Travel Health | Cigna (2023)

Precautions Along the Way

Tips for flying

Flying isn't always fun. But you can take steps to make it easier and to feel better during and after your flight.

  • Pack in your checked bags anything that may cause problems at security.

    Examples include gels, liquids, sharp scissors, or pocket knives. See the Transportation Security Administration website at for an updated list of what isn't allowed in carry-on luggage.

  • Wear roomy, comfortable shoes that slip on and off.

    These are easy to remove when you go through security at the airport. They will also be more comfortable if your feet swell on the plane.

  • Walk around the plane every 1 to 2 hours during flights to prevent dangerous blood clots during long periods of travel.

    Sitting still slows down the blood flow in your legs and raises your blood clot risk. Consider wearing compression stockings.

  • Take steps to prevent jet lag.

    Examples include drinking plenty of liquids and changing your sleep schedule to the new time zone.

If you have a fear of flying, talk to your doctor. The doctor may recommend medicines; hypnosis; or breathing, visualization, and relaxation exercises to help you feel less afraid.

Water and food safety

Contaminated water and food are the most common cause of illness in travelers.

(Video) Travel Health Diseases – an introduction

  • Don't drink tap water if it may not have been properly treated.
  • Don't brush your teeth with tap water.
  • Drink beverages made with boiled water, such as tea and coffee.

    Canned or bottled carbonated beverages (including bottled water and soft drinks), beer, and wine are also usually safe.

  • Don't accept ice in drinks.

    It may be contaminated.

  • Dry the opening of wet cans or bottles before taking a drink.
  • Avoid raw fruits (unless you wash and peel them yourself), raw vegetables, and raw or undercooked meat and seafood.
  • Try to eat steaming hot, well-cooked food.
  • Don't get foods or drinks from street vendors.
  • Make sure dairy products have been pasteurized.

Taking the above precautions with food can help prevent infections, like tapeworm.

Travelers to backcountry areas of North America should also take precautions with water. Even though the water in high mountain lakes looks sparkling clear, it may be contaminated with Giardia intestinalis, the parasite that causes giardiasis. Take simple precautions to avoid this illness, such as boiling the water.

Swimming and water sports

Swimming in contaminated fresh water, such as ponds or rivers, can expose you to diseases. Even swimming pools with inadequate chlorination pose a risk. Talk to your doctor if you plan on doing recreational water sports—such as white-water rafting, adventure racing, or kayaking—in tropical and backcountry regions.

To prevent fungal or parasitic infections and injuries, do not go barefoot. Try to keep your feet as clean and dry as possible.

Although sea water is usually safe from disease, swimming or diving in sea water can still be dangerous. Avoid swimming or wading in sea water near a river, estuary, or other outlet from inland. Swimming when you have an open cut or sore can also increase your risk of getting an infection. In developing countries, sea water around big cities and other populated areas may not be safe.

Insect-borne disease

Mosquitoes, flies, fleas, and ticks all spread disease such as malaria, Lyme disease, and West Nile fever.

(Video) What Is Travel Health?

Malaria is the insect-borne disease of most concern to travelers in tropical and subtropical regions. Although antimalarial medicines kill the malaria parasite in the bloodstream, this protection isn't complete. Take protective measures along with taking antimalarial medicine.

Ticks inhabit many regions, including Europe, Canada, and the United States. Although it is rare for travelers to contract diseases from ticks, some of the diseases are serious.

Here are some tips that can help you avoid mosquitoes and other insects.

  • Use DEET or other insect repellents on your skin.
  • Sleep under a bed net to prevent insects from biting you while you sleep.

    Permethrin or deltamethrin insecticide sprayed on bed nets will protect against mosquitoes for weeks to months.

  • Use mosquito coils.

    The smoke from these slow-burning coils repels mosquitoes.

  • Wear light-colored and loose-fitting long pants and long-sleeved shirts.

    This is especially important from dusk to dawn, when mosquitoes that spread malaria and other diseases bite. Insect repellent applied to clothing is effective for longer than it may be on the skin.

  • Do not use home remedies like eating garlic, rubbing garlic on your skin, or taking vitamin B.

    They do not prevent bites.

Sun and heat exposure

Many travelers underestimate the sun's strength and overestimate the amount of protection their sunscreen offers. This may cause an uncomfortable sunburn and other skin damage.

