Medical only travel insurance artwork

Travel insurance: medical only

Looking for medical only travel insurance? You've come to the right place.

Medical-only travel insurance provides cover for just emergency medical treatment overseas (and sometimes personal liability cover), without the other components usually found in a comprehensive policy such as trip cancellation and delay, and lost or stolen luggage and personal effects. It’s much cheaper and offers an affordable option for those who are travelling on a budget since the cover is limited to medical treatment only. While it doesn’t fully protect you, it does cover the most important part of travel insurance, because medical costs in a foreign country can be cripplingly expensive.

Basic travel insurance policies with medical cover

Brands Product Product Details Apply
1Cover Medical Only

Unlimited overseas emergency assistance

Unlimited overseas medical expenses

$5,000,000 Personal liability

Get quote
AMEX Travel Insurance Single Trip Basic

Unlimited overseas medical expenses

$2,500 Luggage and personal effects

$1,000,000 personal liability

$2,500 Luggage personal effects and travel documents

Get quote
Australia Post Travel Insurance International Basic

Unlimited overseas medical and hospital expenses

Unlimited additional expenses

$5,000,000 Personal liability

$10,000 Accidental death

Get quote
Fast Cover Basics

Unlimited overseas 24/7 emergency medical assistance

Unlimited overseas emergency medical & hospital expenses

$1,000,000 personal liability cover

Get quote
Insure4less Travel Insurance Medical Only

Overseas medical expenses - Unlimited

Get quote
Medibank Travel Insurance International Medical Only

Unlimited overseas medical and hospital expenses

Unlimited cover for additional expenses

$5 million personal liability cover

Get quote
Online Travel Insurance Basic

Unlimited overseas emergency expenses

$1,000 dental expenses

$1 million personal liability

$200 default excess

Get quote
Tick Travel Insurance Basic

Unlimited overseas emergency medical assistance

$500 dental expenses

$1,500,000 personal liability

$2,000 luggage and personal effects

Get quote
Webjet Travel Insurance Basic

Unlimited Overseas Medical and Hospital Expenses

Emergency Dental Treatment - $1,000

Personal liability - $2,500,000

Get quote
World2Cover Travel Insurance Basics

Unlimited Overseas Medical and Hospital Expenses

Emergency Expenses - $5,000

Legal liability - $10,000,000

Overseas Dental - $500

Get quote
Worldcare Travel Insurance Basic

Unlimited overseas medical assistance

Unlimited overseas medical expenses

$2.5 million personal liability

$1,000 Emergency dental expenses

Get quote
Zoom Travel Insurance Medical Only
  • Unlimited overseas medical expenses
  • $2.5 million personal liability
Get quote
Virgin Money Basic
  • Unlimited overseas emergency assistance
  • Unlimited overseas medical expenses
  • $1,000,000 personal liability
Get quote

What does medical-only travel insurance generally cover?

Medical-only travel insurance will usually cover two main areas: emergency medical assistance and overseas medical and hospital expenses.

Emergency medical assistance provides emergency assistance through the insurer’s emergency assistance provider and includes:

  • Access to a medical adviser for medical treatment if you are ill or injured overseas
  • Medical transfer to the nearest hospital for treatment or evacuation back to Australia with medical supervision
  • Written guarantee of payment for hospitalisation if required
  • Messages to family and employers at home
  • Supervised return of your dependants to Australia if you are hospitalised
  • Cost of a funeral or to return your remains to Australia if you die as a result of your illness or injury

Overseas medical and hospital expenses usually covers:

  • Medical and hospital expenses you incur overseas, providing they are reasonable, are on the advice of a medical adviser and if more than a certain amount (often $2,000), have prior approval from the insurer
  • Emergency dental treatment up to a set benefit limit (depending on the policy)

Medical exclusions you should note

All insurance policies contain exclusions or circumstances in which the insurer will not provide cover. In the case of medical only travel insurance, these can include:

Emergency medical assistance

  • Any expenses you incur that have not been pre-approved by the Assistance Provider
  • Failing to follow the medical advice of the Assistance Provider
  • Any medical evacuation or transport of remains from Australia to another country
  • Any medical or hospital expenses incurred in Australia.

Overseas medical and hospital expenses:

  • Any expenses incurred in Australia
  • Any expenses resulting from a pre-existing medical condition that is not covered in your policy
  • Failing to notify your insurer or their Assistance Provider of your hospitalisation as soon as possible
  • Failing to heed the advice of the insurer or their Assistance Provider
  • Any treatment by a chiropractor, physiotherapist or dentist lasting more than two weeks that has not been approved by the insurer or their Assistance Provider
  • Any medical care that is covered under a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA)
  • Any damage to dentures, prostheses, bridges or crowns (if applicable)
  • Cosmetic dentistry or treatment involving precious metals (if applicable)

How much does medical-only travel insurance cost?

Medical only travel insurance is great for those looking to save a little extra money on their travel expenses. But how much cheaper is a medical only policy than a comprehensive one?

To find out, we got quotes for a two-week worldwide trip for a 30-year-old. On average, a medical only travel insurance is roughly 59% cheaper than a comprehensive policy.

Overseas medical expensesCancellation fee coverLuggage and personal effectsDefault excessTotal price
1cover logo Image: SuppliedMedical OnlyUnlimitedNo coverNo cover$200$100.08Get quote
1cover logo Image: SuppliedComprehensiveUnlimitedUnlimited$15,000$200$142.98Get quote

Quote retrieved 23 May 2019

Aren’t I already covered by the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement anyway?

Australia has Reciprocal Health Care Agreements with a number of countries including New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland, Italy, Belgium, Malta, Slovenia and Norway.

An RHCA allows an Australian traveller to access limited health care treatment in these countries in emergencies. But if you are travelling to one of these countries and think you can rely on this without having to take out medical-only travel insurance, you need to be aware of what these agreements do not cover, specifically:

  • Ambulance
  • Dental care
  • Elective treatment
  • Funerals
  • Medical evacuation back to Australia
  • Paramedic services
  • Treatment or accommodation in a private hospital or as a private patient in a public hospital
  • Treatment that has been pre-arranged before arrival
  • Treatment that is not immediately necessary

Most of the things covered in a medical-only travel insurance policy are not covered by a RCHA, so relying on that alone could leave you seriously out of pocket if you are ill or injured overseas. It’s a nice safety net to have, but make sure you have travel insurance as well.

Compare medical only travel insurance policies

Picture: Shutterstock

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site