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Better Together: Disability Parent Q&A
By Jennifer Allen

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Q: What do you do about travel insurance? What do you need, and what’s covered, for a child with a disability?

A: Domestically (in the U.S.), this shouldn’t be an issue. Even the most stringent of policies will cover emergencies out of state. Because policies differ, it would be wise to call your insurance, both primary and secondary, before hitting the road. Generally, any emergency that comes up will be covered. Just don’t plan to get your teeth cleaned or start up with a new physical therapist while you’re away.

Internationally, everything gets a little fuzzier. First, let me explain that trip insurance and travel health insurance are two separate things, even though they often have overlapping coverage. Nerd Wallet breaks this down nicely, but the main takeaway is that trip insurance is for the trip – if you should need to cancel or make changes, even if because of health; travel health insurance is for only physical needs.

Again, the best place to start is with a phone call to your insurance company (or companies). Medicaid and Medicare rarely cover anything outside of the U.S., but many private health insurance companies will still cover emergencies internationally. Unless you’re planning to travel for such an extended period of time that you need physicals or routine care, you may not even need travel health insurance, since many travel health insurance policies also cover emergencies. The perk of some travel plans is that they will cover transportation to medical care, which changes everything if you’re travelling somewhere remote without a nearby hospital.

If you’re booking through a travel agent, they can help you research this! Travel agents who focus on disability travel have experience working with insurance to cover a variety of needs, and can help you identify what’s best for you. Incredible Memories Travel has experience booking travel health insurance with preexisting conditions waived.


There is a general concern over the carelessness with which wheelchairs are treated by airlines and others transporting the chair. How can we protect our wheelchair and travel by plane?

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