(Video) Travel Health and Safety

  • Protect yourself from the sun by using sunscreen and wearing a hat and sunglasses.
  • Take steps to prevent heat-related illness, such as heat exhaustion or heatstroke.
    • Before you travel to a hot environment, improve your ability to handle heat. Start by exercising for a short time in the heat. Then for the next 2 to 3 weeks, slowly increase the time you exercise in the heat.
    • If you are not used to the heat, limit your time outside in the hottest part of the day.
    • Drink plenty of water.
    • Do not drink alcohol. It increases your risk for dehydration.
    • Know if you take medicines that may make heat-related illness more likely. If you take medicines regularly, ask your doctor for advice about hot-weather activity and your risk for heat-related illness.

Injuries and other concerns

Although disease is a big risk while you are traveling, you should also be aware of the risk of injury and other concerns.

  • Take precautions to help avoid motor vehicle accidents.

    They are a leading cause of injury among travelers. Bad roads, poor driver training, and crowded roadways can make driving dangerous in other countries.

    • Learn local driving customs and road signs.
    • Try to travel during daylight.
    • Always use seat belts.
    • Ask taxi drivers or other hired drivers to slow down or drive more carefully if you feel unsafe.
    • Wear helmets and protective clothing when riding motorcycles or bicycles.
  • Understand the risks associated with animal bites.

    Take care around dogs and other animals. Dogs in developing countries may bite, and rabies is a concern. If you are bitten by an animal, wash the bite with clean water and seek medical attention immediately.

  • Be prepared to treat minor wounds.

    Most wounds sustained in developing countries carry a higher risk of becoming infected.

    • If you get even a minor wound, clean it as soon as possible with large amounts of warm, clean water.
    • Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, and a bandage.
  • If you haven't had a tetanus shot in 10 years, you should get a booster dose before you leave on your trip.

    But if you don't get a tetanus shot before you leave, you should get one after an animal bite or an injury that results in a break in the skin.

  • If you know that you get motion sickness, pack medicines to prevent it.

    The motion of cars, planes, trains, boats, or ships can make some people sick.

  • When air quality is poor, avoid the area or stay indoors as much as possible.

    Air pollution can pose a serious threat to those with asthma or other respiratory conditions.

  • Practice safer sex and use condoms to prevent infections.

    Sexual activity can lead to sexually transmitted infections.

    (Video) Is Travel Insurance Better Than Global Health Insurance | Travelling Abroad | Travel Hacks


Altitude sickness occurs when you cannot get enough oxygen from the air at high altitudes.

It happens most often when people who are not used to high altitudes go quickly from lower altitudes to 8,000 ft or higher. When you go too high too fast, your body cannot adjust.

Altitude sickness can range from mild to life-threatening. With good planning, such as ascending slowly or taking certain medicines, it is often preventable.

Scuba diving safety

You will learn about safety in your scuba diving certification class. If you plan to get certified while traveling, find an experienced, certified teacher that you feel comfortable with. Several groups, including the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) and the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI), certify instructors and dive shops all over the world.

If you are a new diver, it is best to go with an experienced guide, also called a dive master. Most accidents and problems occur when divers ignore the rules and push their limits. Here are some general diving rules.

  • Only dive if you feel comfortable.
  • Use equipment that you are familiar with and that is in good repair.
  • Know what to do if something goes wrong.
  • Always dive with a buddy.
  • Go down and come up slowly.

    Don't hold your breath.

  • Know and follow recommended depths and time limits.
  • Allow enough time between your last dive and your flight home.

Learn more

  • Altitude Sickness
  • Food Poisoning and Safe Food Handling
  • Insect Repellents
  • Malaria
  • Motion Sickness
  • Preventing Deep Vein Thrombosis From Travel
  • Protecting Your Skin From the Sun
  • Sleep Problems: Dealing With Jet Lag


  • Deep Vein Thrombosis: 7 Ways to Help Prevent DVT
  • Insect Bites and Stings: Here's Help
  • Protecting Your Skin From the Sun
(Video) Travel Health Insurance [5 Tips Could Save Thousands!]


