The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

Over the Age of 50? Why You Shouldn't Put Off That Trip to America

It's a fact of life—as we get older, we experience more health problems. Even if your health issues don't negatively impact your holiday fun, they could make your trip abroad more expensive due to rising travel insurance costs—especially if you're travelling to America.

Travel insurance premiums rise not only with age but as you accumulate a history of pre-existing medical conditions. And this is especially true for insurance plans that include travel cover in the USA, largely due to the high costs of health care on the other side of the pond. Travelling before you develop inevitable age-related medical conditions can save you hundreds of pounds.

mature couple laughing on holiday in America

Why Travel Insurance to America is Important

Health care in America is notoriously expensive—in fact, medical debt is the number 1 cause of bankruptcy in the US. Consider the fact that a three day stay in hospital can cost $30,000. While no one imagines falling ill while on holiday, it does happen. To avoid being ultimately responsible for prohibitively expensive emergency medical bills yourself, you can buy a suitable travel insurance policy. Travel insurance plans typically provide millions of pounds of cover for medical emergencies and repatriation (i.e., bringing you home) if required. Without cover, you'd be on the hook for any emergency medical bills yourself. (Note: travel insurance will NOT cover non-emergency medical treatment.)

The average cost of an Emergency Room (i.e., A&E) visit in America is around $2,168, according to the most recent data available from a study funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH) of over 76 million ER visits, published in 2013—and costs have certainly risen since then. While medical care costs vary widely across the US, you can use this information to get an idea of what you might pay for Emergency care should you fall ill or become injured on holiday, should you not have medical travel insurance.

ConditionMean Charge
Sprains & Strains$1,498
Open Wounds on Extremities$1,650
Headache$1,727
Back Problems$1,476
Kidney Stone$4,247
Urinary Tract Infection$2,598
Upper Respiratory Infection$1,101
Intestinal Infection$2,398

Cost of Travel Insurance to USA by Age

Even if you are healthy as a horse, expect premiums to essentially double between the ages of 65 and 75, and then again from 75 to 85. According to our research, we found the average of the 10 cheapest travel insurance quotes for a single 3-week trip to America cost around £40 for a 65 year old, £85 for a 75 year old and £175 for an 85 year old individual traveller. By delaying travels to America until you're older, you may pay a significant amount more for travel cover.

AgeAverage Cheap Cost of Single-Trip Travel Insurance to USA
55£30.95
65£39.15
75£85.46
85£172.67
chart showing the cost of travel insurance to America with age
The cost of travel insurance to America increases significantly for older travellers

Cost of Travel Insurance to USA with Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

Once you have a medical condition to declare, your travel insurance premiums can increase by 50% to 500%, or even more. Many factors will determine the cost of travel cover with medical conditions, including the number of medications you take, whether or not you have any treatments planned, time since most recent occurrence, etc. Ultimately, each insurance provider will quote based on the perceived risk of your medical history and their appetite for that risk.

The following chart shows how the cost of travel cover can rise with some common medical conditions—illustrating why you might want to fit in that trip to America before you develop a laundry list of pre-existing conditions!

Medical ConditionsAverage Cost of Cheap Single-Trip Travel Insurance to USA (3 week trip)
Age 65Age 75
No Pre-Existing Medical Conditions£39.15£85.50
Osteoarthiritis (no joint replacements)£57.74£124.74
Breast Cancer (Didn't Spread)£74.31£210.29
High Blood Pressure & Cholesterol, on 1 Medication£86.40£181.04
Breast Cancer Spread to Lymph Nodes in Armpits£112.76£285.62
Coronary Artery Stent/Angioplasty, 1 Heart Attack£242.61£541.32
chart showing the cost of travel insurance to america with pre-existing medical conditions
The cost of travel insurance to America increases significantly with pre-existing medical conditions

Unfortunately, each health issue becomes part of your "history" and needs to be disclosed when you buy travel insurance, which will inevitably put upward pressure on the premium you pay. If you've been wanting to travel to America, one really good reason to make the trip sooner rather than later is that your travel insurance costs are likely to rise in the future, whether due to age, medical conditions or both.

Methodology

We gathered hundreds of travel insurance quotes for the common pre-existing medical conditions of high blood pressure & high cholesterol, breast cancer and coronary stent, over various ages and the following conditions:

  • Osteoarthritis: One medication, no joint replacements or scraping, no hospital admissions, can walk unaided without pain
  • High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol: Non smoker, one 1 medication, no new medicines last 6 months
  • Breast Cancer: Diagnosed under two years ago, no current or planned treatment, has not spread
  • Breast Cancer: Diagnosed under two years ago, no current or planned treatment, spread to Lymph nodes in armpits only
  • Coronary Stent: One stent, one heart attack before the stent, no chest pain or heart attacks after the stent

Using this data, we calculated the average cost of the ten cheapest quotes to get an idea of what a traveller might expect to pay for cover under different medical and age scenarios. This provides a realistic estimate of what a consumer might pay if they are looking for affordable travel insurance.

Below is a list of the insurance providers analyzed in our study. Not all providers returned quotes for each of the pre-existing medical conditions.

  • Southdowns
  • Cedartree
  • Admiral
  • Coverforyou
  • PostOfficeMoney
  • Admiral
  • Legal & General
  • TravelInsurance4Medical
  • Cedartree
  • Fit2Travel
  • MoreThan
  • PostOfficeMoney
  • Zurich
  • Coverwise
  • VirginMoney
  • Southdowns
  • Admiral
  • Legal & General
  • OK
  • Coverforyou
  • TravelTime
  • Fit2Travel
  • Cedartree
  • Now
  • InsureAndGo
  • GoodToGo
  • MoreThan
  • Zurich
  • Coverwise
  • DirectTravelInsurance
  • Southdowns
  • Sainsbury's
  • Explorer
  • JustTravelCover
  • TravelInsurance4Medical
  • InsureAndGo
  • RAC
  • Legal & General
  • Now
  • Saga
  • OK
  • DirectTravelInsurance
  • TravelInsurance4Medical
  • VirginMoney
  • GoodToGo
  • Sainsbury's
  • JustTravelCover
  • MoreThan
  • AllSafe
  • RAC
  • PostOfficeMoney
  • FlexiCover
  • Coverforyou
  • TopDog
  • Fit2Travel
  • InsuraTrip
  • InsureAndGo
  • TopDog
  • DirectTravelInsurance
  • FlexiCover
  • Zurich
  • BigBlueCover
  • VirginMoney
  • Spectrum
  • BigBlueCover
  • JustTravelCover
  • TopDog
  • Now
  • FlexiCover
  • BigBlueCover
  • RAC
  • AllSafe
  • Fortify
  • Sainsbury's
  • Debenhams
  • AllSafe
  • Debenhams
  • Debenhams
  • Spectrum
  • Fortify
  • InsuraTrip
  • Spectrum
  • FreeSpirit
  • Fortify
  • FreeSpirit
  • InsuraTrip

Sources

Comments and Questions

The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.