insurance, despite the company claiming they cover for pregnancy, make sure to read the brochures and policy descriptions carefully, so you know exactly what you are purchasing.
Websites like Insubuy allow you to look through different travel insurance plans, and make it easier for you to see all your options in order to choose the one that suits your needs the most.
Travel Insurance Plans That Covers Pregnancy Complications
The two following plans offer coverage for complications of pregnancy, and even in this case, the coverage is limited. Please note that neither of the following plans offers coverage for the expenses of birth, morning sickness, check-ups, or other “normal” pregnancy-related problems.