Who is the best company to get travel insurance? ›

Compare the Best Travel Insurance Companies
CompanyStarting PriceCoverage Limit
Travelex Best Overall$24$25,000
Allianz Travel Insurance Runner-Up, Best Overall$138Starting at $3,000
InsureMyTrip Best Value$25 to $100Varies
World Nomads Most Comprehensive Coverage$100 to $200$2,500 to $10,000
3 more rows

Is there such a thing as travel health insurance? ›

Before you travel, consider getting travel insurance to cover yourself in case delays, accidents, or illness occur on your trip. Your current medical insurance may not cover care in another country. Also, some types of travel insurance help you cover costs if your travel is cancelled or disrupted.

What is the difference between travel insurance and travel health insurance? ›

Travel insurance is designed for holidaymakers to cover cancellations, personal belongings and emergency medical treatment, whereas international health insurance is designed to cover inpatient treatment check-ups and continuing treatment of chronic conditions abroad.

Does Cigna cover travel expenses? ›

The Cigna LifeSOURCE travel program helps you pay for eligible transportation and lodging expenses for you and one companion/caregiver (up to two caregivers for a dependent minor).

How much does travel insurance typically cost? ›

While travel insurance costs vary, the average is somewhere between 4-12% of your total trip cost*. If you're on the fence, then consider this: an emergency situation can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but the insurance plan might be a fraction of your trip cost.

What travel agency has the best benefits? ›

9 Companies With the Best Travel Benefits
  • Airbnb. ...
  • G Adventures. ...
  • 4. Walt Disney Company. ...
  • Travelzoo. ...
  • AFAR Media. ...
  • Delta Air Lines. ...
  • Expedia. ...
  • TripAdvisor. Tensing Pen, Negril, Jamaica/Oyster.
Nov 22, 2017

What is not covered by travel insurance? ›

According to Allianz Global Assistance, a travel insurance provider, "Trip cancellations and trip interruptions due to known, foreseeable, or expected events, epidemics, or fear of travel are generally not covered."

Can travel insurance replace health insurance? ›

Injury or sickness

Travel insurance can help protect you from medical expenses abroad that your normal health insurance doesn't cover. Most health insurance plans don't provide full coverage in foreign countries and some health plans provide no coverage at all, including Medicare.

What countries accept US Medicare? ›

What Countries Accept US Medicare? You can only use Medicare in the USA and its territories. This includes the 50 US States as well as its territories: Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Does Medicare cover travel abroad? ›

In most situations, Medicare won't pay for health care or supplies you get outside the U.S. The term “outside the U.S.” means anywhere other than the 50 states of the U.S., the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Does travel insurance cover doctor visits? ›

Buy Visitors Insurance

All U.S.-based travel medical insurance plans provide coverage for outpatient services such as doctor's office visits. (Beware of some foreign travel insurance companies that don't.) Visiting a doctor may be different inside as well as outside the United States.

What are the two basic types of travel insurance? ›

There are two main types of travel insurance: trip protection plans and travel medical plans.

Can Cigna be used internationally? ›

Cigna's international network of health care providers helps enable us to offer individuals working outside of their home country extensive access to global health coverage.

Is travel health insurance deductible? ›

Some Plans have Deductible Options

A Deductible for a travel insurance plan, as in other insurance policies, is a specified dollar amount that you are required to pay before any Emergency Medical benefits will be paid. Most medical single trip plans automatically include a $250 Deductible when you first view them.

Are travel medical expenses tax deductible? ›

Unreimbursed payments for prescription medications and appliances such as glasses, contacts, false teeth and hearing aids are also deductible. The IRS also lets you deduct the expenses that you pay to travel for medical care, such as mileage on your car, bus fare and parking fees.

What should I pay for travel insurance? ›

In general, you should expect a plan will cost anywhere from 4%-10% of your total pre-paid, nonrefundable trip cost. For example, if you purchased a trip with a total cost of $5,000, travel insurance policies available to you will likely range in price from $250-$500, depending on variables.

How much does travel health insurance cost in the US? ›

The short answer is, the cost of travel insurance varies based on multiple factors, but it generally ranges from $35 to $200 per trip. The provider you choose, your coverage level, the total number of travelers and your destination all influence your policy's price.

How much is $10,000 travel insurance? ›

The average cost of travel insurance is 5% to 6% of your trip costs, according to Forbes Advisor's analysis of travel insurance rates.
Average Cost of Travel Insurance by Trip Cost.
Trip costAverage travel insurance costTravel insurance cost as % of trip cost
4 more rows
Jan 22, 2023

What is the best form of money to travel with? ›

Cash and credit cards are the ideal way to pay when you are travelling. Speak with an expert to determine which currency to bring with you. It is not uncommon for travellers to bring US Dollars, as they are widely accepted all over the world.

