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Published on the 28th November 2023

Travel Health Insurance: What’s in a Name?

Reading Time: 5 min read

Travel Health Insurance: What’s in a Name?

If you’re planning to travel abroad for any length of time, what insurance do you need? You might have come across the term ‘travel health insurance’.

Discovering the right product for yourself is no mean feat. Let’s take a look at these different insurance labels in detail. So, you can make an informed decision when it comes to sorting out the level of cover you need.


  • What is Travel Health Insurance?
  • How Does Travel Insurance Compare?
  • So what is Health Insurance?
  • Insurance for Working Abroad
  • Conclusion

What is Travel Health Insurance?

Before we answer that question, it’s worth knowing that certain providers may use the term itself but not others. If you come across it, it will likely cover a type of insurance similar to standard health insurance, only one that covers you for overseas care.

Travel health insurance will likely mean you’re covered for basic healthcare in a foreign country. Levels of care and entitlement will ultimately depend upon your provider’s policy. 

To give an example, GasanMamo doesn’t offer a product called ‘travel health insurance’, but our health insurance automatically covers you for some medical services whilst overseas. In essence, the two are the same product, albeit with different names.

How Does Travel Insurance Compare?

By contrast, travel insurance is a more specific product. It’s intended for short-term trips, although a provider may cover you for six months or more. You may also come across a product called ‘backpacker insurance’, which is simply a longer-term form of travel insurance.

Travel insurance will generally cover you for emergency treatment whilst you’re abroad on holiday. It’s not intended for those working overseas for any length of time. However, it will cover emergency medical situations that may occur when out of your homeland.

It’s highly unlikely that travel insurance will cover you for routine or cosmetic health-related issues. For a treatment to be covered by your insurance, it will likely have to be deemed essential.

However, travel insurance can cover you for incidents that health insurance will not. For example, if you need to cancel a flight – or your entire holiday – certain types of travel insurance can compensate you. Likewise, if your flight is delayed, you are the victim of theft whilst abroad or experience lost luggage due to an airline, certain travel insurance policies can cover you for such incidents.

Studies have shown that more than half of all successful claims from UK customers in 2022 were related to cancellations. This makes it even more vital for holidaymakers to consider this form of insurance in addition to any health cover they may already have.

So what is Health Insurance?

As we covered briefly above, health insurance can cover you for emergency and routine medical instances, both in your home country and if you’re living abroad for a lengthy period. It is well known that different countries have differing standards of healthcare. This means the cover you’re entitled to will differ depending on the country you travel to.

Let’s take a look at GasanMamo’s policies as an example. Our International Health Insurance Plan is our most comprehensive form of cover. It covers the likes of GP charges, prescribed drugs, diagnostic procedures, emergency dental care, and specialist fees – not just in Malta, but anywhere in the world.

However, suppose you’re travelling to the US or Canada. In that case, this is capped at a maximum of €50,000. This is because neither country offers any statutory healthcare for visitors. Additionally, the US even omits its own citizens from enjoying such statutory healthcare rights.

Health insurance thus offers much greater cover than standard travel insurance, but it won’t cover you for non-medical mishaps, such as cancellations or theft. For an in-depth look, read our article on What Does Health Insurance Cover? 

Insurance for Working Abroad

Travel health insurance, as well as travel or health insurance, can cover you if you’re working abroad. But much will depend on the type of work you do, as well as how long you intend to be working overseas.

Those working in physical jobs or more dangerous situations will likely need a form of health insurance to cover them for any mishaps that may occur. Employers will sometimes cover this type of insurance. This is part of a benefits package for their staff, but not always provided.

If you’re from the UK, the Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) won’t cover you for work carried out overseas. This means you’ll need to find cover from elsewhere.

It’s also worth remembering that travel insurance won’t protect you from mishaps in your home country. This is beyond the likes of flight cancellations and delays. When it comes to any insurance, the best approach is to make a note of your circumstances. Do this with a list of personal healthcare needs, and then find an insurance policy to match.

Don’t just accept any offer without careful consideration, as you may be paying too much for your health insurance premium and for services you don’t need.


With so many different insurance services out there – and so many different names – negotiating this field can be a confusing and time-consuming business. Given that health is at stake, taking your time when looking for a policy is recommended.

You should also actively review your situation year-on-year. Getting the right insurance for your needs is a must to benefit both financially and health-wise. Not to mention the added benefit of getting your own peace of mind in order.

Begin your own search for the right plan by looking through our clear and transparent benefits on our health insurance page.

GasanMamo Insurance is authorised under the Insurance Business Act and regulated by the MFSA.