Travel Insurance: Overseas Medical Treatment & Hospitalisation

It can happen to the best of us...a severe case of gastro in Vietnam, a snowboarding injury in Canada, serious altitude sickness in Nepal or a scooter accident on a picturesque Greek isle. If it’s necessary to seek urgent medical treatment, your policy can cover your overseas medical expenses (up to the policy limits and when agreed by us) for:

  • visits to a GP or other registered medical practitioner
  • medical evacuation by air or road ambulance to the most suitable medical facility
  • admission and treatment in hospital
  • day surgery and out-patient medical treatment
  • prescribed medication for sudden illness and serious injury suffered while travelling
  • prescribed physiotherapy
  • prescribed alternative therapy treatment (Explorer Plan only)
  • clinical psychology (Explorer Plan only)
  • out-of-pocket expenses if admitted to hospital (Explorer Plan)
  • a travel partner or close relative to travel to and remain with you if you are admitted to hospital
  • repatriation home - with  a medical escort if you’re not fit to continue travelling, when pre-approved

Use this as a guide only, as every claim is assessed on its individual circumstances.

World Nomads: How do I get medical treatment overseas? 

  • Call our emergency assistance team immediately for advice on what to do and where to go.
  • Go to the closest medical facility for the emergency medical treatment you need.

Who pays for your medical treatment?

Well, that all depends on what’s happened and the seriousness of your medical situation.

You pay and make a claim later when:

  • you see a doctor at a medical centre/local GP surgery; or
  • you’re treated as an ‘out-patient’ ( admission to hospital) and where the costs are less than $2,000. If it looks likely that your treatment costs may end up being more than $2,000, you MUST contact our Emergency Assistance Team as soon as possible.

Where possible, the insurer will pay the hospital or provider direct when:

  • you’re admitted to hospital – but only after you (or someone else) has contacted our Emergency Assistance Team so payment can be arranged directly to the hospital once cover is confirmed; and/or
  • you require medical evacuation or repatriation home (and a medical escort where necessary) and it's pre-approved.

If you pay for any medical expenses, you’ll need to keep copies of all of your medical records, bills, clinical reports/doctor’s notes, receipts, etc. to support your claim.

Also remember there's a $100 policy excess applicable to any claim for overseas medical expenses (per event).

What’s not covered?

The policy isn’t designed to cover everything. Take the time to read the terms, conditions, limits and exclusions in the policy wording for what is and isn’t covered. That way there are no surprises if you need to use it. If you are unsure of cover, please contact us for help.

Here are the main things that aren’t covered:

  • any medical condition you had before purchasing your policy and/or that you suffered in previous periods of insurance (i.e. prior to purchasing more cover if you are extending your trip), unless it qualifies as an automatically covered condition.
  • private hospital treatment when public funded treatment was available ;
  • where care is available under any Reciprocal Health Care Agreement*(see below for more detail).
  • any medical expenses incurred once you return home, even if you require ongoing medical treatment for something that occurred during your trip. Travel insurance does not provide health insurance at home.
  • expenses which are not reasonable or medically necessary; routine treatment; elective treatment.
  • anything else that’s listed in the General Exclusions and specific section exclusions in the policy wording.

*About Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (Australia)

The Australian government has Reciprocal Health Care Agreements with New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland, Italy, Belgium, Malta, Slovenia and Norway. These agreements mean eligible Australians can get help with the cost of certain essential medical treatment when visiting these countries. More information is available from the Department of Human Services website.

Related Articles

View more

Can't find the answer you are looking for?

Contact us

Our contact details

We’re here to help if you have a question about travel insurance. We’re available:

  • Monday to Friday 9:00am - 6:00pm (AEST/ADST)
  • Saturday to Sunday closed (AEST/ADST)

Contact us


Within Australia:
1300 787 375

From anywhere in the world:
+61 2 8256 1542