Are trips more expensive with a travel agent? ›

It's a myth that working with a travel agent will automatically cost you more; most get paid via commissions from the hotel or outfitter. Sure, some travel agents do charge a fee for putting together an itinerary, but most will credit you that fee if you end up booking the trip through them.

Is it smart to use a travel agent? ›

They can help find the best rooms, book services you didn't even know existed and tie all the pieces together on a complicated itinerary. A travel agent can be particularly beneficial if you don't have the time to do all the research yourself, or if you're looking for help in getting the best deal.

Does travel insurance cover 100%? ›

Coverage amount: Most policies require travelers to insure 100% of their pre-paid, nonrefundable trip cost in order to be eligible for cancel for any reason.

What are considered pre existing conditions for travel insurance? ›

What is considered a pre-existing condition? A pre-existing condition is an illness, injury or medical concern that has included exams, treatments or a change in prescribed medication within 60 to 180 days of purchasing a travel insurance policy.

What are the main 5 categories of travel insurance coverage? ›

Here's the very short answer: Cancellations, medical expenses, evacuations, loss or delays, and 24/7 assistance. These are the 5 basic types of coverage provided with vacation insurance. This is the #1 concern with most travelers.

Should I bring my health insurance card when traveling? ›

Before you go abroad, learn what medical services your health insurance will cover overseas. If your health insurance policy provides coverage outside the United States, remember to carry both your insurance policy identity card as proof of insurance and a claim form.

What happens if a tourist gets sick in USA? ›

Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for a list of local healthcare providers and medical facilities. If your illness is serious, consular officers can help you find medical assistance, and, if you desire, inform your family and/or friends.

Should I travel with my health insurance card? ›

When you travel outside California, take your BIC or proof that you are enrolled in a Medi-Cal health care plan. Medi-Cal can help in some cases, such as an emergency due to accident, injury or severe illness.

Can I opt out of Medicare if I leave the country? ›

If you move outside the United States: Medicare Part A (hospital insurance), is available to you if you return. No monthly premium is withheld from your Social Security benefit payment for this protection. You can continue paying for your Part B benefits or drop them while out of the country.

Which country has the best Medicare system? ›

Australia comes top for health outcomes, in fact. The universal Medicare system has covered the cost of public hospital stays and some other services since 1986, but outside of hospital, co-payments are common.

Is Medicare good internationally? ›

Many older adults look forward to fulfilling their travel bucket list during retirement, but Medicare may not be along for the ride. If you have Medicare coverage, you won't be reimbursed for international medical bills. Healthcare services received beyond U.S. borders are not covered.

Should I take my Medicare card to Europe? ›

Should I take my Medicare card to Europe? There is no reason to bring your Medicare card to Europe, as doctors in European countries will not accept your Medicare coverage as insurance.

Does my health insurance cover me on a cruise? ›

Your regular health insurance likely won't cover you. Not even Medicare, which doesn't cover health care services when the ship is more than 6 hours away from a U.S. port. Serious medical emergencies may require a medical evacuation, which can mean being airlifted off the ship to the nearest hospital.

Can I travel out of state Medicare? ›

Travel within the U.S.

If you have Original Medicare, you have coverage anywhere in the U.S. and its territories. This includes all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Should I see a doctor before traveling? ›

Know Your Health Status

Make an appointment with your healthcare provider or a travel health specialist that takes place at least one month before you leave. They can help you get destination-specific vaccines, medicines, and information.

Is Allianz part of AAA? ›

One provider to consider is AAA Travel Insurance. The company's policies are administered by Allianz Global Assistance, an insurer that serves 40 million customers in the U.S. and operates in 35 countries.

What is a international travel insurance? ›

International travel insurance provides the necessary coverage in the case of an emergency abroad, providing you the peace of mind during your time abroad. Unlike trip insurance, which is solely for U.S. residents, international health insurance helps protect both U.S. residents and non-U.S. residents alike.

Does travel insurance cover cancelled flights due to weather? ›

In the case of a standard weather-related delay, travel insurance can offer coverage, up to the stated amount, that reimburse for the costs incurred. If the delay lasts six hours or more (depending on the plan details), reimbursement for incidental necessities, like food and temporary lodging, may be available.

Does Cigna cover me outside of the US? ›

Who we help. Cigna's coverage extends to more than 200 countries and territories around the world, with 1.65m health professionals and 24/7 customer service centers offering more than 50 different languages.

Is my US health insurance valid in other countries? ›

Most U.S. health insurers don't cover treatment if you become a resident outside the U.S. Neither, of course, does Medicare. But the long answer is more nuanced…so it's worth asking your health insurance company about it if you're thinking of moving abroad.

Is UnitedHealthcare accepted overseas? ›

We are a healthcare provider you can trust, serving millions of members with our international group insurance plans in over 130 countries.

Is travel insurance the same as international insurance? ›

What is Travel Insurance? Travel insurance is designed for holidaymakers to cover cancellations, personal belongings and emergency medical treatment, whereas international health insurance is designed to cover inpatient treatment check-ups and continuing treatment of chronic conditions abroad.

How does international health insurance work? ›

International health insurance gives you continuous coverage when relocating from one country to another. Different insurance providers have their extensive network of medical professionals and hospitals with around the clock assistance.

What travel expenses are not deductible? ›

Examples of deductible travel expenses include airfare and lodging, transport services, cost of meals and tips, and the use of communications devices. Travel expenses incurred while on an indefinite work assignment that lasts more than one year are not deductible for tax purposes.

Are eyeglasses tax deductible? ›

The bottom line. You can deduct the costs for prescription eyeglasses and eye exams on your tax return. But they must be a part of your itemized medical deductions, which need to exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income.

What is travel medical expense? ›

What Is Travel Medical Insurance? Travel medical insurance helps cover the cost of many emergency medical treatments during a trip. If you're traveling and have an unexpected illness, medical condition or injury that's covered by your travel medical insurance, you typically will be reimbursed up to the plan limits.

Are dental implants tax deductible? ›

Your question is also perfect timing for the end of the year! To answer your question, yes, dental implants can be tax deductible under IRS Topic 502: Medical and Dental Expenses.

Which travel insurance is best for USA? ›

  • IMG Global.
  • Trawick International®
  • WorldTrips.
  • USI Affinity Travel Insurance Services.
  • Petersen International Underwriters.
  • Global Underwriters.
  • GeoBlue.
  • Travelex Insurance.

How to get the most out of travel insurance? ›

Here are my top tips for finding the best travel insurance policy for you.
  1. Cheaper is not always better. Some travel insurance policies seem too cheap to be true! ...
  2. Consider a multi-trip policy. ...
  3. Look for multiple covers. ...
  4. Check the limits. ...
  5. Watch for exclusions. ...
  6. Check for age limits. ...
  7. Choose a good provider.

Does travel insurance get more expensive closer to the trip? ›

Unlike other aspects of your travel experience like airfares or hotel-room rates, the price of travel insurance doesn't increase the closer you get to your travel date. There's no financial penalty if you wait to buy travel insurance (except for those bonus coverages, of course).

How much is the most expensive travel insurance? ›

The most expensive international travel insurance claim in 2022 is a whopping $135,375, paid to a 65-year-old traveller who had a heart condition and fluid in the lungs while on holiday in Greece and was hospitalised for around three weeks.

How much does travel health insurance for USA cost? ›

The average cost of travel insurance is 5% to 6% of your trip costs, according to Forbes Advisor's analysis of travel insurance rates. For a $5,000 trip, the average travel insurance cost is $228, and the range of rates is from $154 for a basic policy up to $437 for a policy with generous coverage .

How much medical insurance do I need for travel to USA? ›

A minimum coverage of $50,000 is advisable if not more when you come to the US, but there can be several reasons why an individual is visiting the US. He/she can be a visitor for a few weeks, or join a full-time study program, or be in a leisure or business travel.

How long before Travelling should you get travel insurance? ›

When to buy travel insurance can depend on the trip or trips you're taking and the kind of policy you choose to suit them. Usually, though, it's best to get cover in place for your holiday as soon as you've booked or made a financial commitment to it.

How long should my travel insurance be? ›

Usually, such policies remain valid for one year. However, they can be renewed for a further 36 months if you extend your trip. Note that the renewal of the policy is to be done before the initial date of expiry.


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